This is the year that will bring your real estate career to the next level! This is the best year to play with online real estate marketing tools that increase sales! And you know why? Because we are talking about real estate in a digital age! There is no real estate marketing tool that I would want to hide from you. Some of them are bringing you already new home sellers and buyers, but I’m sure you will find something new. So let’s see how you can achieve your sales goals for this year.
When creating a marketing plan for 2019, it’s important to evaluate your marketing efforts from 2018. What marketing channels were the most effective? What areas should you improve? What percentage of your marketing is online versus offline? But before we go on, I want you to understand that the Internet has changed everything. If in 1981 home buyers would have bought a newspaper and skimmed through the classified ads to find a great property, in 2018, almost half of home buyers (44%) have browsed the Internet trying to find a property, according to National Association of Realtors.
Online Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Well, I’m pretty sure that you will agree with me when I say that the real estate business is extremely visual – home buyers want to see pictures, they want to read a detailed description, and want to be taken on a virtual video tour… All that before you even meet face to face! With so many digital devices, online marketing has never been easier for real estate agents.
Websites increase sales! What real estate broker doesn’t have a website in 2019? You? Go get one right now and don’t tell anyone! No matter how long you have been in business, you need a professionally designed website, that allows you to publish not only pictures and videos of “for sale”/”for rent” properties but also content like real estate advice for sellers and buyers. And you need a lot of good content, targeting a set of keywords that best describe your real estate business. Also, make sure that your site can be easily found when people look for a real estate agent in the towns you cover. If your website is not on the first page of Google searches, then you have a lot of SEO work to do. That’s right. It’s all in the words! Search engine bots scan the words published on your website and if they can simply figure out what your website is all about, then they may give it a good score. If your website is responsive and displays nice on mobile devices, even better! SEO means teamwork, so you will definitely need help! Hire people that can create more valuable content than your competition and you will succeed!
Now is the right time to assess your website’s address. Is it too long? Try to find a shorter one, because it takes less space on your business cards and on other printed materials. Besides this, it is easy to remember and type into any browser without the risk of misspelling it. The change in your website’s domain name is a good reason for a marketing campaign. A new website will motivate you to get more involved in online marketing.
A good directory listing can increase sales!
As long as you work with a broker, your name and contact details will remain published on their website for sure. However, buyers and sellers looking for a real estate agent in their area might contact you faster after they find your name in more obvious places, especially on The Official Real Estate Agent Directory®. Getting listed on such a specialized directory sends a strong message to your customers: ‘You can trust me!’ Put your name out there and let more people find you on websites that build trust and confidence. At RealEstateAgent.com we are committed to building a strongly knitted community of passionate real estate agents. And it is growing pretty fast!
Use it like the social media savvy agents do! Here you can give advice and let people know of your great finds! Social media is an online marketing tool that has increased sales for millions of business people worldwide! And it can increase your sales too! Make sure you post high-quality pictures and videos, with your logo and qualifications placed consistently in the same place, to give the feeling of a serious business, that pays attention to details. Place your contact details at the bottom of every post for the people to easily reach for your phone number. Also, make sure to be available to answer any questions/comments that may arise.
This is the place where you gain the confidence of your future buyers and sellers. Get people to trust you. Prove to them how professional you are! You’ve worked hard to get where you are and you deserve every single dollar for your work!
If you are using multiple social media platforms, plan in advance the content you are going to share. Hootsuite can also save you a lot of time because it automatically posts for you at the time you choose. Schedule your posts to look like you are online all the time!
Another good way to increase your market share is through reviews from every customer. Ask them to write a short review after any kind of interaction.
Every time you interact with someone try to get their contact info including their email address so you can slowly start to build your email database. Everyone may become a home buyer or a home seller one day. Use every opportunity to build a well-organized email database. Attract email addresses from as many sources as possible. Abusing this tool though can cost you a lot!
Do you know why email marketing is great? Because it can be automated. Automated marketing tools are great in our business because they allow us to focus on more important issues.
How to write an email newsletter that people will actually read? Change the way you write the subject line! Make it clickable! Self-interest subject lines are among the best because they address a specific benefit your audience will gain by reading your email. Keep your reader’s attention by mixing your usual “hot listings” with industry news, success stories, and beautiful pictures. And numbers! People love numbers, statistics and comparisons. Offers also work well! So what stops you to run a campaign for first-time home-sellers and offer them a lower commission rate right now?
Everybody is using this tool to increase sales! Not sure what are the best email marketing tools for real estate agents? Here are some of the best:
- Constant Contact
You don’t have to use them all. Try them and pick the best that suits your real estate business! Newsletters and email marketing campaigns may not bring you new listings instantly, but will help you build a strong brand/name recognition!
Well, videos are a must in today’s real estate market. How do you use the video camera as a marketing tool for your real estate business, you may ask? There are at least two ways:
You can film yourself giving real estate advice, or invite people you often interact with during closings, such as attorneys at law, home inspectors, land surveyors, mortgage consultants. Stage some short informative interviews for both home sellers and home buyers. Or maybe you specialize in commercial properties and you will want to direct your content towards local businesspeople. This kind of content showcases your knowledge and your business connections and puts you above the others. Find your real estate agent niche and stick to it!
Real Estate Video Tours
More effective and easy to use than 3D virtual tours, these videos can be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo. They will receive views instantly!
How to do a video tour for a property?
You can go the easy way or the professional way.
- The easy way
Use a GoPro and describe the property as you walk around. You may also use a smartphone or a video camera, however, for the best result, you must use an image stabilizer called a gimbal. This device is a good investment since it removes any shake and tremor from the video. The image will flow smoothly, giving your property tour a more professional touch. This will make it pleasant and enjoyable for the viewers. Did you buy a drone, too? Then impress your client with a drone footage and ask a team member to edit the final video. You may charge a fee for this service, or give it as a gift to your client in the end, in case you find the lucky buyer.
- The professional way
Luxury properties deserve the best treatment, though. Videography is a powerful marketing tool because it has the power to lure potential clients into buying. Here you may want to hire a professional videographer. If you find one specializing in real estate video tours, even better! They may be expensive, but professional video tours really make the property shine in a very appealing light. With a drone, the final video tour may even include some amazing aerial views of the property – they give me goosebumps with the right soundtrack! And I have to admit it – I could spend hours on end watching tours of luxurious properties. Not only do they give marvelous interior design ideas but also give a high motivational factor that makes me believe that one day, one of those amazing castles could be mine…
Offline Real Estate Marketing Ideas
While a lot is happening online, real estate agents must not neglect the offline tools that are more suitable for Baby Boomers. Here are some marketing ideas for those who visit your brick and mortar shop.
Real Estate Window and Wall Displays
This kind of listing display is still among the most popular and most effective real estate marketing tools. Their design is more modern and fancier nowadays, including led lights that make your listings pop up after sunset or big flat TV(s) that run more entertaining eye-catching animations and videos in a loop. Window displays and various types of (touch)screens are POWERFUL tools for POS (point-of-sale) marketing. Those who pass by your window will most likely take a look at the offers displayed before visiting your website. And the best part is that your listings are visible not only to the locals, who know the neighborhood and can make up their minds fast but also to tourists who might consider buying a second home or a vacation home in the area.
Another tool that brings offline customers to your webpage is the QR code. This type of barcode, abbreviated from Quick Response Code, was first created for the Japanese automotive industry more than two decades ago. It is free to generate online and can be placed on every listing displayed in your window! Those who will scan it with their smartphones will land directly on your website where they can find more details.
Check the listed properties daily and update them if necessary. Another marketing trick is to mix them every time you add new listings. It’s just an easy way to lead people into thinking that your properties sell really fast, encouraging them to make up their minds sooner instead of lingering in procrastination.
No need to talk too much about this marketing tool. You probably can deliver a lecture on real estate business cards. But marketing is all about creativity. So, are your business cards creative? Let’s make them memorable!
Use a bold, clean, sans-serif font for your name and for all the information on your card. You must include your email address and your website! Business cards are a way of driving traffic to your online listings. You want everyone to see them!
Try to use spot colors – pick the main color of your broker’s logo and stick to it. Use it repetitively in all your marketing materials. In this way, customers will start to associate that color with your name. Choose less conventional materials, like plastic, wood or textured cardboard – make them feel good to the touch. The thicker, the better.
Give your business cards an unusual shape! Maybe crop them in the form of a house or create a 3D brick. Yes, they may be harder to carry in your pocket but will have a lasting impact for sure. You may also want to think about engraving or carving techniques that could make your business cards stand out. I’m sure your printer can help you a lot with the new printing technologies.
Double-check you always have a few with you, no matter what event you are going to attend, be it a wedding, a birthday party or a real estate conference.
Build a Network!
Networking is big business today! And you should be eager to attend as many networking events as possible, and you know why? Because your future customers are there!
If you are fortunate to live in a community that has an HOA, take advantage of every HOA meeting and point out things overlooked by others. Make your presence count in a good way! Your neighbors can become your customers!
Industry trade fairs and conferences are door openers for real estate agents as well. Be an early bird and register without hesitation to the events that matter for the industry or the related industries and be among the big players. As I’ve said before, you never know when one of your acquaintances becomes a home seller or a home buyer. But chances are he/she will remember you. Dress well, put a smile on your face, be confident and don’t be afraid to express your own opinion. Throw in some nice real estate terms from the RealEstateAgent.com glossary and expect a big round of applause: you are the “expert”!
Your company’s car is a marketing tool on wheels! Don’t overdo it, though! Keep your message short but memorable. Use bright colors and a minimalistic yet bold graphic design, that puts an emphasis on your logo. And maybe add a fun twist with a “Real Estate Agent on Board” car sign. If you are using your personal car to advertise for your business, and want to put graphic materials on it, your car is still in your personal use, so you may not deduct some expenses. For more on this topic, read the IRS Publication 463, chapter 4. Moreover, some HOAs may have restrictive rules regarding the parking of company vehicles. Having some removable or magnetic graphics that can be easily removed could keep you out of trouble.
Is it dead? Not really. But finding the right media outlet, with the right niche you want to reach to, may prove another effective marketing tool. If you are part of a franchize, then you don’t have to worry about print advertising. It is most often included in the royalty fees or you may have to pay an advertising fee regularly.
But when you are an independent real estate broker and want to diversify your marketing mix, analyze a few media kits for advertisers before signing a contract. For more information about the impact of your ads, look for audited publications.
Print advertising is an old marketing tool for real estate agents, too. Offer to write articles on real estate or publish advertorials, featuring your hottest properties available for sale. Most printed magazines and newspapers offer an electronic copy to their readers, so you never know who sees your name and decides to contact you! Print ads won’t increase sales immediately, but they will shape your brand and help people memorize it through repetitively featured ads.
Evaluate Your Sales Pitch
A stellar pitch is crucial during your first interaction with a potential client, be it face to face or on the phone, during a cold call. Evaluate your initial conversation. What percentage of your initial meeting is spent talking, and what percentage is spent listening? Make sure that your client has had a chance to fully explain what type of house they are looking to buy, or their goals, and ask questions along the way to encourage them to communicate fully.
Read some books on body language and improve your speaking skills by attending Toastmasters International meetings or similar clubs near you. Environments like these help you practice your sales pitch as well and provide a relaxed place to network. You will get the chance to speak in front of a small audience which will later make you more comfortable with your clients. Set realistic expectations and goals, and offer your expertise. The goal is for a potential client to seek you not only as a salesperson but as a counselor in the real estate process.
How to Increase Your Closing Sales Ratio?
Closing a sale brings such a relief to every part involved! We hope you will close more sales this year than last year by applying these real estate marketing tools. So why not start by increasing the listing to sales ratio first? Come up with a system to filter serious sellers who have a higher chance of selling their property with you. You can save the time spent with withdrawals and focus on your most important customers and on becoming a good real estate consultant.
You may have stellar marketing and initial sales pitch, but fall short final stretch of the sale. Instead of focusing on trying to close the sale, focus on helping your potential customers. By being the clients’ support during their largest purchase or sale of their life, they will see you less as a salesperson and more as their trusted advisor.
What real estate marketing tools work best for you right now? We would love to find out and share with you more tips that can increase sales.