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Why December is Perfect for Investing in Your Marketing

Invest in real estate marketing

I can think of a lot of things December is perfect for.

Hot chocolate. Christmas carols. Shopping. Gingersnaps. Family.

Oh, and investing in your real estate marketing! 

Now before you tell me I’ve had a little too much eggnog for my own good, let me explain. December is a perfect time to invest in marketing – for several reasons.

Get Your Year Off to a Great Start!

First and foremost, investing in your marketing in December allows you to get your year off to a great start. Whether you want to revamp your branding, rework your website, or just refresh your business cards, nothing feels better than hitting January 1 ready to go.

In real estate, the late fall and winter can be slower times in our businesses. That makes it the perfect time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in 2017.

Find ways to increase your focus on successful marketing and cut back on unsuccessful outreach. Try new things. If you haven’t used postcards before, for instance, take a look at our farming postcards! Try sending out one per quarter in 2018, using a mailing list or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).

December is the perfect time to create your 2018 marketing plan and invest in the resources you need to make it happen. Get out a calendar, mark down outreach dates, and have your best year ever!

Hello, Mr. Taxman…

…or Taxwoman!

April is everyone’s favorite month, right? Maybe not. But it can be a lot better if you’ve invested in your real estate marketing in December!

All of your real estate marketing purchases are part of your business expenses, meaning that you can write them off against your income. That makes THIS MONTH your last chance to lower next year’s tax bill!

Don’t wait until January to get those business cards or postcards ordered. Do it now, and not only will you start the year strong, you’ll get a big dose of relief at tax time.

Make the Most of Your Winter – Plan for Spring

In no way do we advocate letting your marketing hibernate this winter – you have to stay consistent if you want to have business in the spring. However, it’s common that spring and summer are the heaviest marketing time of year.

It’s also common that spring and summer are the heaviest work time of year as well, however, and sometimes marketing competes with work – and loses.

You can avoid this turmoil by planning ahead. Order postcards to be printed with Printerbees, and let us mail them for you at the right times. We can use EDDM or your mailing list. Either way, you won’t be wasting valuable work time in May running to the post office!

Plan ahead for local events you know you’re going to sponsor or attend as well – that way you can keep the calendar around it clear. Set up times for pop-bys.

By putting everything on the calendar now, you’ll be able to see if you’re overscheduling, or if you have one heavy marketing month and one with nothing in it. Move things around accordingly. If you have two local events in June, focus your pop-bys in July.

When you plan ahead, you can move into the spring and summer knowing that both your marketing and your workload are planned and manageable – which means you’ll be much more successful!

Now’s the Time – Don’t Put it Off!

December will be over before you know it, in a whirl of presents, cocoa, carols, and gingersnaps. Take time now – before the holidays get really busy – to plan and order your marketing for next year.

It only takes a couple of hours, and it can save you big – both at tax time and during the spring and summer next year!

 

Need help planning your marketing? We’re here for you. Contact us for a free marketing plan session today!

Creating Your 2018 Real Estate Marketing Plan

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2018 Marketing Plan

Last week I talked about real estate marketing trends for 2018. However, trends only take you so far. You need an honest-to-goodness PLAN if you want your 2018 real estate marketing to bring you success.

To many of us do things in a scattered way – we may send a postcard, then post a couple times on Facebook, send one email, and wonder why things aren’t working. The reality is you need to be consistent with your marketing.

So how do you make that happen?

The Three-Month Marketing Plan

Let’s just be realistic about most marketing plans. We usually try to plan for a whole year at once. The problem is we don’t know what the year will bring! We may start in a strong seller’s market, but by the end of the year things can change dramatically.

In addition, it’s hard to think about being consistent for a full year. We end up putting things off and then trying to rush to finish things by the end of the year. Or, worse, we sit around wringing our hands after missing our revenue goal AGAIN.

Forget a 12-month plan. Instead, create a three-month plan. You can predict 12 weeks. Then, evaluate, tweak, and do it again!

What to Include in Your 2018 Real Estate Marketing Plan

So what should you include in a three-month plan?

Print Marketing

In three months, you want to send at least one and preferably three postcards to your farm area. Use Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) or a mailing list.

Seasonal postcards make this simple, and you can also use note cards if you prefer. You can even use a monthly recipe card program, like the one we offer at Printerbees!

In-Person Marketing

In three months you want to do at least three in-person outreaches to your farm. These outreaches can include a variety of things, such as:

  • Pop Bys
  • Charity events
  • Special events you arrange
  • Volunteering
  • Taking a walk through your farm (especially if you have a pet!)
  • Hand out brochures, post signs, or distribute business cards

Email Marketing

If you have an email marketing list, we recommend you send between one and four emails per month. You can have a monthly newsletter, or create a schedule where you email information once and a sales letter once per month, or set up a weekly email schedule.

No matter how you do it, be sure to mix informational emails with marketing emails so that you can keep your audience’s attention and interest.

Social Media

For Facebook and Instagram, you should post at least three times a week. You can post a variety of information – in fact, we’ve recently covered Instagram marketing in depth.

Remember that these posts don’t have to be novels, but they should include pictures as often as possible. Share about your listings, your business, Live videos, and more!

Your Blog and Website

Maintaining your own “property” when it comes to marketing is also important. Keeping your own website active and updated is important.

You can update your website when you have new listings. We recommend you also post on your blog at least once a week. There are so many things to talk about – you can also share success stories and accounts of your recent in-person marketing events.

Grab a Calendar and Get Started!

There’s never a time like the present to get started on your 2018 real estate marketing plan. Remember, you don’t have to do a full year at once. Instead, just map out January, February, and March. Place the marketing elements we’ve discussed above, and you’ll know exactly what to do every day!

Need more help? Printerbees is here for you. Contact us today!

How to Find Time For Consistent Real Estate Marketing

Find Time for Consistent Marketing

Recently on Facebook someone asked, “In one word, what do you wish you had more of?” Almost everyone had the same answer, “time.”

Everyone feels like they don’t have enough time, and it’s especially true for Realtors®. Keeping up with your market, showing properties to buyers, marketing listings, keeping up with paperwork, finding time to eat and see your family, and more… who has time for marketing yourself?

You do. And here’s how.

It’s All About the Rocks

You’ve certainly seen this story before, but stick with me.

A professor of philosophy stood before his class with some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about two inches in diameter. He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was full.

So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly and watched as the pebbles rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The professor then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They chuckled and agreed that it was indeed full this time.

The professor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. The sand filled the remaining open areas of the jar.

The jar represents each of our lives. We can fit in so much more than we think if we do it in the right order. The big rocks are major things, and the pebbles the next most important, and the sand the least important.

Of course, if you put the sand in before the big rocks, the big rocks would never fit. Order matters.

Are your key priorities in your business occupying first place?

What Are the Big Rocks in Your Business?

Despite the things that fill your days, there are only a handful of big rocks in your business. For most Realtors®, they are:

  • Marketing to build awareness and gain new clients
  • Serving your existing clients to the best of your ability
  • Staying up to date in your markets and industry
  • Scheduling and protecting personal time to care for yourself and your family

If you can do those four things, you’ve covered the bases to being successful in business. Everything else is pebbles and sand – it can wait until the big rocks are taken care of.

Make Marketing Happen By Planning

The key to keeping up with your personal marketing is not to let any of it take you by surprise. Don’t get to spring and wonder what you’re going to do to drum up listings.

It’s best to do six months to a year of planning at one time, but if you can’t try just doing six to eight weeks in advance. That will allow you to determine a timetable for farming and outreach, order postcards and other print materials, and spend time each day executing on your marketing plan.

Here are three key elements to a marketing plan:

  • Print marketing – mailing farming postcards at least once a month
  • Online marketing – social media, email, and maintaining your website
  • In person marketing – volunteering, networking, and spending time in target neighborhoods

One Step at a Time

When I was in college, I used to tackle major reading assignments by determining when it had to be done, and determining how many pages I had to read per day to reach that target.

It was the only way to stay sane during a time when there was always more to do. By deciding to do a certain number of pages, I could reach a point where I could say I was done for the day.

You can do the same with your marketing. Start by taking one step in each of the three areas above. Just one. Determine what you want to do with that strategy the next six weeks. Then divide it up by week, and then by day.

When you do this, you’ll be able to define exactly what you need to do today to be “done.” Then you can move on to your other priorities, confident that you’ll meet your marketing goals over time.

Need More Help?

One thing we’re proud to offer here at Printerbees is the ability to not only print your postcards but to mail them for you as well. If you provide your mailing list, or give us the information for the EDDM route you’re targeting, we’ll make sure it gets mailed.

If that’s something that would help you, let us know! We’d love to talk to you about how to plan your strategy and how we can help make sure it actually happens. Call or email us today!

5 Steps for Creating Your Real Estate Marketing Plan

A goal without a plan is just a wish.

Real Estate Marketing Plan

Do you create a marketing plan for your real estate business each year? If not, you are almost certainly leaving a lot of customers and money on the table. A real estate marketing plan shows you how your business goals will become reality. When you write it down, it’s a concrete document that will remind you of what you set out to accomplish and what you still need to do to get there.

Many Realtors® don’t write a plan because they aren’t sure where to start. Others may feel they don’t have time. However, without a plan, you won’t know where you’re going or how to get there! It’s one of the most important things you can do each year. Here are five steps to help you create your real estate marketing plan.

Decide What You Want

Setting concrete goals is the first step to your marketing plan. Decide what you want to accomplish by the end of the year. You can think in terms of listings, sales, overall income, or number of customers. You can also set goals in terms of name recognition, market share, or number of referrals received.

You’ll want to make sure each goal is SMART:

  • Specific: Rather than “grow” plan to “increase the number of listings this year”
  • Measurable: Rather than “increase listings”, plan to “increase listings by 20%”
  • Actionable: You should be able to take specific actions to accomplish the plan
  • Realistic: It should be something you can accomplish
  • Time-Bound: Set a deadline, like “By Dec 1” or “Before Jan 1”.

Define Your Market

Your market is probably defined by a specific geographic area and by the people that live in the area. Take time to write down all of the specific markets you serve. In my city in Iowa there’s a large university, so a Realtor® here might focus on groups from “college professors needing to upgrade” to “new graduates buying their first house”. There are also small cities very close by that have a large number of professionals and families, which provide additional markets.

Once you’ve written down all of the markets you have available in your area, you might choose just one or two to focus on for the next year. That way, you’ll have a manageable target for your marketing efforts.

Find Your Voice

The next step is to think about how you’re going to stand out to your target markets. What special value can you bring them? In my city, being a graduate of the local university could be a difference maker. You could leverage your role in a community or volunteer organization you care deeply about. Or, you could choose one of your market segments and concentrate on meeting their specific needs in an extremely focused way.

Once you find your voice, refine your marketing message. Decide what promises you want to make and fulfill to your target market groups. Write down several targeted offers that you want to present in your community.

Determine Your Tactics

Up to this point I haven’t talked about specific tactics, because deciding whether to blog, email market, use farming postcards, etc., doesn’t make sense until you’ve done the first three steps. Your tactics are determined by your goals, market segments, and voice.

Now that you have those laid out, determine which types of marketing would most likely reach the target markets you’ve chosen in a useful way. Older folks will be more receptive to mail, where younger folks may be a great group for email or social media marketing. In addition, think about what methods make the most sense based on the types of offers you plan to make.

Don’t use more than two tactics per marketing group to start with. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself or your community.

Follow Through

I’ve saved the best for last – take action! Unfortunately in every area of life people know far more information than they follow through on. Real estate agents are just as guilty of this as everyone else. Now that you’ve made your plan, WORK THE PLAN. Take the steps you need to take to reach your goals.

Every plan is subject to change. If you find that you need to adjust your plan in some way, do it. However, keep your goals clearly in your mind. Your methods may change, but you still want to create success each year. With your goals in mind and your plan in place, you will be well on your way to doing so.

Do you use a written marketing plan? Why or why not? Share in the comments!