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Real Estate Marketing for 2018

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Real Estate Marketing for 2018

Fall is the perfect time to start planning your real estate marketing strategy for next year. Your business may be slower right now, and the holiday hustle and bustle hasn’t begun.

As you think about 2018, you may wonder what trends are coming up that you should take advantage of. Here are some of the key ways you will want to expand your real estate marketing in 2018.

Expect “Boomerang Buyers”

Boomerang buyers are those who were forced out of the housing market in the 2009 crash due to foreclosure. Because adverse events like that impact credit for 7 years, they will be coming back into the market over the next few years.

The average age of someone who lost a home in the recession was 45, so these folks are in their late 40’s and 50’s, which can be a forgotten demographic when it comes to real estate marketing.

These folks will be skittish and may not have a huge down payment. To reach them with your marketing:

  • Give information about how the housing market has changed since the recession
  • Educate about programs available to non-first-time homebuyers
  • Reach out to folks currently renting, especially older renters
  • Share a lot of testimonials
  • Be easy to communicate with online and off

Capitalize on New Real Estate Marketing Trends

The housing market is doing well, and it’s always been easy to become a real estate agent. However, it’s quite difficult to succeed in real estate, especially consistently over time.

As a result, you’ll want to focus some of your 2018 real estate marketing plan on innovative ways to stand out from your competition. Don’t be content to do what “everyone else” is doing, in your brokerage or elsewhere. Think outside the box.

Some marketing trends that are gaining a lot of attention include:

  • Live streaming on social media, especially in place of open houses
  • Drone marketing, both photography and video
  • Chatbots that can give prospects personalized information, along with AI like Siri
  • Geofencing and other location-specific marketing that can help you highlight listings to those passing by

Virtual reality and augmented reality are going to be big news in real estate marketing eventually, but they haven’t matured enough to be useful yet.

Use a Great Marketing Mix

At Printerbees, we’ve never believed in an “all in one basket” approach. We have found that our customers do best with a mix of marketing, both online and off.

We realize that many times, a real estate agent doesn’t have a large staff to do everything under the sun. That’s why we recommend choosing just one or two things in each category and doing them consistently.

Your marketing mix should include:

Real estate marketing really requires you to have a farm area that you focus on in order to be successful. Choosing the right farm and then implementing a strong marketing mix will help you have a very profitable 2018.

Stay Consistent with What Works

Some things never change, and that includes basic human behavior. We’ll always recognize those we see often over those we don’t. We will always want to know, like, and trust those we do business with. We will always want to get recommendations from friends and family.

As a result, part of your 2018 real estate marketing plan should be focused on continuing your efforts on things that worked for you in the past. These might include:

When you know something works, make a note of it and spend more time and money in that area. On the other hand, carefully prune away those things that aren’t making a difference so you don’t waste your resources.

Now is the time to prepare your 2018 real estate marketing plan. Would you like help? We’re here for you. Contact us or check out our real estate marketing materials today!

Maximize the Impact of Real Estate Postcards

This post may contain affiliate links. We truly love, use, and recommend the best!

Postcard Marketing

Do you send real estate postcards as part of your marketing campaign?

It’s a great way to increase your exposure and build up the number of “touches” you accomplish. As a result, people will get used to seeing your information and be much more likely to hire you!

So how do you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to postcards? Here are three things to keep in mind.

Be Consistent!

Boy, I feel like a broken record sometimes, but folks sure struggle with this one.

You can’t order postcards, send them out once or twice, and call it a “failure” if you get no new clients.

Postcards are part of an overall brand-building strategy. You have to consistently show up, time and time again, before you start to be recognizable. Folks need to say, “Oh, I’ve heard of that person,” and start to feel they know you.

Ideally, you’d sent postcards 4 or more times per year. With holidays and a variety of other seasonal options, there’s no shortage of opportunities!

Use Great Real Estate Postcard Design

At Printerbees, we make this part easy for you. We have tons of beautifully designed postcard templates that you can use. We offer farming postcards, Just Listed, Just Sold, and more.

However, you want to personalize it and make it your own. Of course, it should include your picture and contact information. But what about offering useful tips, a coupon from a local company, or another incentive?

You can also run an online contest that you advertise with postcards. Invite folks to come to your website and sign up for a drawing or other event. You’ll gain more contact information and be able to grow your email list and more!

Think Outside the Box

Folks aren’t so interested in getting a bunch of postcards that say, “Hi, I’m a local Realtor®” (although that’s certainly better than not doing any postcards!)

Instead, think outside the box about how you can make your postcards fun, memorable, and useful. What about inspirational postcards, or recipes several times a year?

You can also use postcards to give updates about the real estate market in your area, or to target a specific market.

Postcards Make an Impact

It can be challenging to measure the exact return on investment you get from postcards, because it takes time to appear. Sometimes the goodwill you generate over several years of marketing will carry you through dry spells, and you won’t even realize it.

If you’re interested in measuring specific campaigns, consider using QR codes or asking readers to visit a specific website link. You can find out how many people follow through on that specific call to action.

Over time, however, you want to simply become the local Realtor®. People don’t think about McDonald’s advertising very often, but when they want a burger it can be the first place they think of. Have that kind of brand in your local area!

 

Ready to get started with postcards? We’re here to help. Contact us today!

Are you Talking AT Your Prospects or WITH Them?

Talking At vs Talking With

In my recent post about reaching out to your circle of influence, someone left a great comment about the importance of talking with people instead of at them. That got my juices flowing because I think far too much marketing in every industry is aimed at people.

When you talk at people, they feel overwhelmed and defensive. The message is entirely about you and how you know exactly what they should do next. Talking with people is more about discovery – what does someone need that you can help with?

Here’s how to make sure you spend more time talking with people than at them.

Put Others’ Needs at the Front

I cringe every time I see marketing that talks all about the business. “I’m great, I’ve done this, I’ve won awards. Work with me!”

Spoiler alert: This doesn’t work. (But I still see it ALL THE TIME!)

To create really great marketing materials, or to have a really great conversation, you need to answer these questions:

  • Who am I talking to?
  • What worries keep them up at night?
  • What can I do to solve the problems that keep them awake all night?
  • How can I convey to them that the problem is solvable and that I can help?

Then, when you create your marketing, start by acknowledging the problem and suggesting that there is a solution. Explain all the benefits your prospect will get by solving the problem. Finally – LAST – offer yourself as someone who can address the problem.

Ask Questions

If you talk for 15 minutes straight and your prospect hasn’t said more than three words, something is wrong. This is true in person, but it’s also true in your marketing materials, such as postcards and flyers.

If there are no questions, the whole thing is an information blast about you, your needs, your talents, etc., etc., etc.

And I’m sorry to tell you, no one is interested!

People are generally interested in one thing – themselves. They have needs, concerns, and problems that they are constantly seeking to solve. It’s likely that you can help them with some of those needs, but they’ll never listen until you show them you really understand and care about them.

In person, ask questions. Let the other person answer. Really listen. Then, with the information you learn, you can suggest how you might be able to help.

In your marketing, ask questions that the prospect can answer in their heads. Then move forward with what you have to say. It helps the reader stay engaged and really get your message.

Learn to Listen Well

Excellent listening can help you be very persuasive. In the book Just Listen, author Mark Goulston points out that listening can help you get through to absolutely anyone.

He talks about the emotional barriers that keep people from hearing our message, and how listening can help. When you listen well, the other person doesn’t just feel heard; they feel “felt.” They feel you truly understand them and their situation. Then, and only then, will they be willing to truly hear you.

In addition, when you listen well, you’ll learn things you didn’t know before. I’m talking about the year the French Revolution started, I’m talking about the assumptions we all make about people. We assume that because someone is a certain age or looks a certain way, they have specific feelings, needs, and personality.

But we’re wrong.

We’ll never know it if we don’t listen. Instead, we’ll go charging in loudly offering a solution to a problem they don’t even have, and then wonder why we can’t get business.

The bottom line is simple. If you want to have a positive impact on anyone, from your circle of influence to complete strangers, you must talk with them, not at them. 

Does your marketing ask questions or just make assumptions? If it’s time for an update, we’re here to help. Check out our extensive selection of real estate marketing materials today!

Is Real Estate Marketing “Tacky”?

Is Real Estate Marketing Tacky

I recently posted an article about using car door magnets to promote your real estate business. I felt that it was a great way to increase visibility and create curiosity about your brand and your services.

I got several comments that surprised me and really made me think. Some Realtors® weren’t interested in the magnets because they felt advertising on your vehicle was tacky.

I had never thought of promoting my business as tacky, and I really sat back and thought about why it might seem that way to others. Here are some thoughts on whether or not real estate marketing is tacky.

Is Your Marketing About You or the Value You Provide?

Marketing that is focused only on you and how amazing you are can definitely come off as tacky. Your marketing should be about the customer’s needs the value you can provide them as a real estate agent.

When you hand out business cards, there’s a lot of information about you, but there’s also information about the value you provide. Many of us have taglines or mottos that help us communicate to customers what we do and why.

I think a major concern about car door magnets is that it seems like you’re drawing attention just to yourself. But if you think of it as an oversized business card, it becomes clear that a magnet – or any other marketing – can have your information featured while still serving the customer.

Are You Comfortable with Selling?

I’m an extroverted person, so I have no problem talking to anyone about anything. I enjoy making new connections, sharing about what I’m doing, and learning what other people love.

I’ve realized that many Realtors® are a lot less comfortable with meeting strangers and sharing about their business than I am. Many agents don’t realize that they are providing a deeply valuable service to their customers.

If you had something that would indisputably make someone’s life easier, would you tell them? I hope so! Remember that your real estate business brings real help to homeowners and buyers. Don’t be ashamed to talk about it. You’re not a “sleazy salesperson,” you’re a professional who can genuinely make a difference in others’ lives.

You Don’t Have to Be Tacky to Be Successful

Is there such a thing as tacky marketing in real estate?

ABSOLUTELY!!

But before you write off a marketing tactic, run it through this simple test:

Does this technique allow you to share your value with prospects with integrity?

If it does, it’s not tacky. Lying is tacky. Being shady is tacky. Caring about yourself and not the customer is tacky.

But great real estate marketing is NOT tacky.

At Printerbees, we offer Realtors® everything from marketing postcards to business cards to, yes, car door magnets. We want to help you authentically offer your services to your community. We believe being visible is vital to building your brand and making a difference!

What’s your opinion on real estate marketing? What makes marketing tacky? Please share in the comments – this could be a great conversation!

3 Essential Marketing Truths for Real Estate

Three Truths of Real Estate Marketing

When you get into this business, it can be very overwhelming. You can feel like you’ve got tons of tactics, rumors, and ideas about marketing flying around your head, but you don’t know what to grab on to. As a result, many new agents get paralyzed and do very little.

Even Realtors® who have been in this business a long time are susceptible to similar overload. The online marketplace has brought dozens of new platforms and “must do” marketing tactics. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and either ignore online marketing or do a little bit, and badly.

Obviously, neither of these scenarios is a path to success. Many times it helps to step back and remember the principles that transcend platforms, technology, or rumors. Here are the three essential marketing truths for real estate.

Inconsistent Follow-up DOESN’T WORK

This is absolutely true ALL of the time, whether you’re talking about door-knocking, email, or social media. If you’re not consistent in your marketing, you’re not going to win the sale. Prospects need to see your face over and over before they feel the sense of trust needed to work with you on the biggest investment they’ll probably ever make.

In the book Millionaire Real Estate Agent, the Gary Keller advocates 33 touches per year for prospects in your database. He writes that for every 12 people you touch 33 times, you can expect two sales. How many people have you had 33 contacts with in the last year?

Keeping your follow-up consistent can be time consuming. That’s why I advocate marketing automation so often. I personally use Infusionsoft, and I’ve seen revenues increase 472% without increasing staff headcount at all.

Personalized Follow-up Matters

When I tout the benefits of automation, don’t get confused and think I mean “depersonalized follow-up”. In fact, personalized follow-up is essential in any marketing, especially real estate.

Buyers and sellers want to know that they, specifically, are important to you. If you treat them like a number, they’ll treat you like a number – and demand more for less. But if you treat them like a person, providing full-service real estate assistance, they won’t worry about the numbers – they’ll be so impressed by your professionalism that they’ll be happy to pay your commission.

When using marketing automation, personalizing your responses is important. That means a lot more than just making sure the email includes their name. It also means that you build systems that send different responses based on how your prospects act: whether they click a link, download a report, or don’t do anything at all. If that sounds complex, consider a service like GetUSales, who has specific automation packages for real estate agents where all of your systems are built for you. It makes it simple to implement marketing automation straight out of the box.

Combining Multiple Platforms Brings the Best Results

Too many people get hung up on the newest marketing platform. Unfortunately, that means that their other marketing efforts get abandoned. It’s not worth it to chase the new, shiny social media outlet – they never end! Instead, focus on your best platforms and stay consistent.

The best mix of platforms include in-person, traditional mail, and online outreaches. Taking advantage of open-house visitors, participating in community events, and hosting holiday parties are great in-person ideas. Traditional postcards and Every Door Direct Mail are great ways to farm an area – when done consistently, of course. And online, there are a host of social media platforms. Focus on one or two, as your time allows.

Successful Realtors® know that it takes multiple types of outreach to bring good results in real estate marketing, but they don’t allow themselves to get bogged down by doing too much. Instead, they choose a simple mix of online and offline efforts that allow them to maximize their time and return on investment.

With all the excitement, rumors, new platforms, and new marketing ideas that come out each day, it can be helpful to remember the basics. The three essential marketing truths of real estate are: 1) Inconsistent follow-up doesn’t work. 2) Personalized follow-up matters, and 3) Combining multiple platforms brings the best results.

How are you going to put those truths to work for you today? Share in the comments!