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Archive for real estate marketing ideas

Drive New Business with Car Door Magnets

Car Door Magnets

As real estate agents, we drive a lot!

The good news is, so do everyday people. I found out recently that the average American drives 36 miles per day, every day!

That’s incredible. It also means that using our cars as advertising can have fantastic results.

I don’t know about you, but every time I see a car with magnets on the side I just have to read them. Maybe I’m strange that way, but I think I’m not the only one who’s curious!

Here are some ways that having car magnets can benefit your real estate business. (And check out the end for a special deal on magnets that ends Saturday 3/25!)

Car Door Magnets Multiply Exposure

Depending on who you ask, it takes between six and 13 touches to generate a qualified lead. A “touch” is anytime someone sees your information or interacts with you.

With a car door magnet, you can get your name and information in front of hundreds of people every day. If you spend time in specific areas (like your farm – hint, hint!), you can quickly build up your brand.

You drive far, far more than 36 miles a day. Let your car be a mobile marketing billboard to help people become familiar with you!

Boost Marketing Without Extra Work

One of the best things about car door magnets is that they build your brand without any extra effort on your part. With an inexpensive investment, you can get tens of thousands of new marketing impressions – without any extra legwork!

Car door magnets continue to advertise your brand even when you’re not present. Consider a day at the mall. You park your car and shop for a couple of hours, have dinner, and then head home.  During those two hours, even if you didn’t talk to anyone about your business, hundreds of new people found out about you!

Car Door Magnets are Durable and Transferrable

High-quality car door magnets are durable, weatherproof, and extremely easy to transfer to a new vehicle. Unlike costly car wraps or a new paint job, if you change cars you can simply take your magnet off your old car and move it over to the new one.

This also makes it easy to modify the design if you decide to update your business cards, change agencies, or rebrand your business. You can order a new car door magnet and replace your old one for a fraction of the cost of getting a new wrap.

Ready for a GREAT DEAL?

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Printerbees has a special for our car door magnets right now. But you have to act quickly – it expires Saturday, March 25th!

Here are the quick-and-dirty details:

  • We offer over a dozen different car magnet designs, or you can have a custom magnet created to match your business card.
  • If you order by Saturday, March 25th, you will get free shipping and no sales tax. That’s a savings of approximately $15!
  • All you need to do is use the promo code
  • This applies only to new orders and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Savings vary based on shipping location and purchase amount. Offer expires March 25, 2017.

So what are you waiting for? Jump over to our selection of car door magnets and get yours ordered today!

Remember – you’ll gain thousands of marketing impressions without any more work… don’t miss out!

Real Estate Marketing Tactics You Probably Don’t Use

Real Estate Marketing Tactics

As we head into the new year, I’ve been writing about different marketing approaches quite a bit. Part of the reason for that is that we’re in the planning period for 2017 marketing.

Not only do you want to stock up on postcards, business cards, and other print marketing, you may want to dive into some new marketing techniques you haven’t tried before.  New ideas are always fun to explore!

Here are four real estate marketing tactics you probably don’t use and may want to try in 2017.

Mention Brand Names of Appliances and More

One way to make a listing stand out is by mentioning high-quality appliances, fixtures, designers, and contractors by name. If a home is a luxury listing, nothing brings out the level of quality like a list of the luxury brands in the home.

Not only does mentioning high-end brand names help attract attention to a listing, it also helps justify a specific price tag. Talk about quality not only in terms of features and details, but also by mentioning specific notable brand names.

Tell a Story

It’s gotten to the point that the average person has an attention span of eight seconds, which is shorter than a goldfish! If you don’t catch someone’s attention quickly, you won’t have it at all.

Fortunately, there is a great way to capture attention – tell a story. Rather than saying “This is a two bedroom, one bath… blah blah…,” try telling a story that helps the reader see themselves in the home before they even arrive.

Certainly you can mention facts and figures, but be sure to create some emotion and help the listing come alive. Tell a story!

Create a List of Trusted Contractors & Tradespeople

Many people who buy a home need to know who to call if something comes up. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers and those who are new to town.

Having a list of trusted contractors, plumbers, and other service providers in your area does two things. First, it helps out those on the list by giving them additional credibility and business. Second, it helps you appear to be the expert by providing homeowners with valuable information.

There are paid services that are designed to help homeowners find specific, reputable help. Form partnerships with highly regarded providers in your area and give the homeowners the list for free. You’ll win, the homeowners will win, and the service providers win. It’s great marketing!

Get Video Testimonials After the Closing

Getting a video testimonial doesn’t have to be complex or difficult. You don’t need expensive equipment and a studio. Instead, focus on capturing the emotion as truly as you can.

One great way to do this is by getting a quick post-closing testimonial from your clients. You can use your phone or a camera with video capability. Have clients mention your name and talk about how excited they are to have bought or sold their home. Have them mention things they loved about working with you.

Once you have the video, you can use it everywhere. Post it on your website, on social media, and anywhere else you’re active. Be sure to tag everyone involved as a thank you – the closer, the other agent, the title company, the lender, and of course the client. You’ll expand the reach of your video and get great exposure for your work.

Creating unique marketing doesn’t mean overhauling your entire business process. Many times it’s small additional tweaks that you can add in to your current print marketing and in-person outreach. These four ideas give you some new things to try in 2017!

If you’re ready to invest in your marketing for 2017, it’s best to do it before the end of the year so you can still get your write-off. At Printerbees we have business cards, postcards, and a variety of print marketing options – let us know how we can help!

Real Estate Marketing: Be a Local Expert

Local Expert - Real Estate Marketing

Creating a solid real estate marketing plan can be challenging, especially with so many different components to consider.

But sometimes, the most effective marketing strategies are the simple ones that we often forget about – like becoming a local expert, for example.

What exactly is a local expert and what does that have to do with real estate marketing?

Well, essentially, a local expert is someone who is “in the know” about all the local events, restaurants, businesses, construction changes and more in their specific area – it’s really that simple.

Let’s take a closer look at how that can help your marketing…

Helps You Build Your Brand

One of the best ways to build your brand is to get involved with your community and truly show that you care. And taking the time to become a local expert in your area definitely shows that you’re both involved with and understand your community.

Being “in the know” about your local area is not only a great talking point with potential clients but can also open up the doors for building solid relationships with other local businesses owners in your region. And by building relationships, you’re also paving the way for future partnerships and mutually beneficial marketing and advertising between businesses. It pays to make an effort and take the time to get involved.

Improves Your Local SEO Online

Becoming a local expert doesn’t just have offline benefits – there are also online benefits, mainly in the form of local Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

For example, let’s say you have a blog on your website (which you should!). And let’s say that there are a lot of great upcoming events in the downtown area of your local community. Take the necessary time to look into those events, research the area and do a write up to promote them, and then publish them to your blog. Not only will this help you begin to pull up better for local searched keywords, but you can also use these event posts as an opportunity to talk about the benefits of living in that particular area of town.

And who knows? Maybe someone who’s reading your blog is already interested in that very area, and you’re description of the fun local events that take place just convinced them to pull the trigger on purchasing a home there. And because you’re the expert, they’ll likely turn to you for their real estate needs.

Enhances Communication with Clients

Maintaining communication with clients and prospects can be a bit of a drag, especially if you’re only promoting your own services. But, by taking the time to learn more about the things going on in your local community, you instantly have much more exciting things to talk about.

Is there a new restaurant opening up?

A big event coming to town?

An open house you want to promote in a certain neighborhood?

Construction changes that are bogging down a particular roadway?

Tell your clients and potentials about all of these things!

Whether that communication takes place via an email correspondence, a blog post or through a printed, mailed newsletter, they’ll be happy to hear from you and appreciate the extra effort you are taking to keep them informed about what’s happening in their community.

In the end, taking the time to become a local expert shows that you really, truly care about your local community, and can lead to some incredible real estate marketing opportunities. If you haven’t already done so, take the time to broaden your local knowledge today and really start getting involved. You won’t regret it!

Land for Sale – How to Effectively Market Lots

Land for SaleSelling a home is one thing, but what happens when you’re approached with the opportunity to market and sell an empty plot of land for a client?

Is the marketing plan the same as with a regular, properly staged home? Or does land for sale take on a different strategy entirely?

Offering land for sale is an opportunity you shouldn’t pass up as a Realtor®, so let’s take a look at some of the ways to effectively market empty lots.

Focus on the Perks of the Location

When selling a regular house, it’s common knowledge that focusing in on the neighborhood and perks associated with the surrounding areas are a good place to start. The same idea goes with land for sale – you still need to sell the location!

Is the lot in a good school district? Mention that to potential buyers. How about a great neighborhood or close to lots of fun and convenient amenities? Don’t forget to mention that also. Just because there isn’t a house on the plot of land, doesn’t mean that you can’t still upsell the surrounding areas.

Offer the Land for Sale to Nearby Neighbors

People generally don’t purchase two plots of land, each with a separate house, next to each other. Land for sale is a different matter. When an adjoining plot of land is empty, the owner of the house or land next door just might be interested. Owning two adjacent plots of land would not only create some extra space between their house and the next neighbor over, but it would also provide some excess land for future building or development.

So, before you even start marketing an empty plot of land, be sure to check with the neighbors first – you never know if they might be interested!

Help Prospects Visualize the Potential

The obvious downside to selling an empty plot of land is the fact that potential buyers might have a difficult time visualizing themselves in the space. This is a problem easily solved through staging in a regular home, but can be rather difficult on an empty lot.

One way to help potential buyers see past the emptiness is to paint a picture for them, vocally, of where everything could potentially be located. Is there a little pond or river on the land? Talk about the possibility of building a deck facing out that direction to take advantage of the view. Be sure to mention all of the positive features associated with the land, and try to help your clients really visualize the potential of the land and the dream home they can build there.

Clean Up and “Stage” the Land for Sale

You might not be able to physically stage a house on the land, but you can clean it up to help the visualization process for potential buyers. Work out a plan with the seller to clean up all brush, dead plants and trees, or whatever else might be an eyesore onsite; then be sure to maintain the look of the land during the entire selling process.

This way, when people come to look at the land, they aren’t immediately scared away by the piles of brush or knee-high weeds strewn across the property. You don’t want them to look at the land for sale and see days of backbreaking labor – you want it to be “move-in ready”!

Use the Correct Signage to Market the Lot

Regardless of whether or not a plot of land has a house on it, proper signage is always critical to the success of the listing. However, signage differs slightly when selling an empty lot versus a lot with a house already built.

Don’t just use a typical “For Sale” sign. Instead, design and use a custom sign that provides details about the land for sale, including total acreage and prominent features such as lakes, ponds or rivers. A custom sign is a great way to really market and sell the value behind the land for sale.

There are a lot of different ways out there to effectively market land for sale – give some of these ideas a try when the opportunity arises!

Do you market land for sale? What is your favorite technique? Share in the comments!

Three Great Reasons to Sell in the Winter

Reasons to Sell in Winter

Savvy Realtors® love letting their clients in on a little secret: Winter may be the best time to sell your home.

Your clients may want to wait until the spring. They may have pre-conceived notions that their home will see less attention, that they can’t get a good listing photo in the snow, or that people don’t drive to open houses in bad weather.

But feel free to remind your clients of a few great points in a recent RealtorMag article that said, “The winter tends to net sellers’ more than their asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than listings from June through November.

“Listing during those four winter months has resulted in higher percentages of above-asking-price sales than listing during any months, other than April and May.”

Here are a few things that prove the cold season can lead to hot deals for your clients.

Listed Houses Get More Attention in the Winter

Not competing with the wave of listed houses each spring can have some serious benefits for the average winter seller.

In fact, a promising Time Magazine article recently reported that “A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago.

“And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.”

Simply put, less competition on the market means you can zero in on the people who are looking.

You Find Highly Motivated Buyers

Many of the people looking for homes this time of year need to find one ASAP. They’re likely experiencing a lifestyle change. This means they could be facing:

  1. A new job
  2. A growing family
  3. A divorce or death in the family

Christin Camacho, a Redfin spokesperson also told the Huffington Post that you will see more serious offers because, “shoppers in January and February are motivated.”

“They’re looking in winter because they need to move, not because they’re just looking for fun.”

Circumstances have forced their hand, and they need a home ASAP. They know they’re at the mercy of what’s available and hope they can get something nice. Your client’s home can be that something nice.

A motivated buyer likely means a better price, with less negotiation for your clients. This also means a faster closing process, which is great for everyone.

You Can Tap into the Psychology of the Buyer

January is often the time where many people look to hit the reset button on their lives.

A bit of introspection over the holidays often has people taking stock of their lives and plotting the changes they want to make. A big move can often be a part of that change.

Your clients can position their homes as just the change these buyers are looking for. The change-seeking buyers may say, “I’m going to wait to look for a home in the spring” but they will 100% start looking for homes immediately – either consciously or unconsciously. You can tap into that desire for change in your just listed postcards, fliers, and more.

You don’t even have to wait for the New Year. People start pondering the new year at the start of the holiday season, in and around Thanksgiving. And even though the calendars turn over on January 1st, most people really see their new year starting on December 26th. The build up and madness of Christmas is over, so it’s time to get back to real life—or find a new life.

Help your clients tap into this potential and show these buyers that there’s no need to wait until March or April. The change they want is right here, right now!

Do you have any winter listing tips? Share them in the comments below!

5 Tips to Maximize Your Realtor® Website

Maximize Realtor Website

There are over 3 billion people in the world that use the internet. With that many people online, a Realtor® can’t afford to do without a website. However, there are so many websites online that it can be hard to know how to stand out. These five tips will show you how to maximize the effect of your website on your realty business.

Use Graphics and Have a Responsive Site

Graphics are an undeniable part of showing off your real estate business online. People love to see pictures, and having a great photo gallery of each listing will help generate interest and create buyers. However, it’s also important to have a “responsive” site, or one that adjusts to fit on the screens of mobile devices.

Many times, you can bypass knowing the nuts and bolts of website design by using pre-designed templates on a website service. Just make sure the service lets you have your own domain name, such as MyNameRealty.com. In addition, take advantage of slideshow templates that allow you to cycle photos of various listings and recent sales on the homepage.

Focus on the Visitors’ Perspective

Visitors to your site aren’t interested in you; they’re interested in how their own needs can be met. Be sure to set up your website and optimize it with this in mind. You’ll want to use keywords based on prospective clients’ needs, such as “moving in Atlanta” or “new homes in Charleston”.

When you write the content on your website, whether it’s a blog post or a property description, think about it from your visitors’ perspective. What would resonate with a potential buyer or seller? What do they need to know? What needs and fears can you address? When you focus your website on the visitor, you’ll stand out to the right people and your site will gain traction.

Link Your Social Media Accounts to Your Site

If you have active social media accounts – and as a Realtor®, you should – you’ll want to link them to your website. Not only should your social media posts invite viewers to visit your website, your website should also have links that encourage people to visit your social media accounts.

It’s always helpful to specify what you would like people to do when they visit your page. You can say things like “Follow me on Facebook!” or “Check out my latest pins!” These types of invitations will help people join you on all of your platforms, allowing them to receive information from you more often. That will keep you top-of-mind when they have a need!

Have a Blog that Informs More Than Sells

A blog ensures that new content will be created on your site frequently, which will help it rank highly in search engines. In addition, you can share your blog posts on social media to encourage viewers to visit your site and check out your listings.

However, your blog should be about more than your real estate business. You should use an 80/20 rule – 80% of your content can inform, educate, and entertain, while 20% can advertise your listings and recent successes. Sometimes a Realtor® has a hard time knowing exactly what to write about on a blog. If that’s you, check out this amazing list of 101 blog post ideas. You won’t lack inspiration ever again!

Focus on Lead Management Along With Lead Generation

As many Realtors® know, it’s not enough to just generate leads. It’s important to nurture those connections as well, so that they will come to you when they are ready to buy or sell a home. If you simply collect new contacts, you may lose out on old leads that are now ready for a Realtor®.

There are many ways to keep in touch with the network you create. Social media is one way, but you can also keep in touch from your website. Offer a monthly email newsletter highlighting what’s going in the neighborhoods you serve. You can use the newsletter to show of recent success stories you’ve had, and to congratulate new homeowners. This way, you don’t lose touch with leads that aren’t yet ready to act – and when they are, they will be more likely to come to you.

Having a website isn’t optional for Realtors®, even though the homes you sell are definitely not virtual. Using the five tips above will help you maximize your website results and help your realty business grow tremendously. The time you invest online will be handsomely rewarded!

How Realtors® Can Take Full Advantage of Social Media

Realtor Social Media

As of January 2014, Pew Research found that 74% of online adults use social networking sites. 74%!!! That means that three-fourths of your online customers can be found using social media.

As a Realtor®, it can be difficult to know exactly how to approach social media. There are so many options, and consistent engagement can be hard to maintain. In this article you’ll find great tips for the three most common social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

No matter what social media platform you focus on, be sure to listen, add value, and interact consistently. Also, follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of your postings should be lifestyle, connecting, and helping. 20% can be about your listings.

Facebook

Facebook is the most well-known and well-used social media platform. Pew Research found that 71% of online adults use Facebook, so this is a great place to start your social media strategy.

  • Set up a business Facebook page focused on your realty business. You want to separate your Realtor® work from your personal life and personal posts. Stay natural though! Have real conversations and make connections. And use lots of pictures! Some ideas include pictures of your target neighborhood, pictures of unique staging or architecture, and of course pictures of your listings and sold properties.
  • Using the 80/20 rule, post a lot of helpful information, especially about your target neighborhoods. Post about local events, local news, and local sports. This will make you stand out as a very knowledgeable Realtor® to potential clients in that area!
  • Run contests to encourage engagement. Ask what your page followers’ favorite street name in the neighborhood is, or have them vote on a favorite photo of unique or celebrity homes. Award a random winner with a local treat. You’ll build your reputation and strengthen your network!
  • Consider targeted local advertising with Facebook. You can have promoted posts offering your services end up in front of locals, encouraging them to contact you if they know someone buying or selling.

Pinterest

Pew Research states that 21% of online adults use Pinterest, and demographics show that these users are largely female and focused on home, food, and design. That makes it the perfect platform for a Realtor® to show their expertise!

  • Get ideas for staging properties you sell. Pinterest is full of amazing home décor ideas. You can start a board of home décor ideas – this will allow you to attract followers while stockpiling ideas. Avoid using the word ‘staging’ in titles and descriptions, as that comes off as inauthentic.
  • Set up a variety of board that will help you attract followers, such as celebrity houses, interesting architecture, or DIY projects. Not only will these pins teach you facts that make interesting talking points, others may follow you and see your listings and other pins as well.
  • Be authentic – post about your own hobbies and interests too. On social media, it’s important to show your real self, not just a professional image.
  • Have a board for your listings. Repin listings that have important changes to bring them to the top of others’ feeds. An upcoming open house or recent price reduction can be highlighted this way. Also highlight your sales!

Twitter

Twitter may be the most intimidating platform of these three. Because it is text-based and uses only 150 characters per tweet, many realtors aren’t sure how to use it to promote their business. However, 19% of online adults use Twitter, so it’s worth learning how to tweet effectively!

  • Create the right account. Your handle (name) should have something to do with real estate, and your smiling face can be your image. Be sure to give a quick elevator-style pitch in the bio, add your website address in the links, and create an attractive background.
  • Remember the 80/20 rule in your tweets. You can tweet your listings, but also tweet about local events, local news, fun things to do in the area, and tips for moving. Don’t forget to include pictures – you can add a short link that leads to a Facebook photo or pin on Pinterest!
  • Use hashtags to expand your reach. A hashtag is a pound sign – # – and indicates a general subject. You might use something like #NYMovingAdvice or #TXHomesForSale. You can make up any hashtag you like, and folks who search for that topic will see your tweet.
  • To build followers, find influential people in the area and follow them first. Ideas are local celebrities, news organizations, or community groups. They may follow you back, and in any case you can retweet (re-share) their content. When you do, their followers will see you, and may choose to follow you for more information.

Social media is about being as helpful as possible in order to build connections with others. Whether you choose to focus on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or some combination of the three, authentic interactions are key. The people you help are likely to become customers as they learn to know and trust you. They’ll think of you when they need your services!

Do you use social media as a Realtor®? What have you found to be effective? Share in the comments!!

Create the Perfect Real Estate Business Card

Perfect Real Estate Business CardLasting impressions are made in a matter of moments, especially in real estate. One way to ensure you make a great impression is by having amazing real estate business cards. As a Realtor®, handing out your business card can mean the difference between gaining a customer and losing to a competitor. However, not all business cards are created equal – it’s important that yours stand out and really represent who you are as a professional. Here are some tips on creating the perfect business card.

Standard Size

It’s fun to be creative, but keep your creativity inside the standard sized card. Oddly shaped or sized cards do stand out, but for all the wrong reasons. Customers will find them hard to place in a wallet or standard business card holder, and as a result your real estate business card may get thrown away rather than kept for future reference.

You also want to make sure you choose excellent paper quality to help your cards seem more professional and ensure they hold up inside a wallet or purse. You may also want to choose a supplier that allows you to add additional information to the back of the card, so that you can utilize the full surface.

Choose Complementary Colors

Winning a customer is all about having a business card that stands out in the right way. If you were listing a property, would you want it to have bold, brash colors inside, or complementary tones? Obviously the home that shows best is the one with complementary colors. The same holds true for your real estate business card. You can choose noticeable coloring, but make sure the colors aren’t too bright and don’t clash.

Remember to be careful about using colors that are too similar for the background and the text. The text can disappear into the card, especially after printing. Suppliers and design programs do their best to show you the finished product, but there will always be a difference between the screen and the printed result.

In the same way, detailed pictures should not be located behind text. The text and the details of the picture can trick the eye and result in neither one being clearly visible. A detailed picture in one corner, such as a photograph or logo, and text in a different area is the best strategy.

Mind Your Edges

The edges of a card can be a danger zone. Whether you are designing and printing your own cards or are ordering from a supplier, you want to watch the outside area known as the ‘bleed area’. This is the area where you or the supplier aims to cut the cards. You want to make sure your background color covers this area completely to avoid white edges. However, you also want to make sure no important information carries over into the bleed area. If it does, you could easily end up with your phone number or email address cut off!

In addition, to keep your cards as sharp as possible avoid putting any kind of border around the edge. This is especially true if you are ordering from a supplier and not doing your own cutting. A small change in the cutting zone can result in cards that have only three or two edges bordered, creating a very unprofessional look. In the same way that your property listing photos should be centered and clear, your real estate business cards should also be symmetrical and centered.

Display Your Smiling Face!

As a Realtor®, you are your own brand. You want to make sure that your card shows off a professional image of who you are. This serves three purposes – first, it displays you at your best ever time the customer looks at the card. Second, it helps them remember who you are and what you look like – if they see your picture elsewhere, it will trigger recognition. Finally, a personal picture helps create a personal connection, allowing the customer to feel like they know you despite what may have been a short introduction.

Additionally, make sure you include all relevant information. The more ways a customer can reach you, the better. A phone number and email address are the minimum – if you have an office address, website, or Facebook page that’s even better. Finally, think of a clever or personal tag line that can be the motto of your realty business. By including that on the card, you’ve added another memorable personal touch.

Your real estate business cards are a key part of your realty business. You want them to be colorful but not brash, unique, and display your brand at its best. By being mindful of size, color and edges, you’ll be assured of having a professional card. By placing your clear, smiling picture and personal motto on them, you’ll build recognition and create relationships. These steps will give you the perfect business cards to grow your brand and win customers.

 

Need help getting the perfect real estate business card? Check out PrinterBees right away – we provide professional quality, customizable business cards at a great price

Real Estate Marketing Ideas for 2015

2015 real estate marketing ideasThe New Year is upon us, so it’s time to revamp your marketing efforts for 2015! A new year is a great time to review what worked in 2014 and make plans for what you want to change or continue. Here are some real estate marketing ideas for you to consider for 2015.

Person to Person Interaction

The world has become too impersonal – we rely so much on email, postcards, and social media that we’ve almost forgotten how to actually speak to each other. For your 2015 real estate marketing strategy, place your agency on the front lines of in-person interaction. Here are some ideas on how:

  • Take regular walks in your target neighborhoods. If you have a well-behaved dog, even better! Strike up conversations with homeowners that you see out in their yards and driveways. Get to know them, shake their hand, and offer a useful branded item, such as a pen.
  • Host quarterly in-person events. These can vary throughout the year – perhaps a costume party at your office in the fall, and a free spring-cleaning seminar in the April. By regularly having face-to-face events, you will become well known in your community as a resource and a helper. Even if attendees aren’t buying or selling they likely know someone who is.
  • Participate in festivals, fairs, and other events that take place in your area. This may include attending farmer’s markets regularly, or having a booth at a local fair. Whether you’re simply attending or actually advertising, your presence will make you a trusted, familiar face.

Ask for Referrals!

As much as 75% of a Realtor’s® business comes from referrals and word-of-mouth. As a result, it’s important to not only make yourself known, but to ask for referrals! It costs many times more to get new prospects than it does to keep in touch with previous clients and ask them to help you find new customers. There are several ways to keep the communication going with previous clients:

  • Invite them to your in-person events. Using the “80/20 rule”, you should spend 80% of your interactions being helpful to others and only 20% offering your own services. As a result, you should be offering plenty of events that previous clients can learn from. If they come and gain more valuable knowledge from you, they will keep you in mind if someone they know needs a Realtor®!
  • Keep in touch with regular mailings. These mailing should be different than they ones you send prospects – they should include a thank you for your previous work together and ask for referrals if they know someone who is buying or selling property. These mailings can be holiday cards, seasonal postcards, or – for an especially personal touch – a birthday greeting.
  • Keep in touch on social media and email. Although you can focus on personal interactions in 2015, you can’t neglect the amount of time people spend online. Sprinkle in some emails, social media mentions, and other online interaction to keep your bonds with previous customers strong.

Rework Your Open Houses

Open houses can be one of the most effective ways to introduce buyers and other Realtors® to your listed properties. In your 2015 real estate marketing, focus on giving these a special touch. Here are some ideas:

  • Set up special stations near key features of the home. Everyone understands that staging is a must if you want to sell a home quickly and efficiently. But making interactive stations near key features is a great way to draw special attention to them. Set up some snacks on the beautiful kitchen island, or put some cocoa or cookies near the focal-point fireplace. This will also give people a reason to linger in the most beautiful parts of the home.
  • Consider when you schedule your open houses. Weekend afternoons can be very busy, and many buyers will be working during weekday hours. Consider an evening open house during the week, or a late morning brunch on a weekend.
  • Advertise your open houses in unconventional places. Think about where your ideal buyers are likely to spend a lot of time. Is there a popular gym in the neighborhood? Are there online sites that appeal to that demographic? By using targeted advertising, you can get more of your ideal buyers through the door and increase your chance of selling the home quickly.

A new year doesn’t mean you eliminate everything you did last year to build your real estate business. However, it is a great opportunity to bring new focus to your work. These real estate marketing ideas will help you create personal connections of trust, increase referrals, and make your open houses more effective. Here’s wishing you a prosperous and successful 2015!!

FSBO Lead Generation Tactics – FREE Download

FSBO Lead Generation TacticsWhen many sellers get ready to sell their homes, the first question many consider is, “Can I get away with not using a Realtor®?” With all of the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) websites popping up, it’s easy for a homeowner to think they can save money by listing the property themselves and not paying your commission. You and I know that’s simply not true and that homes sold by Realtors® sell for more and much faster, it’s been proven time and time again.

With lead generation being critical to the success of any real estate agent’s business, prospecting to FSBO’s offers an extremely targeted list of prospects/leads to target.  The key is showing the person who has decided to go FSBO that it is in their best interest to use your services.  Here’s some great objection handling information (which can be downloaded as a flyer…free) for you to use the next time you’re speaking with someone about the advantages of using a Realtor® vs. selling it themselves. It’s a no-brainer!



Buyer’s Commission
As a seller, you would still end up paying the buyer’s agent commission if you sell your own home. This means that your savings is not 6%, but rather 3%. That amounts to $7500 on a $250,000 house. While that may still sound like a significant amount of money, think about the amount of work you’ll do to get the word out. How much is your time worth? Realtors® really do earn their pay.

Listing Services
When you use an agent, they take care of listing your property. They do this not only locally, but also on the internet, where 90% of home buyers look before purchasing a home.

You can certainly list your own home online, but it isn’t free – sites with Multi-Listing Service (MLS) access charge anything from a $395 flat fee to $199 for a 6 month listing. And you want to make sure to hit all the major sites, free or paid. It’s the only way to make sure you are visible to all potential buyers and their agents.

A Realtor® will take care of all of these listings for you, so you don’t have to worry about which sites to use, how long they take to set up, or how much they cost.

Screening Buyers
When you use an agent, they receive all of the calls and weed out the ‘just curious’ lookers or others who would not be able to qualify to buy your house. When you list the home for sale on your own, you have to take ALL the calls and emails yourself. This is another serious time commitment. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending two weeks going back and forth with a potential buyer only to find out they never had financing.

An agent will have the experience to be able to tell right away if someone isn’t going to be able to complete a purchase. And, if a potential buyer does end up wasting their time, that’s part of what you’re paying them to handle. This way, you can spend time on your own commitments and let your agent handle the curious and the serious buyers.

There’s also the consideration of safety.  Most experienced Realtors® won’t work with buyers who aren’t pre-qualified and pre-screened by a mortgage broker. Getting pre-qualified requires showing proof of identification, financial background, a credit check, etc.  It’s good to avoid having complete strangers traipsing through your home with no record of who they are.

Buzz Creation
Real estate agents belong to a close-knit community and know how to build buzz about your property with other agents. In doing this, they are exposing your home to a market you wouldn’t have access to on your own. When a Realtor® can call up a professional contact and recommend they bring a client by, you have an immediate prospect that is actually ready to buy.

In addition, agents have a lot of experience setting up open houses and creating interest in their events. An agent isn’t going to want to waste time or money on an open house that isn’t attended, so they will put their network and advertising skills to good use on your behalf.

Price Setting
The key reason sellers choose to go on their own is to save money. Unfortunately, a real estate agent can offer significant expertise in setting a price-point for your property. They have experience in the area, so they know what price to ask for that will bring good value while also selling your property quickly.

Homeowners have the potential to fall off of both sides of the pricing wagon. Some homeowners love their house so much they price it inappropriately highly, resulting in it sitting on the market unsold for months. Others are unsure of themselves and need to move quickly, so they underprice their homes and cost themselves a lot more financially than they would have saved in commissions.

Ironically, the founder of ForSaleByOwner.com had to use an agent to sell his own home after he “mispriced” it and couldn’t sell it himself. Not only did he gain a lot of money in the price – even after the commission – the property sold quickly.

Paperwork
If you do find a buyer on your own, you’ll quickly realize the mountain of paperwork that it takes to complete a sale. It takes a lot of time to understand all the legal and financial forms you need to make available and sign with the buyer. A mistake in the paperwork and proper disclosures can open you up to serious liability or financial loss.

If you do sell on your own, the sales paperwork is an area where you can’t afford to go it alone. Make sure you do your research and perhaps even consult a real estate lawyer to help you draft the correct forms and disclosures so that you don’t find yourself in significant trouble later.

In the final analysis, you may save a few bucks by going the FSBO route. Unfortunately, you will also spend a significant amount of time, in addition to your current professional and personal obligations, to do so. You may also misprice your home, and you’ll need a lot of help with the final paperwork once you find a buyer. In the end, using a real estate agent is the easier and more affordable way to go.