Real estate marketing has changed, and continues to change, but real estate buyers and sellers have not.
The real estate marketing methods you use to reach prospective clients are far different than the methods used just a few years ago.
Once upon a time, real estate brokerages depended upon print advertising in newspapers and magazines, ads in Yellow Pages, yard signs, and a conspicuous location to invite walk-in prospects. The brokerages did the advertising and agents got clients by being there to take the calls or greet the walk-ins on their floor day.
All of that is a far cry from the methods you use today. I’ll have to say real estate marketing WAS simpler in those days. It was also far less expensive and time consuming for agents, since the brokerages had that responsibility. But – those days are long gone.
What has not changed is human nature.
Real estate buyers and sellers still want the same things they wanted back then, beginning with your attention.
Prospects and clients still want you to respond – not just when they call, but when they text or email. They want you to answer all of their questions and guide them through the steps to buying or selling. They want your honesty – even while some of them don’t like your honest answers. They want you to take care of any problems along the way and make the whole process easy for them.
Listing clients still want you to go all out in marketing their homes – today in more ways than you could have imagined twenty years ago.
Buyer clients still want you to be a guide and protector.
What has changed in real estate marketing?
Who is responsible for marketing – brokerages still advertise, but individual agents are largely responsible for gathering their own clients.
The marketing methods – in addition to direct mail, print advertising, networking, etc. agents have an abundance of electronic options. More and more agents own their own websites, blog, and use social media extensively to attract new prospects. Listing presentations are often done, at least in part, via laptop rather than print.
The cost of real estate marketing. Owning a website, blogging, and using social media costs far less than placing ads in magazines and newspapers. Of course, it’s always possible to spend more. Some agents do spend a lot on website design and maintenance, and some do purchase leads and pay for advertising on social media. Direct mail is still an effective marketing choice, but an agent can get started without it.
What has NOT changed in real estate marketing? Your audience.
The interests and desires of the people who read what you send out are the same as the interests and desires of people who read marketing messages decades ago.
Every prospect who reads your marketing still looks at it with the same unspoken question in mind: “What’s in this for me?”
They don’t care how wonderful you are, and they for sure don’t care what you want. That’s the reason for the #1 rule in marketing: Don’t begin your message with “I” or “We.”
They care about whether you can and will help them achieve what they want. They care about whether you’ll give them the attention and service they want. They’re interested in whether they’ll like and trust you.
And that’s it. It all boils down to “What’s in it for me?”
When they read your prospecting letters, they want to know if you understand their problems and desires. They want to know if you have the solutions they seek. They aren’t interested in “I need listings.” They don’t care if you “Love helping buyers.”
When they read your agent bio they want to learn whether you have the knowledge, skill, and attitude that will help them achieve their goals. They want to see if you have the kind of personality that means you’ll be pleasant to deal with. They want to know if you’ll listen to them and give them respect.
They want to know if you’re someone who shares their attitudes and values. That’s why I encourage my clients to let me include a bit of personal information in their bios. When they connect with you on some level, they’re more likely to trust you.
The good news is, thanks to the Internet, you have greater opportunities to show those prospects that yes, you are the agent they want.
Your direct mail letters can begin the process by offering understanding and good information, and your bio, other web pages, blog posts, social media content, and email follow-up can expand on it.
This was all a bit harder to accomplish when you were advertising in expensive print publications, cold calling, and door knocking.
It takes more time and effort to write words that show people why you’re the right choice, but it’s a lot more effective than stating “I’m wonderful and I know it all.” (And sadly, I have seen ads that pretty much say just that.)
Real estate marketing had changed. Real estate prospects have not.
Remember that when you communicate.
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