Before you became an agent, you might not have realized that real estate marketing would play such a large part in your new career. But there it is. And marketing your listings is the easy part! Real Estate self-promotion is the more difficult part of real estate marketing
This is partially true because there are so many ways to go about it, both online and off-line. If you try to tackle them all, you’ll end up being a “jack of all trades and master of none.” None of it will be done well.
Choose your real estate self-promotion methods carefully.
The truth is, you can’t do all of them. You probably can’t even learn the best methods for doing all of them. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Even if you didn’t need to take time out from real estate self-promotion to meet with buyers and sellers, there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day.
Therefore, you must choose. I recommend that you base your choices on three factors:
- What you enjoy doing (so you’ll actually do it)
- How much time each method consumes
- What works for you (not necessarily what works for someone else)
Your website can and should be the hub of your real estate self-promotion.
Fill it with useful, informative static pages. Be sure to include a bio that allows visitors to see you as a real person who cares about helping them. Here’s why that’s important. Add testimonials to reassure them that what you say in that bio really is true.
Keep adding more information over time. Then continue increasing your site’s value to readers (and search engines) with well-written blog posts.
If you use basic search engine optimization, your pages will receive more and more generic search traffic over time. You can’t compete with the big sites for “Homes for sale in Mytown.” However, you can outshine them with information about specific types of homes in a specific section of town. You can also outrank them in Google when you write blog posts about local services, attractions, and events.
Blogging is the magic ingredient for many agents.
Their well-written, interesting, optimized posts draw generic traffic to their websites, and they create a following. Readers who love what they read share it with friends. And of course, the agents use linking, social media, and off-line efforts to attract more visitors.
Everything you do, from email, to social media, to off-line efforts, can and should direct prospects to your website pages to learn more.
Others are using video to attract new clients.
Videos showcasing your listing and your community can also promote you and your service. You can also use video to simply talk to prospects about the service you provide. Because they see your face and hear your voice, viewers can begin to feel that they know you – and can trust you.
Post the videos to YouTube, embed them in your blog posts and post them on social media.
Remember to include methods of capturing visitors…
Everyone who visits your site to look for homes or check the value of their own home can be encouraged to leave their name and contact information, so you can begin drip marketing to them via email. You can also offer special reports – both for buyers and sellers in general and for those who are interested in specific topics, such as senior relocation or selling during probate or divorce proceedings.
Email drip marketing will keep you top of mind with those prospects so they’ll think of you first when they’re ready to choose an agent. Take time to write good letters. Or – visit my prospecting letters page to find the letters you want. Then personalize and upload them to an autoresponder so they can work while you’re busy with other real estate marketing methods. Your prospecting letters can do double-duty in both email drip marketing and postal mail prospecting.
You may love using social media
But you’ll need to make choices. Each social media platform takes time to learn, and then it takes time to use. Once you post something, you’ll be expected to reply to comments. And if you want to be known on the platform, you’ll need to comment on others’ posts. You could hire someone to help – but can they write in your voice? Probably not.
Some marketing gurus advise choosing 3 social media sites to use. SEO expert Heather Lloyd Martin recommends choosing just ONE and going all-out instead of splitting your efforts and ending up with haphazard results.
Using social media well takes time. Only you know how much time you can devote.
What about using paid ads on social media sites?
Again, you first need to learn how to do it correctly. Then you need to carefully monitor the results to make sure you aren’t tossing dollars into the wind. You probably CAN hire someone for this step, but finding the right person also takes time.
And then there are all the off-line real estate self-promotion methods:
In my opinion, the first two should be a must:
- Mailing just listed / under contract / just sold cards and letters
- Staying in contact with past clients and your sphere of influence
After that, I believe prospecting by mail is most effective, but you may have good success with some of the other methods.
Just don’t try to do so many that you don’t have time to do any of them well. Again, consider what you like doing, what you have time to do, and what has worked for you in the past.
- Postal mail prospecting
- Advertising in local publications
- Writing real estate articles for local publications
- Advertising in luxury magazines
- Advertising in programs for local events or the high school yearbook
- Giving talks at meetings
- Becoming active in your HOA
- Actively volunteering with non-profit organizations
- Networking at Chamber of Commerce and other meetings
- Door knocking
- Cold calling
- Distributing flyers and personal brochures
- Distributing “branded” items such as pens, notepads, etc.
- Attending school sports events, yard sales, and local bazaars – while wearing your branded real estate gear.
- Stopping for lunch at neighborhood cafes – and talking with people
- Staging your own “events” that get written up in local publications (Think Haunted House, pictures with Santa, Easter-egg hunts, etc.)
You’ll be approached by people selling other, less common real estate self-promotion methods.
When I had a real estate brokerage, there were all kinds of people telling me that what they were selling would bring us tons of new clients. Others just wanted our support for their cause, and said it would be good advertising.
Consider each proposal with your target clients in mind.
We once supplied branded shirts for a girls’ softball team. I don’t think it brought us new customers, but it did create goodwill in this small town. In a small town, where everybody gossips to everybody else, goodwill is a valuable thing.
Because marketing methods have a cumulative effect, it might have been the final deciding factor when someone was choosing an agent.
Other real estate self-promotion methods you may be asked to consider:
- Advertising on golf score cards
- Advertising on grocery carts
- Putting up billboards
- Advertising on the side of city buses
Would any of those benefit you? I don’t know – it depends upon your target prospects.