When you studied hard and earned your shiny new real estate license, did you know that real estate promotion would be a job requirement? Did you know that without it, your career would never really get off the ground?
Did you know that it was not something you could put off until later – after you’d earned a few commissions?
The truth is – real estate promotion can’t wait and can’t be ignored…
Not if you want to build a profitable career. There is simply too much competition for you to sit back and hope that a good client will find you.
The most recent statistics I could find online were from 2020, when the number of agents was approximately 2 million. However, according to an article from Inman, an additional 101,000 agents joined the NAR in 2021. Home sales (and prices) also soared in 2021, but it still came out to only 3.92 sales per agent.
This number is apt to get even smaller, since inventory is at an all-time low.
Agents who have been around for several years and who have built a solid foundation of past clients who give them referrals and repeat business can do less promotion, but no one can ignore it completely.
So why don’t all new agents work hard at real estate promotion?
There are plenty of reasons. The first might be that their real estate instructors failed to teach them of its importance, and failed to teach them how to get started.
Excuses I’ve heard …
“I can’t afford it yet.”
Agents tell me that as soon as they have a few commissions, they’ll:
- Have a bio written
- Buy their own domain name
- Get their own website
- Set up an auto responder
- Start postal prospecting
- Start handing out business cards
The problem with that idea is that if you postpone most of those things, those commissions may be a long time coming. Friends and family will only bring you so much business – and some won’t bring you any at all. Some people refuse to do business with friends and family.
Why is a bio important to real estate promotion?
Because it allows people to connect with you before you ever meet. It gives them a sense of who you are and how you do business. It’s a first step in showing people you are someone they can trust – someone who will serve them well.
You can/should post your bio on your brokerage’s website, on your own website, and on all of your social media accounts. If you truly can’t afford it, read my agent bio page to see samples and get ideas on what to include when you write it yourself.
Why do you need your own website?
Your website gives you a “home base” for all of your marketing efforts. Here is where you can add pages that promote your services, your niche, and your territory – and encourage people to contact you. Here is where you can offer good information to buyers and sellers in exchange for their contact information – so you can continue marketing to them via email. (And that’s why the auto responder is important.)
Your own website URL is the address you should use on your business cards, flyers, and all correspondence. Invite people to visit you there at every opportunity.
Yes, your bio will likely appear on the brokerage website, but if it is one of 20 – or one of 100 – it’s not likely to bring you business.
Why does good real estate promotion call for owning your own domain?
Many brokerages supply agents with a free domain, so why do you need to purchase your own?
So you can add the content you want and it will all belong to you. This might not seem important right now, but things do change, and you may want to change brokerages at some point. Even if you’re absolutely happy with the broker, the manager, the other agents, the lead sharing, the educational opportunities, the mentoring, etc. do realize that those things can change.
The agency could be sold. The broker or manager could move on and be replaced by someone you don’t much like. Unfriendly agents could come on board. Policies could change. You could someday decide to become an owner/broker and open your own agency.
I haven’t conducted a survey, but based on talking with agents, reading agent blog posts, etc. I would say that the majority of agents are not now with the same brokerage they joined when first licensed.
Unless you own your own domain, all of your content will go away if you leave the brokerage. And, if your email address is tied to the brokerage, all of your email contacts will go away at the same time.
“Postal prospecting costs too much!”
Yes, postage is expensive, but postal prospecting is effective. Studies show that people are more likely to read something in their postal mail than something sent by email. They’re also more likely to share it with other members of the household. Interestingly, most millennials say they enjoy receiving and reading postal mail.
However, postal prospecting does require continuity. Just one mailing is not likely to produce results. This article explains why .
If you’re short on funds, start small. Take the time to identify your most likely prospects, then mail to as many as you can afford each time. Keep in mind that you’ll get far better results by mailing to 100 people 5 times than to 500 people just once. As your letters produce results, set aside money from each commission to expand your mailings.
“Business cards are expensive, too.”
No, not unless you go for some kind of custom design in a fold-over, metallic paper, etc. A simple business card that includes your photo and your contact information is all you need. Be sure to use paper you can write on – so you can write a simple note on the back. Do your best to hand out 10 each day.
Since these things are essential, it might be worth your while to make a few sacrifices and save up for them.
We all spend money on things we could do without – like espresso, lunch with friends, or a movie. Consider using that money to promote your career instead.
The next excuse for avoiding real estate promotion: “I don’t have time.”
It’s more likely that your time is being taken up by distractions. I worked in a real estate office myself, so I know how many people like to waste their time – and yours – with idle chatter and gossip. But don’t let them. Work when you’re working.
And if you’re working from home, leave the TV off and resist the urge to check Facebook, go shopping online, or answer personal email.
Once you do have buyers and sellers demanding your attention, make time after hours or early in the morning. If you don’t, pretty soon you WILL have time because those transactions will close and you’ll be unemployed again.
A real estate career is known for roller-coaster income for this very reason. Agents market themselves well until they get busy, then stop. If you want a steady income stream, you have to continue marketing even if it means some late nights or early mornings.
And another common excuse – “I don’t enjoy real estate promotion.”
Some say they don’t enjoy it. Others say they can’t write. Neither is a good excuse if you want to succeed.
First, there are few careers that are 100% enjoyable. Most people need to perform a few tasks that they don’t particularly like.
The good news for you is that if you don’t enjoy marketing, there are plenty of people who love it – and they will help.
There are real estate writers – like me – who can provide the written words for everything but an email that you must write immediately. You may even have a family member who could help you write good blog posts, property descriptions, or prospecting letters.
And if you really can’t stand setting up your auto responders or doing your mailings, enlist a family member or hire an assistant to do it for you.
You’ll have to make your own phone calls, but if you dislike talking to people, you’ve probably chosen the wrong career.
Promoting your listings is an important part of real estate promotion.
When you’re fortunate enough to get a listing right away, it’s imperative that you do a remarkable job in promoting it.
Why? Because smart would-be sellers will look to see how you marketed other listings before they trust you to market theirs.
That means – unless you are an accomplished real estate photographer, you must spend the money to hire a pro. It also means that you need to either take the time and make the effort to write a good description for the MLS or hire someone to do it for you. If you’re unsure about how to make YOUR property descriptions capture a buyer’s attention, read this page.
For more on how to build a successful real estate career…
Visit my website created just for new agents. There you’ll find more advice, plus some freebies that you can take and use immediately.
Time for marketing Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net