In order to generate leads, referrals and repeat business, you need a cohesive real estate marketing plan. The most successful plans are implemented consistently and include a robust variety of online, in-person and print marketing strategies.
When sitting down to create your plan, start by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses. Do you struggle with the ins-and-outs of social media but you’re great on the phone? Are you amazing at creating email campaigns but feel lost at a networking event? The best marketing strategy will optimize your strengths and continue to stretch you in your weak areas; however, keep in mind that you don’t have to do it all. While you can’t outsource your in-person strategies, there are certain aspects of your marketing plan that you can (and should) automate in order to save valuable time without sacrificing consistency.
When you mix automated marketing solutions with personalized touches, you’ll maximize your time while staying top-of-mind with leads and past clients. Use this cheat sheet to make sure you’re hitting key areas of your marketing plan.
YOUR ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGY
Whether someone finds you online or looks you up after an in-person meeting, your online presence is critical to instilling confidence and building trust with prospects. Make sure your online marketing strategy highlights your professionalism and speaks to your expertise.
A professional real estate website is key to making a great first impression online. If your brand offers you a website, make sure it’s integrated with your MLS. If you’re designing your own, an IDX site will give you the capability to automatically display up-to-date listings. Your website is also a great source for lead generation, so be sure to optimize your pages to capture contact information from interested visitors.
Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach your sphere of influence consistently; however, it has to be implemented with discretion. If you flood your contacts’ inboxes with too many emails or with content that isn’t relevant to them, you’ll lose credibility and influence.
One of the best ways to make the most of your email marketing is to segment your database into groups based on interests or actions they have taken (for example, emails they’ve opened, links they’ve clicked, etc.). Splitting up your database helps ensure that you’re sending relevant information to the right audience. As your business grows, it will become more and more important to automate your email marketing by building out drip campaigns so that you can follow up quickly and consistently. An automated digital newsletter is another great way to streamline your email marketing, giving you the confidence that you’re sending relevant, valuable information to your sphere of influence on a regular basis.
If marketing yourself on social media feels daunting, keep in mind that you don’t have to master every platform. The most important thing is to be where your ideal clients are and to post consistently on the platforms you choose to use. Make the most of your content by repurposing it across each platform, adjusting the photo sizes and wording as necessary. Social media takes some experimenting. Pay attention to which types of posts get the most impressions
and interactions (for example, videos vs. photos), and try to incorporate more of those into your content planning as you move forward.
While social media is a great avenue for generating interest in properties you’ve recently listed, your followers don’t want to hear about your business every single day. Try to follow the 80/20 rule: Give your audience helpful or entertaining content 80% of the time and post directly about your business 20% of the time. You can post anything that’s valuable to homeowners, such as interior design inspiration or home maintenance tips, or share information that’s relevant to your community, such as upcoming events and current deals at local restaurants. When you post about your business, don’t hesitate to offer a call to action that links back to your website. Your website is your home base – always drive traffic back to your site whenever possible.
A real estate blog is an excellent way to position yourself as the local expert and to build credibility in your community and beyond. Your strategy for your blog posts can be similar to what you post on social media, but you’ll have more room to expand the valuable information you provide. You can write about local festivals, the amenities of specific neighborhoods, lawn and garden care, tips for first-time home buyers – the possibilities are endless.
Make sure you share a link to your posts on each of your social media platforms, and maximize the time you spend writing by repurposing that content for your email marketing or for additional social media posts. Blogging is a great way to boost your SEO (see below). If you begin to gain a following on your blog, you could be asked to write for other publications or speak at an event, expanding your reach even further.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your online presence so that Google knows how to connect you to those might be interested in finding you. To increase your likelihood of being found, start with your Google Business Page. If you haven’t already, claim your business and update your basic info, including your business name, phone number, email address, etc. Make sure your information is accurate and consistent across all of your online platforms. Then, set up a local service area for your zip code or the cities that you target. Finally, reach out to past clients and ask them to leave you reviews on Google. Be sure to personally thank any clients who write you a review.
Once you’ve established an online presence, pay-per-click ads are an excellent way to boost your reach. Paid advertising options, such as Google or Facebook ads, can drive traffic to landing pages on your website. The goal of advertising is to capture visitor information in order to fill your pipeline with leads. However, before you invest in paid advertising, make sure you have a system in place to follow up with each new lead quickly.
YOUR IN-PERSON MARKETING STRATEGY
Even the best online marketing strategy will fall flat if you’re not also physically present in your community. Real estate is a highly relational profession, so make sure you look for a variety of opportunities to get out and build personal relationships.
If you want to be seen as the local expert in your area, then you need to commit to being present in the community. Attend local festivals and nonprofit events. Participate in blood drives and 5K runs. Volunteer for park clean-up days, or help out at community gardens. When you become a valued part of your community, the leads will find you.
When attending networking events, always wear a name tag and be sure you have professional business cards within reach. If a name tag doesn’t fit the occasion, display your brand on a polo or T-shirt instead.
Just like you, local businesses need referrals, so look for ways to work together. Announce specials on your social media pages in exchange for some publicity in a local store. Gather and vet a list of resources and service providers for homeowners, such as plumbers, electricians, daycares, health clubs, etc., and then talk with those professionals about building a mutually beneficial referral program.
Door Knocking and Cold Calling
Don’t be afraid to walk a neighborhood and get to know people. While knocking on doors and cold calling both require you to get comfortable with hearing “no,” it’s still a great strategy for getting your name out there. You’ll never know until you ask.
Closing Gifts and Pop-Bys
Thoughtful gifts are a great way to make your marketing memorable. After the sale, send your clients a curated gift box to welcome them to their new home. Or, pop-by to see clients you served years ago and drop off a gift on their front steps. Anything you can do to make gifts feel personalized will help your clients remember you as the relational agent that you are.
YOUR PRINT MARKETING STRATEGY
Print marketing is a vital part of your overall marketing strategy because it gets directly into the prospect’s hands and provides something valuable. People are likely to hold on to a beautiful print piece that offers helpful, interesting information. Plus, the mailbox tends to be far less crowded than the inbox these days, meaning you have less competition in order to catch their attention. When used strategically, direct mail is perfectly positioned to get your name in front of potential buyers and sellers.
Referrals and Repeat Business
The majority of an established agent’s business often comes from the referrals of satisfied past clients. These are the people who know and love you – people you helped to find their dream home – and they’re worth investing in. When you stay top-of-mind with past clients, you’ll set yourself up to capture referrals and repeat business. Our Client Follow-Up Program is an easy, cost-effective way to stay in touch by automatically sending 21 mailings on your behalf over 5 years for just $25 per client.
Sending an automated newsletter campaign to every homeowner in a geographic location is a powerful way to generate leads. Simply choose a neighborhood, city or zip code, and we’ll provide you with a list of addresses. All you have to do is choose the newsletter and the frequency, and soon everyone in the area will have an eye-catching piece of mail with your contact info in their hands.
When it comes to making a great impression, there’s nothing quite like a handwritten note. If you meet someone at a networking event, try following up with a personal note to let them know you enjoyed meeting them and to thank them for their time. Even a brief message can make a big impact. If you spend just 15 minutes per day writing notes, you’ll be amazed at how many personal messages you’ll send out in a year. For a personalized touch, try one of our custom notecards.
FSBOs and Expired Listings
You know these homeowners want to sell; however, they may be hesitant about working with an agent. Reach out with an automated postcard campaign written to speak to their specific pain points. If they end up wanting assistance, they’ll know you’re a helpful, experienced professional.
Holidays are the perfect time to touch base with your sphere of influence and past clients by sending seasonal postcards or greeting cards. Family gatherings may cause people to decide they need a bigger home before next year’s festivities, and changes in the seasons tend to make people reflect on their life goals. Stay top-of-mind and make sure you never miss a holiday with our automated postcard campaigns.
Your pool of leads, referrals and repeat business will continue to grow when you commit to creating a professional online presence, showing up in your community and reaching out with personalized print products on a consistent basis. Try any one of our automated marketing solutions to help you stay in front of your leads and past clients consistently. Your personalized print and digital marketing materials will be sent as often as you’d like, featuring eye-catching graphics and professionally written content, all done for you.