Real estate marketing mistakes happen when there’s a disconnect between the marketing you do and the marketing that works. That confusion between facts and myths can cause you to spend both time and money without getting the results you desire.
Consider the following statistics and survey results, then decide if you’re on track – or disconnected.
Faulty assumptions lead to real estate marketing mistakes.
For instance, some assume that Baby Boomers are all alike, and Millennials are all alike. They even take classes about how to connect with Millennials or Boomers. That’s fine, but they forget that Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. That’s an 18 year span. Today, we range in age from 55 to 73.
It’s a mistake to assume that all Baby Boomers are retiring and want to downsize, because some are still working hard and others are just getting started with having fun.
If you’re part of the Baby Boomer generation, you know the truth.
Instead of downsizing, some Boomers are seeking to “upsize” into a dream home. Some are selling their homes to hit the open road in an RV. Some are selling suburban homes to move into a city condo to be “where the action is.” In other words, there really is NO typical Baby Boomer.
Some who calculate statistics divide Boomers into “early” and “late,” but even then, lumping everyone together is one of those dangerous real estate marketing mistakes.
Millennials were born between 1977 and 1995 – another 18 year span.
They range in age from 24 to 42, and their lifestyles can range from still living at home with Mom and Dad, to being “swinging singles,” to having children and even grand-children of their own.
According to Gallup Analysis, 41% of Millennials are married with children. So while you might still think of them as a generation of children, many of those millennials are really adults, with adult interests and concerns.
The Silent Generation is older, but it’s a mistake to discount them as home buyers.
In 2018 they purchased 7% of the homes. Don’t assume they were all downsizing – some may have been moving up.
One of the most beautiful homes my contractor husband built was for a couple in their late 70’s. They’d lived in their shabby little house for 50 years and one day decided to spend some of the money they’d socked away for all those years and build new. We built the house, a garage, and a huge gazebo so they could entertain in style on the 4th of July.
Likewise, don’t assume that all of them are eager to sell. 34% say they will never move. They expect to live out the rest of their lives in their current home.
We don’t hear much about Generation X, but they bought 24% of the homes sold in 2018. One thing you might keep in mind is that some of them will be interested in multi-generational homes. 16% chose such homes in 2018.
Generation X will be joining younger Boomers as part of the current “Sandwich Generation.” These are folks who might still be caring for their children while also caring for their parents.
But again – when you write prospecting letters, never make assumptions about an entire group.
One of the worst real estate marketing mistakes is to assume that you can only connect digitally with Millennials.
Sure, you’ve heard that these folks are all glued to their iPhones every day, all day long. If you want to reach them you have to do it via your website, your blog posts, texting, and email.
But guess what? The majority of Millennials like direct mail.
In fact, they may be more fond of real “hold it in your hand” postal mail than are other generations.
Here are some quick findings from Plumb Marketing:
- The U.S. Post Office has found that Millennials spend 9.7 more minutes sorting through their mail than any other generation. They’re also more likely to read it and share it with others.
- Half of Millennials report enjoying seeing what has come in the mail each day and consider it entertainment.
- 54% of Millennials state that local businesses need to improve on using direct mail to share specials, coupons and other offerings.
- 82% of Millennials view direct mail messages as more trustworthy then online messaging.
- And most important: According to MarketingCharts, 92% of Millennials say they are influenced by direct mail to make purchase decisions, compared to 78% being influenced by email.
One of today’s most common real estate marketing mistakes is thinking that direct mail is dead.
Only 18% of agents report using direct mail. The other 82% think it won’t work so they don’t want to spend the money. But consumer surveys tell a different story. According to a survey by Royal Mail Market Research, Millennials aren’t the only ones who like direct mail.
Their findings tell us:
- More than 8 out of 10 consumers say they at least give a quick read to the direct mail they receive. Do you think anyone could say that about all the email they receive? Since my first task each morning is to delete most of what’s in my email in box, I sure don’t think so.
- Seven out of 10 believe that direct mail is “more personal.”
- Almost 9 out of 10 say they find direct mail to be “more believable.”
At the same time, don’t assume that you can’t connect digitally with Baby Boomers or the Silent Generation.
A good percentage of these potential buyers are on line, browsing through real estate websites and checking social media. It turns out that social media is a good way to learn about communities and neighborhoods.
Many of today’s real estate marketing mistakes center around trying to avoid spending money.
One notable exception is newspaper advertising. 33% of all agents report using newspaper advertising, but surveys show that only 2% of home sales in 2018 could be directly attributed to newspaper ads.
Why are agents still using this medium? Back when I had an agency I spent money on full pages in homes magazines, against my better judgement. They seldom brought a customer, but I was afraid to quit. I thought people might decide we were no longer in business if we weren’t there. Could fear be the reason why agents are still paying for newspaper ads?
What about photos, videos, and drone photography?
I didn’t find statistics, but by now we all know that good photos are a must. The majority of home buyers go first to the Internet. One survey said most spend 3 weeks looking at homes online before ever contacting an agent.
And yet, some agents are still using terrible photos. Why? Those who don’t want to spend money on a professional can take a few classes and learn how to take attractive listing photos. If nothing else, They can start doing trial and error on their own homes and figure it out.
As for video… If you’re one of the 86% of agents who still aren’t using listing videos, do be aware that 73% of homeowners say they’d prefer to list with an agent who does.
Drone photography is an added expense, but may be worth it. Surveys show that homes with drone photography as part of an overall marketing plan sell (on average) 68% faster than homes without it.
Are you remembering to include floor plans?
It turns out that buyers looking on line – especially the Baby Boomers – want to see floor plans before they decide which homes to view. Photos and videos give various views, but it is sometimes (usually) difficult to see how the rooms flow together. Floor plans solve that problem.
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
“The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second,
stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense.”
― Thomas A. Edison
“If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.”
More real estate marketing mistakes:
- Failure to stay in touch with past clients and your sphere of influence.
- Failure to follow up promptly and consistently with new leads.
- Failure to prospect.
- Stopping too soon.
Past clients and people in your sphere of influence can be your personal gold mine.
They know you, like you, trust you, and will be a source of business for years to come – but only if you pay attention to them. If you forget them, they’ll forget you.
If it’s been too long since past clients have heard from you, use my Past Client letters https://copybymarte.com/past-client-letters/ to reconnect, then stay with it! Send market reports, just listed cards, your newsletter, or my event-themed letters. All of these will give them interesting information to share with friends – and a reason to mention your name as the source.
Responding promptly and following up with new leads is a must.
If you aren’t going to follow up, why bother to get leads at all? Whether you buy leads or capture them by offering special reports or other information on your website, once you’ve got them, hang on to them.
One reason why email is so popular is that it’s fast, easy, and costs hardly anything. So use an autoresponder to stay in touch every couple of weeks. One agent wrote me that she could not stay on top of hundreds of internet buyer leads – so I wrote the Nurturing Buyer Leads letter set.
Then it occurred to me to write something similar for sellers who come to your site either to check the value of their homes or to ask for a special report. Thus – the Seller Advice Letters.
Prospecting is a tried and true method of acquiring new leads.
Whether you write your own letters, use one of my prospecting letter sets, or restrict your prospecting to just listed/under contract/ just sold mailings, consistent prospecting via direct mail will bring you new leads.
Stopping too soon is one of the most serious real estate marketing mistakes you can make.
There’s a prospecting/marketing rule called “3-7-27” which says that it takes 3 touches for a stranger to recognize your name, 7 touches to remember you, and 27 touches before they develop trust in you.
Some of those prospects will be ready much sooner, but what does it hurt to stay in touch until they either become a client or tell you to stop mailing?
For the most powerful impact, combine direct mail with email marketing.
Direct mail will give you the most credibility, while email will give you more and more “touches.” Do tie everything back to your website, where you can use your agent bio, your blog posts, and your information pages to show them why you are the agent to choose.
Myth / fact image courtesy of stuart miles @ freedigitalphotos.net
Father with baby Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Newsboy Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Gold nuggets courtesy of Dreamstine