Last week we went over the first 4 steps in marketing your real estate services. If you’ve forgotten them, they were:
- Choose your target audience
- Determine what is most important to them
- Decide which of your skills, talents, and personality traits to showcase in order to appeal to them
- Put it all in writing and/or video
It’s time for step #5 in marketing your real estate services – Getting your message in front of your prospects.
While you can and should distribute this information a little at a time through prospecting letters, brochures, ads, and even conversation, I believe it’s important for you to have a website of your own.
This is the place where you can expand on the information you’ve already shared and offer a comprehensive look at what you have to offer.
It’s also the place where you can promote your community, and all the reasons why someone should choose to live there.
Begin at the beginning…
Since your real estate website’s purpose is to promote you and your services, it’s important to put your name, your location, and a way to contact you at the top of the home page and in a visible spot on every other page. You want people to know they’re in the right place when they arrive there and you want them to easily be able to follow the impulse to contact you.
Your real estate website should, at a minimum, include your “about me” page, or bio, plus pages that outline the special services you offer to the buyers and/or sellers you most want to serve. Your pages should show WHY you are the listing agent or the buyer agent to choose. Use the good information you created in steps 2 and 3.
You can do better than all those “look alike” pages that say you need a local guide who will serve you with integrity – and all that other filler that your prospects have already seen a dozen times. Focus on your goal, which is to set yourself apart – and above.
Those pages can help you collect leads if you offer free property searches for buyers, free value estimates for sellers, and free reports for both buyers and sellers. When people who opt in are automatically added to your autoresponder, you can use drip email marketing to stay in touch and continue showing them how you’ll help them.
Make sure the free reports you offer are worth reading.
Add niche pages with valuable information for your web visitors. Be sure to optimize those pages!
Add social media share buttons to your web pages and blog posts. Make it easy for those who appreciate what you have to say to share it with their friends.
Next – bring those prospects to your web page:
Prospecting and farming can take many forms. I believe strongly in the power of direct postal mail and drip campaigns to stay connected with people who come to you through your website – and I’ve written more than 40 different sets of prospecting letters to help you do just that.
I also believe that mailing cards to announce new listings, listings under contract, and listings just sold is an effective way to show people in your target area that you are an agent who gets things done.
Whether you use my letters, write your own, or rely on the just listed/just sold cards, always include your web address in your signature. You can also add a P.S. that invites readers to specific pages on your site to get more information.
What else can you do?
First, make sure your web address is in your email signature. And then…
Many agents today shun the idea of buying leads, feeling that: 1) The same leads are being provided to multiple agents, and 2) The cost of the leads is far too high relative to the quality.
Some spend their money on Facebook and Google ads, while others spend it on direct mail.
Others successfully use their Facebook pages to promote themselves. (Active Rain bloggers are generous in sharing “How to” articles to use Facebook to the fullest.) Those who have mastered social media also use other sites to promote both themselves and their listings.
Blogging, both on personal websites and on Active Rain, has proven effective for those who are consistent and stick with it for the long haul.
Many also find success by writing guest posts for popular bloggers with related websites. For instance, if someone in your territory has a blog about the community, you could benefit by writing a guest post about the local real estate market.
The benefit with blogging on Active Rain or another popular site is that you’re likely to get picked up in a generic search. Remember – not everyone uses Facebook or any of the other social media sites.
A second benefit is that every time you post on Active Rain, LinkedIn, or some other relevant site, there’s a back link to your site. That serves to increase your own site’s search engine optimization.
Some write real estate articles for their local newspapers. How better to become “the” real estate expert in your community than to have a weekly column in the newspaper? This one gives the added benefit of getting in front of those home buyers and home sellers who do not regularly go on line. You could do the same for a newsletter that’s specific to your niche. Think about the Senior Center, the PTA, the boat club, the equestrian group, or the homeowner’s associations in condos or developments that you’re farming.
Write a newsletter containing local news – and invite your readers to share it with friends and family.
Remember – in addition to giving good information and inviting readers to call, email, or text, every piece of marketing you use should invite readers back to your website.
If newspaper ads are effective in your community…
Go ahead and place a block ad, but make it different from other agents’ ads. Instead of saying “Your local expert,” or “Ourtown’s top producer,” use a testimonial that mentions a specific service you performed. Or – you could create a short bulleted list of the 3 things about your service that are most important to your favorite clients. If you’re planning to run weekly ads, consider doing an 8 or 10 point series of tips that will benefit those specific clients.
Always do keep in mind that while your website is the hub of your marketing efforts, not everyone uses the Internet or email. If you totally ignore direct mail and print media, you’ll be totally ignoring those consumers.
Host a webinar or a home buyers seminar.
Network with your business cards…
Step #1: Be sure your card includes your web address – in large enough print to read easily. I believe it should also include a good photo of you, because people remember faces better than names. If you have a specific niche, let your card reflect that as well.
You don’t need to attend networking events to network successfully. Every time you meet a new person, it’s an opportunity. Most people will ask “What do you do?” and that’s your cue to give your brief elevator speech. Then ask if they’d like to be on your list for market updates. Or, if they’ve asked questions about real estate, its your opportunity to offer to send good information. It’s also your opportunity to hand over your card and let them know that you’re always happy to answer questions about the market or about specific properties that are for sale or have sold.
Do be sure to return the favor and ask what the other person does. If the whole conversation is about you, you’ll probably never hear from them.
But don’t stop there. If you volunteer for anything at all, you’ll need to give your contact information to other volunteers. Use your business card to do so.
Do you like to knock on doors?
If so, leave a personal brochure – and make it just as good as your real estate agent bio in showing how you help those people you’ve chosen as your future clients.
Do you enjoy working at community events?
Consider sponsoring a booth for your favorite non-profit – and work the booth yourself. Wear your real estate hat, t-shirt, or jacket, and have a handy supply of cards and personal brochures to give anyone who mentions real estate. You might even consider ordering a supply of branded pens or notepads to give away. I can envision a notepad or shopping list with a header saying “YOUR NAME, Proud sponsor of YOUR FAVORITE NON-PROFIT,” and including web addresses and contact information for both you and the non-profit. How about giving branded, insulated travel mugs to everyone who donates to the non-profit?
Don’t forget about making yourself visible in your territory.
Attend community events. Stop by yard sales. Have lunch or a snack at the local coffee shop. If you’re selling equestrian properties, attend the local horse shows and get to know the people. If waterfront properties are your goal, join the local boating club. (It’s called the Yacht Club in our small town, although no one here owns a boat large enough to be considered a yacht.)
And always, always have those business cards ready to hand to anyone who reveals an interest in real estate.
NOTE: If you have more than one niche, it won’t hurt to have more than one kind of business card. When you know you’ll be meeting with people from a specific niche, use the cards that identify you as a specialist in that niche.
Step # 6 – I know, I said 5 steps, but #6 is really, really important:
Stay in touch with:
- Your sphere of influence
- Your past clients
- Your leads
Some will send you referrals, some will become repeat clients, and some will become new clients – as long as you never let them forget you.
There’s more, of course, but this post has gotten long enough. If I failed to mention your favorite way to get your information in front of prospects, please share it in the comment section below.
AND – If you need my help putting words together, just get in touch!
Wishing you joy and prosperity,