And you are..?

Marketing and real estate – like peas and carrots, peanut butter and jelly, tuna fish and potato chips – they just go together.  The strange part is that when it comes to marketing, agents are at a loss… how to spend their marketing dollars, where to market, what to say, and how to look.  Based on my experience (so this is only my humble opinion), here are a few tips:

1)  Be proud of who you are!  Now, that sounds odd, but you would be surprised at how much real estate marketing is sent out without any identification of who the agent is!  Or, sometimes the name is on there, but it is in a small font or buried in other text.  Marketing pieces are often the first impression consumers receive and you want it to speak highly of your skills and experience.  I’ve seen advertisements for open houses where there is zero agent information on it and I’ve received marketing flyers that look like very little thought went into developing the piece  – does that build the trust of the consumer?  How would they reach you?  And should they call a number, do they know who they are even asking for?  Be thoughtful in what you send out!  You only get one chance to make a first impression.

2) Be proud of your brokerage!  Your brokerage has invested an awful lot of resources into developing market recognition.  You can (and should!) capitalize on that investment.  Brands work hard to create an identity that evokes a feeling – a feeling of trust, of experience, of success – and you can leverage that to your advantage!  Your real estate marketing should include a logo or brokerage name prominently.  If you aren’t proud to incorporate your brand, then maybe it’t time to reconsider where you hang your license.

3) Do what you like and what you are good at.  If you despise Facebook and your network of ‘friends’ is small, then you are wasting any investment of time into that venue.  If you like talking to strangers and making new connections, then your time and effort is better spent by finding situations where you can engage in that activity.  The key is to find where you excel and continue to push the boundaries to generate business.

4) Invest in what generates returns.  If you have no idea what kind of return you are getting for the time and/or money you’ve invested in marketing, then you may be just lighting cash on fire.  Information is a powerful tool – track where your leads and referrals are coming from, ask for the statistics from publications you advertise in, and begin to figure out where your source of business begins.  You want to increase efforts in your successful ventures and forget the rest.

5) Good Communication.  There are two extremes when it comes to communication – too much and too little.  Only calling/sending post cards/sending calendars once a year isn’t enough to establish a meaningful connection and achieve top-of-mind status.  On the flip side, weekly calls/emails or constant pressure to act can feel smothering or overbearing.  Most agents tend to be too silent with prospective and past clients rather than overly talkative.  Good communication requires that you think through how often you want to communicate, what you want to say, and how you want to deliver that communication.  What is the purpose of the communication?  That should drive the message and the method.

There is so much more to marketing, but I wanted to get you thinking – Is your approach working or does it need tweaking?  How is it perceived by consumers and is it getting the job done?

My two cents.  Anything to contribute?

~Susan Hansen

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