The old saying “a goal without a plan is just a wish” rings particularly true when starting a new year. But a new year also brings a clean slate to your real estate business – and it can be a great time to test a new idea or try out a new marketing tactic.
Most real estate agents have a “go-to” marketing tool that helps them attract new business. Often, it’s a newsletter, a digital marketing campaign, or direct mail program – a letter, postcard, or holiday card.
New ways to promote yourself and grow your business have emerged in recent years as technological advances have spawned new marketing methods that often are simpler and less expensive.
What are the hottest new marketing tools and tactics?
1. Social media marketing for lead generation: Some insight comes from a recent study by the National Association of Realtors that shows 53 percent of agents use social media daily or nearly every day. Moreover, social media has emerged as a top five business tool, surpassing customer relationship management (CRM), transaction management, and comparative market analysis software.
One reason: social media also has become a powerful lead-generation tool. Successful agents know that social media can be an excellent way to stay top-of-mind among past clients and prospects. As a result, many top real estate professionals are finding great success in generating business through social media.
For agents, in addition to Facebook (3 billion users) and Instagram (2 billion users), LinkedIn can be another way to grow your business and capture new leads.
Because LinkedIn is more targeted to business professionals, it's an excellent channel for connecting with local real estate attorneys, trust advisors, insurance reps, financial advisors, and more. Let these potential partners know about your real estate business and what you can offer their clients.
2. Local videos: An analyst at Forrester Research estimates that a minute of video is worth 1.8 million words or some 3,500 web pages. Most importantly, according to NAR research, 85 percent of buyers prefer an agent who uses video. However, fewer than half of all agents rarely or never use video.
Video as a successful marketing tool has remained elusive for most real estate agents. Why? The most popular videos created by agents are home tours. The problem is that most video tours don't generate many viewers. One of the best ways to use video that gets more clicks to increase your business is to leverage your local expertise. Most people use video to help them understand something faster and easier. That’s why YouTube is so successful.
The most successful real estate videos give information about a community or neighborhood folks can't find elsewhere. One of the most tried and true video formulas for real estate is to use the "Top 5" strategy locally. Think about what is popular in your community and create videos that cover topics such as the “Top 5 places to eat,” “Top 5 Instagram places,” Top 5 places to shop,” “Top 5 places to take kids,” or “Top 5 pizzas.”
3. Publicity program: Have you ever noticed that the local press often quoted the same real estate agents or brokers about the housing market? Would you like to become a local real estate expert for newspapers and business journals and be interviewed on radio and TV? Ever wondered what you needed to do to be that person?
Publicity, a public relations activity, can help you grow your business. You can hire a PR expert to help you, or you can do it yourself. Your goal is to become a trusted source for local reporters. That requires a few talents.
If you love data and can help clients understand market trends, that's a great trait that journalists seek too. The good news is your brokerage probably has great tech tools to help you create a market report. If you already send a local market report to customers, start sharing that report with reporters who cover your market. Most importantly, if a journalist emails or calls you, be accessible and responsive. Journalists almost always are on deadline, and most often, the person who gets quoted is the one that gets back to the reporter first.
Finally, another great way to stand out from your competition is to offer your buyers and sellers Cinch home warranty coverage. You can learn more about Cinch and special benefits for real estate agents at cinchrealestate.com.