by Rebecca ChandlerIn this 4 part series, we’ll discuss in depth the most effective and efficient marketing strategies to reach and engage local buyers and sellers. To build your brand locally, to get more clients, and to close more sales. Practical tips that you can implement yourself. Now.
– Robert Heinlein
My brother is a very talented musician. I’ve seen him play three different instruments in three different bands in one night. In contrast, I took piano lessons, I played the trumpet in the high school band and I learned to play the guitar – a little. I don’t have the natural talent that my brother has – nor the desire to become a full-time professional musician. And even though I love to listen to music and to my brother play, that’s his gig, not mine –and that’s cool.
I recently participated in a panel discussion on local SEO. A number of the panelists are professional, well-respected bloggers in the real estate space. Very smart people with very good advice for those who blog. But, one person in the audience asked a question that was akin to calling out the Emperor’s backside. “What if I don’t blog?”
This gentleman, a successful real estate professional, knows his market and the industry very well, is a masterful negotiator, provides excellent service to clients and is a smart businessman. However, he realizes he is no more a blogger –than I am a drummer.
So, what can he do and what should he do instead?
Let’s think about this a little differently. For starters – It’s not just your website. In the past, we defined our digital experiences as websites. That you access on your computer. At your home or office. That is just not the case any longer. Digital is now on your laptop, your phone, your tablet, your TV – and the future will include many more touch points – so it’s time to think differently about how your digital story in general.
And, instead of thinking solely about local web traffic, let’s make the goal local leads and sales.
So, ask yourself these questions.
Specifically, with whom do I want to business locally?
Is it a specific niche or geographic area? First time home buyers? Luxury? A certain area of town in which you are an expert? A lifestyle like golfer communities or waterfront homes?
Where do these people live, work, shop, and play? Where do they physically hang out?
Rather than trying to reach them digitally, how about reaching out to them physically? (Pull your mind out of the gutter.)
As they go about their day, do they see you? Are you searching for them or waiting for them to search for you? Go stalk your prospective client.
Look for -
Social activities or networking opportunities
Events you can sponsor
Advertising they see regularly
Personify your brand and your digital identity at all these opportunities.
For example –
Promote a local social activity or even with a flyer, email, or other advertisement. Include your name and your website.
Sponsor local events – and offer something of value to attendees. For example, for a local festival, you could create a handy card with a schedule of events and venues on one side. On the back, include your name and web address – and some recent stats about home sales in the area with a call to action to contact you, the local expert, to learn if it’s time to buy or sell.
Run local offline advertising. It’s not as expensive as you think and one closed deal will more than cover your entire annual investment. You can target direct mail geographically and demographically – easily and inexpensively. Get right into their home. Run a local print ad. Over 70% of local sellers pick up printed real estate magazines looking for homes like theirs.* When they find them, do they find you?
In other words, don’t spend all your time and efforts trying to get them to interact with you digitally when you could be interacting with them personally. After all, wouldn’t you rather they spoke to you in person than visit your site?
And, don’t try to become a blogger (or a drummer) if that’s not your gig. Defining, locating, and engaging your audience offline is absolutely essential to building business – and you can do that without blogging.
Next week– Part 2 – Social media – for business.
*2013 Survey of Home Sellers – NewPoint Media Group