By Rebecca Chandler
Ahh. Spring. Trees bud. Flowers bloom. Baby birds are singing. The time when we awaken from our winter hibernation and embrace a fresh start – and home buyers and sellers are actively shopping for homes and real estate agents. Are you keeping up? Or is your marketing plan still in hibernation?
As the media landscape has changed and consumer home shopping and media consumption habits have changed, have you? Here are some new trends you should embrace and some old trends you should leave in hibernation.
Old marketing habits you should leave in hibernation.
STOP - Referring to your home marketing presentation as a "listing presentation." The most important service a seller expects from their real estate agent is marketing.* Begin referring to the presentation you make on an appointment with a potential seller as a "marketing presentation." Include all the ways you will put their home in front of potential buyers. Make a list. Bring samples. Your presentation will outshine those who only bring a CMA.
STOP - Relying primarily on listing aggregation sites for leads. You absolutely should put your listings on free listing aggregation sites. They get a lot of traffic and are a basic expectation for your marketing presentation. However, your listings are competing with every listing in town and you are drowning in a sea of online data, waiting and wishing that someone will stumble upon one of your listings and waiting and wishing that they would call or email you. It just doesn't happen that often. Consider it web exposure, but not robust lead generation. Look for ways to reach out to local buyers and sellers using active advertising and lead generation strategies instead of waiting for them to find you.
STOP - Relying on your referral network for ALL your business. Your referral base is a great source of business, but it can't be the only source of business. Repeat business only happens every 6-10 years in most cases, and agents who consistently advertise and market their services may gain top-of-mind awareness that you've lost. Also, today's consumers have high expectations. A simple referral may not be enough to seal the deal if a seller doesn't feel you will actively market their home – or if a buyer has not seen you actively working their area of interest.
New trends you should embrace.
START – With a fresh look at your branding. Is your website old and tired? Is your photo the same one you've used for the last 10 years? What about your branding in general – colors, logos, and style? Does it look clean and fresh? Dark, heavy colors are out. Light and bright colors are in – especially for spring. Freshen up your marketing "wardrobe" to get new attention.
START –Mobilizing everything. What does you website look like when you open it in the browser on your phone? If you have to "pinch and stretch" to see it, most will abandon it and move on. Do you have single property mobile sites for all your listings? Text code lead generation? GPS-enabled sign riders? More and more consumers are relying on their phones to text codes for more information, download apps, search the web, browse the Internet, etc. Make sure you are taking advantage of being able to reach consumers on the go.
START – Incorporating an IDX feed into your site. Buyers and sellers today think a home shopping experience should be comprehensive. They want to search, on their own, every available property – from one location. Create a home shopping experience for them that keeps them on YOUR site. If they can find all the available listings and search in a rewarding way, they will bookmark your site, and regardless of whether the home they are interested in is your listings, they will contact YOU.
START – Putting YOUR brand front and center. Of course you want to be everywhere a potential client looks for real estate information. But – are you lost in the crowd or do you really stand out? Download our Personal Brand Workbook here to take a fresh look at your personal brand and potentially, adjust your brand strategy.
START – Using locally distributed advertising to reach LOCAL buyers. Winning the Google Search over large listing sites is probably a futile effort. However you have a distinct advantage over them. You are IN the local market. Use tools like interactive print and direct mail to generate direct response on the streets of your market – in the places where your potential customer live, work, shop and play. Interrupt their day with your advertising message with an immediate lead generation call to action.
- Text this code to see more photos, prices, and information.
- Go to my website to shop all the homes in the market.
- Call, text, or email me for a list of all the homes in the area that match your dreams to your next home.
- Email me for an analysis of recent sales in the area.
- Call me to find out about my marketing campaign for your home.
A direct call to action placed in front of those with the ability and likelihood to do business with you will create more business for you.
Have more questions on how to freshen up your spring marketing plan? Contact your local Real Estate Book representative or go to Store.RealEstateBook.com to learn more.
*NewPoint Media Group Research on Home Buyers and Sellers (May 2013)