Marketing is the foundation of any business and real estate is no exception.
What exactly is marketing? Most people think of marketing as a planned event or action – such as a direct mailing piece, mass email or office reception, to attract customers.
Actually, it is everything you do as you move through your work day. Even whether you choose to dress casually or have a more formal appearance is choosing a marketing method. Paying attention to the outcome of every move you make is essential.
From the image you choose for a house advertisement to the one you choose as background for a direct mailer or the words chosen for effect on an email headline, each selection matters.
So, here are the three most common mistakes real estate agents make as they market their businesses:
Any message to a potential client needs to be clear, especially in its “ask.” Too often, a mailer will be incredibly crowded, filled with too much information and the ask – what you want the reader to do -is buried beneath several different directions. There’s a phone number, an address, an email address, a website or Facebook address, without any being accentuated specifically.
Although it may seem like multiple choices and lots of information is a good thing, it can be overwhelming for many. Additionally, you want to direct the reader to the most effective form of communication – both for them and for you to follow up with them. Whichever method allows you to gather an email address, because email marketing is free, and track their contact is the best one. It should be the most prominent, bold and highlighted to draw their attention to it. Make it clear what you want them to do.
As you make this decision, remember that most people use the internet much more than making phone calls now, so asking them to make a phone call is probably the least effective method to present. It is usually ineffective for collecting contact information, especially when the call isn’t picked up by a person who can immediate interact with them.
Who is Your Target Audience
Real estate is a business in which the target market changes from property to property. Selling a mid-level home to a family is way different from selling a downtown loft to an upwardly mobile designer. The esthetics are important in nearly every transaction, as is the clients’ neighborhood and requirements. Knowing who your potential customer is, whether buyer or seller, is critical to matching marketing to that demographic.
If a home or business property is within an especially distinct area, embrace that aspect and position images and advertisements with that in mind. More simply, gear your words and pictures towards the groups most likely to appreciate what your location has to offer.
If it’s a home in a quirky, unique neighborhood with lots of cultural activities, your best bet may be a younger demographic. If you’d like to represent a seller who is older and converting a family home to retirement income, you will probably want to present a photo of yourself with a mature, stable appearance. You absolutely can represent multiple and very different types of clients, but you must appeal to their particular tastes and needs, which begins with knowing who your target market is in each unique situation.
Very few agents actively track their results. Huge mistake. Not keeping a record of what each effort brings in return is reckless, and sometimes fatal, to any type of business venture.
A log of each effort, its cost and its effectiveness, saves you time and money in the long run. Tracking can be as simple as a handwritten record of response from a direct mail piece or as complicated as using Google Analytics to follow the traffic on your website. But each method you use must be recorded and then compared to the others, to make decisions on which one to pursue in each instance.
Information is online on various tracking methods, so it’s easily accessible to anyone. Spend some time studying and don’t be shy about asking for help from others, preferably outside your local real estate field. If you’re not currently tracking your marketing methods, you may be throwing away your best chance at success.
In addition to staying on top of all the various methods of marketing today, you’ll need to spread your wings a little. If you don’t understand the difference between internet and digital marketing, recognize that you may need a little help and should probably study more to keep up. In very few instances is “old school” going to cut it anymore in business. Start by making your messaging clear, tracking all your marketing efforts and understanding your target market.
Ken is a huge fan of living his life to the fullest. His health is extremely important to him and he currently enjoys helping Generation Homes NW get the word out about their awesome custom home solutions. When he’s not working, he enjoys blogging, hiking, and plenty of steak and grilled veggies.
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Writer: Ken Marshall
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