Local Marketing For Realtors – Becoming The Neighborhood Expert

Local Marketing For Realtors - Becoming The Neighborhood ExpertSo glad I got this reader question as it prompted me to think about the ways that Realtors can use their local marketing efforts to start becoming the neighborhood expert.

“My main focus is selling residential Real Estate in Adelaide, South Australia. So I’m always on the lookout for how to getter in front of more ‘local’ people.” Eriks from South Australia

So first off I think we should talk about what doing local Realtor marketing is trying to accomplish. By nature if you are marketing to a subdivision or community, you are targeting sellers, right? Buyers may float around between subdivisions until they are ready to buy (more about that later), but sellers are always selling in the same subdivision.

Additionally, this is a little different than real estate farming, which is when you target one subdivision and go deep on it. In that process you use all of your efforts on just one community, rather than focusing on a local geographic area like your town or even a part of your town.

Not Your Grandma’s Real Estate Marketing Plan

Admit it…when you saw neighborhood expert you had just a flash of that big haired agent in the area who used to buy up all the bus benches and put her name and picture on them! This is so not what I am talking about when considering how to be an “expert” in an area.

Instead, this is how to comprehensively be “everywhere” when someone is looking to sell their home. THAT is the agent who has a great chance of being called for a “come list me”.

Technology Based Suggestions

Let’s start with technology based suggestions. Imagine a world where a home seller heads over to Google to find a Realtor to list their home and they get the “normal” page that has a couple of the big name links like HomeFinder and Trulia, but there is another player there dominating with her website, a video and a Google+ link. That is not a pipe dream and it is easy to do!

First off, pick a subdivision a week. Don’t get all fancy and try to figure out the ones that have high turnover or anything like that, we are going wide and shallow here, not spending a huge amount of time or money on any one area.

Second, start creating assets for this subdivision including:

  • A video posted on YouTube (this will be included in the next step) – here is a great example of a condo complex video, The Sage in St. Petersburg
  • A blog post that has the video, and neighborhood information and data (this one is a great example of one that ranks on the first page of Google for a neighborhood here in Colorado, click here)
  • A Google Plus posting of both the video and the blog post with two different sets of keywords – so Westminster CO Real Estate – Stratford Lakes AND Stratford Lakes Real Estate, Denver CO

At this point, you should at least make some kind of impression on Google with all your bits about the neighborhood. Don’t forget to share all your assets on your social properties like Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook too.

The cost for a bus bench per year costs between $100-500 per bench and the second you stop paying, your picture goes away. If you are making a subdivision a week in this way, you will have 52 grand assets at the end of the year that you own and can use to market for customers.

Bonus Asset : If anyone is a great (and fast) writer on your team, it might be nice to have a “Guide To” for each subdivision. While it might have been a nightmare in the past using your database to do this, using a tool like LeadPages makes the whole thing much easier!

A Note About Buyers : If a buyer is searching for information about a particular subdivision there is a good chance that they are ready to buy there. Now, some of them may have agents, but some of them will not and you can scoop them up in your subdivision net!

Direct Mail Suggestions

Once you have your subdivisions picked out, start sending them mail. Because we are targeting LOTS of sellers with this exercise, we want to get your information in the hands of as many homeowners as possible so I suggest using Every Door Direct from the post office.

For just $.17 per piece, you can send a postcard, letter or flyer to every home on a mail carrier route. I suggest rotating your subdivisions so they get at least two pieces of mail from you a year.

Remember, this tactic is about quantity not quality so just make sure your creatives are good enough or funny enough for someone to stick them on their fridge and call you later!

In Person Suggestions

So now you have yourself planted all over the internet for your subdivisions and you are rocking your mailings into the subdivisions….what’s next? Now you have to show your face there!

Start doing open houses, even if you think no one will ever show up. Put your face on your open house signs and car stickers and start showing up in one of their neighborhoods weekly.

Find out if they have neighborhood garage sales or party nights and start attending those. Anytime you can “meet” someone who lives in your subdivisions, do so!

If you are super bold, door-knock your neighborhoods. Ask everyone if they know anyone who wants to sell their home. It is amazing what shaking someone’s hand and looking them in the eye will do for your business.

Mix Them Up!

So which should you do? If you ask me, all of them. It doesn’t make sense to go door knocking if you know nothing about the neighborhood or just mail into it hoping that someone will notice. Instead focus on getting as many neighborhoods to love you as possible!

According to NAR, 39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 25% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home, meaning that only 36% of the remaining sellers are out there for you to get. You are going to have to make a determined effort to be sure that you are the one they call to “come list me”.

Well there you have it…my best tips on becoming a neighborhood expert in the modern era without park benches! Local marketing for Realtors has come a long way and it’s about time you grabbed a piece of the action!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

Blog Post :: Local Marketing For Realtors - Becoming The Neighborhood Expert

The Top 50 Best Kinds Of Realtor Postcards | Realtor Marketing

The Top 50 Best Kinds Of Realtor Postcards

Today’s post is going to be kinda fun! I have a very popular post on my website about Realtor Postcards – Funny Realtor Postcards that just cracks me up, but today’s post is a little different. Here are 50 of the best kinds of postcards that you can send out to your clients, prospects and past clients to generate leads and make more sales.

Why Realtor Postcards

Tweet: 50 Best Kinds Of #Realtor Postcards http://ctt.ec/Oedgq+Before we get to the list, let’s just talk a little bit about why I am such a proponent of sending postcards. I was an active Realtor in the state of Florida from 2007-2008 during probably the worst time in history to work that market. But I thrived because I did direct mail campaigns right into the neighborhoods I was trying to target AND sent postcards to my sphere. My fellow agents were super jealous about how many “come list me’s” I got from the stupid postcards I sent.

Fast forward to 2013…5 years after I sent my last postcard and the first year I didn’t get a referral commission from them. This is because of two things… 1) people got them and put them in their drawer to remember who to call when they needed a Realtor and 2) because I often sent out beautiful cards that were suitable for framing or hanging on a bulletin board. I do that to this day! Here are two of my most recent designs for followup thank you note postcards!

Cute Thank You Postcards

The one thing to remember is that it doesn’t cost any more to send a great design than it does to send out a plain old boring, run of the mill crappy Realtor postcard.

The Best General Realtor Postcards

  • Notification of type of market (Hurry up and BUY, it is a buyers market, OR Hurry up and sell, it’s a sellers market)
  • #1 Realtor Complaint, Lack of Communication! We are just a phone call away (picture of a phone)
  • Did you know I can help buy or sell anywhere in the country? (sell into the fact that as a referring agent you can help be on their side if anything goes wrong)
  • Wanted…your real estate referrals (with the old west look)

The Best Postcards For Buyers

  • Sellers Now Is Time To Make Your MoveLooking for a new pad? (with a picture of a frog!)
  • Bring your hardhat and get a great deal on a new construction home
  • Do you know how much home can you afford? (first time buyers)
  • It costs twice as much to rent as to own, find out why (first time buyers, mailed into apartments)
  • Stop paying someone else’s mortgage and get your own home
  • On the fence about whether to buy? Now is a great time to get into a new home!
  • Want to own your own home? I can help!
  • Do your kids need their own rooms? Get a bigger house today! (sent into “starter neighborhoods)
  • Stop walking the dog…get Fido a yard! (with a picture of a really cute dog!)
  • Pick your neighbors! Do you know anyone who is looking to buy near you?
  • Stop paying rent (with burning money)
  • Looking for a new home (animal with big eyes)

The Best Postcards For Sellers

  • Neighbor Only Open HouseNeighbor only open house
  • Just Listeds (sent to 100 homes around your listing)
  • Just Listeds (sent to your sphere)
  • “Neighborhood expert” cards
  • % of sides sold in the last year if you are farming
  • Confused about how much your home is worth? Call today to get the real price!
  • Puzzled over why your home hasn’t sold? (puzzle piece)
  • If they can’t find your house on the internet, there is a good chance they will never know it is for sale!
  • Home for sale inventory is low and I have a buyer looking in your neighborhood…thinking of selling?
  • You bring the boxes, we’ll bring the buyers (with a picture moving boxes)

The Best Postcards For Expireds

  • Don't just list your house, get it soldDon’t just list your house again, find out how to get it SOLD!
  • Expired listing specialist (we specialized in working with homes that did not sell the first time)
  • Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
  • 5 reasons your home might not have sold
  • The #1 reason homes don’t sell (and how you can fix it!)

Holiday Themed Postcards

  • Make Your Resolution To Buy A New HouseRing in the New Year with a new home! (sent at New Years)
  • I would LOVE to help you find your first home (sent at Valentines day)
  • Save some green on your new home! I will negotiate you the best deal possible (sent at St. Patricks Day)
  • Don’t be a fooled, the real estate market is great for (buyers, sellers) right now (sent April Fools Day)
  • Hop on over to see our new listings (sent for easter – picture of bunny and your website)
  • Skip the toaster and get Mom what she really wants this year! A new house! (sent for Mothers Day)
  • Declare independence from your old home! (sent at 4th of July)
  • Let me get to work selling your home for a top price! (sent Labor Day)
  • Don’t be spooked by the real estate market! It is fang-tastic! (sent Halloween)
  • Thanks for thinking of me to sell your home! (prospecting card sent to farm on Thanksgiving)
  • Wish you could find a great Realtor? (turkey wishbone at Thanksgiving)
  • Did you ask Santa for a new home this year? Shhhhh….he told me! (sent Christmas)

Helpful Tips

  • Pool safety tips
  • Fireplace safety tips
  • Days to fly the American flag
  • How to winterize your home
  • Top 10 remodeling projects that will make you the most when you sell
  • 10 Tips for Getting The Most Money On Your Home Sale

Alrighty then, hopefully this list of the best kind of Realtor Postcards to send helps. I have to say that having spent the last couple of hours looking at sites offering realtor marketing for great designs, the pickings are pretty slim out there. Instead of paying good money for sending some kind of crap design, make sure you take a little time and figure out a really cute card to send that might actually get noticed!

Watch Out Great Marketing Tools and Resources Ahead

How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing

How To Get More Listings | Creative Realtor Marketing If you are a Realtor and believe in common wisdom, learning how to get more listings is a vital piece of the puzzle as each listing will result in two buyer side sales. While there are some tried and true ways to get listings (like door knocking and prospecting FSBOs, these ideas are intended to be more a part of a well thought out marketing campaign than a tactic of making phone calls or knocking on doors.

Open Houses / Nosy Neighbors

When I was a Realtor, lo these many years ago now, I got 42% of my listings from open houses. Those nosy neighbors who come by are actually potential sellers and often are looking for a Realtor at open houses (only finding buyers agents manning the table who are not picking up on their cues).

With a determined plan you can convert these potential sellers into listing appointments relatively easily. Simply ask or have materials out that appeal to sellers and then really work the ones that “bite”.

1. Would you like me to pop by and price your house for you? As Realtors we often want to hedge our bets and say the market sets the pricing and finagle around saying that we need to look at the market statistics, blah, blah, blah. Potential sellers don’t care about all that, they just want to know what their home is worth. Having split tested lots of questions like “Would you like to find out your home’s value”, “Do you want to know your house value”, etc. the question, do you want me to price your house for you won hands down both online and in real life.

I think it is because it is non-threatening (I am not asking to come list them) and shows authority (less dancing around about the market and a more definite phrasing.

2. Top 10 Mistakes Home Sellers Make Guide. If you have a stack of these guides sitting on the table, potential sellers will sort themselves out and take one. Even better, just have one and if someone asks if they can have one, ask them for their address and let them know you will pop by with their very own copy in the next couple of days AND will take a peek and have the price of their house there at the same time!

3. Drip on them. It goes without saying that you should have a sign in sheet and ask for name, address, phone and email address. Because email and the phone were so easy, I found that mailing information about once every three weeks to these potential buyers actually resulted in more listings. I would send a hand written thank you note, mail them a couple of marketing pieces and then “popby” with something a little more special to leave at their door. The fuzzy flower in a bag with birdseed resulted in two listings! But it was the consistent contact beforehand that made that happen!

Expired Listings 1 Month Out

Every sales trainer for real estate will say that you have to pull the expired listings each day and dial for dollars, hoping that you can turn them into a quick listing. This makes sense as it is easier to convince someone to list with an agent who has already listed before. That said, I hate to have to spend all my time making up for the sins of others. YES, you may be able to jump in there and save the day, repricing the house and getting it sold fast, but there is probably a reason it didn’t sell before and that reason will not just disappear overnight.

That said, there are a fair amount of these listings that don’t have phone numbers included or who don’t go right back under contract and these are a gold mine for marketing.

1. Only pick ones that you would like to list. If you are going to prospect expired listings this way, don’t just pull down every one that comes along. You are going to have to do some research and put in some effort so having a smaller, better curated list makes more sense. Look for the price range you are farming or would like to start farming. Pick neighborhoods that would help your business grow.

2. Once a month check through your expired listings list and see if they have listed with another agent yet. The ones who have, toss, the ones who haven’t and which are listings you would like to get, either popby with something fun or send them a note with a piece of material that will help them (maybe a CMA-like overview of their current neighborhood but decrypted for humans).

Don’t Leave Orphan Buyers Lying Around

This is pretty shocking, 25% of home sellers used the agent that they previously worked with to buy or sell a home but 65% said they would definitely use the same agent again. (report) That leaves a delta of 40% who say they would use the same agent but who ultimately don’t.

1. Set up a database of past buyers and start loving on them. Those past buyers are now potential sellers! Send them twice-yearly reports of what their home would be worth (you can rotate these reports so they don’t all have to be done the same month). If you haven’t done this before you can simply search your MLS number and start working from the oldest sales you have had back to the newest. Stop reading this and start today. Do one or two a day, sending a personal note until you have all of them in order. DO NOT apologize for not having contacted them sooner. No one is sitting around thinking about how often you have mailed them. They will just think it is nice now!

2. Have client appreciation days. There is nothing more important to humans than feeling appreciated and a thank you party once or twice a year is a great way to make them feel loved. Now, these do not have to be extravagant affairs, but could be a 4th of July picnic in your back yard or an open bar for drinks at your club.

Neighborhood Mailings

Deb Ward - Realtor BrandingMuch like “pick a niche”, you should pick a neighborhood and pound on it with mailings, open houses and even door knocking if you roll that way. There is a service from the post office called “Every door direct” which allows you send postcards, flyers, etc. to every mailbox or home on a mail carriers route.

1. Pick a neighborhood you love. There are many different ways to pick a farming area in real estate, but my absolute favorite is because you love it. If you are spending time growing a true farm, you better be sure that you are going to enjoy the locations and types of people who live there. For example, if you pick a high end waterfront community, you better enjoy talking about sailing and maybe even join the local marina.

2. Mail 3 times a year. Sending a neighborhood mailing out 3 times a year is affordable ($.17 piece mailing + print costs on a flyer is about $200)

3. Be distinctive. My friend. the Irish Realtor, Deb Ward, mails to fewer people but does so in a distinctive green envelope and prominent shamrocks.

Prospecting Likely Sellers

Home Sellers - 9 years in homeOkay, this is the big one to watch out for. Every MLS or Tax Records has the ability to do database searches that can find people who have lived in their homes for a given period of time. Common wisdom said that people would be staying in their homes for 7 years so you would be best to start prospecting them specifically in 6.5 years. But wait! Those numbers have changed over the years due to economic circumstances and the timelines for moving have stretched out!

Now you should be looking in 9 year range, meaning you should contact them when they have owned their homes for 8.5 years! According to the National Association for Realtors, statistics for sellers were that the typical home seller in 2013 was 53 years of age, had a median household income of $97,500, and lived in their home for 9 years. (source)

1. Prospect wisely. Say a subdivision has 150 homes and you want to farm it. You can send your 3X a year mailings out as normal, but there are homeowners in there that who are better prospects for hiring you as a sellers agent and you need to target them more aggressively. In the opposite months of when you are sending your mailings to everyone, you should be sending them something very specific, showing your knowledge of the area and your real estate expertise. This could be a guide to home selling, a CMA report for their subdivision or even a direct “Want me to come price your home for you” postcard.

2. Be consistent. With this gang the key is consistency and your efforts will pay off. If they have been in their homes for 8.5 years or more, the percentage that will be moving are much higher than the average homeowners so it is worth your time to be there for them right around the time they decide that they have to move!

How To Get More Listings

Well there you have it! Creative ways to get more listings that are hard work (I didn’t say creative ways to get more listings the easy way!) That said, all of these ideas involve getting systems in place and then just “working the system.” You won’t have to guess and grovel anymore about what to do, instead you will be able to pick and choose the listings that you want to take in the areas that are most friendly to you!

If you would like to learn more about how to work with Tara on your realtor marketing, check out our Realtor Marketing Strategy page!

Niche Marketing – Real Estate Farming

Niche Marketing - Real Estate FarmingHow to do real estate farming in a niche marketing way. Learn the internet marketing way to increase your farming leads and dominate your area.

In a previous post, Real Estate Marketing To A Farm Area, I talked about how to pick a real estate farm area, some marketing tips and what not to do. Today we are going to get more in depth and less “realtory” about it all focusing on the internet marketing aspect of real estate farming!

Too often we treat realtor marketing like it is in a class all to itself. That is just not true. Real estate marketing is just like every other marketing on the planet and is in some ways much easier than other types of marketing.

Local Marketing

Let’s start with what real estate farming is. It is picking a geographic location that you are going to market to. This includes an area like a city or town, a neighborhood or even a subdivision.

The smaller the area that you pick, the easier it is to dominate it in the search engines and the more “real” leads you will get. Think about it, someone who is searching for “Denver real estate” is casting a pretty wide net, someone looking for the “Cherry Creek real estate area” is getting more refined and if they are searching for a subdivision in that area they are probably pretty close to buying or selling sometime soon!

Picking A Real Estate Niche

Niche marketing in the internet world is about choosing a small-ish target and then focusing all of your energies on that target. One of mine is “realtor marketing” so I write posts like this that will rank well in the search engines AND be helpful to Realtors. That distinction is super important. If you are just picking a niche and then not producing great content that people doing those searches will want to actually consume, you are wasting their time.

So how should you pick your niche? There are a couple of ways that work well:

  1. Pick an area that you like. This one seems random but might be the most brilliant way. Niche marketing means that you will be spending a lot of time making videos, doing open houses and focusing on an area and if you LOVE being there it will feel like play instead of working.
  2. Pick a high turnover area. The highest turnover areas tend to be the ones that are in the median price ranges that are attractive to move up or first time buyers. Only you will know these “hot” areas where the homes sell often and you can generate a lot of sales and buyers.
  3. Pick a high cost area. Farming for luxury homes is a fun and profitable prospect. You don’t have to sell hundreds of these homes to make a high income and once you have dominated these kinds of keywords and social sites, you are in the drivers seat for generating high cost, high quality leads.
  4. Other. There are a million ways to choose your niche. You could pick working with only sellers in a geographic area, only first time homebuyers, just veterans, commercial or a million other criteria. Whatever you choose, you have to make sure you do enough local marketing to dominate that market.

Keyword Selection

In our post 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors, we break down the keywords that people use for searching real estate terms, but that is just half of the equation. The other half is knowing what the local terms are that people are using for searching.

For example, here in Denver a lot of the agents are using “Front Range” in their marketing which is a term that describes all of the cities along the Eastern side of the Rocky Mountains. It is a local term and seems like it would be great for covering a wide area. Unfortunately there are only 30 searches per month for “front range real estate” which is definitely not enough to target as a niche. “Denver Real Estate” has over 8,000 and “Cherry Creek Real Estate” has 320 (still not great but 10 times more than front range real estate!)

Dominating A Real Estate Keyword Or Ten

I am a firm believer in picking three keywords to target at the start. You should definitely have a big one would be a stretch to reach (like Denver Real Estate), then a couple like “Cherry Creek Realtors” or “Wash Park Homes For Sale”. But real estate is super cool in that you can target tens or even hundreds of keywords easily just by taking videos and pictures as you drive around on your listing appointments or buyer showings.

This video about “Stratford Lakes” Real Estate has had over 400 views. While it is a pretty basic attempt, it has resulted in closed buyer business and has established Tena as a keyword holder for that subdivision.

This video has given Deb a foothold in the St. Petersburg, FL area and has resulted in at least two closed deals that we know about.

As you can see, these are just 41 and 33 seconds each. I think anyone has to agree that taking 33 seconds to make something that could earn thousands of dollars of commissions is a high quality use of time!

Keyword Tracking

Once you pick a keyword or three, you will want to start tracking your rankings for that keyword and see how you are are fairing in the search engines. We recommend a couple of different ways to do this:

Google Webmaster Tools – This is a great way to find out what you already rank for and can target how to rank even better for key terms.

– A really neat site for seeing your current rankings for targeted keywords. They will send a daily email about how your keywords are ranking.

Social Media Marketing

So we have hit on keywords for your website (which you can use for your videos also). Now let’s take a quick peek at social media and the similar and different ways that you can target your keywords to maximize your efforts.

Google+ – Some of the results that appear in the “real” Google Search Engine come from posts on Google+. You can use your same keywords in those posts that you are using in your website.

Hashtags – Start checking out Google+, Twitter and Pinterest to see which keywords match your real estate marketing niche. To give you an idea, there is a #denver #realestate and #cherrycreek hashtag. Now, this will probably work less effectively for subdivisions but is still well worth figuring out. I love using hashtagify.me for finding new and relevant hashtags.

Top Realtors – If you would like a customized real estate farming strategy for your team to implement, give me a call today to find out more! 727-415-9165

We Wrote The Book On Marketing To A Farm!

Real Estate Marketing To A Farm EbookHow To Find, Grow & Reap The Benefits of a Geographic Farm…Find out tips and strategies to cultivate a successful real estate farm area. While researching for this title, we were surprised to discover how little real information there is out there about how to farm a neighborhood.

Included Topics:

  • What Is A Farm, Choosing a Farm & Farming For Sellers
  • Newsletters, Postcards, & Brochure Boxes
  • Website, Video, Email, & Social Media
  • Open Houses & Door Knocking
  • Creative Farming Ideas

Looking to take your real estate marketing to the next level? Start here

Realtor Marketing – AgentMatch, What It Means To Your Marketing

Realtor Marketing - Agent MatchThis is a post about “Who moved my cheese”, the fact that everything changes and that you CAN win at any game in which you know the rules!

So Realtor.com rolled out AgentMatch in two marketplaces, Las Vegas and Boulder which is just around the corner from me. Basically, it uses the sold data on properties to “match” your search to the “best” agents in the area.

Wanting to know more, I put out a call for a Realtor that would talk about this with me who actually worked in the Boulder market (many of the agents I hear yelling are not actually in a market that has this yet) to get his opinion. His name was Jason Sater, with Coldwell Banker and these are a few of the things that he said:

  • Agent match is in Beta right now and may not roll out to the whole country. In addition, agents could do the same function in Zillow (loading in their solds) for a while now so not sure why all the hub-bub.
  • Jason has seen a nice mix of teams and individual agents ranking in the searches he has done. It seems like the top agents are represented but also some of the other agents in the area.
  • It does seem like you could manipulate things like DOM just by deleting the listing, reposting and setting as sold more closely together.

What I find interesting is that Jason is not actually freaked out at all. He is pretty calm about the whole thing and is really just trying to get his arms around what it will actually mean for his business. Make sure you check out his Boulder real estate website!!!

This is what AgentMatch looks like…

Agent Match Boulder COI started with a search that seems to be in “North Boulder”. Now, as a consumer I did not know that it would be North Boulder and I am not sure I would have noticed. The portion contains some normal market statistics:

  • Number homes on market
  • Homes sold in the last six months
  • Average sold to list price
  • Average days on market

Marketing Tip #1

The first thing that jumps out at me if I was a listing agent in this market is that there is no absorption rate shown (maybe because it is a hard concept to explain to consumers). BUT absorption rate is a much more practical number than simply average days on market. So No. 1, when going on listing appointments I would ABSOLUTELY print this top part out and bring it with so I could talk intelligently about it. Panic-ing agents worry that they are not on the bottom showing up as “best”, I would worry about being the most knowable agent sitting at their kitchen table.

Next there is a dropdown and while it defaulted to Agents with recommendations, I could also choose:

  1. Agents with recommendations
  2. Homes for sale in this area
  3. Homes sold in this area
  4. Average days on market
  5. Average sold price to ask price

Marketing Tip #2

Real estate agent selling tips [Ebook]They just dropped a big hairy clue here. If you are a Realtor in this marketplace you need to get more recommendations…and not just ANY recommendations.

According to a great article by Inman, the recommendations have to be made on RealSatisfied.com which seems to have a relationship with Realtor.com (my words not theirs).

So following the bunny trail down, you probably need to find out more about RealSatisfied.com. It looks like they have a free plan that lets you get up to three recommendations. Now, that may or may not be enough to get you on the top 16 in your marketplace, but I have to think it is a good place to start. I would DEFINITELY set up an account and get my three favorite customers to give me referrals…I would go to their homes and beg if I had to.

So here comes the hard part. If you need more than 3, you have to pay $79 a year for unlimited. Sigh. I am so sick of people charging realtors for tools they have to have for their business…BUT if this rolls out in your marketplace, better to have it than not.

Looking at the numbers

When you are using data, it is easy to get confused (and manipulate it!) Because they are looking at recommendations here, we can extrapolate that R Tim Goodacre must have the most reviews in RealSatisified. OR it could be that ALL 16 have great reviews and they rotate the top agent. OR, OR, OR…what it does mean is that we need to take a closer look at all the data…

So now let’s see what each criteria results for the top 8 agents for each category:

Recomm Listings Solds DOM Sold/Ask
Goodacre Goodacre (6) Goodacre (4) Goodacre (32) Ratay (103%)
Hobson Bell (4) Hobson (4) Herz (36) Herz (101%)
Franco Franco (3) Franco (2) Westfall (37) Caulfield (100%)
Ratay Kidder (3) Ratay (2) Meko (40) Hinkleman (100%)
Huffman Hinkleman (3) Westfall (2) Hill (45) Soklin (100%)
Kidder Hillman (2) Meko (2) Hobson (49) Hobson (99%)
Hinkleman Meko (2) Caulfield (2) Soklin (49) Franco (99%)
Bell Hobson (2) Huffman (2) Franco (52) Westfall (99%)

Some observations:

  • If you look a this data, Mr. Goodacre seems to be a rock star in all areas except for list to sale price. The problem with data is that one bad sale price could skew the whole thing and he DID make the list at number 16 with 86% for four homes sold. I challenge any realtor to think that this is a “bad” number. It is a real number!!! But then again, is the public educated enough to know that this one statistic is not enough for them to choose or reject Mr. Goodacre.
  • The three top List to Sold gals sold 2, 2 and 1 property each in the last six months. That high list to sale price is nice, but are they carrying a high enough inventory to be a successful agent? Hard to tell by looking at the numbers.
  • I did another search that turned out to be in the “Central Boulder Market”…only Goodacre and Hillman came up on this one in 15th and 13th places respectively.
  • While I don’t think having listings outside of your farm or neighborhood area hurts, what HELPS is to be the neighborhood or geographic location expert. I would NOT split up marketing dollars for prospecting postcards over that line. I would make sure to know what the boundaries of the areas where and stay inside them for maximum effect.

So, should you be freaking out that your Realtor marketing is going be decimated by AgentMatch, um…no! But are there things that you could do even before it gets to you to improve your chances? Heck yes!!!

Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for Realtors

Real Estate Marketing | 100 Great SEO Keywords for RealtorsGreat keywords for Realtors include ones targeting buyers, sellers, FSBOs expireds and more! Here are my top real estate marketing search terms for my Realtor friends, broken down into categories.

If you think that there is something I am missing, please let me know in the comment section! Number amounts are the search volumes monthly

For Sellers

Most Realtors SAY they are prospecting for sellers but use all keywords that are for buyers. If you are a listing agent, please consider some of these for your website!

Realtors and real estate agents

  • realtors (9.1 million)
  • realtor (6.1 million)
  • real estate agents (1.8 million)
  • real estate agent (1.2 million)
  • top real estate agents (49.5 thousand)
  • top real estate agent (33.1 thousand)
  • best real estate agents (40.5 thousand)
  • best real estate agent (33.1 thousand)
  • best realtor (22.2 thousand)
  • find a realtor – how to find a realtor (15 thousand)
  • find real estate agents – how to find a real estate agent (8.1 thousand)
  • how to find a real estate broker (6.6 thousand)
  • finding a realtor (4.4 thousand)

Selling a home

  • selling a home (550 thousand)
  • sell your home – how to sell your home (74 thousand)
  • sell house fast (40.5 thousand)
  • sell home fast (33.1 thousand)
  • selling house fast (27.1 thousand)
  • ways to sell your house (14.4 thousand)
  • sell my home fast (9.9 thousand)
  • home selling tips (8.1 thousand)
  • marketing your home (6.6 thousand)
  • sell your home fast (6.6 thousand)
  • selling your home fast (4.4 thousand)
  • staging your home to sell (720)
  • cost of selling your home (480)
  • house selling tips (8.1 thousand)

Short Sales and Foreclosures

  • foreclosure (2.2 million)
  • foreclosures (1.8 million)
  • home foreclosures (450 thousand)
  • short selling (450 thousand)
  • short selling (450 thousand)
  • short sale process (22.2 thousand)
  • short sales process (18.1 thousand)
  • foreclosure or short sale (18.1 thousand)
  • short sale vs foreclosure (6.6 thousand)
  • short selling your home (1 thousand)
  • for sale by owner (1.22 million)
  • fsbo (135 thousand)
  • property for sale by owner (201 thousand)
  • properties for sale by owner (135 thousand)
  • sell your own home (9.9 thousand)
  • sell your own house (8.1 thousand)
  • selling your own home (6.6 thousand)
  • selling a home on your own (6.6 thousand)
  • for sale by owner listing (6.6 thousand)
  • for sale by owner listings (5.4 thousand)
  • listing property for sale by owner (1.6 thousand)
  • selling your house by owner (720)
  • selling your home without an agent (320)

Seller Tips

  • tips to sell your home (49 thousand)
  • short selling a home (27.1 thousand)
  • what is short selling a house (22.2 thousand)
  • tips for (on) selling your home (3.6 thousand)
  • tips to sell home (3.6 thousand)
  • tips to sell your home (1.9 thousand)

For Buyers

  • house for sale (on) (13.6 million)
  • buy home (1.2 million)
  • buying a home – home buying (823 thousand)
  • real estate listings (450 thousand)
  • real estate listing (135 thousand)
  • find real estate (110 thousand)
  • cheap houses for sale (74 thousand)
  • buy your home (40 thousand)
  • house 4 sale (33 thousand)
  • real estate agent listings (27 thousand)
  • big houses for sale (22 thousand)
  • find real estate for sale (9.9 thousand)

Condos, Townhomes and Villas

  • condos for sale (1.2 million)
  • condo for sale (1.2 million)
  • villas for sale (368 thousand)
  • villa for sale (301 thousand)
  • townhomes for sale (246 thousand)
  • townhouse for sale (201 thousand)
  • town homes for sale (165 thousand)
  • town houses for sale (135 thousand)


  • mls listings (550 thousand)
  • multiple listing service (60.5 thousand)
  • multiple listing services (49.5 thousand)
  • mls multiple listing service (49.5 thousand)
  • mls real estate listings (27.1 thousand)
  • real estate listing mls (14.8 thousand)

Buyer Tips

  • when to buy a home (1.2 million)
  • how to buy a home (1.2 million)
  • home buying tips (9.9 thousand)
  • tips for home buyers (3.6 thousand)

First Time Home Buyers

  • first time home buyer (301 thousand)
  • first time home buyers (301 thousand)
  • first time home buyer programs (49 thousand)
  • first time home buyers programs (40 thousand)
  • first home buyer tips (2.9 thousand)
  • first time home buyer tips (2.4 thousand)


  • foreclosure homes (550 thousand)
  • foreclosures for sale (135 thousand)
  • foreclosure listings (110 thousand)
  • foreclosure listing (90.5 thousand)
  • list of foreclosures (90.5 thousand)
  • list of foreclosures (74 thousand)
  • foreclosure homes for sale (74 thousand)

Misc Interesting Words

  • list of real estate agents (18.1 thousand)

Realtor Marketing – What Should Be On Your Real Estate Website

Realtor Marketing – What Should Be On Your Real Estate Website

Oh my friends doing Realtor Marketing…you are killing me! I have talked to literally hundreds of Realtors about their marketing and there are just some super-weird things that drive me nuts about you (the collective you, not you personally…:) The biggest thing to me is your internet presence and what should be on your real estate website!

Generally I try to tell you things that you should do in no particular order, but for this one, I am going to break it down from most important to least important…

5 Things You MUST Have On Your Real Estate Website

  1. Somewhere for them to sign up to your email list
  2. An intro video of you talking
  3. An about us page that talks about how you help them (NOT about how you are great at playing guitars or any you, you, you at all really)
  4. Customer testimonials (bonus points if they are video testimonials)
  5. Neighborhoods that you farm

But wait, where is the MLS search? Don’t I have to have an MLS search?

Yesterday I was talking with an agent and she was working on her site. She had spent a good deal of time and money to get it up and running and was considering whether to hire us (who do realtor marketing) or to hire a company that could integrate her database with her MLS search. In talking with her, I found out that she had between 50 and 75 searches a month on her MLS search. Sigh.

Having a back end system to track 50 searches a month will not add anything to her bottom line. And according to the latest numbers, Realtor.com gets 20 MILLION unique visitors a month, Zillow.com has had as high as 30 MILLION visitors a month, and Trulia.com gets about 22 million visitors a month. Homebuyers are NOT generally going onto Realtor websites to search for homes.

Another thing that chaps my hide is that most agents who are building big websites are listing agents (we all know that the money is with the listings). These agents say they want to get more listings but have a huge search box on their front page, prospecting for…wait for it…buyers! Ack.

So yes, I say that having an MLS search embedded on the home page of your website is a waste of time and money and is about number 25 on my top things a real estate website needs to have. Now that we have that out of the way, back to our regularly scheduled program…

What you SHOULD have on your real estate website >> Somewhere for them to sign up to your email list

This is the whole enchilada! Going to all the trouble to get someone to your website and then not having an amazing offer for them to sign up for is just silly. You should have a relocation guide, or a report like 5 Ways To Sell Your Home Fast, or (if you are prospecting for FBSOs) 7 Secrets FSBOs Don’t Know That Realtors Do!

Any of these amazing offers will compel someone to give you their email address and thus give you the chance to market to them forever. Want more about this? Check out post:

Realtor Marketing – Should You Use WiseAgent, Top Producer or InfusionSoft?

Next up – An intro video of you talking

Having an intro video is vital to getting another human to like you. Human beings are genetically predisposed to wanting that connection and you can accomplish that with a video of you talking. One of our clients HATES seeing herself on video, but got over it fast when she started getting commission checks! Check out the Irish Realtor and her amazing video intro

As you can tell, it is not perfect, she is squinty, BUT she is expressly telling people that they can call her! That is so impactful in this world on online-only communications!

An about us page that talks about how you help THEM

I follow an ad guy who talks about NOT we, we, weeing all over your site visitors. Back in the day, I went to a Hobbs Herder event and they were selling 10K packages to brand Realtors. You would tell them what you like and they would develop a whole marketing plan based on you and your interests. One guy liked playing the guitar and another liked his dog. Sigh.

How much time would you have to spend reading about how your accountant’s childhood or his love of fast cars and loose women? I jest, but think about it. When you are a hiring a professional to work for you, you want to know what they can do for you. Yes, you might like to know that they graduated from Harvard or that they have been in business for 20 years, but those are one liners to find out AFTER you have decided to work with them.

Your website should be all about THEM and how you can help them sell or buy a house. Why your processes and practices mean that they will have a smooth, stress free closing and that it will not consume their life.

Customer testimonials

The internet is full of liars and we know that anyone can write anything they want on the internet. That said, we still appreciate knowing what other people think and this is why testimonials are so powerful to marketing. Just knowing that someone else who worked with you and had a good experience is enough to tip the scales and get them to pick up the phone.

Now, let’s get back to the, anybody can write anything on the internet. What about if your testimonials were videos? Real people talking about how you helped them to get their dream house or sell their home fast and for top dollar. How you held their hand or were supremely professional. These types of testimonials are more powerful than anything you say, ever.

One of our clients uses his Zillow Testimonials on every page of his site. This third party endorsement helps this Tampa Bay Realtor show that working with his team is easy and productive.

Neighborhoods that you farm

Last but certainly not least is having specific pages about each area that you farm. Think about it, if someone is looking for Denver Real Estate, they are probably just at the early stages of their hunt. Drill down to a suburb like Westminster and they are getting warmer, BUT when they hit the subdivision level, they are ready to buy or sell.

These people are the cream of the crop and you should have a page just for them, with a video and possibly a number of pictures of that subdivision so they can feel like they landed in the right place.


I could go on all day about realtor marketing and what you should have on your real estate website. I KNOW, some of these things are so ingrained in the Realtor community that my ideas may seem shocking or even crazy, but just think about it before you slip back into, “but everybody does it that way”. If everybody is doing something, sometimes stepping out of the box helps you to reap great rewards!

Realtor Marketing – Should You Use WiseAgent, Top Producer or InfusionSoft?

Realtor Marketing – Should You Use WiseAgent, Top Producer or InfusionSoft?So today’s post is for my bestie, the fabulous Deb Ward (send her all your referrals for the Tampa Bay area because she lets me call her out to your benefit!)

So you are just getting into real estate or your are thinking about changing your real estate database over to something new. You have heard at conferences and from your broker that the best two on the market for realtors are WiseAgent and Top Producer so you figure they will be good enough. Sigh…

So what is so wrong with using a realtor database instead of a “real”, internet marketing database like InfusionSoft, iContact, Office Auto Pilot or any of the others out there on the market? Here is my take at 40,000 feet (read first and then watch the video)

1. Realtors have been told for eons that they need a realtor solution. They like marketing tools specifically made for realtors without looking around at their fellow realtors. These tools are made for the lowest common denominator, the agent who can barely work her cell phone and who is using the company website. Some of these dears are AMAZINGLY successful, but they are not exactly cutting edge on the technology front!

2. Having your listing process or closing tasks embedded in your real estate database might be a good idea, but most of the realtors I have talked to lately are using a third party closer or are using a system embedded in their broker site or MLS. The last thing you want is to have all your closing tasks in your marketing database (in my opinion). Your marketing database is bring in leads, lots of them, and then nurture them until they become real prospects.

3. Having a database that is a marketing database instead of a realtor database means that you will have actual tools for prospecting, building your website, collecting leads, sending autoresponders and generally doing real marketing instead of just tired old drip campaigns that annoy your prospects.

4. If you are primarily a listing agent, why the heck do you make the main focus of your website data capturing buyers likes and dislikes?

So finally to realtor marketing databases….

Deb is currently using WiseAgent and there are some good things in there for realtors…but darn it, I don’t care about realtor stuff, because she is my friend, I care about her getting more real leads, having more closings and making more money. That’s it. I don’t sugar coat it with her and so I am going to give you the real deal info too!

You need to start internet marketing right now! You need to have programs and campaigns specifically designed to prospect for people that you want to work with. If you are working with buyers, you need to make sure that you marketing is geared to fulfilling their needs, sellers need something different and you want to make sure to satisfy that too!

Some examples for buyers include… free relocation guides for buyers, a native’s tour of your town, top restaurants in the area, subdivision info, etc.

Some examples for sellers include… tips for home staging, honest talk about pricing, a checklist of what to get fixed BEFORE you list your house, etc. (ohohoh thought of another one! how to list your house so that you get cash offers instead of having to deal with Jumbo loans)

Do you see a theme here? If EVERY OTHER REAL ESTATE WEBSITE in the world has listings or heaven forbid an offer for a free CMA and you have real information that would actually help them, who do you think is going to get that phone call to come list me….:)

So what are we going to start with? A FSBO email marketing autoresponder. The FSBO signs up to get tips and tricks on how to be a better seller and Deb gets the chance to start a relationship with them without having to lift a finger!!! (find out how to do a campaign like this yourself at Tools for Realtors – there is an opt in form on the right)

So what are the steps?

1. Make a series of videos (as you can see in the free course, we didn’t go high tech here…just good solid info from Deb!)
2. Set up a web form to capture data (in the video below) and then
3. set up the email followups

That is it! I KNOW the first time you see this it seems like it is SO many steps but never fear, the first time you do anything it is hard, after that you do a system and then just start banging them out.

this is recorded in real time….:)

So, to wrap up. Your website should be made to do just one thing, capture leads from people who want to work with YOU (not just buy houses). You need a database that has internet marketing capabilities (I recommend InfusionSoft because of the ease of use and that handy dandy campaign builder), then you need to do some follow up emails, ensuring you stay top of mind when they are looking for a real estate agent to hire!

(that IS an affiliate link for InfusionSoft! I SO love them…:)

Resources from this post!

How To Set Up A FSBO Email Campaign – Tools For Realtors
Come To Clearwater – Clearwater and St. Pete Real Estate
Raj Qsar – Orange County Real Estate
Smart Passive Income Blog
Perry Marshall Adwords
Chris Brogan
InfusionSoft Database for Realtor Marketing


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Realtor Marketing | Real Estate Email Newsletters

Realtor marketing is a funny thing, especially real estate email newsletters. I get hundreds of email newsletters from agents every year and most of them are WAY off the mark as far as good marketing practices and just plain old sales techniques.

Realtor Marketing - Real Estate Email NewslettersToday we are going to tear up Danielle Sharp’s email newsletter! She is a fabulous Cape Coral Short Sale Realtor, but not such a great email marketer (AND she has a thick skin so her feelings will not get hurt!)

Basically Danielle is doing everything wrong from her subject line, to content to delivery method and we are going to go over all that and make sure you know WHY they are all wrong and WHAT to do to make them better!

Real Estate Email Newsletter Subject Lines

As you can see from the picture, the subject line of the email was “newsletter”. Now that is factually correct, but doesn’t really give me a reason to open it other than that I like Danielle and am on her list. I have seen other subject lines such as “Monthly News From The Irish Realtor” or “Jason Lee’s Financial Newsletter”. Each month (or week) the same email subject line. Yawn.

What happens when you send the same email month after month, your readers get fatigue and stop being excited to read what you wrote. So what are some good email subject lines?

  • Check out these “SPOOKTACULAR” properties – Lori Crawford, Trinity Realtor, has a sense of humor and sends out the best real estate newsletter email subject lines. She reports that people email her back with funny comments and she has even had showings because people looked at her listings, imagine that!
  • Pinellas Home Prices Take A Nosedive, What is the market coming to? – we are going to talk later about market statistics BUT if you lived in that county, town or subdivision, wouldn’t you be interested in knowing what that is all about? You could add a “call me for a free CMA” to get even more out of the news!
  • Want to know how many homes sold in Denver last month?
  • 3 Things You MUST Do Before Putting Your Home On The Market
  • Top 5 Things That Most Buyers Miss In A Home Inspection

You get the drift. All of these headlines are a REASON for me to want to open the real estate email newsletter BEYOND the fact that I like the agent. Using these kinds of teasers will increase your open rates and make doing that newsletter less boring because you know that people will be reading.

Real Estate Email Newsletter Mailing Companies

Real estate agent selling tips [Ebook]Most Realtors want to use what is easy to send their newsletters, whether it is effective or not. Database companies like Top Producer, Wise Agent and MyRedTools are not set up to be email newsletter distributors. Their skills lie in being REALLY good contact databases. If you are going to take the time to write a great email newsletter I STRONGLY recommend that you pick a true email company like Mail Chimp to do your mailing.

Their ONLY job is to send email newsletters and they are very good at it. They make sure that they stay off of blacklists and that your messages will get delivered. Now, it does mean another $20-ish going out a month BUT that is just a cost of doing business. Trying to jury-rig something that is good enough is a waste of time and energy if the emails never get delivered.

Additionally, they send out HTML emails (the pretty ones that open up right in your email client). Danielle resorted to sending a PDF of her newsletter. Now I don’t know about you but I have heard HUNDREDS of times not to open up attachments, so she might lose some people there. I also am super busy and tend to just glance at a message to see if it would be something I would want to read, she would lose those people also as they probably don’t have to time to download and open a PDF (if there is anyone reading this who is NOT super busy I have some work that I would like to offload on you!).

Real Estate Email Newsletter Content

This is a HUGE bone of contention for me! Realtors LOVE to send out recipes, health tips and other such fluff in their email newsletters and I contend that they should stick to real estate and home related topics because they are not chefs or Martha Stewart. Danielle said that she was still going to have a section for fun stuff she found that was not real estate related – can’t win them all!

So what should you talk about in your newsletters?

  • Market statistics – EVERY MLS on the planet publishes last months market statistics. How many homes sold, how many condos, what the median price was, etc. Make a nice format for these types of things and then send them monthly with a little overview from you about what they all mean. You can talk about seasonality to sales, absorption rate, all the things that you know and never let the world hear!
  • FAQs – Your email sent mail folder is FULL of questions that you have answered for prospective sellers and buyers. Include the question and answer to one of these a month.
  • Featured Clients – People love to read about other people! Write a case study about that first time homebuyer you just closed or the short sale couple you helped. This is called social proof and makes people want to work with YOU rather than all the other agents who send newsletters.
  • Articles about the national real estate market
  • Articles about the mortgage market - you can even get your mortgage guy or gal to help with some of the content!
  • Home Inspection Tips
  • Staging Tips

There are literally HUNDREDS of things that you can mail out. Oh, oh, oh, if you have a blog, why not post a blurb about recent posts with a link to the article. Drive to web baby! AND if you have Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, links to those go in the template of the email also.

There you have it, my rant about real estate email newsletters! If you have any good suggestions, let me know, if this sounds like too much work and want us to do it for you, check out our Realtor Marketing Services page!

Disclaimer – there IS an affiliate link to constant contact and a couple of gratuitous links to realtors I think are doing a good job!

Real Estate Marketing To A Farm Area

Real Estate Marketing To A Farm - Realtor MarketingReal estate marketing to a farm area means that you are picking out a geographic location such as a subdivision or a small town and focusing on making a name for yourself in that area, becoming the defacto Realtor of choice.

I would like to say from the start that I am PRO farming as a part of your real estate marketing efforts! Having a farm is a way to lay claim to an area which you become EXTREMELY familiar with and which becomes easier to service because of economies of scale!

How To Pick A Farm Area

This is a tricky one! If there is a super high end subdivision in your area, it would seem like that would be a farm area of choice for the aggressive Realtor. Couple of things to consider there though:

  1. How many homes sell per year in that farm area
  2. Can you afford the higher costs you will incur to sell million or multi-million dollar properties?

My trick was always to pick a subdivision with a high turnover rate that was in the high first time homebuyer or low move-up buyer price range. Targeting this price point will assure that you will have a ready, willing and able pool of buyers to purchase all those listings you get!

Economies of Scale With A Farm

I briefly touched on this, BUT there are HUGE economies of scale when you have a farm area. Here are a few that come to mind:

  • You can service all your brochure boxes at once (yes in a farm you want to have a brochure box so that all those lovely neighbors can see your name in print!)
  • You can organize neighborhood open houses with your own listings
  • You can stop by and see sellers with one drive
  • When advertising, they will all be able to go into the same types of publications
  • You can cross sell your other listings when getting buyer calls
  • If you pay to have flyers distributed, you are only looking at one route
  • You can develop email and mailing lists to that one area and save the cost of purchasing them
  • You will know all the problems and benefits of the community (for example, one area that I worked had dysfunctional gas tanks in the ground that HAD to be removed prior to the sale. It was MUCH cheaper and less stressful to tell the sellers that BEFORE we listed the house rather than when under contract!)

Effective Real Estate Marketing To A Farm

There are many things that you can do when marketing to your farm, some more effective than others either monetarily or time-wise. I am sure to catch flack for where I put some of these but here are my suggestions!

  • Sending just listed or just solds – NOT just for your farm area but include your farm in EVERY mailing you send. This will let them know that you are an active agent!
  • Neighborhood Newsletter – it is VERY easy to get the mailing lists for homeowners. Some MLSs provide tax records or if not you can buy them from a list broker. Remember that you want to get the OWNERS for listings and the RENTERS for buyers!
  • Brochure Box Flyers – I HATED brochure boxes, they were always empty and the most likely to trip me up, BUT they are great for branding yourself with neighbors! Make sure to list all your other homes for sale in your farm on the back so that you can cross-promote them all.
  • Open Houses – Make sure to do LOTS of open houses in your farm area. This is a way to meet the neighbors and to get their contact information. Tell them that you have a great email neighborhood newsletter and get their email address! Once you have a bunch of emails you can send your hard copy newsletter quarterly and the email newsletter on the off months.
  • Farm Signs – If you Realtor Association allows it, brand yourself as the neighborhood expert with sign riders or custom signs right for that area. You can call yourself the neighborhood expert BEFORE you are, there are no “expert” police!
  • Special Features – Let your farm know that you are willing to let them know BEFORE homes in the area go on the market. They might not buy but they will appreciate knowing what is going on (neighbors ARE nosy!)
  • Neighborhood Videos – Get a flip camera and drive around your neighborhood, recording interesting details. These videos can be posted on youtube.com, Twitter, Facebook and your blog.

Time Wasting, Soul Sucking Real Estate Marketing To A Farm

  • Setting up a community page on the Facebook – This is one I hear A LOT! The thinking is that you are going set up a community page and then the people who live there will flock to it and you will be able to market to them. First, once you get them to join your page, you cannot get their emails out of Facebook to add them to your “real” mailing list. Second, you have to know them BEFORE you can invite them to your page so why not make them a “friend” on Facebook and get them to “like” you regular business page. This sounds like A LOT of work for very little reward!
  • Sending Calendars, Magnets and Stickers – Ask any big-dog listing agent how many listing agreements they have signed with other agents calendar magnets hanging on the fridgie right behind them! They will tell you a lot! I firmly believe that Realtors should send real estate marketing pieces like market statistics and neighborhood news, NOT calendars, recipes or stickers.
  • Setting Up Neighborhood Yard Sales – ALL my KW friends like this idea! Hold a neighborhood yard sale for the homeowners and they will list their house with you…sigh…not sure I get the connection! The time taken organizing that sale could be used to door knock, do open houses, lick and stick postcards, any number of things. For heavens sake, you are a Realtor NOT an event planner!

Okay, let me have it! If you are a Realtor with real estate marketing ideas that I missed, please let me know! If you pet real estate marketing project got shot down and you have had great success using it recently, post a comment and let me know!


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Included Topics:

  • What Is A Farm, Choosing a Farm & Farming For Sellers
  • Newsletters, Postcards, & Brochure Boxes
  • Website, Video, Email, & Social Media
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  • Creative Farming Ideas

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Realtor Marketing – Realtor Newsletter Ideas

Realtor Marketing - Real Estate Newsletter Ideas

Because I help so many Realtors with their marketing efforts, I KNOW that generating a monthly newsletter can seem like an overwhelming task. Here are my best Realtor Newsletter Ideas, in no particular order.

Realtor Newsletter Ideas

Your Real Estate Newsletter should be a tool to talk with current, past and potential real estate clients. It is actually amazing that we can send an email or two a month and let everyone know we care and are thinking about them or to mail a newsletter into an entire neighborhood and in one fell swoop let everyone know you are a neighborhood expert.

Your Realtor Newsletter should contain:

  • Market statistics – If you are doing a market area it is fine to use MLS wide statistics. If you are farming a neighborhood, it would be best to chunk it down to just that area. You should also be sure to explain confusing terms like “absorption rate” in easy to understand english. A 10% absorption rate means that only 1 out of 10 homes are selling each month.
  • Listings – You should have listing ads in your newsletter. These should be listings be similar in price to the area you are mailing to OR a good move up price OR show that you are a luxury lister. If you do not have your own types of these listings, ask someone in your office if you can “borrow” theirs. Few listings agents will say that you cannot help to market one of their properties.
  • An informative article – This is a big one in addition to statistics for making your readers feel they got a value for their time. It can be about current local market trends, national real estate news, home related items like preparing for winter, what hurricane season means to your insurance needs or even house care tips.
  • A picture of the agent – This is one place that you can have something like a “Lori’s Corner” and get your face out there.
  • An article or ads from an outside vendor – Per RESPA you cannot charge for space in your newsletter BUT you can get compensated for the exact amount of space they use on a print document. So you could feature a mortgage lender on one panel of a three panel piece and charge him one-sixth of the total cost of the mailing. Make sure you take into account all the costs of the newsletter including labor time to put it together, time to copy and prepare it, copier costs, postage, cost of the list if you have to buy it, etc. To make it even more on the up and up, I had him make the check out to USPS to purchase postage, rather than having it made out to me. Covered us both business wise!

A database of clients is an invaluable tool for printing labels or sending emails. If you are using Top Producer or Wise Agent then you have the ability to generate lists of physical or email addresses. Not only did I email my newsletter to my database, at least 4 times a year I would mail them a hard copy version. Over 5 years after leaving the business, I would bet that some of them are still floating around in desk drawers!

Realtor Marketing Most Real Estate Websites Let Realtors Down

Is your website submarining your realtor marketing efforts? Most realtors I know do not cruise the internet marketing sites and forums like I do so they are not aware of some the top things that effect their page rank or how high they are listed on google. Having worked with LOTS of Realtors with different brokers over the years, I can tell you FOR SURE that if you are using a website provided to you by Keller Williams, C21, Coldwell Banker or any of the other big guys you probably do not rank well for local search terms.

Different Realtor MarketingDo you know why? It is because google hates duplicate content! I wrote a post earlier in the week about Duplicate Content for Small Business Owners and MLMs but I didn’t want my Realtor buddies to think this was not about them also!

When we think of Google’s goals for their search results, this makes total sense. If you did a search for “real estate” and google returned 1,000 or 10,000 of exact same site with just a different realtor’s name on them, you would stop using google. This means that google is looking for new and exciting content that they can serve up to their searchers and that your cookie-cutter site will never be found!

At least those sites where free….sigh. My pal Deb Ward (Dunedin Realtor) has a fond wish that eventually she will have enough disposable income to afford a Number One Agent or other duplicate content website for her realtor marketing master plan. That is crazy in today’s day and age. Spend that money on a blog which you can optimize and then buy tons of content to plop into that site to help you rank higher in the search engines! I know I am fighting a losing battle when my best buddy still wants to throw me over for smoke and mirrors but I will just keep trying..:)

We have made a couple of really neat Realtor websites lately from sea to shining sea – Kathy Moore of Franklin Tennessee Real Estate News and Cecil and Charlotte Volsch of Homes For Sale Victorville California both launched recently with great content, keywords and IDX functionality!

If you DO have a duplicate content site from your broker, change it today as much as possible to help you rank better with the google. If you do have a little bit of money to spend on a website blog, give us a jingle today and we will see if we can build a site in your sales area or farm (we don’t make competing sites in the same area…:)

Internet Marketing – Making the most of your marketing efforts

internet marketing successWhen you start internet marketing, or real life marketing for that matter, you are all fired up. You are going to tweet, and facebook and get a blog and free websites and and and…. Then one of two things happens A) nothing works because you did one thing on each of those mediums or 2) you get lots of business so you stop doing what worked!

The other thing I hear is that small business owners, entrepreneurs and realtors don’t have the time to do this kind of marketing. They are too busy running their businesses to do lead generating to get more sales. Sigh. Their ONLY business is getting more customers and prospects! If they have no customers they have no business! So what is a smart marketer to do?

First – Determine what you like to do!

If you like to sit in front of the computer, make sure you are spending your time wisely…

  • Watch TV and follow more people on twitter
  • Take the time to write thoughtful blog posts instead of watching HGTV or Spike
  • Set up multiple twitter accounts in the niches you would like to target
  • Set up multiple blogs in the niches you would like to target
  • Answer your emails
  • Stop removing yourself from lists
  • Set up google alerts to get the latest information and inspiration on what to talk about
  • Get a database like aweber or constant contact and learn how to set it up

If you hate sitting in front of the computer, take 15 minutes a day and do these things

  • Answer your emails from the night before (if it will take more than 1 minute to answer them then put them on your list of things to do and move on)
  • Follow 50 people on twitter using twellow.com
  • Go into Facebook and accept your friend requests then post your status and “talk” to a couple of people on your live feed
  • Add a link from google alerts about something interesting to your fan page

(membership site gang – watch out for a really neat video later this week that shows how to pick your best marketing opps!!!)

Second – Stop Whining

This one is going to be a little bit mean so if you are having a bad day skip it…:) I do SO many things on the internet. I do everything I have suggested and more. I have client work to do, I have articles and blog posts to write, for goodness sake I have over 20 blogs, 5 twitter accounts, 4 Facebook pages, the list goes on and on. Sometimes I get overwhelmed and think that there is too much to do – then I look at the time I am actually spending working. I mean nose down, no phone, no emails, no nothing, just work. It is about 8 hours a day.

Can you say that you are actually working 10, 12, 14 hours a day. Really? When you are honest with yourself, couldn’t you carve out an extra hour (or even 15 minutes) a day to schedule dedicated time to growing your business?

Third – Get help!

Okay, back to being nice..:) When I say help I mean whatever help YOU need. I don’t need much help with setting things up because I am good at it. I have been doing it A LONG time and some things that may seem overwhelming to you are not hard for me. That having been said, balancing my checkbook is too much for me. All those numbers, ick. So – here are some ways you can get help!

  • Hire an assistant (virtual or real) to do some stuff for you. An assistant is only as good as what you need though. I need someone who can make sure I am doing my client work in a timely manner, enter all the people I meet in my database and add people to my membership site. I cannot expect an assistant to fix my blogs when they break (I hire a programmer for that), I cannot expect my assistant to be an accounting wiz (I hire my CPA and bookkeeper for that). DO NOT give your assistant more than they can do technically and DO NOT try to farm out your internet empire to them. If you do not know what to do hire a marketing person to SET UP the systems for your assistant to manage.
  • Learn to use tools – All those twitter accounts I have, most of them update themselves automatically when I post on any of my blogs via twitterfeed.com. Updating all those Facebook pages is super easy with hootsuite.com. I use writers to help with the heavy lifting of content for my niche blogs. I use my database to talk with people all at once. I automatically follow people using socialoomph.com. All these things make it easy to manage multiple accounts BUT I had to set them up first. Get your online empire built the right way and managing it is easy for you or your assistant!
  • Schedule time – Do you see a theme here? If you do not put time in your calendar to do these tasks you will never get them done. Take the first 15 minutes or hour of your day, shut off your phone and do your online marketing (or if you are having an assistant doing it, stop bothering them with “real work” while they are doing it..:)

Anyways – if you are down here, you are probably interested in REALLY starting to do some internet marketing. Congratulations! Your business will thank you and your bottom line will thank you.

Realtor Marketing – Direct Mail Postcards

Realtor Direct Mail Postcards
Realtor Direct Mail Postcards

The BEST marketing money I ever spent when I was an active Realtor was on direct mail postcards! I sent them out to my farm, to past clients and to prospects. To this day, two years later, I still get people who mention that they are sorry that I am not still sending them as it helped them keep up with the real estate market in the area that I farmed!

So why should YOU mail out realtor postcards? Here are my top five reasons!

  • They hang around A LONG time – people will keep them on their desk, bulletin board or refrigerator for longer than you ever though possible!
  • It reminds people that you are still in business – I know, you are a professional and should not have to say so BUT with the market the way that it is you never can be too sure.
  • You can market your listings – I know this one is not popular but it is true! Part of the reason you are paid commissions is that you market a property. I always made sure to put my client on the mailing list and boy did it make an impact that I was doing my job when they got it in the mail.
  • They help grow your farm – When you do consistent mailings into an area you become the defacto neighborhood expert even if you have never had a buyer or listing there!
  • Lastly, the cost has come WAY down from when I was doing it!!! – The price per piece, including addressing, First Class Postage, and Delivery is now $.40 per piece. Dang.


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That last one is a life saver!!! The one thing that I did not like about doing real estate postcards was the cost! First I had to order the printing, then I had to have a bulk mail stamp to save on postage, then lick and stick the stamps and finally schlep on down to the post office and make sure I had my postcards sorted the right way. Wow am I having a bad flashback!

The cool thing now is that you can order one or a thousand with no change in price – the weensy ones are forty cents no matter the quantity you order when you use www.BrokersHelper.com (KW Agents make sure you use My Red Tools for a little discount).

So as you are planning your marketing for the upcoming year, make sure that you consider adding direct mail postcards to the mix. Here are some of the top ones that I sent out with great results!

  • Expireds
  • Just Listeds
  • Just Solds
  • Neighborhood Info
  • Spring Ahead/Fall Back
  • Happy Thanksgiving
  • Funny Realtor Postcards (if you are not the queen of corn like I am don’t do these)
  • Future sellers drips
  • Farms
  • Under contract in X days

Ones I didn’t send

  • Recipes – I am a realtor not a cook!

Hope those help with your realtor direct mail marketing ideas – please feel free to comment if you notice one I may have forgotten!!!

Eyejot – a free email marketing tool!

There are SO many free tools on the internet to get your marketing message out – Eyejot is a winner! One of my absolute favorite marketers – Brian P. Forrester of Mortgage Communication Spot sends out an eyejot most Mondays to tell his sphere important information about the mortgage industry. It takes him less than a minute to record and he reaches many realtors and home buyers with his message!


If you want to get great updates from Brian, email him to get on his eyejot list…:)

How To Leverage Google – Do More of What Is Working!

So I was looking at my Google Analytics the other day and noticed that I was getting more organic click-throughs from the search term “Realtor Email Newsletters” – YAY! While I work with all kinds of businesses, we have a product called Thrive that focuses on marketing for Real Estate Agents, Mortgage People and Title Companies. 

I have been trying to make it REALLY clear that this is not a real estate blog and that MOST of my clients are small business owners NOT realtors BUT that was just too big an opportunity not to tell you about!!!

So what will I do to leverage this great search term?

  • Wrote this post with a link to Google to tell them I love them!
  • Wrote a post over at Active Rain (a blog for realtors and real estate) that links to my product 
  • Will post this blog post on my Facebook page to add to the effect
  • I will make pages on sites like Squidoo and Wetpaint that capitalize on the search term

Another great problem I heard about this week comes from Julia Fishel, a fantastic Palm Harbor Realtor. She emailed me to ask what she could do about the fact that she wrote a great blog post that ranked high for Palm Harbor Realtors on Active Rain that was showing up high on Yahoo but that did not “hook” to her real blog. Here are some things she can do!

  • Put a cool banner at the bottom that drives people from the high-ranking post to her blog where she can collect data like email addresses
  • Make sure she uses that term in some of her post titles and other online info – I am huge fan of the path of least resistance. While it is admirable to try and rank highly for ALL the search terms you could, I tend to figure out what works naturally and then reverse engineer my stuff to capialize on it!

So there you go – Do you know how people are finding you on goole or yahoo? Make sure that you have google analytics loaded on your site so you can see all the incoming search terms people are using to find you!