Real estate marketing is full of “could dos” and “should dos”. In fact there are a BUNCH of different things that you could do, but which will work best for your business (or market)? We work with LOTS of agents and have a good idea of what will work for different situations. With that in mind, here are our top seven real estate marketing ideas (in no particular order). We are not going to include the lame-o Facebook propaganda that you hear from every other marketing “expert”
1. Figure Out Your Local SEO
It is not that hard to come up with the keywords that people are searching for to find listing agents. In fact I have a huge list of realtor keywords that you can start to use to find out what words you might want to rank for. Then head over to Google and see what the competition looks like.
For example, here is a search for my local area using those words…
I used the quotation marks in the search so that I can see how many sites have that exact phrase in it. So 23,700 competing sites. Not too terrible, but might be a little hard to rank for right out of the gate.
Top Denver Realtors
So now we see that ranking well for top denver realtors will be MUCH easier than ranking for just denver realtors.
But What About Search Volume?
I get all kinds of Realtors contacting me who have no SEO presence at all and they are worried that the keywords they are targeting just don’t have enough searches to warrant targeting.
If you are advanced, then do worry about that now, if you are just getting started you need to suck it up and know that you are not going to rank for the top keywords right out of the gate. You need to get a little humble and start with smaller words and build up your site as you go.
Finding Buyers Agents
Curious about the words that they use to find buyers agents? That is simple! Homes for sale… buyers buy houses!
2. Open Houses
Don’t tell me, open houses don’t work in your area, or at least that it the common wisdom. I have talked to agents all over the country who are raking it in because the other agents in their areas think this is true.
Having a great (and consistent) open house plan is one way to effectively market for sellers.
Think about it, if you never get a buyer through the door but you do market to the neighbors all around every open house, you will get listings!
And if you are a buyer’s agent without buyers in the car or at a closing that day, I would be sitting all day at vacant houses, working my computer and ready to meet my next client!
Related post: 5 Open House Myths Busted
3. Picking A Farm Area
There is a thing in marketing called economies of scale. That means that the more that you work on one thin slice of a market, the less cost there is.
When you can buy postcards and business cards saying that you are a “Stratford Lakes Specialist”, you can save yourself repeated design costs and even buy in bulk.
Additionally, the more times you market to one area, the greater likelihood that people will start to recognize you. The old saying that people have to see your marketing 8 times to notice it is even more so today. As consumers we now see thousands of ads a day and cutting through the clutter is more important than ever!
Related post: Marketing To A Real Estate Farm
4. Growing Relationships With Other Realtors
One of the most important things you can do as a listing agent is to have great relationships with the buyers agents in your area. These are the people who are most likely to bring a buyer for your listings and being known as someone who works with other agents is a great reputation to have.
Some things that you can do to increase your profile with other Realtors are:
- Have brokers opens and feed the buyers agents
- Schedule and organize progressive brokers opens to make friends with the other listing agents
- Build a database of Realtor emails you know (have a signin sheet at your brokers opens)
- Attend pitch sessions with other Realtors
- Attend trainings at the board or other local training to meet agents outside of your company
Sometimes it can feel like you are helping the “enemy” but in actuality the health of the entire real estate market depends on everyone working and playing well together.
5. Sending Postcards and Having A Hard Copy Newsletter
I KNOW, mail is dead, or at least that is what the online marketing companies would have you believe! I find that hard copy mail (like a postcard or printed newsletters) is often-times the easiest way to reach potential sellers.
Most MLSs, Tax Records or Title Companies can pull a search that will let you target home owners who have lived in their homes more than 6 years. Even this basic a search will allow you to start a farm area that you can mail to monthly (for active sales neighborhoods) or quarterly (for less active neighborhoods).
Postcards are AWESOME because they are cheap to order from a company like Vistaprint and they cost less than a letter to mail. Here are some great examples of The Top 50 Best Kinds Of Realtor Postcards you could send!
Hard Copy Newsletter
I have a gal who has faithfully sent out a hard copy newsletter to her farm 2-3 times a year for over 5 years and she gets a listing every time! I know that it is easier to email a message or pdf, but there is just something impactful about getting a letter in the mail.
Some things that you could send in your hard copy newsletter:
- Neighborhood sales stats
- Currently listed properties
- Local events
- Real estate news
- Home remodeling tips
You notice I did not say to send recipes, you are a Realtor not a chef!
6. Learning How To Use Databases
Two seconds ago I said you should check out the people in your farm areas who have owned their homes for more than 6 years, but you can do so much more than that if you are good at searching databases!
In most places the property tax records will give you the most information about homeowners that you can use to laser target your direct mail, door knocking or any other “real life” prospecting that you are doing.
Some things you could focus on:
- Length of home ownership – You want from about 6 years to 15 years, much over that and you could be looking at estate sales instead of traditional equity sales.
- Number of mortgages – I would avoid people who have taken a second mortgage out. Many times these are the ones that would like to move and who will chew up your time because they “have to get” a certain amount in order to be able to sell.
- Desirable locations – When I was a Realtor in Florida we wanted the waterfront (not waterview) properties. You could search for upgrades like boat docks, seawalls, etc. Here in Colorado having a property on an open space is a big deal and you might be able sort those out using the tax records.
Big tip – it is tempting to pull down the tax records into your database and use them there BUT then they are out of date the next day. Simply set up and save a search that you can pull any time you want to print labels.
One thing that I think Realtors are missing out on is the exodus of people leaving “real” 9-to-5 jobs where they schlep to work for home offices. Even people who have jobs with actual companies often work remotely from home.
You can check business databases to see who has registered a new company and shoot them a postcard congratulating them and asking if they need a bigger house with a home office.
If you don’t mind working with super stressed out people, you can often find legal records of deaths or divorce. Each of these types of home sellers come with anxiety, but if you like helping people, these might be great target niches to work!
7. Work With Vendors
Last but not least by any stretch is working with vendors. These are people who can be on your “Power Team” for finding new listings or buyers. For example, a house painter may know before anyone else that a seller is getting his home spruced up to sell. A mortgage lady may have Realtors she already recommends but it never hurts to ask and a relationship can grow if you offer to do some co-branded pieces with them
Some vendors are a little clueless, offering you finders fees or other things that will hurt you RESPA wise, but overall they are great people who are just trying to grow their businesses the same way you are trying to grow yours!
Make sure you are targeting vendors who match your business, for example home stagers if you are a listing agent or credit repair people if you are a buyers agent.
Real Estate Marketing Ideas Wrapup
Well there you have it… 7 Real Estate Marketing todos that you can jump right on today! Don’t try to do every one, but if you become good at one or a couple of them, you will be well on your way to growing a thriving real estate business!