While quality and customer value are two crucial ingredients in any effective marketing strategy, finding ways to catch people’s attention and gain their trust are among the cornerstones of building a customer base. When you stop and consider the number of purchasing choices people have on the Internet and the local marketplace, it doesn’t make sense to launch your own business unless you’re committed to offering more customer advantages and value than the competition.
Even though marketing strategies can vary from one business to another, a few principles usually remain constant:
- People are inundated with marketing messages, sales pitches, business proposals, and special offers throughout the day. While there are more opportunities than ever to get your message in front of targeted prospects, it can be especially challenging to get them to pay attention, melt away their sales resistance, and get them to take you seriously.
- Successful sales and marketing strategy is inextricably bound to principles of human psychology. Perhaps the foundation of successful sales and marketing is a concept that has been articulated by business thought leaders like Dale Carnegie: All things being equal, people tend to do business with people they know, like, and trust. When you think about it, that’s a pretty obvious marketing idea that b infused into every small business marketing plan and customer acquisition strategy. In many cases, sales and marketing would be immensely easier and more productive if business owners, sales staff, and account executives focused on relationship marketing rather than just pursuing a “one size fits all” marketing strategy.
- There’s good news and bad news about sales resistance. The bad news is that it can be one of the primary underlying causes of business failure, unrealized financial goals, and sales career burnout. The good news is that the causes of sales resistance can be analyzed, addressed, and — in many cases — eliminated. One of the most effective ways to overcome sales objections is to prevent them in the first place. In other words: Prioritizing value, quality, and service is crucial to to any successful marketing strategy, but potential customers can easily be lost when sales objections are not brought to the surface and adequately addressed.
- Customer relationship marketing can be based on a variety of complementary strategies including providing prospects with useful information, helpful advice, and value-added service. Staying in touch with prospects and clients can be an important way to create and maintain “top of mind awareness“, establish name recognition, and lay the groundwork for building trust and credibility. There are a variety of strategies for staying in touch with customers without being intrusive, including opt-in email newsletters, direct mail marketing (including marketing letters, promotional postcards, and coupon distribution), and even sending the occasional hand-written note.
When you make the extra effort to provide value, clearly communicate benefits, and make people feel special, your sales and marketing efforts should be more productive, profitable, and satisfying.
Developing a real estate marketing program that’s suited to your personality, strengths, marketing budget, and your local market can seem like a daunting task. With the growth of the Internet, social media, and technology in general, deciding what to focus on may sometimes seem a bit overwhelming.
Focusing on a few strategies at a time is a good core concept to base a real estate marketing campaign on because if you spread yourself too thin, then you’ll spend a lot of valuable time creating half-baked real estate marketing ideas that don’t really get any traction. In creating a viable real estate marketing program, it also makes sense to set a realistic budget and stick to it. The cost of real estate advertizing and marketing can quickly get out of control if you don’t proceed with caution.
If you’re looking for some tried-and-proven methods of marketing real estate, consider this real estate marketing system created by one of the top 300 agents in the nation (listed in Realtor Magazine). He’s prepared a 15 minute audio/video presentation that provides a preview of his innovative real estate marketing program.
There’s also an e-book you can purchase online that outlines a variety of client prospecting and real estate marketing ideas that you might find very helpful. It’s called Sell More Property: 1001 Ways to Find New Clients.
For additional real estate marketing tips, strategies, and marketing tools, check out my other blog posts below and, if you haven’t already, please visit my other blog: http://marketingforrealestateagents.wordpress.com/
Successful web-based marketing typically focuses on four things:
- Generating qualified leads
- Achieving high visibility on the search engine results pages of Google, Yahoo!, and Bing
- Building your recognition factor and credibility
- Maintaining Top of Mind Awareness by staying in touch with your list of real estate leads
By developing an integrated marketing campaign, you’ll find that one aspect of your real estate marketing plan works in concert with other aspects of your real estate marketing program. A real estate marketing tool that can be extremely helpful, if not essential, for generating leads online, staying in touch with your leads, and managing your list of online prospects is an e-mail marketing program like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, GetResponse, AWeber, MyEmma, FlutterMail, and several others. Most of these e-mail marketing programs enable you to place a sign-up form on your website, create newsletters or real estate marketing letters that can be emailed to your list at predesignated intervals (once a week, for instance), and you can send a special announcement or “email blast” to your list whenever you choose to do so. If you devote a few hours to staying in touch with your prospect list, every week, an email marketing program, such as the ones mentioned above, can be an indispensable real estate marketing tool. It’s worth it to gain a working knowledge of how to use an autoresponder and cultivate client relationships through the emailing of real estate newsletters, informative articles, and professionally written real estate marketing letters.
Other Web Based Real Estate Marketing Ideas
- Write a real estate blog: If you’re a halfway-decent writer and provide your audience with relevant information on a regular basis, it can help you reach more prospective clients, generate real estate leads, and build credibility and name recognition.
- Become a regular on Linkedin: If you haven’t established a profile and a presence on Linkedin, consider getting involved. It can be a great way to network with people in your your community and beyond. Some people think it’s a more effective way of social networking than Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
- Media relations=free publicity. Reporters, editors, and bloggers are always looking for ideas for articles, news stories, news features, and new angles to old topics. Consider developing your own “media relations program” by periodically contacting local real estate/business reporters and let them know you’re available for interviews, background information about a real estate news story, or comments. Being quoted in the media increases your name recognition, credibility, and positions you as a local expert in the real estate field. This is a real estate marketing idea that does not occur to many agents and Realtors, so if you do it, then it could help give you a competitive edge and help you stand out among the crowd.
Like any aspect of sales & marketing in real estate, mailing out marketing letters to your farming area is a “numbers game”. In principle, the likelihood of generating qualified leads through direct mail marketing increases with the number of introduction letters or postcards you send out.
If you don’t have the time, patience, or writing ability to start from scratch, real estate marketing letter templates can be helpful for getting the ball rolling.
Some Realtors and real estate agents prefer crafting their own own real estate marketing letters to make their message uniquely their own. If you’re among that group, here are four tips to keep in mind to help maximize your results:
- Make your letter visually appealing by breaking up the letter into paragraphs and bullet points. The selective use of headlines, subheads, italics, underlining, and bold lettering can provide visual interest and call attention to important information. One caveat to keep in mind is that all those techniques can easily be overused, which will have the opposite of the intended effect. One stylistic device that I intentionally left out of the above list is using ALL CAPs. While some real estate agents may use all caps in their e-mails and introduction letters, it usually has the effect of SHOUTING at your prospect. With rare exceptions, it’s better to resist the temptation to use all capitals in your marketing letters, real estate marketing newsletters, or any other form of communication.
- Include a “call to action.” Make it easy for your prospects to find your contact information and give them a couple different options (email, cell phone, website, etc.). Directly suggesting or requesting that people call, e-mail, or text you for more information will help increase response rates to your real estate marketing letter. That generally applies to real estate postcard marketing, web-based real estate marketing, real estate advertising, newsletters, and e-mail marketing. If you don’t tell your prospects what action you want them to perform, such as calling you, then they’re more likely to do nothing.
- Edit and be concise. One good rule of thumb in writing real estate introduction letters, newsletters, or even website content is: Use short sentences, avoid jargon and hard words, and don’t say something in 25 words when you can say the same thing in 14. Most people have short attention spans and would prefer that you get to the point as soon as possible. As soon as you lose your prospects’ interest, the letter gets tossed into the recycling bin–assuming they’re environmentally conscious.
- Focus on benefits. The only thing your potential clients really want to know is what you can do for them. Whether they’re property buyers, sellers, FSBO prospects, or expired listing prospects, they just want to know how you can help them solve a problem, accomplish a goal, or move on to the next phase of their lives. Also–and you probably do this when you show a home to prospective buyers–if you can help people visualize or emotionally experience the benefits of what your offering, then you’ll do a better job of capturing their interest. It’s like the old advertising maxim: “Sell the sizzle, not the steak!”
If you’re interested in more real estate advertising and marketing ideas, check out these articles I’ve posted on my website, Marketing Survival Kit.
Whether you’re a new real estate agent or a Realtor focusing on expanding your marketing reach, this blog will offer some solid real estate marketing ideas, tools, and strategies aimed at helping you generate more leads and sales.
Here’s an overview of some of the real estate advertising and marketing resources that can help you achieve your objectives:
- Real estate marketing letters, which include prospecting letters, introduction letters, thank you letters, requests for referrals, and real estate marketing letters that make reference to a mutual acquaintance.
- Real estate postcard marketing, which can be subdivided into three different categories: “just sold” postcards, “just listed” postcards, and real estate advertising/ marketing postcards that have a catchy photograph and headline on one side and a “call to action”, an effective marketing message, and your contact information on the other side.
- Real estate marketing flyers: Well designed marketing flyers can be used in a variety of ways to generate interest in your property listings. There are two benefits to purchasing a set of professionally designed real estate flyer templates: 1) They can save you time and frustration, and 2) They present your homes for sale and you in a more professional light. In addition to handing out real estate marketing flyers at open houses and in brochure dispensers in front of the house, you can also enclose them with your real estate marketing letters. Flyers are also usually quite adaptable to my next category…
- Real estate email marketing: The ideal real estate marketing campaign includes a method of gathering e-mail addresses of prospects who have expressed interest in receiving updates, announcements, and newsletters from you. One way of gathering email address is by using an autoresponder system, which is typically included in most e-mail marketing programs that you can subscribe to, like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp, GetResponse, AWeber, and Fluttermail.
- Real estate advertising: Keeping in mind that most buyers and sellers of real estate tend to search online for real estate agents and homes for sale, websites like Trulia and Zillow are worth considering when planning a real estate marketing campaign.
- Web-based real estate marketing: A vital component of any web-based real estate marketing program is having a professionally designed website that’s optimized for the major search engines, primarily Google. In addition to being updated on a regular basis, an effective real estate marketing website should also include an autoresponder I referred to earlier. It’s basically a short form website visitors can fill out and submit to be included on your mailing list. Building an opt-in list of prospective real estate clients is a key aspect to any well-planned real estate marketing plan.
Stay tuned to this blog for more real estate advertising/marketing ideas. Thanks for stopping by.