Marketing for Real Estate Agents usd to be a lot simpler. Your listings were all in the green MLS® book that came out every week. There were small ads in the newspaper. Some Real Estate Agents would mail out postcards or advertise on a bus bench, but the options were far fewer. If you didn’t have an advertising budget there was always the phone and good old door knocking.
Fast forward to 2014 and marketing seems to be more complicated:
- Mobile marketing
- Viral Marketing
- Online Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Guerrilla Marketing
- Database marketing
- Relationship Marketing
- Search Marketing
- Niche Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Referral Marketing
The number of marketing channels has increased exponentially and the one thing almost all of these channels have in common is they are directed at finding new clients.
So What Really Matters in Real Estate Agent Marketing?
Don’t look for new business until you have exhausted the opportunities with your existing customers. Market to the low-hanging fruit: your fans. The people who already appreciate and value your product or service. The ones that refer business to you.
What really matters it is the four Rs and a P:
Repeat business: Keep in front of your clients and customers. Send special offers to clients showing them their special.
Referral business: Remind your customers that you require their referrals to grow your business and more importantly earn their trust so they refer their colleagues to you. None of your customers are walking around wondering how they can help your business or even know you need business unless you tell them.
Retention of clients: Keep in touch with your clients and remind them you would like their business.
Reactivation of clients: If they have not done business with you in a while send them something to rekindle the romance or remind them you value their business.
Prospecting: All of the marketing channels above.
So How Do You Focus on the 4 Rs and P?
1. Consolidate your database: It does not make sense to go after new business when you have raving fans eager to do business with you already. Your client and prospect list is a goldmine, but to be effective you need to consolidate all of the contacts into one place. Compile all of the names of your customers, people who have expressed an interest in real estate and any other people you can think of that might be prospects.
2. Categorize your database: It doesn’t matter if you choose A, B, C or Platinum, Gold and Silver or Hot, Warm and Cold, but categorize them.
3. Focus on your raving fans: Finding new clients is the most expensive and time-consuming use of your marketing resources. Instead identify the people most likely to do business with you and focus your marketing efforts on them. Most Real Estate Agents tell me 50-80 per cent of their business comes from repeat customers or at least referrals from good. After you have ensured that the most important customers have received the majority of your attention you can start prospecting for new customers.
4. Determine the value of each customer and turn off the life support for the bottom 20 per cent: Depending on your business you are probably spending 80 per cent of your time on prospects and past clients that provide 20 per cent of your revenue. Starting tomorrow, reverse the trend. Spend 80 per cent of your time on the top 20 per cent of your clients. Phone them. Write them. Email them. Give them a gift. Make them feel like they are important.
5. Look professional and you will sct professional: Take a look at all of the points of contact with customers. Does everything your customers see reflect the image you want to convey? Be honest with yourself and audit all of the internal and external points of contact. Are you cutting corners? What doesn’t seem to fit with everything else?
6. Do the obvious – because nobody else is: Do all of the obvious marketing things you have read about or heard about and you will stand out from the crowd. I would venture that 90 per cent of us know what we should do and only a small percentage of us are actually doing it. So if you do it you will stand out.
7. Pick up the phone: Have we forgotten how to phone our clients? While email is a quick way to communicate, it is starting to be like people asking “How are you?” and then not listening for your answer. Email does not take the place of a phone call. It is impersonal, subject to misinterpretation and frankly a lazy way to communicate. Phone someone out of the blue tomorrow and you will be surprised how a little human interaction can lead to more business.
8. Have a Business Card That Says WOW!– If people aren’t stopping and commenting on your business card when you are handing it to them you are missing a golden opportunity to make an indelible impression on them.
You could say this advice is just going back to basics. I call it “picking the low-hanging fruit”.