March 31, 2010
Real Estate Agents: 12 Best Ways to Market Yourself
This may come as a total shocker, but here's what I've discovered: Marketing is an art. Not a science. You design your marketing. You design it around what methods and techniques work best for you and your clients. And regardless of the methods you choose, the key is to be consistent (e.g., communicate biweekly, weekly, monthly, or quarterly).
So, generally speaking, which methods works best? Well, from what I gather, the following are the best of the best in terms of allowing movers and shakers (like you) to make the rain (get it . . . rainmaker . . . oh, never mind!)
Ideally, you want to do some "old school" (traditional/offline marketing) and some "new school" (internet marketing).
These "oldies but goodies" still work, if you know how to work them.
I know . . . I know. You've heard it a thousand times. Network, network, network! But, you know why you've heard it a thousand times? Because it works! What can I say? Generally, though, it's a process. You know the routine: you go . . . say hello . . . get to know. . . then watch business grow. That's the blueprint for success. And when you go, don't just go with dollar signs in your eyes, be willing to listen and take an interest in other people. And if you absolutely hate the idea of small talk, then I suggest a few good books: "How to Work a Room" by Susan RoAne, "How to Start a Conversation and Make Friends" and "Talking With Confidence for the painfully shy" both by Don Gabor.
You can take someone to lunch, join an organization, volunteer, attend a fundraiser, or whatever you choose.
2. Write an Article for a Local Newspaper
Newspapers are always looking for good content. If you write an article for a newspaper, you automatically gain expert status. Beats me, but for whatever reason, people seem to think you're a big shot if you get your name and picture in the paper. Unless, of course, you're pictured with your hands behind your back and you're walking next to someone in a blue uniform. Now, that's a different story!!!
So, assuming you're NOT that person, try contacting editors of the real estate section of local newspapers, ask for submission guidelines, then send in an article. You may find you're the next big shot on the block after your article is published.
3. Give a FREE Seminar
People love free seminars. They can't resist. Just choose an interesting topic, promote it, and they will come. Tell me, what client could resist: "Guaranteed: Sell Your House in 30 Days or I Pay Your Closing Costs" or "5 Easy Ways to Sell Your House in a Down Market for 10% More Than It's Worth" or "How to Own the Home of Your Dreams for Only $1,000 Down and $1,000 a Month"? Well, you get the point. Just pick a juicy topic you know well (or could easily learn) and turn it into a "How to" or "Tips and Tricks" or "Secrets of" presentation and you should be able to draw a nice crowd. You could arrange it to last 30-45 minutes with 15 minutes after that for Q&A. Give a handout and your business cards. If people like what they hear, they will remember you when they need your services.
Mailers are a good way to keep your face in front of people when you can't have a face-to-face meeting. You could do a postcard campaign. Mail a branded magnet. Or send a "Just Sold" mailer. And if you haven't "just sold" anything, then send a recipe card. People love those things. [Sidebar: I used to send them when I was a realtor. Never got me any deals, but people would always thank me for the lovely cards. Gee . . . how nice. Never mind my lack luster results, though. Maybe it was just bad timing. Mailers do work because they help people remember you. And when the time is right, they'll contact you.]
5. Family and Friends
Don't be a secret agent. Let your family, friends, and neighbors know what you do. Ask for referrals. Word of mouth is how most successful real estate professionals get a lot of their business.
6. Make Some Calls
I know. You don't exactly relish the idea of making calls, do you? Especially, cold calls. But it can be very effective. Just have a script and start dialing. Every "no" is one step closer to a "yes." In addition, after you attend networking events, follow up with a call. That way, it's not a cold call, but a warm call.
INTERNET MARKETING (REAL ESTATE MARKETING 2.0)
Research shows that approximately 80% of consumers start their search for real estate information on the internet. So internet marketing is crucial. Following are a few key techniques that may help you increase your market reach:
Nowadays, clients expect you to have a website. Having a web presence is important for many reasons. A website enables you to: