The Real Estate business sure is a crowded space. And it’s no secret that one of the keys to success is marketing. However, despite knowing this, many operators fail to prepare and execute a marketing plan. We share some tips and tricks to get you started with your marketing plan for the real estate business.
You have just begun an ambitious plan to set up your very own real estate business. To be successful in this sphere is not easy: it requires a lot of effort, resources and strategies. Marketing is the heart and soul of the real estate business. You can simplify the process and lay the foundation for future success with a thorough marketing plan.
Here are some marketing tips that will help you to net clients. Before you commit to any marketing medium, you have to identify several key variables:
What is your budget?
Who, exactly, is your target audience?
What, exactly, do you want your target audience to do?
Who are your competitors? How do they reach your audience? What opportunities are they missing?
What are your core strengths, and how do those differentiate you from your competitors?
What incentives can you offer that your competitors don’t/can’t?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can formulate an executable marketing plan that takes advantage of key opportunities and promotes your strengths.
Goals and market research
The first thing you should obviously do is to point your goals in financial and reputational aspects. For example, to exceed $1 million in revenue in 2020. Be ranked in the top 5 real estate agencies for first-time home buyers in Florida, achieve 100% customer satisfaction and so on. Make your goals specific and it’ll be easier to find a way to achieve them.
Without research, you cannot understand to whom your services should be marketed. You have to identify your target clients and the nature of market dynamics in your area. Know the needs of your clients, identify your competitors, and what kind of facilities they are offering to clients. Identify and target your audience. Again, be specific. Who’s interested in what you sell? Where are they? What do they want and how can you let them know you have it? Focusing your efforts this way will make your marketing plan more efficient.
You must have a detailed information database of real estate prices in your target areas. Also, make a record of recent sales and purchases in your area, if possible.
Pricing for real estate commissions is highly standard in the industry although prices become somewhat negotiable in down markets. The standard real estate commission is 6% of the selling price, for example, in Сonnecticut, with 3% going to the buyer’s agent and 3% to the seller’s agent. Prices are set by the selling agent for each home and the commission is paid by the seller out of their receipts from the sale.
Your next step is to identify the best way to position your brand to reach your target audience. Today’s marketing climate presents several opportunities, so you have to weigh the costs and benefits of each to determine which strategies both fit into your budget and have the best chance to convert. Branding is crucial in the world of real estate, so visibility is key.
Choose which marketing materials you’ll use to promote your real estate business, then hire a designer, copywriter and printer to make them a reality. Distribution is extremely important. You should have a well-defined target audience so you can put together a mailing list primed for success. Create a compelling offer. Instead of a free consultation, offer reduced closing costs, a free guide to purchasing a first home or other incentives that target your audience. With the right distribution, a great offer and the right materials, your real estate business will be positioned for profit from the start.
Online Marketing Plan
In the 21st century there are plenty of new online sources which you can use for a successful placement of your product and services on the market. Website creation and development is just one of them. With almost 80% of investors and tenants starting their search online, it’s imperative your website not only looks good, but also can be found. Websites need to be visual, informative and user-friendly for any device (desktop, tablet and mobile). Break up the text with special features such as downloadable floor plans, interactive stacking charts, high-resolution images, videos, and dynamic location maps to set your self apart from the competition.
Keep the site regularly updated with relevant news about your company or property listings. You can add an engaging blog or news section where you can communicate with potential tenants, investors and brokers on a less formal level to give a human personality behind your brand. Provide useful insights on industry trends, highlight lease transactions, offer expert advice, news and other interesting company and property updates.
You can also organize email campaigns. To avoid your brokers alerts and emails being deleted before they’re even read, ensure the content speaks to the customer you specifically want to target. Include information about the property as well as relevant industry updates and be sure to link it back to your website and social media pages.
One more important source of new clients is Social Media. Don’t underestimate the power of it. Now a widely accepted commercial real estate marketing tool, sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn are used to demonstrate expertise and get the corporate message across in a more informal way, opening up discussions and allowing users to leave comments.
Learn about Search Engine Optimization
Understanding search engines algorithms is a necessity and will help to position your website or blog properly. You can rely on the advice of experts in real estate internet marketing, but it will be you or your assistant who will fill — or “populate” – your site or web blog with relevant content every week. The trick is to find out the exact keyword combinations that home buyers or sellers are using to find what they need.
There should be no guessing game here. All big companies with teams of professional internet marketers use it these exact keyword combinations to optimize their content pages to be first in the search results. So educate yourself by researching keywords and search phrases that relate to real estate market via Google free tool called Keyword Planner. It will give you an exact idea what to home buyers or sellers type into the search box. Use these exact keywords combinations for your article titles and throughout the articles. Don’t chase 2- or even 3-word combinations with a lot of monthly searches like “Miami real estate”. You have no chance to compete at this level. Focus on the local neighborhood names with fewer searches per month and less competition. It is better to have 10 articles about 10 neighborhoods with 100 searches per month each than 10 articles about the whole city with 8,000 searches per month.
Internet is overtaking the print media slowly and surely, in popularity. Still, newspapers remain the best options for placing your real estate advertisements. Place your advertisements and listings of properties available for lease and sale, along with your contact number.
Encourage referrals from past clients and provide them with some incentives for the same. If you will offer good service to clients, your name as a good agent is going to spread by word of mouth. If you keep improving and innovating your quality of service, people are bound to remember you as the person who got them their dream home. Provide a detailed brochure of information about the locality to clients shopping for a home. You can provide additional value-added services like helping clients to get mortgage loans. This can include photos as well as information about events in the area. Never forget the personal touch.
Evaluation and Control
Many real estate agents forget the importance of measuring and evaluating their marketing plan success. This is critical, because it serves as the foundation for what to do or not to do in your next marketing year. Plus, it identifies how you can improve your plan based on the outcome of your efforts.