The weather is still cold across many portions of the United States. But it’s just a few short months away from the busy spring and summer season when families and individuals begin the buying and selling process in search for a new place to call home. Savvy realtors are already planning their 2012 marketing campaigns. The time to prepare and build up momentum is now. Below are six strategic tips for real estate agents to utilize.
1. Realtor Marketing Budget – The rule of thumb for successful realtors is a marketing budget that is between 15% and 30% of their gross commission goal for the coming year. The percentage that is spent is inversely proportional to their income. The more a realtor makes, the lower the percentage is that they need to spend. For example if an agent earns $1 million a year in commissions, they can get by with spending 15% or even less on marketing. If making $100,000 or less, an agent should spend 30% to grow their business.
2. Communications - Real estate agents should keep constant contact with their farm area to develop name recognition and to develop their brand. Timing the communications is critical. Events that trigger postcard printing and mailings include:
- A home that just sold in the prospect’s area
- A new listing that the prospects may want to consider
- Drop in interest rates
- Expected rise in interest rates
- Home values which have appreciated
- Seasonal contact
- Neighborhood changes
- High demand from buyers
- Client satisfaction surveys
(Image Source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/Seasonal-Postcard-Campaign/438406)
3. Provide Value – Utilizing print marketing materials with valuable information that has staying power with prospects can work wonderfully for real estate agents looking to establish name recognition. Examples of items which are useful to consumers and can be easily branded are postcards or magnets featuring:
- Local emergency numbers
- Local sports schedules
- Hours and phone numbers of stores in a local mall
- List of local restaurants with phone numbers
- List of emergency contact numbers for a babysitter to use
- Event schedules (outdoor concerts, street fairs, festivals)
(Image Source: http://austin.cbunited.com/agent/agentdetail.asp?CEQ_AgentCode=7168682)
4. Image and Resources – Using a professional headshot in marketing materials adds credibility, it’s a must! Marketing materials should always contain a contact phone number and web address. Ideally a realtor’s website could be a resource tool for prospects containing neighborhood information, links to lenders, inspectors, contractors, and have an area where prospects can sign up for more information, newsletters, etc.
5. Real Estate Marketing Copy – When writing promotional copy to describe a home, it should be done in 120 words or less. If it’s longer than 120 words, it’s likely a reader won’t completely read the copy. The language used should focus on the key features of the home, such as the kitchen, bathrooms and living areas. It should point out any special features such as unique landscaping or a walk-out basement. The best photos to use are photos that show the front exterior of the home on a sunny day.
6. Getting Noticed – Real estate agents with good track records should advertise it! Attention grabbing headlines such as “15 Homes Sold for Full Asking Price in the Last Year Alone” will draw interest and add to the realtor’s authority. That said, agents should be careful not to say too much about themselves. They should focus on what they can do for their customers. Marketing pieces should have a compelling offer, and it should be an offer other than a free consultation. Everybody expects the consultation to be free, it’s an ineffective tool. A better idea is to offer a free home buyer’s guide that can be emailed or mailed, or a free booklet of tips for getting the home ready to sell. Lastly, don’t forget about testimonials, they’re always a sure-fire marketing tool.
(Image source: http://www.behance.net/gallery/B-Cards-adds-Billboars-etc-%28REMAX-Legacy%29/200377)