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The value of a service like vFlyer is pretty obvious to most seller (or listing) agents, but it is not always obvious to buyer’s agents how they can use the service to promote their business. I recently got an email from Jim Litter who asks, “Do you have examples of how buyer’s agents can use your product?” After spending time talking with buyer’s agents that currently use our service as well as doing some informal research using Linkedin Answers, Trulia Voices and Activerain’s Q&A, I was able to compile some useful marketing resources on how buyer’s agents can promote themselves in general as well as through a service such as ours.
44 percent of buyers were referred by a friend, neighbor or relative
11 percent used an agent from a previous transaction
7 percent found an agent on the Internet
7 percent met at an open house
6 percent saw contact information on a "for sale" sign
Based on this information, most of which was supported by the input I got directly from agents responding to my questions, the following are some marketing “best practices” for buyer’s agents.
Keep a List of Database of Previous Clients. Keep your database up to date and communicate with your contacts on a regular basis. Make sure you are “top of mind” when it comes to Realtors® to ensure a steady flow of referrals. You can do this by regularly sending them flyers, newsletters and other communication and encouraging them to forward your flyers on to their friends, or simply calling them to check in.
Market yourself on the Internet. This serves two purposes, one is to get new clients. The other, however, is to simply demonstrate your Internet-savvy! A 2004 study by the NAR indicated that 75 percent of consumers expect their agent to be Internet-savvy! Good online marketing and an online presence are great ways to demonstrate your savvy-ness to prospects. Send them to your website. Make sure to have links to other Internet marketing activity you may be involved in such as your vFlyer Gallery, your blogs or social networking profiles. Also consider online advertising!
Host an Open House. Depending on your firm’s policies, it is fairly common practice for a buyer’s agent to host an open house. Some processes are more formal than others. In some firms, a listing agents with more than one open house or who simply doesn’t want to work on a weekend will send out an email looking for volunteers. Technically, the agent hosting the open house is really not a “buyer’s agent” until they snag a buyer, but that’s the whole point of the exercise!
The next question is how vFlyer can help buyer’s agent accomplish some of these marketing objectives? Here are some suggestions on how you can maximize our service to put the aforementioned marketing recommendation to best practice:
Create a Flyer Promoting Yourself as a Buyer’s Agent and Publish It Be sure to include information about yourself, your photo, your contact info and company info. When you publish it, your vFlyer is automatically distributed, but you an also cut and paste the HTML on Craigslist (which as a Real Estate Services section), your blog (Activerain, i.e.) or a social networking site. Here are some examples from one of my previous posts. More..
Email your Flyer to Your Contact Database You can email your flyer, a PDF version of your flyer, or a link to your flyer to your database of contacts (lenders, family, associations, i.e.), prospects and past clients. Ask them to forward it on to anyone they know who may be in the market for a home. Remember that 44% of leads come from referrals! More…
Mail out your Flyer to Your Contact Database Not everyone has an email address, but even if they do, many people are hesitant about giving it out. You probably have a list of contacts whose mailing addresses you have. I did an informative post in the past about generating PDF versions of your flyer, printing them, and mailing them out! Include more than one copy so recipients can pass them on. Consider using a customized stamp to add a personal touch and get a better response rate! More..
Post your Flyer on Local Bulletin Boards There are usually a number of local bulletin boards that allow small local businesses (aka Realtors) to promote their services. Some national coffee and restaurant chains (Starbucks, Le Boulanger, i.e.) are usually very good about allowing flyers. I suggest asking the manager for permission first but personally I have never been turned down! Local gyms, grocery stores and public centers may also have bulletin boards that can be used by the public or members for this purpose. Avoid posting flyers on public or private property without permission as this is sure to get you in trouble.
Take copies of your Flyer to An Open House Try and host a Open House for a list agent. Different firms and listing agents have different policies but as I mentioned above, figure out how the system works, network aggressively and host as many open houses as you can! When hosting an open house, consider bringing flyers with your contact information with you. Take the initiative and be creative – Mario Pindeo (Intero Real Estate Services) writes “I always make up flyers with my name on it, and put up my personalized open house signs!”
Always Follow Up on Your Leads This sounds like a no brainer but you would be surprised how many consumers complain that agents simply do not get back to them! One frustrated consumer on Trulia Voices wrote “ANSWER YOUR EMAILS! You may win a customer!” Obviously, Realtors are almost always busy but buyer’s agents must develop a discipline for following up on all their leads. Consider getting a mobile phone that allows you to check email remotely when you are way from your computer. Include alternative means of contacting you such as a phone number on your flyers – perhaps even a click-to-call service. vFlyer routes all your contact requeststo your existing email address so you don’t have to look in more than one place for them. More…
Hopefully you will find some of these best practices helpful! Please feel free to share additional tips both general and even specific to our service on how buyer’s agents can more effectively market themselves and their services.
ABOUT COMPANY vFlyer is an online marketing and distribution platform that allows real estate professionals to turn their listings into "virtual flyers" that can posted on dozens of leading online marketplaces, posted on Craigslist, distributed via email or SMS, outputted as PDF, or embedded as widgets on blogs and social networks.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.