Every business needs a concerted marketing plan, but few businesses have both the challenges and opportunities that real estate marketing offers. Realtors are not just selling – or leasing -- properties, they are selling their own services to help buyers and sellers. Real estate agents need a multi-pronged plan to addressthe various demands of selling real estate.
Web Presence. Market smart agents have not just a website, but a presence across a variety of online platforms. Their website will include a blog for local real estate news and events, or they will have an off site blog like this one on Active Rain or a free one on blogger.com. But your web presence should not start and end with a website and a blog – agents should be listed in the top real estate directories, local directories in their markets and professional and business associations. The savvy agent also has an active presence in social media networking – starting with Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Traditional Media and Direct Marketing. For some Realtors it has been easy to get caught up in online marketing and lose the momentum they’ve built in other media. But smart branding and advertsing practices suggest that direct marketing and other traditional forms of advertising and marketing continue to have an important role to play. Marquis Properties continues to send out postcards to announce new listings and sold properties, for example. Local real estate magazines continue to reach people who are new to an area. Listings in newspapers still have a strong impact in most markets. It may not be where you put most of your marketing dollars and effort, but these traditional forms of advertising and marketing remain an important part of the mix.
Neighborhood and Community Participation. Real estate businesses are built upon personal relationships and reputation. So savvy Realtors also understand that giving back to the community is part of the responsibility of a successful business operation. The trick is to find organizations where you genuinely enjoy the activities and social opportunities. If you have kids involved in sports, it probably makes sense to sponsor the local Little League team and get your name out there on the uniforms and t-shirts. Others will find more gratification in volunteering and sponsoring arts organizations. You’ll reap the highest rewards when you follow your heart, and put your soul into it.
Follow The Leaders. One of the best ways to learn about smart marketing is to look at the examples of successful Realtors and listen to what industry leaders have to say. A series of interviews on Real Estate Profiles offers insight into the business plans of people like Howard Brinton, Realogy Chief Alex Perriello, Keller Williams’ Mo Anderson.
Your Turn. What are your favorite marketing tactics? What sort of advertising do you feel is most effective? Do you still advertise in the local newspaper and real estate books? Where is your marketing dollar best spent these days?