9 marketing tips for real estate professionals
Everyone has to market their services, even when business is booming and you don't think you can handle anymore business. However, there will come a time when business is no longer booming, and all the leads seem to go no where. Start building a solid foundation now, with these tips.
Who is your potential customer?
Without being able to clearly answer that question, your marketing campaign has little chance of real success. Define your target audience and the value your service will bring to them. Too many people new to the real estate business think they can sell to anyone and everyone. Avoid spending time trying to acquire customers you cannot properly serve.
Why do people need your service?
Create a 30 to 60-second statement that clearly explains what you do, for whom, and why your target audience should use your services. People buy in order to feel good, or to satisfy a pressing need or desire. They buy with emotion and justify with logic. Give them good emotional reasons to buy, then show them why their purchase was a really sensible move.
Sell benefits, not features
People buy solutions - otherwise known as benefits - not features. Remember that features are elements of a product that deliver a benefit. They only care about what your product or service can do for them. Look at your services from a customer's point of view - would you buy it? What advantages do you have over the competition?
Use simple language
Keep jargon out of your sales collateral. People hate unexplained acronyms (i.e. FISBO, ARM etc.) in body text. Use plain language and keep sentences reasonably short.
Before spending a fortune on media advertising, consider the possibilities for self-publicity. Have a company logo, business cards, stationery, brochures, and possibly even a web site and always include your contact information on any piece of communication. Once these pieces are in place, do not be shy about using them. Take business cards where ever you go, always use cover sheets when faxing, and have a "signature" on every outgoing e-mail. No one likes searching for a phone number.
Ask for referrals
When you have done a good job for someone, ask them if they can suggest two or three other people who might also benefit from your service. Consider establishing a customer referral program, and provide free/discounted services or a monetary reward for every customer that they recommend. A simple reminder in a thank you/follow-up letter to tell friends and family about your services always helps.
Become an industry expert
People like to buy from "industry experts". Therefore, look for opportunities to share your skills and talents by writing articles or lecturing on how to buy or sell a house in a competitive marketplace. By getting in front of new buyers and potential sellers you can bring yourself a lot of additional exposure.
Maintain a mailing list
Establish a mailing list of past customers, prospective clients, people who have referred business to your company, and other important business contacts. Be sure to communicate with these people at least quarterly. A simple one- or two-page newsletter with a few bits of useful information will keep your name at the top of people's minds.
Learn from feedback
The most accurate and valuable market research you will ever do is face-to-face with your customers. If you want to know what they think of you, ask them! Ask them what they want and they will tell you. Talk to people - they love to tell you what you are doing right and what you could do better.