As real estate agents, we all know how important it is to stay visible to our sphere of influence. In the old days, that meant being active in the community, attending dinner parties and other social events. While being “social” we made sure to wear our name tags and try to spark conversations about real estate. Today, those things still stand, but the savvy agent uses technological tools to augment being social in the real world. Today, people spend an enormous amount of time “online”, whether that be checking e-mail, reading the news, surfing websites or just hanging out on social media.
Its happened to each and every one of us, we are in Albertsons and see an old acquaintance and they say “I forgot you were in real estate, I just listed my house last week”. Granted, a portion of those people DID remember you were in real estate and just didn’t want to use you—but most of them really did forget. Who’s fault is that? In today’s real estate world, its your job to remind your sphere of influence that you are in the business.
You still need to stay active in the community and continue to be social, but there are other ways to “remind” people that you are an agent. One easy way is to use drip e-mail. Drip e-mail should be a friendly reminder to everyone that you are successful and activity working. Most drip e-mails should be informative in nature and not directly soliciting business. You may want to send some real estate specific information on their neighborhood or their city. You may want to talk about some change in local real estate taxes or assessments.
The point is to periodically remind everyone that you are a source of information as it pertains to real estate. You will want to use some type of e-mail system to send your e-mails so they don’t get caught in the SPAM filter. Many systems incorporate e-mail campaigns—some good and some not so good. If you choose to use a pre-established campaign, I would recommend editing it somewhat to give it your personal touch.
With so many people spending so much time on social media, it is a perfect avenue to remind your sphere that you are in real estate. Its important to remember, you can’t make every single post on social media about selling yourself. Look at it just like being at a dinner party—if you walked from person to person saying “do you know anyone who wants to buy or sell a house” — you would cease to be invited to dinner parties! Its the same in social media. They key is spending 9/10 of the time building relationships and 1/10 the time advertising yourself.
I can’t stress that enough. If every post from you is about real estate, people will not engage and ultimately your posts wont be seen by anyone because of Facebook’s algorithm for their news-feed. You should spend most of your time telling people Happy Birthday and commenting on their post about their kids. When you do make a post, it needs to be positive and show success, like I just left another closing! Another Happy Client! Or even provide tips to buyers and sellers once a week in an Instagram story or LinkedIn post.
Some say direct mail is dead, I don’t believe it. If you think back, years ago your mailbox was stuffed with advertisements. Today, they are few and far between. That means that if you are using direct mail, your postcard has a better chance of getting seen. With postage going up so much in the past ten years, you should really choose your direct mail farm area very carefully. Using this tools makes sure that you are spending your hard earned advertising dollars wisely.
A real estate blog can be a powerful tool in staying in touch. The blog itself can generate new business if it is designed properly for SEO — Search Engine Optimization, as it can be found for real estate specific search terms. Blogs can show your expertise in your profession as well as allow your clients to subscribe, which puts you in their inbox each time you post a new article! Your blog posts also lend themselves well to great social media posts.
Your website should be at the center of all of your marketing. All marketing that you do should drive people back to your website. Whether its a blog that gets posted to social media or direct mail using a QR code, everything comes back to your website. That is where you can really frame what you want your potential customers to know about you.
There are two major categories of real estate websites, one that focuses on you and one designed specifically for lead generation. Regardless of which you choose, a home search feature needs to be enabled on your website to keep your customers/clients from using the competition. This can also help you keep an eye on which homes are generating buzz and which clients are looking, but you'll need to set up a tracking system for this.
No Silver Bullet
At the end of the day, there is no silver bullet for touching your past, present and future clients. I am of the group that believes your marketing should be diversified and utilize a variety of tools to keep you top of mind. I also believe in automating as much of those processes as possible to make everything run smooth and consistent. Automated doesn't have to be impersonal. Many marketing tools provide a handy feature called "personalization tokens" which allows your automated email or newsletter to populate that specific client's name to make it seem like it was written specifically to them.
Constant and consistent marketing using a variety of methods is key.