Real Estate Marketing 101

According to the National Association of REALTORS, “ineffective marketing strategies” are one of the biggest reasons new real estate agents fail in this industry. If you can master real estate marketing 101, you’re one giant step closer to the successful real estate career of your dreams!

And it doesn’t have to be complicated. We have a simple, five-step plan to help you master your marketing and make the most of your marketing efforts!

Step 1: Narrow Your Audience

Many new agents make the mistake of trying to appeal to every buyer and seller in their market. But by watering down your message to appeal to everyone, it’s difficult to truly resonate with anyone. Plus, by going after every possible lead in your market, you’re effectively competing with every other agent in your area. But, if you choose a specific market segment, you might be one of just a handful of agents in that space.

Try to choose a niche where you have a competitive advantage over other agents. For example:

  • Highly analytical agents could focus on investors.

  • Highly empathetic agents could serve families who need to sell due to divorce or death.

  • Agents with a military background could specialize in serving military buyers and sellers (military service members and veterans can also enjoy discounts on real estate courses).

  • Well-connected agents could work the luxury market.

  • Agents with a teaching background would be well-suited to the first-time buyer market

Consider your personality, experience, and preferences. Then look at the opportunities available in your market. At the cross-section, you’ll find your niche!

Of course, you can also work with other leads who fall into your lap. But choosing a niche will help you target your marketing message to make the best use of your marketing budget.  

Step 2: Focus Your Messaging

There are a few big problems with generic marketing messages:

  • They don’t stand out.

  • They are forgettable.

  • Prospective buyers and sellers don’t feel seen or heard. 

Once you decide on your audience, you have the luxury of tailoring your marketing message to speak directly to that group. You can highlight their unique pain points and solve their unique problems. 

Say, for example, that you’re a real estate investor. Which message would prompt you to take action?

  • Message #1: I can help you buy, sell, or invest. Call me today to learn more!

  • Message #2: As an investment specialist, I help investors find properties, analyze the financials, and negotiate the best possible deals. Call me today if you’re interested in starting or expanding your real estate investment portfolio!

The second message is far more likely to resonate with investors and result in new leads. As you write your marketing message, focus on what you can do for your target market. 

Step 3: Choose Your Marketing Methods

Marketing methods can fall into one of two categories: outbound and inbound. A mix of both creates a well-rounded marketing plan. So let’s look at each category.

Outbound Real Estate Marketing Methods

Outbound marketing methods are ways of actively pursuing new leads. This is also called prospecting. Ideas for outbound real estate marketing include:

  • Calling expired listings

  • Sending mailers to homeowners who bought when values were low and could profit from selling now

  • Inviting renters to a first-time home buyer seminar

  • Knocking on doors to invite neighbors to your open house

  • Networking with local employers, attorneys, and other professionals who regularly connect with people looking to buy or sell a home

Inbound Real Estate Marketing Methods

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is more passive. It invites your target market to come to you. Ideas for inbound real estate marketing include:

  • Posting on social media platforms

  • Creating YouTube videos to promote your city, community, and listings

  • Publishing a real estate blog so that buyers and sellers can find your site by Googling queries like “how much does a real estate agent cost” or “best neighborhoods to live in Houston”

  • Sending out a monthly or quarterly newsletter

  • Hosting open houses where you can meet potential buyers

Consider which inbound and outbound methods would help you reach buyers and sellers in your niche. Then, choose two or three methods from each category to focus on for the next 6-12 months. 

Step 4: Execute Your Plan

You need to give your new marketing plan time to work. You might get a few leads in the first week. Or it might take a month to start seeing results from your efforts. Schedule each of your chosen marketing methods in your calendar to make sure you’re using them consistently. 

Then, commit to your plan for 6-12 months. This will give you enough time to confirm if a method works for you or not.  

Step 5: Track Your Progress and Adjust as Needed

It’s important to track the results of your marketing efforts so you can see where your marketing dollars are best spent. Confirm the source of each new lead. Which of your market methods led to that lead? 

At the end of your 6-12 month period, total the sales volume for each marketing method. Then divide the sales volume for each method by the cost of that method. This will give you your return on investment for each marketing method. And you can use this information to inform your marketing plan for the next 6-12 month period.

With these five steps, you’ve mastered real estate marketing 101 and laid the groundwork for a successful real estate career!

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