9 Pro Tips: Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents in 2015
The most important tip in any marketing strategy is to put your clients’ needs first. While all forms of marketing should encourage your audience to eventually do business with you, your approach needs to be subtle and less self-serving. In 2015, your marketing strategy should focus on humanizing your business and automating things when you can.
Studies show that 75% of real estate agents’ new businesses come from referrals and word of mouth.But agents are still spending way too much money and time on new lead sources, rather than investing in their existing clients.
Simply put, if most of your business is coming from your past clients and it costs you six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one, then you should focus your efforts on marketing to your past clients.
These 10 marketing ideas listed and expounded on below can help real estate agents to grow their businesses.
Be Mobile and Responsive
Being mobile accessible is very important.You cannot avoid it anymore. Your website and emails need to be designed for all devices and screen sizes and be responsive. 66% of emails are opened on a phone or tablet. Facebook has more than 650 million daily active users on mobile devices. And mobile traffic to websites now accounts for almost 30 percent of visits. In short, there are plenty of reasons why you need to be sure that your business is mobile ready.
Being mobile-friendly ensures whoever reads your emails or visits your website has a good experience and that this experience creates a positive perception of your business.
Use Graphic Interchange Formats (GIF’s)in Email
These are soundless graphics that automatically play on a loop. They are great for getting a quick laugh, but these days, they’re more often used to caption a situation and convey human emotion without using words.
GIF’s can also be used in emails. They add a comical element that cannot be achieved from static images. It is advisable that you don’t use them in everything that you send as they will become monotonous and cliché.
Even though GIFs have been around since the late ‘80s, they’ve had arevival in popularity. GIFs are a fun way to help show off the human side of your business.
GIFs can be used to give your business a touch of character and personality, and they may actually increase your click rate.
Automate Your Content Marketing and Sourcing
When crafting the perfect email newsletter and sharing content with your social networks, coming up with topics to write about and things to share can be challenging. You want to send your email subscribers informative/entertaining content with the purpose of helping them, not selling to them, and you want your social feeds to be filled with the same. However, getting this accomplished is no small task.
To find content to share on social media, there are two tools I use: Zite and Flipboard. Both are news and blog aggregators that are topic based. Just plug in what you want to read about, and they’ll display an up-to-date visual collection of articles. Buffer has a great list of newsletters to sign up for and tools to use for content sourcing too.
Automating your content marketing and sourcing can help free up your time to focus on more important things.
Experiment with Hyperlapse
Hyperlapse is a new app that Instagram launched this year. Using time-lapse photography technology and impressive image stabilization software, it essentially puts a few thousand dollars worth of video editing software and expertise in a single app on your phone for free.
Hyperlapse’s biggest claim to fame is the image stabilization power it has. It’s a unique way for agents to liven up the content they share to various social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s also a way to literally enliven their listings.
You can use Hyperlapse for quick home walk-throughs to show off a lot of space in a short amount of time. Maybe use it to do a quick drive through the neighborhood, giving your listing’s viewers an even more in-depth view of the area. Hyperlapse gives your business and listings a little flair and edge that not everyone else is offering. At least not yet.
Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia aside, paying for leads from these websites is expensive and not that effective. On average, agents spend $320 per month on leads from Zillow, and it’s estimated that leads from these websites convert to new business only one to four percent of the time. Not the greatest use of your marketing dollars.
Zillow and Trulia provide a service that many casual home shoppers want: a consolidated list of available homes for sale in a centralized location. However, most agents (with good reason) don’t like the idea of their listings being submitted to these services only to then have to pay to be featured as the listing agent. There are some multiple listing services that are now sending limited data to these services to attempt to remedy this problem for their agents too.
Boost Your Facebook Posts
Facebook has made a lot of changes over the past few years and the big one was the reduction of organic posts from business pages in the News Feed. The upside is that they’ve made it very easy to spend a little bit of money to get guaranteed exposure.
A few times each month, go to your Facebook Business Page and find a blog post you’ve written, a video you’ve posted or something that is worth making sure plenty of people read or see. For example, our real estate customers might boost their posts that link to their email newsletters. All you have to do is click “Boost Post” and enter your parameters. That’s it!
When people like or click boosted posts, it tells Facebook that they’re interested in your brand and posts from your company will appear more often in their News Feed.
Utilize Browser Plugins
There are some awesome plugins out there that you can use for your business to help automate some of your marketing activities.
Being on the go a lot, real estate agents can really benefit from using browser plugins to help automate some of their social media. To save you time when looking for things to post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, use apps on your phone or tablet like Zite and Flipboard.
When you find an article you like, save it to Pocket. From your computer browser, you can open all the posts you bookmarked and then schedule them through Buffer. In less than 10 minutes, you can have a week’s worth of social media posts scheduled and ready to go!
Being able to find content while playing on your phone/tablet at any given time, and then having it ready to post from your desktop browser saves you a lot of time and other resources like money.
Revamp Your Email Strategy
First and foremost, you should stay in touch with your past clients through email. This should be a foundational element of your marketing strategy.
You need to make sure that the content that you’re sending is both personal and something that the recipient wants to read. Good content marketing is meant to help, not sell to, your clients. Send consistently timed emails with compelling content to your audience to brand you as an industry expert and increase your sphere of influence.
Grow Your Email List
Sending emails to your past clients is a must. But you can also use those same email newsletters to keep your name in front of potential clients as well. That’s why you should always try to snag email addresses in any situation.
The easiest way is to have your lead capture from front and center on your website. Here’s an example from sites we create for our real estate clients:
You never know where your next sale will come from, but if you’re continually in front of a large audience, your chances of landing a new client are much greater.