3 key questions to ask before you invest in marketing for your real estate business

It is no secret. Marketing is one of the key factors in scaling an agent’s business. In fact, marketing can be so valuable that it has created an entire sub-industry built around helping real estate agents with their marketing. This includes technology platforms and consulting firms led by industry experts and real estate media have made the topic a central theme in their publications, events and other publishing platforms. We have seen time and time again that agents who invest in marketing see the impact on their business. However, real estate professionals have limited resources and dozens of marketing channels to choose from when it comes to promoting themselves and their offerings.

Across the industry, agents face the same significant initial barriers: “Where do I put my time, money, and resources?” It’s not uncommon to get stuck on fundamental questions …

  • Which social media channels should I prioritize?
  • Do email, digital ads, or postcards offer the best ROI?
  • Does print advertising still affect homebuyers?

These questions are justified. And it’s better to ask these questions and study their answers before investing in marketing channels that home buyers and sellers don’t reach or influence. Since most agents cannot, and should not, afford to invest in every marketing channel, choosing the wrong channel can hamper an agent’s business.

The key is that each agent understand the impact of marketing in their specific market and in their specific current and potential customer base. Before investing in marketing programs, you should answer three basic questions that any agent should investigate in order to best reach and influence their specific prospects:

Which marketing channels are most effective in reaching homeowners and buyers in my market?
Each market is made up of different consumer groups influenced by different types of media and marketing. Agents need to figure out what is having the greatest impact on their local market.

Where do potential buyers look for offers in my market?
It is not surprising that many buyers search for real estate online before contacting a realtor or visiting a neighborhood in person. However, there is not a single online website where everyone can find listings. Zillow, Realtor.com, Facebook, Instagram, and many other sites are used to display homes, but there isn’t a single platform that works best in every market. Agents need to identify which homebuyer websites are most used in their market.

And maybe the most important question is….

What marketing channels have the greatest impact on consumers in your market when they actually determine which real estate professional will represent them when buying or selling their home?
This is the key data point for agents. In our industry, this corresponds to determining purchasing behavior.

It is not enough to combine marketing channels with buying a home. The data that is important actually influence consumers in their marketplace to choose a broker to represent them when buying or selling a home.

Finding the answers to these questions can prove difficult, but they are important in limiting the risk of investing in marketing channels that never reach an agent’s specific audience. It can be the difference between growing an agent’s business or wasting resources on marketing that never affects their prospects.