Eight Marketing Musts From The Industry’s Most Innovative Real Estate Agents
As I travel the country meeting with the industry’s most forward-thinking real estate agents, there’s one question I hear them ask over and over again: How can I maximize my marketing strategies?
In an era of innovation, where a new tool seems to emerge each day, agents are evaluating how they can supercharge their current marketing activities and identify new channels and methods they should be investing in.
Real estate marketing is increasingly ruled by visuals, curation and engagement. This is true of today’s dominant marketing channels — Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc. Consumers today have an unfiltered stream of information available online as they start the process of buying, selling or renting a home. New ways to create beautiful content, showcase expertise and measure return-on-investment are becoming dinner table topics for agent-marketers everywhere.
Here are eight of the most useful practices for re-engaging with former clients and catching the eyes of new prospects that I’ve learned from the industry’s most innovative agents nationwide:
- Build your personal brand. As an entrepreneur, nothing is more important to your business than your reputation. Marketing allows you not only to promote what you are selling, but who you are. Whether it’s a special area of expertise, involvement with local organizations, a diverse professional background or fluency in a foreign language, think about what makes you and your business unique. Make sure that every message you send out into the world communicates this in a consistent way.
- Rethink social media. Social media is unique in that it merges professional and personal interests. Buying a home is a lifestyle purchase and today, there is no better lifestyle marketing tool than social. An influencer agency study on the power of lifestyle content found that Nike, 60% of whose social content is lifestyle-oriented, receives on average eight times the engagement as Adidas, which has only 32% lifestyle-focused content. In real estate, lifestyle content could be an emotional client story behind a recent deal or posts that explore the culture of a particular neighborhood.
- Pay attention to engagement. Almost every agent I meet with can tell me how much they spend on marketing down to the penny. Only a few, however, can fully measure what channels are most effective. At Compass, we track all of the content our agents post and what gets the most engagement, and we use that data to create better, more successful content. Use tools like Hootsuite or Sprout Social to track your own engagement and make sure you are spending your money and time in the right places.
- Consistency is key: find your strategy and stick to it. As myriad tools emerge, agents have the luxury (and burden) of being able to experiment with multiple channels and methods. Focus on what you do best and consider what makes the most sense for your clients. Do you work mostly with younger clients? Consider that 59% of millennials are active users of Instagram. Do you get actionable responses from email? Carve out more time to send thoughtful responses and develop great content, rather than adding another channel. You can’t be everything to everyone, so be specific.
- Share moments that matter. A significant number of agents joined Compass in the last year. Not only does a transition like this mark an important milestone for one’s business, but it also creates a natural reason to reconnect with clients and prospects. Send an announcement email and share what motivated you to move or something about your new company. Taking time to broadcast important life milestones is a great way to show you are dedicated to helping clients achieve theirs.
- Customize messages for buyers and sellers differently. Most agents market to both buyers and sellers, but the best agents market to them differently. Buyers want insight they can’t find elsewhere, so share an interesting neighborhood fact or details of a property that do not appear in the listing or online. Sellers focus on your network and negotiation skills. As you promote deals, highlight where you’ve achieved over ask or sold in record time. This is a signal to a seller that you can get the deal done.
- Invest in new channels. With 700 million daily users and growing, Instagram is both the fastest-growing and most engaged marketing channel today (10 times higher than Facebook and 84 times higher than Twitter, according to Forrester). We found that agents who share both branded content developed by our in-house marketing and design team and put paid spend behind it grow their audiences three times faster than agents who just post the content. So, get trained on Instagram, dedicate a portion of your budget to it and don’t forget to measure.
- Don’t forget about other agents. The best source for new clients is almost always another agent. Compass’ Agent Network Tool was inspired by an agent who spent an entire weekend sending one-on-one emails to every agent who recently sold an apartment in the same price range and neighborhood as his listing. Tap into your agent network for clients who may still be on the market and just like your clients, send them specific targeted messages that will resonate. This is a foundational channel that can convert at a high percentage.