7 Marketing Ideas for Real Estate Agents in 2014

Marketing ideas for real estate agents can take many shapes and price forms. You maybe use some form of direct mail to both your current clients and to new prospects. Perhaps you invest money in lead lists from 3rd party companies, selling you new names of people who have moved to the area. Or maybe you’re still paying to be listed in the Yellow Pages, or as most people know them, that book in the bag I have to throw out once a year. Whatever your current methods include, they all can be expensive, next to impossible to track, and for some, time consuming. That’s why I’ve put together a quick list of ideas to help you out with marketing as we close out 2013 and head into 2014.

Like a lot of your marketing efforts, your main focus is on getting in people who want to buy or sell a home. But as you already know, the majority of your leads you get in that become customers are those that are referred from your past clients. That’s why it’s important to nurture those past clients so you’re best positioned to getting in new referrals from past clients. Here’s 7 Marketing Ideas to help you increase your referral business in 2014.

1. Invite Friends & Email Contacts To Your Facebook Business Page

A lot of you might already have a Facebook business page (and if you don’t here’s a fantastic guide to help you set yours up), but you might not be using it to its fullest potential. You could be posting 16 times a day or not at all, but without having people who have “Liked” your page, then there’s no one there listening to what you’re saying. The best way to go about doing this is of course to be posting things regularly, but use the tools that Facebook gives you as a page owner. One of the more under utilized features is the ability to invite your email contacts to join your page. And why not? These are the people who know you, have most likely done business with you before, and the people that you want to target to get future referrals. Inviting email contacts is simple too. From your Facebook Business Page in the top right, all you have to do is click Build Audience > Invite Email Contacts…

 You can see that you’re also able to Invite Friends in the same drop-down. Essentially what you want to do is have enough people you’ve done business with before on your page so that when you post things out, your messages are reaching the right people, helping you stay top-of-mind, and eventually drive referral business. And as always, there’s plenty of folks out there to lend you a helping hand with your social media efforts.

2. Keep In Touch With Past Clients Through Email (No, Not Like That)

I know you’re familiar with the “New listings” emails and the “new low rates in your neighborhood” emails. Nobody likes to get those and I’ll bet you that the majority of people either spam those messages or unsubscribe. Either way, you’re not on their radar and that’s not a good thing. Trust me, consumers know that you know interest rates, know how to list a home, and that you’re great at finding them their dream home too. When the time comes that they want to start looking, that’s when you strut your stuff. But these market trend emails are not helping your cause.

Instead, take the knowledge that you know, put it to good use, and craft a really good news letter. You’re great at staging homes, setting up showings, and know your city like the back of your hand. That’s all very powerful information that you can put to good use in a high quality, content marketing focused email campaign. Give people advice on staging their homes, picking out new colors, shopping for vintage furniture, upcoming events in your neighborhood, and more. This is what people care about and this is what will brand you as an incredibly smart resource.

3. Add Social Media Links To Your Website (And Vice Versa)

This might sound so simple, but it’s effective. The more that you can connect your digital profiles across all online application, the more clout you’ll have in terms of your authenticity in your area. Your Twitter account should link to your website. Your website should have links to your Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn accounts. Set up your Google Business Page using your Google+ profile to help you show up when people search locally for realtors. Essentially, if you’re online in any way, you need to make it incredibly easy for people to find you, click to more things, and easily get in touch with you.

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4. Share Great Content To Your Social Accounts

Something that I tell all real estate agents is that they need to remember the 80/20 rule with their social media. 80% of what you share should not be about you or your business. Believe me, I’m friends with plenty of real estate agents on my personal Facebook account to know what bad posting looks like. Posting photos of ever listing you have is not how you do social media. There’s plenty of value in social media for real estate agents!

Instead, take advantage of your knowledge as a small business owner and share things that are locally relevant. Do you sponsor a charity? Share updates for upcoming events and then post photos from them. Foodie? Let people know about new restaurant openings and your reviews. Weekend warrior? Share tips and tricks for homeowners to help with DIY projects, local discounts, and businesses that you’d recommend. Get creative with it and learn that 80% of what you share not about you will in fact help you grow in popularity and usefulness.

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5. Automate Some Of Your Social 

Now I know that a lot of you are thinking that no one who runs a small business on their own has all this time throughout the day to find fun content to share like blog posts and local articles, but there is something that you can do to ease the stress of commitment. Personally, I use an application called Buffer. This nifty little tool helps me be social when I don’t have time to be. I set aside about 30 minutes each week, find blog posts and articles that related to my business, and schedule them to go out on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook throughout the week.

6. Go Mobile!

Believe me when I say that people LOVE photos and videos. We’re all visual beings and with that, posting photos help other truly comprehend what you’re trying to convey. So if you’ve set up your Facebook and Twitter accounts to share out high quality blog post content throughout the week, that leave you free to interject your voice whenever you get a free moment. All major social networks that you should care about have very decent mobile applications. On your phone, you should definitely have installed Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. If you’re using them, download and install Pinterest and Google+ as well. At a coffee shop working on your holiday card? Share a photo of your latte! Marching in a local benefit walk? Send photos of you and your colleagues. Let people know that you have a life outside of selling houses and reach them with content that they want to read.

7. Ask For Referrals!

Like I mentioned above, the 80/20 rule means that about 80% of everything you share should be geared to not promote yourself or your business in a boasting way. But don’t worry, I didn’t leave out that 20%. Think of that as your earned social currency. For every 8 posts you send out not related to your business, feel free to send out two things about your business. Maybe it’s about your referral program, a new listing, or lower interest rates. Just as long as these messages don’t outweigh the others, you’ll be good to go. So go ahead, get those referrals, and make sure it’s not the focus of what you do on your social media accounts.

 Content marketing is a tough thing to do but the days of pushing your marketing messages out to consumers are fading quickly. It’s so easy to drown out bad marketing. We skip commercials with DVR’s, we send junk mail into the trash and bad emails to the SPAM folder. What does work is not being intrusive with your clients, keeping them interested in what you have to say through valuable, interesting content, and building up those personal relationships through email and social media. That’s how you’re going to get your referral business up and soaring in 2014 and we can help.

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Travis is the Product Marketing Manager at OutboundEngine. He is responsible for communicating to the world about OutboundEngine. From all content creation on the website, social media channels, and documents both internal and external, Travis crafts everything to reach our target audiences with ease.