As we approach 2018, you should be thinking about ways to improve your business and start the new year out right. Here are 8 great marketing ideas for real estate agents to strengthen marketing efforts in 2018:
1. Upgrade Your Photo Quality
Even an untrained eye can tell the difference between a high-quality professional photo and a hurried snap. If you’re looking for a new home and the pictures are grainy, blurry or at strange angles, chances are your impression of the home isn’t going to be as positive as it could be.
In 2018 there is no good excuse for using poor-quality photography in your listings or your marketing collateral. The great news is you don’t have to spend a lot of money to hire professional photographers; our phones all come with great cameras and we have editing apps at our fingertips (many for free). Before posting your next listing, take the time to take quality images. Use natural light, try out different angles. There are plenty of tips and tricks online to learn how to get better at this. Potential home buyers & sellers will take notice and appreciate it.
2. Create Content that Provides True Value
As a real estate agent, your primary focus is on clients who are in the market to buy or sell a home. However, what about the years in between these transactions? For clients not actively looking to do either, seeing you post one listing after the next is not relevant or helpful. You should share and send content that is full of valuable information applicable to clients not currently in the market to buy or sell. Having shareable content also increases your exposure to potential clients. This way you stay top of mind so they remember you when they’re ready to make a move.
If you need inspiration, check out our top-performing real estate campaigns of 2017.
3. Actively Post on Social Media
Pretty much everyone uses social media to share updates about their lives, but as a real estate agent or broker, are you using these channels to grow and nurture your business? If you answered no, this should be your resolution for 2018. Meet your clients and prospects where they are: online.
One mistake that agents make with social media is only posting home listings. This provides no real value to anyone that isn’t currently in the market to buy a home. You need to share the value-rich content we discussed before on these social channels. Ask your network to engage with you and share their own thoughts in the comments, and be sure to respond when they do.
4. Ask for Referrals
89% of real estate agents said that referrals from current and previous clients are one of their most successful marketing efforts, but it turns out that 41% of real estate agents do not spend any money on referrals per month.
Don’t let this be you in 2018! Create a strategy to ask clients for referrals and make it standard practice. When you’re short on time, the amount of effort required to generate referrals may feel daunting, but it’s important to realize how impactful they are to your business. 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over all other forms of marketing according to a report from Nielsen. So don’t be nervous about putting yourself out there and asking your happy clients to pass along your business card or make an introduction. Chances are they will be happy to do so and you’ll gain potential future clients from it.
5. Clean up Your Database
Having bad data completely wastes all of the effort you put into creating content and sending out your newsletters. Not to mention, if you cause too many bounces, unsubscribes or spam reports, your ability to make it to the inbox will take a nosedive.
Ensuring your data is clean is vital for your business. It impacts your email deliverability and your ability to expand your reach. Take the time to regularly clean up your data and remove unsubscribe requests to ensure you’re making the most of your marketing efforts.
6. Follow up with Clients
As a real estate agent, it’s critical to stay in touch with your past clients. For most people, buying or selling a home doesn’t many times in their lives, but when it does you want to be the agent they call. If you aren’t already, start sending email newsletters regularly. These should be full of valuable information that is meant to help, not sell, as discussed above in idea 2. By providing this type of content and reaching out regularly, past clients will be more likely to remember you when they need your help again.
One way that won’t cost you a penny is to pick up the phone to thank clients for their business. You can do this if it’s been a couple days after they move in or it’s been a couple of years. If you want to spend a little more time and have a small budget, you could also send a birthday or holiday card to connect in a way that isn’t associated with a business transaction.
7. Add Live Chat to your Website
Hopefully, you’re already focused on driving web traffic, but what happens when a potential client gets to your site?
It’s critical to be there when your prospects need you most. The best way to do this is by
adding live chat to your website so you have coverage 24/7. Live chat is one of the most effective marketing tools available in terms of conversion on your website. With live chat, website visitors have the ability to ask questions and receive answers in real-time rather than going elsewhere to answer their questions. It also prevents the dreaded automated menu loop we’ve all been trapped in when calling customer service.
Chat creates a stronger user experience and gives you valuable information to reach out and follow up. The best, easiest way to upgrade your site is with ReadyChat, a live chat service built specifically for real estate.
8. Automate Your Marketing
As a real estate agent or broker, managing a healthy pipeline of clients and prospects is essential to growing your business. You have a long list of tasks you do on a daily, weekly, monthly and annual basis, which means it can be difficult to find time for generating and sharing content and following up with past clients.
Automated email and social media marketing is a great way to reach your audience, even when you don’t have time to take them to lunch or call them on the phone. There are several tools that allow you to automate this on your own, but if you want content created for you from start to finish, OutboundEngine’s automated marketing is the right choice for your business.
Click here to set up a live walkthrough and find out how it will help you succeed in 2018.