Marketing – avoid the scattergun approach
There are so many ways to market yourself as a real estate agent. So many in fact that many of us will try bits of each and do none of them well.
Make a list of the tactics that resonate with you and will work well in your area, then choose one or two and do them well.
You also need to do them for a while, not just a week to see if it works, because anything you do will take time. Look at the time you spend developing it, as an investment. Do not expect quick results.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Develop a marketing campaign
Think long term. Develop a campaign that will run for 12 months. The best way to do this is to set up a wall calendar on which you mark school holidays, public holidays, Easter, Christmas, the start of all the seasons, and so on. It becomes the event calendar that will open opportunities for you to run and/or sponsor events, have themed campaigns around your listings, open homes and buyer activities. Don’t forget to include buyer and seller info nights.
Develop a farm area
There are some thoughts that say a farm area should be no more than 200 houses but I prefer to say that you should know the numbers in your area before you decide on how many properties should be in your patch. If people in your area sell every 10 years then, in a patch of 200, there should be a total of 20 sales every year. If they turn over say every 5 years, then it will mean an average of 40 sales a year. Unless you can achieve a very high market share, you will not be able to make a living at that level. You do the sums and decide.
Get the pipeline going. Leverage off every listing so that you get two, three, four or more extra listings off the back of your existing listings.
Listings that sell
Not every listing is a good listing. When you list a property, you should be grading it as A, B or C.
- Large signboard
- $5K + VPA (Paid)
- Sellers expectation within selling zone
- In demand property – in-demand area
- Second inspections
- Serious discussions with buyers (offers)
- Will sell in under 30 days
- Up to $5K in VPA (Paid)
- Asking just outside selling zone – between 10% and 15% of feedback
- Had at least one offer
- Will sell in up to 60 days
- Open listing
- Sign but with other agents signs as well
- No VPA or unpaid VPA
- Asking more than 15% of feedback
- No offers
- No indication of a sale
Your goal should be to get all your listings to A Grade as soon as possible. Constantly work on your B and C listings to do that.
Use video and professional photography
This is becoming so important. All the great agents do not compromise on this strategy. Get comfortable with doing video. It is the best way to show your personality and when it comes time for someone to list their property they will feel as if they know you before they even meet you. It does not have to be Hollywood but, having said that, make sure the audio is good.
Work on repeat referral business
You need to go over and above with your service levels. Plan to wow them with your service. The best way to do that is to always be contacting them. Focus on under-promising and over-delivering. The most common complaint from sellers, and buyers for that matter, is that the agent does not communicate.
Your own website
The best way to get your branding out there is to develop your own website. It is good to have your listings and open homes on the site but it can become time-consuming and expensive. Just use a link to your main agency website and have your website packed with tips on buying and selling. Your website can set you up as the authority.
Start a blog and use video – answer questions
This is where the smart operators are working. Setting up communities and talking to them. Offering advice on buying and selling, providing details of what is happening in the area. Use this as part of your website strategy. Start with one video a week.
People do not want to just hear about your new listings and what sales you have made but that is what most agents think they should do with social media. Sure, do some of that, but social media is so much more. Be careful what you put up there as well, because it is going to be there for quite a long time and it is the ‘go-to’ destination for anyone wanting to find out about you when they are looking for an agent.
Killer listing conversation
This is where the rubber meets the road. When you are there you need to be very professional. There is too much to this subject to do it justice here, so I will cover it in a future article, but in the meantime, decide that you will spend some money and time in practice in this area.
Build excitement around your listings
Be a believer in every listing. Promote it like it is the only listing you have. Look for every opportunity to talk to people about your listings. Enthusiasm is a big part of selling anything. If you lack enthusiasm or belief or motivation (or whatever you want to call it) then people will avoid you and not want to deal with you. Get enthusiastic!
Develop a great open home strategy
This is showtime! Remember that many people who attend your open home are likely to be future sellers. While you can only sell a property to one person, do not overlook the potential of all the others you meet at an open home. Take names, numbers and email addresses and most importantly do something with the information. They should go into a Customer Relationship Management program and then be called, spoken to, and allocated into a category to be followed up and that way you will start to build relationships. Don’t be one of the agents who makes decisions about who to follow up based on discovering ‘real buyers’. Great agents don’t make decisions about people they treat everyone as a person to do business with – now or in the future.
Kevin Turner hosts Australasia’s longest-running and most listened to podcast for real estate agents, business owners and property managers Real Estate UNCUT. He is also the Anchor for international property post cable network PropertyTV.io.