July 16, 2015

Real Estate Agents - Best Marketing Practices - Best Business Increasing Practices

Local and Localization is about sustainability and no group defines Local better than Real Estate Agents and Brokers.  This creates unique opportunities for agents and brokers to market themselves and marker their brand.  Remember, even though the product is the home, it's the agent that we hire.

Because Your Customers
are your Neighbors
In Real Estate, the Cost of Customer Acquisition is high whether it is for a listing or for a buyer - much higher when you consider the time invested to both obtain the client and maintain / service the client (time is a real cost).  Agents and brokers market themselves in many ways - each serving a different purpose.

Internet and Social Media - A necessary evil.  MLS, Zillow, brokerage website and your own website are all things you need to get going.  There is plenty of help available as these are the easy ones to begin your business venture.  People may also "check you out" on Yelp or Facebook.  High labor cost - low direct / measurable return is the norm from Internet marketing.  I don't want to underplay this; your Internet presence is required in supporting your brand - ask me why (for another article).

EDDM with a Call to Action
Direct Mail - EDDM (USPS Every Door Direct Mail) has the highest return for real estate agents, but is the most overlooked.  Let's analyze a few scenarios. EDDM, if you are unaware, is a USPS service that give you the capability to target, not only Local, but a neighborhood - making YOU a neighbor.  NO mail list, or cost of a mail list, required.!  What better return can you have; Retail EDDM is inexpensive in that it is less than HALF first class postage rates, and your message touches all the homes around the one you just listed or sold.  It's targeted by the mail carrier route that your listing is within.  It contains a very custom message about THAT LISTING.  It contains a "call to action" on that house ("Open House on Sunday, June 3rd from 1-3 PM).  It contains a message about YOU.  YOUR SELLER WILL LOVE THIS.  Neighbors will visit your open house (because it's in the neighborhood (Curiosity)) and you will meet a lot of people - isn't that what the real estate business is about?  Does this generate some ideas?

EDDM is also a very cost effective way to introduce yourself to the neighborhoods you want to specialize  - the neighborhoods where you are an expert.

Return on EDDM marketing is huge.

Referral Marketing - This one is not a new concept in the real estate business and is definitely the big winner.  Your good relationships (goodwill) with local mortgage companies, banks, the Chamber of Commerce and local businesses will put you on their referral list

So how can you add to your referral marketing opportunities and returns?  Do some proactive referral marketing.
  1. Everyone you know (have touched) at mortgage companies, banks and The Chamber of Commerce should have a referral card - one custom to themselves.  Why?  First, because it is also about them, thus they are more likely to use it.  Second, you can measure the return.  Provide some sort of motivation to each side - a home evaluation, free local packet of info /coupons (from friends) to prospective clients and maybe a referral  reward to your referrers / friends.  I purposely use the word "Friends" here - "we all like to do business with people we like" first.
  2. Referral Cards
    On the sale / buy of a home, print a set of thank you / referral cards / announcement cards that are specific to that client - One with their big smile and the words "The Williams New Home"; these will go everywhere.  Your referral card will go from your customer, to their friends and colleagues.  Remember, include a call to action  - several - about both you and the new homeowners:
    "Directions to The Williams New Home".  Cool approach, huh.
  3. Possibly the most important task you have to improve your referral selection: Be Part of the Community - Be a Recognized Face = Be a Recognized Smile.
Call Me for advice - We Consult and We Build your referral program.  We Print and we will measure (count your money) if you like..

Bob Leonard
561-371-4113 (Call My Cell) 
512-593-8830 (in Austin)
EDDM and Referral Marketing Programs
are Services Provided by all LightsOn / Time4 offices.
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