There are tens of thousands of real estate agents in Australia, so how do you make sure your name is top of mind when a vendor decides it’s time to sell?
From cold calling to letter box drops, there are numerous marketing options at your disposal.
We’ve collated five top marketing tips, including a couple from our very own Samantha McLean, to ensure you stand out in the crowd and can build an attraction business.
Have a recognisable point of difference
A common consumer complaint is that ‘all agents look the same’ and if you ask Elite Agent Managing Editor Samantha McLean, defining your point of difference is where you have an opportunity to make a big difference.
“The easier a client can understand who you are, what you do and what to expect, the less convincing (aka selling) you actually need to do,” she says.
“If you try to appeal to everyone, you might end up appealing to no one.”
So, who are you, and who do you represent?
Sam says to really think about this and avoid the same generic statements every other agency makes about world-class customer service or having the best people.
Think about it, Jetstar and Qantas sell the same thing at the core, but where they differentiate is in the client experience they offer.
So, take a step back and ask how you can demonstrate knowledge, know-how, experience or synergy your target market actually cares about?
Get people to read your marketing
Sometimes the biggest battle with marketing is getting your audience to take it in.
Rent Roll Starter’s Ellen Bathgate says to reach that goal you have to make a personal connection with your target audience.
She says this is often most difficult with email marketing because it feels like you’re advertising and pushing something on your client.
And you are, but how can you do it in a way that builds a relationship that feels like you’re chatting with a friend?
- Nail your subject line and make it short, sharp and snappy.
- Use your clients name and address the email to them. “Hi Ellen” feels much more personal than “Hi ‘first name’”.
- Use plain formatting and create your marketing emails in a way that makes them feel like they’re coming from a friend or someone you communicate with regularly.
- Use a conversational and relatable tone. It makes your emails more enjoyable to read.
Ellen says there are three key questions to keep in mind when you’re creating advertising collateral:
- Will people be interested in reading this?
- Why will people be interested in this?
- How can I make it more engaging and personal?
“Nobody reads advertising, so it’s your job to make sure that your marketing never looks like an ad,” she says.
Build a referral business
Hands up who likes cold calling? That’s right, no one. But in another must know tip from Samantha McLean, there’s a lot you can do about that – rely on referrals.
- Make your business referrable. Ask every team member to adopt a referral business attitude and watch as they provide better service than ever before.
- Look for good referral sources. Take a few moments to brainstorm a list. Think: existing and past clients, family, friends, associates, local builders, developers, trades etc…
- Know how to ask for referrals. Foreshadow with clients that you’re building your business with referrals – it hints that you’ll be asking for one. Explain what’s in it for them (lifetime service excellence). Another really simple option is, next time someone compliments an element of your service simply ask them to tell others about it.
- Know when to ask for referrals. Timing is important. Ask for referrals when someone becomes a client in what’s called the ‘happy phase’. Or, ask when your client deems you’ve provided them good value. You will need to watch for and learn when these moments are. Some examples could be when you solve or prevent a problem for them or when you teach them something.
- Reward when you get a referral. This is optional but Sam recommends giving back to those that provide you with a referral. It can be as simple as a handwritten note or drop off a little, unexpected gift.
Quirky marketing can work
All of those agents you see jumping in pools and jet skiing in suits must be crazy right?! Not so fast.
It turns out there’s method in their madness, and it’s all about getting more eyeballs on the properties they have listed.
Ray White New Farm Principal Matt Lancashire is one of the more high-profile agents to successfully use quirky videos to market his properties and he says there’s a careful strategy behind each social media post on Facebook or Instagram.
“I don’t do it to get likes or to get followers,” he says.
“I do it to get eyeballs on properties… and we target all buyers who inspect, who inquire and who come through our open homes, and we target straight to their social media accounts.
“It’s really effective. We’ve got a 70 per cent connection rate to people’s social media accounts from all the data we’ve collected.”
So, what do you need to do to make this type of marketing work?
- Be creative and look for a special feature at each property.
- If the property doesn’t have a special or quirky feature, don’t force it.
- Combine video with an on-trend song or a clever script.
- Maintain high production standards.
- Ensure you follow up the leads this type of marketing generates.
Create a lead magnet
A lead magnet, by definition, is a marketing tool that generates leads by freely offering a valuable or long-term resource in exchange for a prospect’s contact information.
For real estate professionals, lead magnets can take many forms, including checklists, market reports, destination guides, quizzes, cheat sheets, resource lists, video training or a newsletter subscription.
How to create a lead magnet
- Think about a struggle many of your clients have and how you can solve it.
- Choose your style of lead magnet (see options above).
- Create your lead magnet ensuring you answer your client’s questions or solve their problem.
- Edit and refine. Rinse and repeat.
- Decide where your lead magnet will live. It could be on social media or your website.
- Generate traffic so people download your lead magnet. You can do this numerous ways including with Facebook and Google Ads, a website popup or paid TV, radio and newspaper ads.
- When someone downloads your lead magnet, add them to your database.
- Now that you have a lead, nurture it. Call them, suggest a meeting or put them on your client care plan, if you have one.