Effective and consistent communication is essential in building a successful real estate business. In fact, many highly successful real estate agents actually say they are in the “communication and information business.” Yet for most agents, marketing is an afterthought – something that is done on impulse or with no consistent purpose.
What’s missing is a plan. Here are a few steps to building an effective, hassle-free marketing plan:
- Define your offering. There are over one million licensed Realtors in the country. You need to let your clients and prospects know what makes you unique. Start by writing down everything you would want your past clients to say about you when referring you to another potential client. This will help you define your service promise or unique selling proposition.
- Know your audience. Gain as much information about your clients and prospects as possible. At a minimum, you should know the basic demographics of your target audience: the average age, income and family composition. Knowing this will help you deliver the correct message.
- Design a theme and/or message. Develop a consistent message that will help you keep your name top of mind with your target audience.
- Decide on a budget. Most agents spend less than 10% of their annual revenue on marketing. Statistics show that in order to make any kind of meaningful impact you should be spending 20-30%. A pre-determined budget will help you allocate the funds necessary to carry out your message.
- Determine the frequency of communication. Experts suggest that more than 3 times per month is too much and less than four times per year is pointless. Whether you communicate once per quarter or twice per month, the key is to stay consistent.
- Select your pieces. Selecting your marketing pieces in advance will save you a lot of stress and strain throughout the year. The key is to ensure that your look is consistent with your message.
- Choose the proper media. A balanced, or 360-degree approach is your best bet to getting your message across. Mix up your delivery between direct mail, email, personal visits, your website, print advertisements, etc.
- Implement and measure. Develop a marketing calendar spreadsheet that includes: the specific marketing piece, the date and method of delivery, the projected cost, and a column for recording client responses. This will keep you on track and provide you with a basic yardstick for how well your plan is working.
The type of marketing you do and how you do it can quickly grow your business. It all starts with a plan and a commitment. No matter how many calls you get, you are going to continue with it for 45-60 days. The more committed you are, the better chance that your phone will eventually start ringing.
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