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Ask an Expert: Answers to Your Top Real Estate Marketing Questions

January 17 2016

Dan Wood 300x300As the real estate industry has evolved and technology plays a bigger role in marketing every year, there are always new questions from agents. You want to make sure you're being as efficient and effective as possible with your marketing efforts. In this post, I invited real estate expert Danny Wood to answer some of your top questions.

Danny has a deep understanding of online lead generation. In the last 11 months, he has generated over 10,000 home buyer and seller leads using just social media and Google search alone! He helps real estate agents with marketing and technology... and he helps broker owners with seminars and agent recruiting. For more about Dan, go to: www.brokeragenation.comwww.brokeragenation.com.

Question:

I'm a new real estate agent who is just getting started in the business. With my limited budget, what are some of the best marketing tactics I should start with to get my name out there and start building a list of contacts?

Answer:

When I was a new agent, I would hold open houses every week. At least two. I'd use the entire week as a marketing opportunity and go door knocking or cold calling with invitations to see the new listing. It was a way for me to build my database and meet people thinking of moving. Every week, I had new listings to choose from. If I didn't have many myself, I'd contact agents at my office. I'd watched our office listings and call the agent right away to ask if they wanted me to look after the open house.

If a listing was ever vacant, I'd do a Thursday / Friday evening open house the week it got listed, from 5-7pm in the evening. My intent was to pick up sellers in the area driving home from work. The property was empty anyways so I used that as my mobile office. I used the time to make my follow-up calls and prospect for new clients. At least this way I actually had walk-ins, because working from home (or the office) you don't get as many walk-ins. So I figured why not?

A open house wasn't just a weekend thing. It was a full week of marketing. This gave me a new product or reason to talk to people about real estate.

  • Tip: As you meet new people and collect contact information, remember to add this info into your real estate CRM and assign them to a drip marketing campaign! It's an easy way to keep in touch and continue to build a relationship with your prospects.

Question:

It seems like everyone is on Facebook, but my social media accounts aren't generating the comments or "Likes" that I want. Am I doing something wrong? How are other REALTORS® getting so much interaction?

Answer:

If it's a business page you are talking about, it's probably because you are not boosting the post. This is when you pay to promote it. Watch what other agents are doing right and try emulating that. If you see agent videos are getting more engagement versus virtual tours using just moving pictures, you should try to up your game and do just that. Fail your way forward. Easy marketing isn't interesting. You need your message to pop. Include a clear call-to-action and include your unique personality.

If you start making good content and still don't get the interaction you are looking for, I'd suggest looking into the "Facebook power editor custom audience." With this, you can load all the emails from your database. This creates an audience and the next time you boost your post, you can target just those people – your sphere of influence. These are the people most likely to like, comment and share your message.

  • Tip: Looking for content to post on your Facebook page? Try posting links to your most recent blog post and "boost" the Facebook update for a few dollars. This helps your Facebook post gain more of an audience, and helps drive traffic to your website!

Question:

If I had to choose one real estate marketing initiative to tackle this year, what should it be?

Answer:

Most agents need to focus on lead follow-up and getting referrals. Those are the two biggest pitfalls that lead to the most money if a system is in place.

I have three rules when working a database.

Rule 1: Every contact needs a "next call date." When that time comes, you call them and push the date forward. It's never a done task. Sometimes it's a three day, three month or one year reminder. If a contact is in your system, they NEED a next call date. Otherwise time passes and you'll build a big dirty database of people you haven't reached in a long time and you forget who they are (or be too embarrassed to call them after two years).

Rule 2: All contacts need to be in a group. If everyone is just in your database, you will miss the ability to pull specific contacts. For example, I have a group of my sphere (friends, family and past clients). I also had a list of buyer leads and a list of seller leads.

With these different groups, I could easily do a mass email to my sphere about a client appreciation event. In the New Year, I can mass email my buyers, and in the spring pull the list of sellers.

Breaking your database down into types of prospects makes your future marketing easier, and it all starts when you add them to your system. You must assign them to the proper list(s).

Rule 3: Standardize your notes. In the note section, copy/paste the things you need to know. Like your qualifying questions (working with an agent, financed, needs to sell, when they want to move). Things like the spouse's name, what they want to buy, and any other notes that are needed for all contacts. Now when I call them next I have the information, making my conversation easier and with reason for the call.

  • Tip: Use your real estate CRM's reminder feature to notify you when it's time to call a lead or past client. This prevents contacts from falling through the cracks.

Question:

Is Instagram a worthy social media platform for real estate agents? I don't want to fall behind, but I'm not sure if that's where I should focus my energy.

Answer:

Yes, but not how you think. You need an Instagram account so you can promote your listings. You do this by going to facebook.com/ads and creating an ad. When you do this, you can pick Instagram as one of the marketing options.

Consider an open house. You could post an ad about the upcoming open house to just the people living in the same postal code, who are over 25 and on Facebook and Instagram!

Posting listings on Instagram is okay, but the real results come from advertising, and you do that by going to facebook.com/ads (Facebook owns Instagram, so that's why you need to go to Facebook).

Question:

I don't want to come across as insincere or aggressive by asking my contacts or past clients for referrals. Is there a better way to seek referral business without rubbing my contacts the wrong way?

Answer:

Start with baby steps. Call them twice a year. Use the spring market as a reason to call them about local house values. Offer them a complimentary street update. Have a casual conversation and ask for referrals in a roundabout reason. Call them about the street update. End off with, "Do you know anyone who is thinking of moving this year?"

Use the end of summer as a reason to call about new listings and setting people up on daily alerts.

I also pepper the conversation with getting missing info. If I don't have all contact info such as name, email, address and cell, I'll add that to the conversation. "Oh, by the way, I noticed I don't have your address..." and I try to update my notes so it's all complete.

  • Tip: Remember to update the notes section in your real estate CRM with the details you learn about each contact. If someone mentions they may consider moving within the next couple years, set yourself a reminder to give them a call to follow-up in the future.

To view the original article, visit the IXACT Contact blog.