Real estate professionals, especially those who are just getting started, often find it difficult to market themselves. Some are naturally shy; others may not want to seem too forward and intrusive. Yet, effective self-promotion is essential for success in real estate, and there are several ways you can market yourself effectively in positive ways.
Hand Out Business Cards
Business cards may seem old-school in a digital world, but they’re still an important marketing tool. Physical business cards, as opposed to digital ones, offer a more personal touch. When you hand someone a business card, they may be more likely to remember you, especially if you make eye contact, shake their hand, and talk a little. Since business cards are small, people tend to tuck them away and keep them until later or until someone asks if they know any good real estate agents.
Many real estate agents include a photo to make their cards stand out from the rest and to foster recognition and trust. Others include a QR code that lets prospective customers link directly to their websites. While clever shapes may make you stand out from your competitors, make sure it fits comfortably in a wallet.
Build a Social Media Presence
Social media is a perfect marketing platform for real estate because it’s so visual. You can post photos of homes for new listings and open houses, along with hashtags describing the home’s features and targeting the local communities you serve. Be sure to link back to your website so interested viewers can get more information.
However, to truly build a social media presence, you need to post frequently and develop a brand “voice” across multiple platforms. Try making posts that give short tips about home-related topics such as decorating and remodeling. Information about events and resources will also draw attention. Use photos or images available from free stock image websites to draw attention to your posts.
Keep Your Website Updated
Good marketing includes updating your website frequently, both in content and in technology. Search engine optimization (SEO) strategies are necessary to raise your business to the top of a search result. Adding new content to your website helps with SEO. You may consider adding a blog about real estate-related matters or home improvement. Since your reach will be national as well as local, use evergreen (always relevant) rather than time-sensitive content.
Updated technology is also important to keep your site fully functional and secure. Out-of-date plugins can cause maintenance problems for your site such as malware. Hackers can gain access to your website through outdated plugins.
Network in Your Community
Real estate is ultimately a person-to-person business, and the more people you know, the greater your chances of getting new customers and referrals. You’ll get to know your community, which can help you serve your clients better. You will also develop confidence in speaking with people.
Joining local business groups, such as a chamber of commerce or small business organization, will introduce you to people from all walks of life. Volunteering for a charity event and getting involved with hobby groups also help you meet new people.
Use Traditional Advertising
While digital marketing is effective, you should also develop a physical and visual presence in your community by using traditional advertising. Placing advertisements in local print media is a start, but also think about direct mail marketing. Postcards are relatively inexpensive to send. Many communities also have local advertising magazines or flyers delivered to every household.
Signs are still important marketing tools for real estate agents. “For sale” and “Sold” signs will attract the attention of neighbors and passersby, even if they’re not currently thinking of moving. Signs on lampposts, at bus stops, and billboards are also options.
Sponsor Local Activities
Sponsoring local activities such as festivals, school events, and kids’ sports leagues can build good will while expanding your name and brand recognition into fresh market areas. Family-oriented activities are especially important if you specialize in residential real estate. School groups such as theater clubs, marching bands, and many others are always looking for sponsors, and your name will be prominently listed on their program or banner.
Fundraisers for nonprofits are also in need of sponsors. You might sponsor a hole in a golf tournament or volunteer to pass out water at a 5K charity run. Any of these activities allows you to contribute to your community and get to know people.
Real estate agents understand they can’t sit in their office and wait for people to call. To be successful, they need to market themselves right in the community that they serve. You can combine a number of strategies, but with so many options, there’s something to fit each person’s comfort level and budget.
Check out this article on how to be a hands-off real estate investor!