Let’s build a strategy together and create a real estate marketing plan that will lead to long-term success. In this article, I put together all the best practices and scenarios that are working for our clients.
The most famous quote about strategy from The Art Of War is “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.”
Why Lead Generation/Marketing sometimes doesn’t work
Over the past few years, we’ve consulted a lot of clients who experience very low closing rates from online marketing. They say it takes too much time and effort reaching, engaging and eventually closing clients. As we were helping them to get their marketing efforts in the right place we started noticing that a lot of them have a lot in common. Before we begin talking about the marketing plan I thought it would make sense to list the most common mistakes agents make.
Have a generic website that doesn’t bring any value to your clients.
No, listings on a website don’t bring value. A very common solution for the Real Estate website is Web4Realty – all these websites look IDENTICAL. They look generic and don’t speak to any audience and don’t create trust online. Don’t expect significant results when you use something that everyone else uses.
Don’t have a proper foundation before you move to the lead generation stage
Everyone knows that it’s relatively easy to get leads from Facebook/Instagram. And everyone knows that sometimes it quite challenging to close them. Why is this happening? Because people don’t know you. In most cases internet behaviour is chaotic and people don’t really give too much thought when they click on your “Free evaluation” or listing lead generation ad. Facebook just auto-fills all the information for so technically there’s no commitment at this moment. We noticed that only agents who spend time on establishing a foundation for their brand close lead at higher rates.
It does make a difference WHEN you follow-up with your clients. There’s a significantly higher chance for a person to pick up a phone within the first 5 min after form submission. You can’t follow-up yourself? Talk to us, we have solutions for you.
Not enough follow-ups
We noticed that sometimes agents give up too early, only after a couple of follow-ups. Real Estate is a super-competitive market where you have to constantly following-up with your clients. Sometimes it takes months for a client to make a decision. We need to remind clients about ourselves and in the meantime not being annoying. We will discuss further how to accomplish this.
You won’t be competitive enough if you just repeat all over again other realtors who talk about tips for staging, this content is very generic, it speaks to everyone. The problem is when we try to speak to everyone in reality we speak to none. Your generic message should be mixed with precise targetted content/ads. For example, you talk about specific neighbourhoods or address to very niche markets.
Lead Generation Only
Lead Generation is a good solution for short term results. In the long run, it’s not the most efficient way to feed your clients’ pipeline. We always suggest mixing lead gen campaigns with other advertising activities.
We want to set ourselves for the long term results. I’m not going to talk here about lead gen. You can find lots of lead gen articles on our website.
Lead Gen articles:
- Comparing Google, Facebook LinkedIn
- How to Generate Qualified Leads with Facebook
- Ultimate Guide On Real Estate Facebook Ads
What channels should I use?
Website – not negotiable
You should have a good looking website that represents your uniqueness. Create something simple but that represents YOU. You don’t need a developer, you can make it yourself using web builders (detailed article here) or ask our team for help. Speak to your audience. I think this website (https://haddenhomes.com/) can be a good example of some uniqueness. This https://www.nobleblack.com/ website gives uniqueness, prestige and luxurious feelings, that exactly what they are looking for.
Social Media – at least one channel
First of all, be realistic with your commitment time. Think of how many channels you’re able to keep up with. You should be able to post at least a couple of times a week and engage with ALL your clients who post comments or message you. If you don’t have anyone who helps you we suggest picking just one social media channel and maximize your efforts there.
Great platform with the biggest reach amongst all social media channels. People spend a lot of time on Facebook and it’s easy to get engagement. The disadvantage of that platform is organic reach – how many eyeballs you can get organically by just posting content. Organic reach on Facebook doesn’t exist anymore, you need to pay money for content boosting.
Great platform to reach more niche audiences, works well for commercial properties. Has lead generation capabilities and great organic algorithm. You can reach new people by just posting new content without paying. LinkedIn is growing and can be a good platform for a long term strategy. The disadvantage that we see on Facebook is still lack of engagement in comparison to Facebook, people don’t visit LinkedIn as often as they do Facebook.
Great channels to reach a lot of people. Might also require some initial investment to boost your content. A very powerful tool to build repo online. The only disadvantage you have with youtube is the time-consuming content creation process. It requires some edition and SEO optimization of each video and channels overall. We always suggest to have it as your second channel. Would fit more agents who are looking for aggressive expansion with marketers’ support.
It’s way easier to create content when you know who are you creating content for. We always suggest narrowing down the target audience when it comes to content. Try to imagine for example retiree downsizer and what types of topics would be interesting for them. Start create and post content, measure the performance and see what’s working what’s not. Use Google Analytics to measure content performance.
Branding ads are focused on creating awareness amongst your target audience. They prepare and worm up people before you reach out to them with lead generation campaigns. One thing is when a no-nome realtor offers you his “free evaluation” services and another when you see that from a well-established agent. The whole purpose of branding activities is to create this well- established image. Every platform listed above has branding capabilities.
All brand activities should be value-based. You pick an audience to create something valuable or inspirational and then pay on some platform to bring it in front of their eyes. From time to time you change your ads and targeting, this way you stay relevant and don’t hit the same audience too many times. Videos usually get better engagement than any other content, even LinkedIn works very well with video content.
We need to plan how are we going to stay in touch efficiently with all the people we have in the pipeline. Sometimes it takes up to 6 months for people to make a decision since they appeared in our pipeline. We want to find an efficient non-intrusive way to remind them about us.
The most efficient way to keep up with a pipeline is to put in place a CRM. (We have a great article on client nurturing).
Ideal CRM should be able to:
- Email drip campaigns
- Landing page creation (for hyper targetted campaigns)
- Text messaging
- Phone calls
- Mobile app – it integrated with your phone
- Funnel visualization – you should be able to manage all your leads and group them in buckets for ease of management
We build CRMs for each agent. You can take a look at our CRM and the capabilities it has here. Always provide value in your follow-ups: neighbourhood updates, listings, market updates, trends, news. Having your clients segmented in your CRM will help you to personalize your follow-ups and stay away from generic follow-ups.
Marketing Plan Summary
Now let’s summarize everything we have talked about above.
- Prepare a great website – don’t make it generic
- Choose a social media channel – start posting asap
- Produce targetted content, stay away from generic topics always measure your results
- Run branding campaigns on produced content
- After a few weeks of branding, start slowly adding lead generation
- Nurture leads through CRM and value marketing