Over the past year, I have spent a good deal of time visiting real estate businesses. To those clients who attend our business system presentation, Agency Profit System®, to those thinking of opening a real estate agency, and to those who are interested in rebranding their agencies (moving from a franchise or marketing group to independent) Pittard offers a business analysis to devise action plans for higher profits.
One of the items on my checklist is the business’s capacity to market for new business. This is an important component of business success and you may be surprised at the number of businesses that have very little capacity to market to potential clients. No wonder so many real estate business owners struggle!
The biggest challenge real estate business owners face is buyer-focused marketing. Real estate agencies spend more money marketing to home buyers than they do marketing to home sellers. This is why many real estate businesses have chronic stock shortages.
The argument for buyer-focused marketing is that vendors pay for the buyer advertising. But if you want more stock, shouldn’t you be portioning some of your income toward marketing to sellers, toward getting more listings?
Now we see the second biggest challenge: many offices have a low capacity to market for listings. This is not something you can switch on and off like a light switch – you either have the capacity to market or you don’t.
And if you don’t, this is the third largest challenge: getting seller marketing up and running, and then operating consistently.
For all the mystique surrounding marketing and branding, almost as important as the message is marketing consistently to your target market. For real estate businesses, the target market is easy enough to identify: those who own properties within your service area.
The type of marketing you do is also quite straightforward too, although NOT simple to set up:
Digital – this is Electronic Digital Marketing (EDM), emails, home alerts, Adwords, Retargeting, Social Media, SMS and so forth.
Print – hard copy printed material such as leaflets, letters, newsletters, signs, window displays, etc. Newspapers are most likely not worth the expense these days.
Personal – prospecting, speaking with potential clients face-to-face or by telephone, Skype, etc.
Setting Up Digital, Print and Personal Marketing
This is important: if you do not start, you will never enjoy the benefit!
Digital – how do you effectively market digitally if you do not have a modern CRM (database) with a large amount of accurate data? How do you market digitally if you have never set up an active and consistent Social Media campaign? Failure to implement these systems means that you cannot effectively market digitally.
Print – how do you market by personally-addressed letter (the best way to get your message read) if you do not have a CRM with a high quality and quantity of accurate data? You cannot!
Leaflets are one option, but not if delivered by Australia Post or by walkers who deliver other companies’ leaflets at the same time as they deliver yours. You have to work to set up a walker program and the best way to deliver leaflets is to have yours delivered under doors. But this takes work and most leaders will not set up a walker program, and so they shut the door on effective print marketing.
Personal – in the absence of effective Digital and Print marketing strategies, all that is left to you is personal marketing – knocking on doors, and cold and warm prospecting.
But now we face the fourth challenge – getting salespeople to do it!
Low on listings?
If your office is low on listings, look first to your business’s capacity to market. If all you have going for you is personal marketing, you will always be low on stock, at least until the day comes where the market is falling and stock, often overpriced stock, becomes plentiful.
Market your company, in digital, print and personal forms. Some agents say it to sellers often enough, “You cannot keep your property a secret”, but doesn’t this apply equally to your business too?
Don’t keep your business a secret!