The competition among realtors is fierce, and these days you’ll need marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack.
A study from the National Association of Realtors showed that 95% of buyers use the internet to begin their house hunting quest, driving home the vital need for real estate agents to have an active online presence. If you're not active, engaging, and networking online, then you're missing out.
Most agents aren’t even doing the very basics to be found online. A little bit will go a long way.
New agents in some ways have an advantage over seasoned agents because they can leapfrog over people who have old habits by using the latest technology to attract buyers and sellers.
Here are our 5 best real estate marketing ideas for new real estate agents looking to win the real estate marketing game.
Step 1: Create an Awesome, Professional Website.
People will start their search for a home on the internet. Most real estate offices have terrible, clunky websites that don’t work well on mobile. Most were set up in the early days of the internet and don’t look like they’ve been updated since Bon Jovi had a top 10 hit.
Make sure your site is:
- Mobile friendly (also known as “responsive design”)
- Put your contact info on every page – email & phone - make it easy for clients to contact you.
- Make use of local images – you’re not just selling a home, you’re selling an entire area. (Tip: Use images from Unsplash.com for unique royalty free professional images.)
- Has a blog – Create lists of the area that new home buyers would look for: i.e. “Best elementary schools in Anytown USA”, or “5 Best Coffee shops in Anytown” - create 1 new list every 2 weeks – this will help you get to the top
- Has the ability to let visitors see your listings as well as other homes for sale in the area. (IDX search)
If you’re willing to invest in your career, we recommend using a service such as Placester.com to set up your site in a snap and set it up right.
Step 2: Setup a Business Facebook Page
While everyone might like to see pictures of your cat, you might turn them off with your political views. Keep your personal Facebook page private and create a Facebook page specifically for your business. (Bussiness.facebook.com) You’ll be able to advertise to people in your area once you’ve set up a business page. For as little as $30 you’ll be able to reach 1,000 people in a zip code with an ad. Facebook has tons of great targeting features that ensure you’re only paying to get noticed by your key target audiences. This is a much more effective way than sending out handwritten letters to 1,000 homes in your zip code.
Each week you'll want to post the following on that page:
- Your favorite local business of the week – Coffee shop, dry cleaner, etc – ask them to share your post with their followers.
- Any homes that are new on the market that you think are unique and worthwhile to check out. Even if it’s not your listing.
Step 3: Advertise using Zillow Premier Agent or Realtor.com Pro.
In order to get leads, you’ll have to pay to get your name out there. This is the cost of doing business. Just like you’ll need to invest in a new suit and business cards, if you want to be set up for success for a career in real estate, you’ll need to make this advertising investment. Its’ simply where the buyers are.
Most agents don’t make this investment and try to find cheaper alternatives to get in front of buyers. But at the end of the day if you want to get off the ground quickly, we recommend spending this money.
Zillow has the most traffic and thus charges the most. Zillow also allows users to review real estate agents, so put on a smile and rack up that rating, as a solid star rating will greatly increase your leads.
Realtor.com is the second most visited site for people looking to purchase a home. Realtor.com tends to be the best place to start for new agents on a tighter budget.
We have one caveat to this recommendation. You need to respond to any lead within 2 minutes. We see too many agents who pay for these services and then let a lead sit for a day or longer. Another agent is just a click away. If you’re not always “on” your phone and ready to respond immediately. This is likely going to be a waste of money to get leads that you’re not going to follow up on.
Step 4: Great imagery of a property
Successful real estate relies heavily on great imagery. No images or bad images will diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. It’s absolutely vital that you have gorgeous imagery of your properties.
There are tons of great resources that provide in-depth detail about real estate photography – this guide from Digital Photography School is helpful.
And to really stand out on Facebook and Zillow - Create a Virtual Video Walkthrough Tour.
Your clients’ time is precious, and they want to understand as much as possible about a property prior to visiting in person. Virtual tours are a great way to give a comprehensive, accurate preview of the property for potential buyers.
Did you know Facebook and Zillow promote posts and listings with video over those posts and listings with only static photos? Posting a virtual video walkthrough tour will get more people looking at your property, which will mean more prospective buyers seeing the property, which translates into selling the home faster and at a higher price. When you sell a home faster and at a higher price, other sellers will notice and be more likely to give you their home to sell. (Shameless Plug: Visit GetOpenFrame.com to create amazing videos like this for a few dollars per property)
Step 5 : Ask for Testimonials from Clients.
Testimonials are tremendous trust signals. Showing that real, live people endorse your services means the world to potential clients. When a homebuyer or seller has had a great experience with you, reach out to them and ask for a testimonial. If possible, try to get a photo of them as well. Make the most of these testimonials by placing them strategically on your website and sharing them on social networks and on your site.
Let us know if there are any must-do activities you think we should share with new agents to get them off on the right foot.