How to Sell Homes and Yourself
Not everyone can have their own real estate show on HGTV, so marketing yourself as an agent is vital if you want to see success in your career. Real estate is an ever-changing marketplace, with the National Association of Realtors listing their membership at an all-time high in 2006, with 1.4 million members, just before the market crashed. The numbers dropped significantly in 2006 but have been on a steady rise since. There is fierce competition coming into the field—with modernized marketing strategies and a fresh outlook on sales, the younger generation of realtors is a force to be reckoned with. Adapting yourself to the new world of real estate is vital if you want to stay relevant in a market that is becoming more saturated every day. Setting yourself apart as an agent can make all the difference when it comes to being successful in sales. The following is a series of strategies to adopt if you want your business to stay pertinent in the real estate field:
Make a Name for Yourself on Social Media
According to NAR, 92% of potential buyers start their search online. This is a far cry from the days when buyers were solely dependent on realtors to help them navigate the market. Now, a buyer can hop online and look up almost any home that’s currently on the market—they can even take a virtual tour before ever stepping foot in the house. This means that while there are more and more agents in the world, there are more and more websites that negate the initial need for said agent. Building a name for yourself on social media can keep you a cut above the rest and keep you prevalent and relevant. So where should you focus your social media attention?
Creating a presence on social media allows you to interact with clientele (and potential clientele) in a way we could have never imagined before. You can share your successes, promote your properties, and create a sales image and personality that fits your real estate philosophy—all in one easy to find place! For the purpose of cohesiveness, building a Google My Business page can make it easier for users to find you, and making sure to add social media sharing properties to all your corresponding sites makes it easier for users to share the properties you are promoting. Google My Business can act as a one stop shop for all your social media sites and posts—but make sure you include your contact info on every single page so as to make it as easy as possible for potential clients to get a hold of you. The last thing you want is for clientele to give up on you because they couldn’t find your contact info. An added benefit to having a social media presence is the ability to keep tabs on other agents in your area. How are they utilizing social media? Are they marketing themselves in a way you never considered? Use their social media for tips on how to avoid their mistakes but replicate their successes. But what do you do once your social media sites are up and running? How do you navigate this new world? Utilizing sponsored ads is a great place to start. Paying for ads on social media is the new frontier of advertising that allows you to hit your key demographic and market. Instagram and Facebook sponsored ads help you to put your best face forward. By using high quality imagery and making good use of hashtags, Instagram and Facebook marketing can hit clientele that never would have known about you otherwise. Once potential clients have found you, you’ll want something aesthetically pleasing for them look at when they make it to your page. Find a subtle filter, a specific crop, or a general color scheme to help your pages stand out amongst the thousands of other pages—and to help make the whole site cohesive. Within your social media pages, you should include a few things aside from high-resolution pictures of your properties, including:
- Client testimonials—Find a strategic place on your sites where you can insert videos or quotes from past clients. This will convey a sense of trust from past successes.
- Use a shared scheduling app—Asana, When I Work, and Calendly are just a few options in a wide range of apps that allow interactive scheduling between you, your employees, and your clients.
- Offer free valuations—offering this free tool on your social media sites can help to generate not only feedback but leads too!
You can even create a series of daily videos/live streams to keep your clientele privy to the inner workings of real estate. People love watching other people. Odd, but true. With a live stream, or tactical use of the Instagram Stories feature, you can promote your listings and give clients a look into your day to day life as an agent in a way that makes you super relatable—it’s almost like your very own reality show!
Streamline Your Personal Marketing Campaign
We live in a world with a constant stream of visual overload, so when it comes to advertisements and marketing, overdoing it can be as detrimental as not advertising or marketing at all. Streamlining and modernizing your logo to create a uniform and cohesive look can make all the difference in your personal marketing. Your logo is the visual indicator of your brand—use it on everything from business cards and webpages to letter headings and pamphlets. Make it clean, legible, and memorable. Look at what successful, contemporary businesses are doing and gain inspiration from their successes. Developing a personal marketing outline can help to narrow in on where and how you can find success. Consider a basic plan that outlines:
- Create a vision statement—short and long-term goals
- Identify your target demographic and customer—sellers, renters, first-time buyers, etc.
- Develop your personal goals—set your overall goals and ideal outcomes to those goals
- Determine what sets you apart from other agents—what makes you unique?
Getting your logo and brand out into the world is imperative in gaining name recognition in your desired area. Order mugs, koozies, frisbees, etc. with your logo and branding on them. Take part in local events and festivals and handout your free goodies to the people attending. People love free stuff, and with a cool and modern logo and streamlined aesthetic, they’ll actually love using your free stuff! Take it a step further and use your logo to sponsor those local events and festivals—and even little league teams and school events! Your logo will end up on jerseys, newspapers, flyers, and banners all around the very town and area you are making real estate deals in—so including your phone number and website is a must! Partnering with other local businesses can make a world of difference too. Get creative with the ways in which you can help support a local business as they help to support you! Hold an open house with catering from a local restaurant and small pop-up shops in each room with goods from local boutiques and shops. Partner with a local diner. Buy their mugs and screen print your own logo on them! Working together in a communal way not only promotes success among local businesses, but also supports a close-knit vibe where neighbors help neighbors. You can even go as far as to facilitate a neighborhood tour that passes through all the businesses and hotspots in the community that potential buyers would want to know about when looking at homes in the area. Be creative—and frankly, don’t be afraid to be a little experimental! The goal is for clientele to keep you in mind for the future—be it for personal use or as a reference to another possible client. Do what you can to stick out and make yourself memorable!
Once your logo and business information are out in the world you’ll want it to lead potential clients to a clean and organized website. Create a killer website and make sure it is easy to navigate and mobile friendly. Be sure to include:
- Easy to find contact information
- Property pages with quality photo and video
- Virtual tours
- A personal blog
Keeping clientele (past, present, or future) up-to-date on the comings and goings of your business is a great strategy for building relationships with past clients and establishing a log of new clients. Collect emails to use as local outreach and create content that responds to the questions people are asking on a local level and keeps clients in the loop on the current local real estate market. Start a newsletter that includes:
- Notices about open houses
- New homes hitting the market
- News about upcoming seminars and events
Keep the content relevant and avoid any temptation to spam clients. Keeping in touch with past clientele is the best way to get new leads for new clientele. Always try to keep an appropriate level of contact to stay fresh in their minds—be it to become their go-to reference for possible homebuyers, or to reach out to you for personal real estate needs in the future.
Find Your Niche and Run with It
Make yourself notable in a niche market. Are you really great at finding affordable housing for divorcees? Have you had a good track record finding homes for pet owners? Maybe you have a knack for helping first-time homebuyers and young professionals find their first homes? Take what you’re good at and run with it! Make yourself into the go-to agent for any specific niche and watch the referrals roll in!
Create Quality Content
Increasing your visibility on the internet can make all the difference in today’s real estate market. SEO—or “search engine optimization”—is a vital part of ensuring your web content appears organically to potential buyer and general web surfers. Using locally oriented and specific wording in your provided content ensures your content will appear in localized real estate searches. There are plenty of rules to follow when it comes to creating quality content. Here are a few suggestions to follow to ensure your web presence stands out:
Use SEO to Your Advantage
Start with adding a blog to your website that uses general phrases that trick search engines into pulling your page out of millions of options. Producing web content like “5 Most Important Upgrades to Make After Buying a Home”—or “10 Things Everything First-Time Homebuyer Should Know”—is a perfect way to optimize search results in your favor. Adding in keywords and phrases that are commonly pulled out as search words will only heighten your online presence, so make sure your writing is clear, concise, and focused. Google Analytics and Ahrefs can help narrow down search terms. Keeping the terminology up-to-date and relevant within your content warrants your website to remain a prospect for future searches too.
Offer Valuable Information
After a web crawler has landed on your page, you’ll want to make sure the content they are met with is helpful in their mission. If the mission is buying or selling a home, include blog posts or articles (written by yourself or credited to an outside writer) that showcase your knowledge in the area. Find a topic of interest and use it to your benefit. Write a post about:
- A revitalized downtown
- An emerging art/music scene
- Market fluctuations in the area
- Basics of buying a home
Begin a Nurturing Email Campaign
Once you have generated leads, tailor your interactions with those potential clients based on their wants and needs. Take note of the client’s actions, what they are looking for, and what kind of help they will require from you and narrow down the content you send to them. Helping a client zero in on the details they require is a far better tactic than inundating their inbox with unnecessary information. Prove your expertise by doing what you do best—selling. In an ever-growing market full of fierce competition, there is nothing more important than making a name for yourself. In today’s world, it’s easier to put yourself out there than ever before—with social media and access to marketing materials at the tips of our fingers, it’s a great time to be in real estate! Adapting to the ever changing world around you and using its progressive nature to your advantage is imperative in keeping up with modern market—stay relevant, market yourself effectively, and create quality content and the returns quality outcomes!