Special thanks to Tara Jacobsen for today’s post on Internet Marketing For Real Estate Agents!
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I would just like to start this post with a simple truth. There is no magic marketing that just works for real estate agents!
There are a lot of people and companies out there with a vested interest in telling you that there are special “real estate websites” or “real estate databases” instead of just telling good solid internet marketing practices that Realtors can use brand and market yourself, get leads, nurture them and then onto the closing table!
So here is my take on the fallacies about agent marketing and what you should be doing instead.
Real Estate Agent Websites
This is a biggie! Every web developer on the planet has the brilliant idea that they can help real estate agents build websites and make a gagillion dollars. They go out and research what all the other Realtor websites look like and make theirs look the same. This is why all real estate websites look alike!
Second off, most agents I talk to know that the leverage is in the listings. If you have a listing, statistics show that you will get two buyers from that listing through sign calls, internet leads and other sources. That said, almost every real estate website on the planet starts front and center with a HUGE IDX search box, prospecting for buyers…ack.
I have done extensive research into this and overwhelmingly home buyers are searching on Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com, NOT on individual real estate websites. You are throwing your money away on having a fancy IDX solution and worse yet, driving away the sellers who see you look like all the other Realtors who are catering to buyers.
Social Media Marketing For Real Estate Agents
Social media is perfect for real estate agents, just not the way most Realtors do it. If you check out your “normal” Realtor post, you will probably see something like 1) check out this awesome listing I just got or 2) see another happy buyer talk about how awesome I am.
What about instead if you post things that people want to see like amazing houses, trends in decorating and before and after remodels.
The other BIG thing that you need to watch out for is what social media property is best for your target niche. If you are doing relocations, you will want to get over onto LinkedIn and start talking with big employers in your area. Working with Seniors, Facebook may seem like the place but there is no way you can interrupt pictures of their grandkids with your real estate marketing message. Want to do first time homebuyers, head on over to Pinterest and help them figure out what goes in their “dream home”.
In general you need to remember that social media is just like networking in person. You would never dream of shaking hands for the first time with a new friend and handing them a flyer of your latest listing immediately. Believe me, if you are talking about real estate and house related issues, people will show up to buy and sell houses!
Real Estate Postcards and Calendars
Oh, don’t get me started on this one. I am not sure who had the great idea that Realtors should send out recipe cards (I am hoping this is just a holdover from the 50’s that just will not die!) Realtors are not chefs and sending recipe cards will not help you sell houses.
Also, I cannot tell you how many listings I took with a calendar on the fridgie that had another agent’s face on it. Stop sending calendars and football schedules. Instead send out market stats that show your knowledge of the real estate market in your area. Send tips on which remodeling returns the most money and what buyers are looking for now-a-days. These are great when you are prospecting for sellers!
Last but not least let’s talk about real estate databases. Top Producer was great in the days before the internet and heavy duty email marketing but is no longer great for online marketing. Wise Agent launched without the ability to even make a web form…sigh.
You should be using an internet marketing database to have free offers, capture leads and set up autoresponder campaigns (not stupid drip campaigns that don’t give any value…but that is a post for another day!)
There is no magical internet that people use to search for homes separate from the “real” internet. If you are not aggressively trying to use internet marketing tactics to get people into your database, you are getting further behind every day!
PS – Don’t forget to check out LeadsAndLeverage.com for help with Facebook and email marketing for real estate agents while you are here!