3 Business-Building Marketing Tips for New Real Estate Agents

By March 1, 2017 Blog No Comments
digital real estate marketing

So you’ve decided to be a real estate agent. Congratulations! You’ll be working with individuals and families who are making one of the most important decisions of their lives: choosing a place to call home.

But in case you haven’t noticed, you’re entering a pretty crowded field. According to the National Association of Realtors, there are currently more than 1 million licensed real estate agents in the United States. And it’s a hard profession for earning a living: the average income of a full-time agent is just $35,000 per year.

If you want to stand out from this massive crowd, you’ve got to invest in marketing – but be smart about it. As a new agent, you probably don’t have a big budget, so be careful how you spend your marketing dollars. To help you out, we’ve got five tips for building your brand without breaking the bank.

Niche Yourself

With more than 1 million agents in the country, even the smallest town can have a crowded real estate field. You’ll stand out best from the competition if you create a niche for yourself.

Try to choose something unique, and let yourself be guided by your own interests or expertise. If you love historic homes, for instance, become the agent of choice for people who are buying or selling older properties. Have special experience with downsizing or universal design? Make the retiree demographic your niche.

Having a niche gives you the advantage of a clear and unifying theme for your marketing, which will help your messaging cut through the clutter. It can also help you focus your marketing on a narrower area – e.g., through hyper-targeted Facebook ads – which is more cost-effective.

Socialize Slowly

Marketing your real estate business on social media is pretty much a given (if it’s not, we may need to talk). But social media can quickly become an overwhelming time suck, especially if you try to participate on too many platforms at once.

Social media rewards consistency and punishes spotty involvement, so don’t dive into a platform unless you know you can maintain your presence there. Start with the one or two platforms where your audience is most active. Learn how to use those sites well before adding a third or fourth option to the mix.

And don’t get discouraged if you don’t attract thousands of followers overnight. On social media, engagement is far more important. Genuine engagement takes time to build (remember, consistency), but engaged followers are far more likely to convert or to recommend you to others.

Do Your Website Right

If you’re going to spend a little extra money, this is where to do it. Choose a platform, such as WordPress, that’s easy to update so you can maintain the site yourself. Tailor it with a few key plugins and tools – e.g., Yoast SEO and elegant, easy-to-use contact forms – to help with search and conversion.

This is paramount: make sure your design is mobile friendly. Look for one built on “responsive design” or HTML5. Buyers and sellers are on mobile, and if your site doesn’t look good and function well on their phones, they will move on to someone whose website does.

Also make sure your site is clean, easy to navigate, and heavy on visuals. Video, in particular, has proven effectiveness for landing a site in search results, bringing more visitors to a site, and keep them there longer. And don’t just give visitors an IDX search wrapped in a thin, pretty shell: highlight your niche and provide meaningful information to engage them.

Bonus Tip: Go Old-School

Technology is an extremely important tool for real estate, particularly when it comes to marketing. But always remember that, ultimately, successful agents are about relationship. Buyers aren’t looking for you to be a data provider – they can get the data themselves, and do, online. They need you to be a wise guide to monumental decisions, the steady expert in an emotionally fraught process.

The best way to forge a personal connection with potential clients is “belly to belly,” so to speak. Instead of “Find me, sell me,” think “Know me, help me.” Meet a potential seller for a cup of coffee. Go to the neighborhood fall festival – and not just to hand out business cards. Send a hand-written thank-you note after a listing presentation.

Blend the human element with smart, high-tech marketing, and you’ll realize your dream: making a living and a life as a real estate agent.

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