Are your marketing mistakes driving clients away? Marketing should attract clients, but there are plenty of ways your marketing may alienate buyers and sellers instead. To avoid that outcome, steer clear of these scary marketing mistakes.
Marketing Mistake #1: Being Too Formal on Social Media
We all curate our social media personas. It’s only human to want to appear in the best possible light. For buyers and sellers, however, trustworthiness is the most important quality in an agent – and it’s hard to appear trustworthy if you come across as fake, stilted, or distant.
Especially if you maintain separate business and personal profiles, bring some personality to the table. Don’t overproduce everything. Instead, show your authentic self. Post the occasional live video, so your audience can see and hear you in real time. Share candid snapshots of life in your office, fun selfies with clients and colleagues, or photos of what you love about your community. When clients meet you in real life, they should recognize you as the same individual they know online.
Marketing Mistake #2: Being Too Informal on Social Media
That being said, there’s a fine line between being authentic and being sloppy or unprofessional. Be careful not to cross it. How do you know whether you’ve gone too far? Ask yourself if you would share the content with a client (or invite them to join you in the situation) in real life. If the answer is no, don’t share it on social.
Keep in mind that there may be a more appropriate version of the content you want to post. For instance, a bathroom selfie to show off your #OOTD is unprofessional (not to mention icky). But a selfie in your “power outfit,” taken on the sidewalk as you head into a showing or closing, is fun and engaging.
Certain content, of course, is always inappropriate. Abusive language, extreme profanity, sexually suggestive posts, discriminatory content, and angry political rants are never professional. Aside from alienating potential clients, they can get you fired. Plus, the National Association of Realtor’s Code of Ethics extends to social media posts. So avoid posts about commissions or other topics that violate NAR standards.
Marketing Mistake #3: Sharing All Listings, All the Time
In today’s information-saturated landscape, successful marketing builds relationships and establishes trust. Most buyers and sellers crave expert help. They need a savvy guide to shepherd them through an emotional, high-dollar transaction.
You won’t prove your savviness by drowning potential clients in listings. Should listing content be part of your marketing plan? Absolutely! But most of your marketing content should be about helping, not selling. Leave buyers and sellers feeling like you just made the process easier for them, not like you’re desperate to sell them a house or your services.
Most marketing experts recommend following the 80/20 or 90/10 rule: 80-90 percent of your content should help or entertain, and the remaining 10-20 percent should sell. Another possible guideline: for every post or email about a listing, you should send two with behind-the-scenes content or no-strings-attached advice for navigating the real estate process (e.g., articles about qualifying for a mortgage, which renovations provide the best ROI, or moving with pets).
Marketing Mistake #4: Overbranding
Overbranding is one of the most obnoxious marketing mistakes you can make. We get it: you’re self-employed, which means you wake up every day unemployed. You eat what you kill. But remember to be a human being first, a real estate agent second.
Leave your Realtor name pin at home when you’re not going to a meeting or real estate-related event. Leave your name or logo off your closing gifts. And when you attend social events, socialize, don’t sell. If the conversation naturally turns toward real estate, be insightful, not pushy. Good: Share interesting data about the housing market or recommend an outdoor recreation spot (hello, local expertise!). Bad: Loudly invite everyone you see to your next open house.
Remember: your brand is not your name or your logo. Your brand is the experience people have as your client, prospect, or colleague. Constantly push your name or logo without a quality experience, and you’ll alienate people. Provide a quality experience, and you won’t need your name or logo to win brand recognition for you.
Marketing Mistake #5: Doing a Disappearing Act
After trustworthiness, buyers and sellers demand responsiveness. It’s the second most important quality they look for in an agent. Unfortunately, it’s also a quality many agents lack: depending on the source, research shows that 40-60% of real estate leads go completely unanswered.
Lack of responsiveness is an expensive marketing mistake. Leads who contact you – whether by phone call, email, or an online form – are showing an active interest in working with you. In other words, they’ve qualified themselves, which makes conversion easier and more likely. When you don’t respond, you turn down that potential business.
Also beware of disappearing over time. Because the typical buyer or seller goes several years between transactions, keeping in touch with past clients is a challenge. There are many ways to overcome this hurdle. Figure out what works best for your business, put a program in place, and stick with it. Some suggestions:
- Call past clients or send them handwritten notes on birthdays and wedding anniversaries.
- Send emails with homeowner-oriented information, not listings. Examples include home maintenance tips, a local events calendar, or seasonal travel advice.
- Host a social event for past clients.
- Engage meaningfully on social media by making interesting comments on posts.
Building an effective marketing program is hard. Don’t make it harder by sabotaging yourself. Avoid scary marketing mistakes, and you’ll turn business-building into a fun (not fearful) process!