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The 16 Best Marketing Channels for Real Estate Agents
Publications 1. Magazines Magazines tend to have a longer shelf life than newspapers. Color magazines are also a good source for the promotion of your listings to buyers and sellers. Because of the broad market segmentations that magazines can serve, they represent excellent opportunities to target your message. 2. Newspapers Small newspapers, real estate industry publications, and newsletters (print or online) are often in need of contributing writers. This additional avenue could provide opportunities for showcasing your unique skills and talents (further solidifying your brand) and establishing you as a credible source of information for your profession. Some publications may advertise their need for content. For those that do not, you can offer to contribute content. Be prepared with topic suggestions and even suggested articles. 3. Press Releases You should create a press release anytime you have something new to share with your community, such as accepting a new volunteer position for a local organization, or new to an area, or even winning a local or industry award. Your press releases should be succinctly written and focused on one announcement. Resources for writing press releases can be found on the web, or you can hire a local ad agency to write press releases for you. Press releases are often a no-cost way to promote your business. Television & Radio Advertising 4. Radio Advertising spots may be available on a local radio station. You may also find it possible to host a small radio segment about your area of specialty in real estate. 5. Television For advertising, you will need to contact the local television station to find out the costs involved and any specific procedures or formats of which you should be aware. If you have an idea for a segment that you feel would be relevant to the audience, you will need to “pitch” or sell the idea to the station. The first step is to contact the station in order to obtain information on idea submission. Online Advertising 6. Internet Presence Every aspect of your Internet presence should be consistent, including the image you develop online through personal promotion and other advertising. The Internet is a great medium to reach many potential customers and is an integral part of your e-branding. 7. Email Email is a fairly inexpensive way to communicate and keep in touch with existing customers. You can also purchase lists of emails for your target areas from a variety of resources, but this can get expensive depending on the return. To find these companies, you can simple do a search on the Internet for “email lists for sale.” 8. Website Everyone needs at least a simple web page. There are many options available for developing a successful website; what you select will depend on your budget and time constraints. At a minimum, your page should include promotion information about you, such as your mission statement, credentials, experience, education, areas of expertise, contact information, etc. Your website should have your name, recent picture, and a personal statement that personifies your brand. Connect with your customers by providing a little personal information about yourself. Remember, you have defined yourself by what you do and like to do and this is what helps define your market. Additionally, if you are using Wordpress, make sure to choose Wordpress plugins that allow you to make updating your website easier and useful for displaying property listings to your clients. 9. Social Media Should you decide to utilize several social networks, ensure that your profile remains consistent among them. The more networks you join, the more you will need to make the time to keep up and maintain your presence there. The social media pages you provide will need to be kept up to date in order to provide ongoing relevancy to your customers. Although important, it isn’t enough to just include your biography, experience, and testimonials when utilizing social media for personal promotion. Social media is a chance to subtly showcase your brand and build relationships—it is not an avenue for aggressive marketing. As in “real life,” your actions, words, and participatory choices reflect your brand and affect your image. The top social media platforms for real estate agents are:
10. Blogs You’ll need to have a blog strategy that addresses what your purpose is and who your intended audience is. Determine how often you will post and make sure that is a sustainable pace for you. You will need to select a hosting option. WordPress and ActiveRain are two options for hosting; with ActiveRain specific to real estate. Most importantly, you’ll want to focus on your specific target topics (i.e., what you’re going to talk about). Your blogs need to be interesting and informational to your audience and open for comments. Again, think about what is relevant to your customers and prospective customers. 11. Vlogs A vlog (or video blog) is a blog that contains video content. Vlogs, for the most part are not set up to make money. As a result, video bloggers are free to make their content about whatever they desire in this case it would be your real estate business. It is easy to create a video blog for free with a phone or camera, editing software, and a high-speed internet connection you are well on your way. However, don't be afraid to hire a video production company who can get the job done right. 12. Podcasts A podcast is an audio file made available online for downloading or streaming to a computer or mobile device. Typically, podcasts are offered in episodes which a user can set up to automatically download. PODCASTS are a wonderful tool for offering mini real estate “why buy” seminars, first time homebuyer workshops, provide actionable tips for buyers and sellers or any other information you want to share. Additional Advertising Options 13. Flyers / Brochures Flyers and brochures do have a place within your overall promotion plan. As with any communication vehicle, remember to establish the purpose and objective. Have a clear understanding of what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to promote recent sales or listings? Are you showcasing your specialty areas? 14. Telemarketing While telemarketing is certainly an option when considering a communication plan, it’s become increasingly less popular in terms of contacting prospective customers. If you choose telemarketing as a component of your communication plan, you need to be aware of the federal and state requirements and limitations. 15. Company-Specific Lists Whether a phone number is registered on the national list or not, the FCC requires that companies comply with any request to remove a person or entity from a solicitation list and to maintain a record of that request. Companies must also honor that request for five years. Auto dialing or pre-recorded messages can only call those numbers for which there is an established business relationship or permission is given by that number. 16. Direct Mail Direct mail is one way to distribute your flyers and brochures. Mailers can be an important element of your overall personal promotion strategy; they are a good way to keep in touch with former customers. They can also help promote your current listings in your farm area. For your former customers, occasions to stay in touch can include birthdays, closing anniversaries, tax reminders, and holidays. Always use an up-to-date mailing list to avoid bad mailing addresses. If you purchase a list, consider requesting a credit for a returned mail rate higher than 5%. You can also build your own mailing list through “Add me to your mailing list” option on your website, through email campaigns, and by collecting names and addresses at open houses. If you use various lists of prospects, you should code your responses based on which list generated a prospective lead. This way, you’ll be able to track which sources of prospects provide you with the highest number of leads. Coding responses to direct mail is crucial to measuring the success of a campaign. To learn more about promoting, advertising, and marketing your real estate brand, enroll in our online course, GRI: Marketing Tools & Personal Promotion, or our Texas SAE course Foundations in Real Estate: Marketing, Finance & Investment Written and Published by: VANED