Low or No Cost Marketing Ideas in Real Estate for 2016

The financial burden on agents and their business is always a going concern as most of us feel like the costs of being in real estate just keep going up year after year.

“Always believe that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.” – Abraham Lincoln

A new year has arrived and with it comes unlimited possibilities to grow our business and become even more successful Realtors. We also have an opportunity to look back on the previous months and consider the things that worked to propel us towards our goals, as well the initiatives that might have fallen flat.

Whatever your resolutions, one thing’s for certain when it comes to becoming the best agent you can be: you’ve got to be on top of your marketing game.

Whether you’re celebrating the completion of your first year as a Realtor, or coming up on a five-year anniversary, there’s always room for improvement.

So to get you started here are some must-have marketing ideas that will set you on the right track to make 2016 the best year yet!

Start with these 50 Quick Tips 

1. Touch up your Facebook Profile
2. Create an Royal LePage profile
3. Write 25 blog articles that address the common issues in real estate
4. Contribute occasionally to Local Blogs
5. Write the occasional long-form post on LinkedIn
6. Invest a percentage of each commission cheque into real estate marketing ideas that are producing leads for you
7. Comment on the top agent estate blog posts daily
8. Connect with all past clients, new leads, and other agents on LinkedIn
9. Sign-up for an image program like Big Stock that lets you download images for cheap everyday
10. Curate lists of popular or useful articles on your website to get the attention of publishers and help your visitors learn more
11. Install and monitor your Google Analytics
12. Use a tool like Agency Analytics to monitor your SEO rankings
13. Update your social media bios to really represent your brand
14. Study copywriting and then review the past 15 emails you’ve sent to leads. Are they attractive?
15. Sign-up for Meetup and start attending local group meetups
16. Create client testimonial videos
17. Find cheap local newsletters to display your branding in
18. Come up with a real estate team name, logo, slogan, and business card that are all in line with each other
19. Keep the same real estate domain name for the duration of your business
20. Strive to be interviewed on podcasts and YouTube channels, so that you can develop a brand that is bigger than yourself online
21. Host free seminars to help out home buyers at community centres
22. Take a course on getting your first 10,000 real estate website visitors
23. Take a course on setting up Google Ads
24. Study Inbound Marketing with Hubspot for Free
25. Setup your business on Yelp
26. Setup Hootsuite, Buffer, or Social Sprout to start managing your social media campaigns better
27. Research some basic SEO tips and setup a sitemap on your website for easy indexing
28. Add testimonials to your social media accounts
29. Create a list of Keywords that are relevant to you
30. Write out the top 10 negative emails or messages you get from clients. Then create a scripted response to them
31. Define your method for real estate photography
32. Set a goal of adding one new marketing method per month
33. Add local trade shows and networking events to your marketing calendar
34. Setup Google Drive, Evernote, or Dropbox with all the folders you need to keep yourself organized
35. Challenge yourself to learn one new thing about real estate law, sales, marketing, or transactions per day
36. Hand out 10 business cards everyday
37. Write handwritten notes to every client right after they move in
38. Write a free buyer guide to give away in exchange for contact information
39. Write a free seller guide to give away in exchange for contact information
40. Use Free home valuation tools to generate more seller leads
41. Target investors through developing useful information online for them and providing value through helpful emails
42. Use DocuSign or DotLoop to provide a better transaction experience to your clients
43. Install Google Analytics to understand where your website visitors and clients are coming from
44. Reach out to a local business you’ve worked with in the past for mutual marketing opportunities
45. Buy 3 past clients $5 Starbucks cards and include a small CTA for referrals or testimonials
46. Post an ad on Craigslist for a property you are listing
47. Put together a market research survey using free Google Forms and send it to past clients
48. Put together a research survey for people that didn’t hire you and send it out to them
49. Speak on a local radio show
50. Reach out to the neighborhood associations and find ways to get involved in neighborhoods you want to sell real estate in

 

So, what are you going to do first?

These marketing ideas are sometimes easy and other times challenging. Are you going to take the energy to execute  them today?

Before you go, take a few minutes to read through these last five ideas that cover email, web content, video, and social media marketing ideas.

Email Marketing

Real estate email marketing is all about the value proposition.

From your customers view point, your email has to make their job easier. It has to grab our attention, align with our interests, conform to our desires, and then tell us how to act.

The average time spent on each email is very short. It’s typically 15-20 seconds, according to marketingsherpa.com.

This means your email has to perk that attention and then drive home value very quickly.

Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to write great emails. I honestly believe that so many people are doing it poorly that you can easily make it a competitive advantage in your business.
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Here’s A Free Real Estate Email Marketing Template:

  • Attention Grabber Opening: State your clear and concise value proposition. It has to get their attention yet describe what you do honestly.
  • Custom Interest Poke: Social media makes this really easy. Perhaps you can add something from their Facebook or LinkedIn page that they posted recently. People love to hear about themselves. You’ll see a vast increase in the number of responses after you start customizing each email for the person.
  • Provide Value: Maybe these are links to blog articles that you KNOW help potential clients. Maybe it’s just a pdf attachment to help them buy/sell their house. Maybe it’s interesting information about the area they are interested in. Whatever your value is, it will help your email stand out. People will actually start saving your emails if you can provide something they cannot easily find elsewhere.
  • Call-to-action: Finally, don’t forget your call to action. Examples: “When are you interested in brainstorming ways to sell your property?” “You can reach me at [insert phone number]. I can’t wait to hear from you.” etc.

These email tips will help you sell more real estate. Although the game has changed a bit in the past few years, real estate email marketing is still the best way to stay in touch with clients. Now, you simply have to provide the most value to people in order to see the most return via email.

This is also a great time to talk about marketing automation. Software platforms and technologies that automate marketing will save you time and make your marketing more effective.

Right now, in the year 2016, it’s estimated that marketers (this means you too) are spending 50% or more of their time generating content and marketing automation is worth $5.5 billion, making automation marketing one of the top lead generation tactics.

 

Facebook Marketing

Instead of talking about social media marketing at large, I’m just going to focus on the platforms that you need to make sure you’re incorporating into your daily routine.

And Facebook is at the very top of that list.

Keep in mind that simply having a Facebook page and posting to it a few times a week isn’t enough. In fact, if you don’t utilize Facebook like the valuable real estate marketing resource it is, you’re wasting your time. And we simply cannot have that.

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So, here’s the deal.

The whole point of your real estate Facebook page should be “Give to Get.” You want to give 3 things to your audience before you ask for anything in return. Keep this principle in mind and you’ll see great success. For example, post 3 articles that genuinely help people buy or sell. Then ask for their business.

Also, when was the last time you actually updated your Facebook contact info? When you first create your Facebook page, you may be in a hurry and not completely fill out the contact info. Go check your page now and make sure it’s 100% accurate.

There are tons of fields you can fill out on the backside of your business page. The more you write there, the better!

While you’re at it, take just a few minutes to search for a Facebook group or two to participate in. Seriously. Don’t ignore Facebook groups! There are typically 30-40 active Facebook groups for every major city out there. Joint them and become part of the conversation.

Finally, did you know the average blog can convert 2-10% of its visitors into leads? You need a website that has fresh content written by you in order to fully use Facebook. Facebook is where you share your best articles. And then the traffic from Facebook turns into leads once they hit your blog.

The best thing you can use your real estate Facebook page for is promoting the content you write on your blog. Writing content is the #1 most effective way to get leads off of your website. Facebook ties directly into this. You can post all your content on your Facebook page. The blog gives you things to share and talk about with your followers. It also gives you another avenue for directly engaging with them.

Last thing, if you’ve already got your 2016 ad budget in place, I’m sure you’re curious about Facebook Ads. Facebook Ads For Real Estate are a great idea! They will get you tons of leads. While your monthly ad budget may end up costing as much as you paid for your license, it’ll soon start paying for itself.

Content Marketing (Your Blog!)

Seriously, it’s the year 2016. Your website needs a blog. 90% of all home buyers start their search online and pretty much 100% of them use online research methods throughout the process.

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And did you know that websites without a blog get 4-6 times less Google search engine traffic?

Just look at how much Zillow or Trulia invest in online content. They do it because it yields major results.

You simply need a website setup that you can post content to. And you need to have lead capture setup.

At this point, having a blog isn’t an option, it’s a requirement, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have options for how you create this content.

Try these tips if you don’t like writing:

1) Record video answers to common real estate questions and pay someone on Fiverr to transcribe them for you. This will give you high-quality video content and blog content in minutes!

2) Outsource the writing of blog content. While this isn’t my favorite, you can easily have someone create blog content for your business!

3) Leverage the power of others. Do you partner with lenders or companies? Ask them to contribute written blog content on a regular basis.

This is also an excellent time to consider how your website is performing via mobile.

This is not debatable in 2016. Emarketer suggests that the number of smartphone users worldwide will surpass 2 billion this year.

You’re really going to miss out on tons of leads should you not have a mobile real estate website.

Pinterest Marketing

Every Realtor should be on Pinterest. Seriously. If you want to grow the leads coming into business, Pinterest is really the way to go. The site sends more traffic to websites than Facebook and Twitter combined. And the average demographic on Pinterest has an annual 6-figure income. These are people you want to sell houses for.

Here’s the data from analytics.pinterest.com for a Realtor who just started using Pinterest:

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Pinterest is thriving right now and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s projected to thrive even more in 2016. And it’s literally the best place to spend your time and energy. This network was made to drive traffic to websites. It literally only takes 2 clicks on a picture to end up on your real estate website. That’s amazing!

Most social networks try to keep people on their website and away from yours!
This just isn’t true with Pinterest. And because of that it’s a great way to capture leads.

Video Marketing

Did you know that listings using real estate video marketing tactics receive 403% more inquiries than those that don’t?

That’s a lot more potential buyers!

Plus, video can increase the understanding of your value proposition by 74%!

All this means one thing:

You need to be making videos!

Here’s a great outline to follow when doing real estate video marketing:

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Video production can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Your main priority is simply to be helpful. You don’t need a Go Pro or Canon EOS Rebel (at least not yet) to make effective, quality content that will actually help your viewers.

So grab your android, iPhone or iMac–you can even record and upload a video from your webcam, or create a photo slideshow– and commit to creating your first video today!

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Too often I see an agent pick up a marketing idea…take it for a test drive. And then stop. That’s not how marketing works! Marketing works over time…with dedication to making the idea more effective. Because marketing is best done over the long haul. It’s a long-term game.

Stick with it and I promise that if you execute on these ideas you will see results! And, they’re essentially cost-free. So really, what’ve you got to lose?

I’d love to hear what marketing ideas you’re loving this year. Let’s chat in the comments!

 

2016 Realtor Success Formula

This is the time of year for all of us to take time to reflect where we have been, where we are at and where we are going with our real estate businesses. Success means different things for all of us and it is something we attract in our lives. Proper planning is key for our success as it does not just happen to us on its own. I would like to share with you, some great ideas by Alicia Matheson an ex Disney institute expert.

So what is the formula for success in real estate? Let’s look at this formula and then break down each piece to the success formula and how you can apply it not just to your professional life but to your personal life as well.

Right Attitude + Right Purpose + Right Plan = Real Estate Success.

Royal LePage RCR Bolton 2016We know that having the right attitude without the purpose and plan does not alone bring us the success. I can have a super positive person with the most amazing attitude but if that person is an idiot then all we have is just a motivated idiot and not a successful agent, right? The essence of the right attitude is what is below the surface? What is at your core? What is your self talk like? What is the little voice inside saying to you all the time? Is it saying “I am enough… I am loved… I am more than ok because God doesn’t make junk?” Here are some great strategies for creating that right attitude. Having a morning ritual of proper breathing, gratitude, affirmations, prayer, meditation and 15 minutes of good reading content. Try creating your own ritual and choosing the right daily attitude for you.

Our values = our purpose. It is the reason why we do what we do. How it makes us feel. What is your legacy? What do you want them to say when your movie has ended and the credits are rolling? I get the greatest joy from impacting and improving others lives personally and professionally every day. Real estate is just the vehicle that allows me to do this. What gives you your greatest joy and how does your real estate business allow you to do express those things?

Without implementation and execution do we really accomplish anything? What is your 2016 plan of action? What are you going to do different this year? What will you stop? What will you start? What will you continue and then some? Create an Action Plan Using These Questions:

  • What one ritual will I implement in this year?
  • What new knowledge will I acquire?
  • How will I grow my business?
  • What will I focus on?
  • What is my mission? Purpose?
  • How will I measure and celebrate my success?
  • How will I help others achieve their goals?

I trust this formula will help with your plan for 2016 and help you  begin this year with passion and direction.