Like most industries, real estate has been overtaken by digital marketing. Which is a good thing. A historic number of homes are now listed online, and the vast majority of homebuyers, including people born pre-internet, are discovering homes via Google and other web sources. All of these things only help the industry.
Perhaps the biggest proof of the web's influence is that you're reading this article, and your colleagues and competitors get a lot of information from sites like this. The consumer side is doing the same thing, literally "consuming" everything the web has to offer. The internet is (mostly) free, it conveniently travels in your pocket, and it's full of valuable content.
Everything new eventually gets "less new"
Savvy agents know how to successfully leverage digital media to attract prospects. They take advantage of a vast array of proven real estate sales tools, such as lead generation apps, social media, email newsletters, and other methods. There's no question that if you know what you're doing, these techniques work incredibly well.
Yet with all that said, once most people catch on to something, it loses some effectiveness. "New and innovative" doesn't work if millions of people are doing it. The first business to advertise on TV soap operas in the 1940's made a killing. Soon other businesses caught on, and it lost its impact. A more recent example is Google. Remember when their ads were still fresh and cutting-edge? In 1999, only the forward thinkers advertised with Google search ads, and they raked in the cash. Today, everyone and their grandmother has figured out that Google is the modern day yellow pages, making it way more competitive and less profitable.
Old-School methods still work
Ironically, now that agents are flocking to the online world, you can actually stand out from competitors by using traditional marketing methods. To be clear, I'm not suggesting you reduce your digital marketing, social media, apps, or anything else. (In fact, my company ScoreApprove has helped thousands of agents stand out from the crowd to boost their leads.)
Rather, my point is that since most of your competitors have figured out how to use Zillow and Facebook, and many old school methods are as effective as ever, it seems like a no-brainer to supplement your new-school techniques by investing at least some time into the old brick and mortar approach.
- Don't wait for inbounders to come to you. Marketing is about building connections, and it doesn't happen by itself. Strangers won't magically flock to you. You need to find them at local events, like family fun days, political rallies, carnivals, little league games, concerts, and other venues. Chat with young couples and smile at their kids, then hand them your business card. They're guaranteed to remember you, and not the faceless agent they discovered on Facebook.
- Connect with local influencers. Despite all the nifty stuff out there, nothing trumps good old-fashioned word of mouth referrals. People may trust Google and Facebook, but they trust their local community leader a lot more. Hook up with local churches, neighborhood civic associations, newspaper editors, and other people in leadership positions, who will likely to recommend you to local residents looking to buy or sell a home.
- Put your cell number and email address on every "For Sale" sign. This is a slam dunk, yet inexplicably, most agents neglect it. Buyers hate calling a strange office, and going through phone tree menus, pressing zero repeatedly until they get a hold of a live person. Your personal contact number and email is way more appealing. Want an even better response? Tell prospects to text you. It's unintimidating, making it everyone's favorite to contact someone for the first time.
- Sponsor educational events. Invite the community to an evening of expert lectures, teaching people how to qualify for a mortgage, repair their credit, refinance, remodel their home, or any other topic related to real estate. Give a 5 minute introduction about your services, and distribute flyers or business cards. In just 2 hours, you can grab a month's worth of leads.
- Remember these 3 things: Follow up, Follow up, Follow up. It seems obvious, yet most agents get busy and forget this one. Send an email, leave a voicemail. If you're worried about being intrusive, explain that you're just checking in to say hi, or better yet, think of a specific listing or information you want to share, and clearly explain that it's for the CLIENT's benefit.
- Network! The oldest form of marketing, this still works like a charm. Speak to local business owners, mortgage brokers, contractors,
- Post (lots of) flyers. Make them yourself, ESPECIALLY if you don't know Photoshop. I'm serious. Believe it or not, people love the personal touch. The more homemade and hands-on your flyer looks, the more faith people will have in you, because you'll seem like a regular caring person they can trust, not some "slickster" trying to make lots of sales.
If you want to generate more qualified leads, faster than ever, you need a combination of new and traditional marketing methods. One great digital tool is ScoreApprove, used by thousands of agents to get better leads by offering homebuyers their credit score, credit protection, score tracking, and many other amazing benefits.
To learn more, visit ScoreApprove.com today.