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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

7 Habits of Highly Successful Real Estate Agents

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 14 February 2018 22:11

When it comes to the real estate industry, marketing is a dual-purpose task. Not only do you need to advertise your listings, you also need to market your own business. Juggling these competing needs is a challenge, so you need to develop habits that will keep every potential sales opportunity open. Here are the seven marketing habits that will help your real estate business find success:

1. Assess yourself

Chances are you’ve spent more time thinking about the strengths and weaknesses of properties than you have considering the strengths and weaknesses of you as a brand and as a business.

Regularly ask the same questions of your business that you do of a property. Such as:

  • What kind of clients do I want to attract?
  •  What are the needs of those clients?
  •  Can I fulfill them?
  •  What sets me apart from other Realtors?


For more questions, consider learning how you can do a deeper assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. One popular option is to use the SWOT analysis, which is short for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. There are a few free business analysis tools that can guide your efforts, like SWOT and MOST.

Once you have a clear understanding of your business, you can focus your marketing efforts on emphasizing your strengths.

2. Refine your marketing target

When you started out as a Realtor, you began with a target audience and property type in mind. You probably heard the advice from Mark Ferguson that “you can’t market to everyone. If you try to market to everyone you will become a master of nothing and mediocre at everything.”  

Ferguson is right and even experienced Realtors need to hear his advice again. Take time to assess or reassess your business strengths and the type of clients you want to attract. One way to narrow your focus is to examine the characteristics of your best clients and see where the commonalities lie. Once you have clarified those characteristics, you can accurately build your target market.

3. Consistently focus on referrals

A Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) survey found that the average real estate agent receives over 60% of their leads and business through client referrals. That means that most of your marketing efforts should be about getting those referrals instead of finding new clients through paid ads, social media, or other marketing strategies.

A referral program is your first step. It is designed to prompt your clients to share your business and rewards them for doing so. A referral program can be as simple as asking for a referral and then entering all who agree into a raffle which offers a small prize, like a gift card or gift basket.

4. Get a client’s attention using emails

Repetition and consistency are key to developing long-term client relationships, but recency is what firms the deal. By making yourself relevant and top-of-mind for the consumer, you will be well-positioned with a client. If you combine your online campaign with an offline campaign, you can boost visibility and stand out in a digital world that is flooded with competitors.

The reason email marketing can become a successful strategy for agents is because they’ll hook potential clients and be given the opportunity to convert them to current clients. By building an email list, you create full access to a group of people that you can pitch on why you should be their Realtor. Use your email to share interesting statistics, current listings and as a personal branding tool. Some great sites to help you build your list and create an eye-catching template are MailChimp and ConvertKit.

Before you send your emails, ensure the material is worth the consumers time by asking yourself the following:

  • What kind of information does the reader need?
  •  Am I providing information that will help solve a reader problem or question?
  •  Do I know what my readers want to read or am I sending what I think they want to read?
  •  How often am I communicating with my reader?
  •  What resources can I provide to better serve my reader?

5. Build your own brand

Most real estate agents use Facebook because it’s an easy way to maintain your contacts and prompt them to refer your business. But, spending time every day to brainstorm new posts to publish is just a waste of time. Take a look at other Realtor’s Facebook pages, and you’ll see what I mean. Most successful agents don’t post more than once a day, if that.

Social media is not all about content. In fact, some, like Christina Ethridge, argue that for Realtors, marketing on Facebook is hardly about content at all. The number of likes, and the amount of engagement you get rarely translate into sales.

Instead, consider creating a simple blog and upload your business updates, new listings and homeownership insights to that blog. Then schedule your Facebook posts based on your blog content. By doing this you’re developing your own brand voice and at the same time using this material to develop brand awareness through Facebook.

When developing your blog, start with easy to use programs. Sites like Wix and Squarespace allow you to build a snazzy looking website and blog with little to no experience. Just remember to offer content that isn’t all about self-promotion. Offer content that addresses real estate or home ownership as well as local news or entertainment.

6. But don’t forget social media

Now that you’ve built a blog, it’s time to link it to your social media profiles. The best use for Facebook, for real estate agents, is as a platform for inbound marketing. You need to connect on a personal and targeted level — that means responding to comments left by your audience, answering questions, and using the messaging app in a timely fashion. By using this more localized approach, you develop relationships with your social media audience and this can nurture leads.

To help make the process of posting on social media easy and fast, consider scheduling posts through services like HootSuite or SproutSocial. These services will also allow you to set up alerts that notify when a follower comments, asks a question or mentions you or your business.

7. Drop what doesn’t work

Track the results of your marketing efforts and you’ll quickly see which strategies are making you money and which aren’t. This means you need to track the costs and benefits of all marketing efforts, including social and traditional, such as print ads, outdoor ads, and LinkedIn. If the metrics show that you’re not getting the results needed to justify the cost and effort, stop doing them.

You only have so much time and money to invest in marketing, and it’s better to use your resources to boost proven methods or experiment with new techniques, rather than wasting time with methods that keep failing you. Assess your marketing efforts every month and keep making adjustments whenever you have the opportunity.

Real estate marketing tips are great, but you’ll be more successful if you develop these tips into habits that will help you improve year after year.

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Mustafa Abbasi

Zolo is one of Canada’s most popular online national real estate marketplaces. Each month more than four million home shoppers start their real estate search using Zolo. These users get the data and resources needed to make better-informed property decisions.

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