Practicing Successful Real Estate Marketing in 2011

What’s your real estate marketing plan for 2011? If the first thing you thought of is “Well, hopefully the market conditions allow for a good year,” it’s time to reevaluate how you approach your career. When you operate from a proven game plan, success comes much easier. And that’s what this month’s article is all about. It’s about taking what you know, using your resources to the fullest and making things happen instead of waiting for market conditions to dictate your success.

If you’re serious about success, this article is all about helping you create a winning marketing plan for 2011. But remember – a plan isn’t a plan unless it’s written down, so start by creating your game plan. Then, follow the comprehensive year-round marketing plan you’ve mapped out. Your own plan may vary based on your budget, what’s available in your area and other factors, but try to follow it as closely as possible.

Once you’ve mapped out your own game plan, it needs to become your guide to the coming year. You should review it every quarter and chart your progress.

The problem I see far too often is that agents don’t plan their marketing in advance and then their marketing suffers by operating under a shotgun approach that lacks focus and consistency. Too many times agents operate in the deal-to-deal mentality – “It’s been a bad month, I better do some marketing.” That approach is ineffective and a total waste of money. You need to stop operating from deal-to-deal and develop a long-term plan for growing your business. That’s exactly what this game plan is all about – setting a plan and sticking to it over an entire year to get all your marketing money working together to present a consistent image.

Develop Your Mix

The first step toward a successful 2011 is determining how you’re going to disseminate your marketing message. There are virtually limitless combinations of various channels at your disposal. Analyze which marketing methods will be most effective for you. If you’re not quite sure yet, this article will walk you through many of your choices.

Your year-round marketing plan should be built from a combination of the following aspects of personal marketing: online marketing, social networking and email farming, direct mail, strategic networking, advertising and public relations.

Start with the Basics

No matter what combination you choose, make sure your plan calls for continual communication with your PSAs – Past clients, Sphere of influence and All leads generated – via both direct mail and email farming. This critical group provides the core of your business and must be tended to before you target anyone else.

Now let’s examine some of the methods you’ll choose to include in your marketing mix.

Web Sites and E-mail Farming

It never ceases to amaze me how many agents still do not have an adequate web presence in today’s Internet age. Agents are shooting themselves in the foot by choosing the cheapest option just so they can say they have a web site. Many others don’t have one at all or simply rely on a tiny section on their company’s site.

You should be driving traffic to your site through both search engines and your marketing. But it’s not enough to simply get people to your site, however. The key to success on the web is providing valuable content to your visitors. Don’t only give them a reason to visit, but you also need to inspire them to return frequently. You want their experience on your site to make a positive impression and convey a sense of quality and trustworthiness.

That’s why your annual marketing game plan needs to have scheduled time to work on adding new content to your web site. These activities need to be scheduled and executed with purpose. The beauty is that continually adding new content to your site will not only lure visitors back repeatedly, but it will also increase your search engine ranking. The more timely and relevant information your site can communicate, the more business your web site will generate.

Your site should also demonstrate the value you bring to your clients by offering free special reports and other “opt-in” opportunities. For purposes of your 2011 game plan, your focus should be on increasing your “opt-ins” and growing your email database. The larger you grow your email database, the more you can take advantage of this powerful and virtually free of charge method of generating more leads and increasing your bottom line.

Social Media Integration

Social media has grown up and transformed from “that thing the kids are doing” into an essential element in business. From a marketing perspective, there’s great strength in generating a strong following on Twitter, building relationships on Facebook and LinkedIn and becoming a trusted resource for valuable information through your personal blog. Your 2011 game plan should include time reserved specifically for working on improving and capitalizing on these – and any emerging – social networking opportunities.

This doesn’t mean just “having” accounts on the various social media sites and posting without purpose, but truly using them to your advantage. Establish yourself as the authority on your local real estate market by providing timely, market-related updates via the various social media outlets. To maximize your effectiveness, you need to map out how many posts you’re going to make a week. You should aim for a balance of personal and professional content in your posts.

If you’re not sure where to start with social media and feel you’re falling behind, get educated in this topic to avoid making costly mistakes.

Direct Mail

Right now is an outstanding opportunity for you to make a big impression in your farm area using direct mail. By following a consistent mail plan and continually providing new content to homeowners in your mailings, you can build credibility and generate more leads.

We recommend mailing an average of three times per month to each person in your direct mail farm. This way, you’ll establish name recognition quickly and maintain it consistently. Some of the tools to consider in your direct mail toolbox include:

• Powerkards

• AdKards

• Personal Letters

• Past Client Contact

The keys to success in direct mail are to follow a plan and resist the urge to make rash decisions. Tailor your content to your audience and market conditions, but do not let those factors encourage you to deviate from your plan. The more you can hit your specific market segments with timely messages and important content, the more your phone will ring, and the greater return you’ll see on your investment.

Strategic Networking & Referrals

With all the talk about agents wanting to “get back to basics” and some even resorting to doorknocking, we feel it’s important to stress the effectiveness of strategic networking. Note that word “strategic” in that last sentence, because having a strategy is the true difference maker when it comes to making the most of networking.

Networking is an essential part of any holistic marketing campaign. What that means is that it’s not a haphazard activity, but rather one that has a written plan, written objectives and a desired outcome. In simpler terms, you need to strategically schedule your networking activities to ensure maximum effectiveness. Otherwise, it’s all too easy to tell yourself that you’ll get around to networking someday, yet it never happens.

• Strategic networking involves setting a goal to hand out a certain number of personal brochures every month (100 is a good number) and then holding yourself accountable to this goal. To get started, answer the following questions:

• What do you currently leave behind when you meet someone in a networking scenario?

• How many personal brochures do you hand out on a weekly or monthly basis?

• How many opportunities are you missing by not making a concerted effort to engage in strategic networking on a regular basis?

• What will you do to ensure you hand out more brochures on a consistent basis in 2010?

When it comes to referrals, most agents view them as bonus clients that fall from the sky. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, if you schedule a concerted effort to generate more referral business. Don’t be afraid to ask your past clients and sphere of influence for referrals on a regular, planned basis. Schedule letters on a quarterly basis to keep these important relationships prosperous.

Far too often, agents do not consider these activities as part of their overall marketing mix. The irony is that strategic networking and referrals are powerful, inexpensive methods to generate more business. Don’t overlook this essential activity in the coming year.

Print Advertising

Unfortunately, for many real estate professionals, only one thing comes to mind when they think of advertising. That’s definitely not what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about personal, emotionally based, image-building advertising that promotes you and helps you establish a relationship with your target audience.

Your advertising dollars should be split into segments such as: ads in “home” publications, ads in newspapers and magazines, billboards and cable TV. Each of these advertising outlets should have their own line on your game plan.

You need to determine which of these categories will be most effective for you in reaching your target market and focus most of your advertising dollars there. For this example, I’ve divided everything into a fairly even mix to give you an idea of what a full-scale media campaign looks like.

On the sample game plan I’ve provided, I’ve divided print advertising into two categories: “homes” publications ads and newspaper ads. We chose “homes” publications simply because that is where many agents place a majority of their advertising, and because those publications are typically widely available in most areas.

However, don’t limit your options to just to these publications. Take a look at all of the publications available in your area. Focus especially on those that appeal to your target market. Pay close attention to any publications designed specifically for a niche market or geographic area you may be farming. Don’t worry if other agents aren’t advertising in particular publications. As long as you know the publication is well read by your target market, it may be just what you need to stand out.

Television Advertising

Cable TV offers a new advertising frontier for many agents. We’re not talking about house ads on TV or dull, “I’m the best agent” infomercials, but actual 30-second spots that promote you as an individual, capture your audience’s imagination and tie in with your personal marketing campaign.

Because of the cost effectiveness of this medium, advertising on television is no longer just for the big national advertisers. Like outdoor advertising, rates will generally be higher in large metropolitan areas, but if you check with your cable company, we’ll guarantee you’ll be surprised at how inexpensively you can purchase airtime.

Scheduling your TV commercial time is similar to billboards and outdoor advertising, with bursts of frequent air times followed by off times. Your cable representative should be able to provide you with market analyses and demographic information to help you determine the best time of day and the best programming for your ads.

The Public Relations Plan

An oft-forgotten but important part of your marketing mix is public relations. Having an article written about you or being quoted by the newspaper or local TV news show is powerful advertising that you can’t put a price tag on – and it’s free!

But the only way to get this exposure is to make yourself known to the local media, and that’s why it’s so important that you plan your public relations schedule ahead of time. Schedule sending between one and three press releases a month to editors and reporters in your area. Your schedule should include specific topics for each press release you plan to send. Otherwise, when the time comes to send out a release, suddenly you need to think of a topic and write the release, and chances are you won’t do it because you’re simply too busy for that kind of undertaking.

Knowledge is Power

Finally, you cannot overlook continuing education in your marketing mix. If you’re serious about personal marketing, you need to attend an absolute minimum of two personal marketing seminars each year. Not only will this expose you to new ideas to keep you on the cutting edge of marketing, but each visit will recharge your batteries and keep you excited about your career. Just like your marketing, you must plan these activities now.

Make Your Plan Work for You

A major part of having an annual game plan is analyzing what generating the best results. Once your plan is finalized, you need to stick to it like glue. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that you follow it blindly. Once per quarter, you need to sit down and analyze what has been most effective and make adjustments as you see fit. Be careful, though, not to do this more frequently. You don’t want to end up in the “plan of the week” mode. Review your plan quarterly, and then stick to it.

Putting Your Plan to Work

It’s been said that a plan isn’t a plan if it’s not written down. Well, I couldn’t agree more. You cannot underestimate the power of your game plan worksheet. It should be one of the most frequently used sheets of paper you will use in the next 12 months. Post it on the wall as a visual reminder of your progress!

4 Best Content Marketing Strategies For Real Estate Wholesalers

What are the best content marketing strategies for those wholesaling properties?

There are many wholesaling marketing channels for real estate investors today. Many work, but content marketing is becoming increasingly important and valuable for wholesaling houses and generating real estate leads.

Many real estate investment companies flipping houses are seeing great results from direct mail, email marketing, cold calling, PPC advertising through Google AdWords, Craigslist ads and various guerrilla marketing efforts. These are powerful wholesaling marketing methods and make a solid part of a well-rounded marketing mix. Yet, no one can deny that a variety of emerging changes is also making it crystal clear that a good content strategy cannot be ignored either.

So what are some of the best content tactics for wholesaling CEOs to engage in today?

1. Blogging

Blogging has been repeatedly recommended to wholesaling CEOs for the last couple of years, though while proving incredibly profitable for many the majority has still failed to embrace it fully. This is tragic considering the long term benefits and high ROI it delivers, while holding the potential to drive in high quality traffic and leads in the short term.

2. Guest Blogging

While on-page blogging can develop as being the heart of a real estate company’s business, off-page guest blogging on other people’s and company’s blogs can be equally as important. This is even more true as results from email marketing and other link building efforts are buffeted by ongoing Google changes. Done right guest blogging improves SEO and search engine rankings long term, helps drive in leads in the short term, increases visibility and bolsters investor’s trusted expert status. So look for relevant, high quality blogs, online magazines and news sites that will accept your content.

3. Social Media

Most investors are well aware of the need and reported advantages of engaging in social media, but few still recognize just how important it is, or are doing very well at it. Just having profiles and posting the odd retweet or ad isn’t going to cut it. This is about content and that means original and interesting content are demanded. Ask questions, run contests, link to blog posts, highlight your successes, and find out how you can help others in your network.

4. Press Releases

While potentially one of the most powerful forms of wholesaling marketing for improving branding, positioning and driving in web traffic commanding their own media with press releases still continues to be sorely neglected by many wholesaling CEOs. Check out the variety of free and low cost options out there today for dramatically improving visibility and credibility.

Digital Marketing – A Fantastic Way To Boost Real Estate Sales

The real estate industry in India has found out a new and effective way of marketing that is known as Real estate marketing. Today our country has more than 200 million users online and it consists of people of high net worth, lower middle class and middle class people. Real estate companies in India are paying about 25% of their marketing expenditure on digital marketing. Today each and every customer does an extensive online research before purchasing any product.

There are various ways to boost online sales with the help of digital marketing.

• Blogs are the Most Effective Way

Where any high-valued product is involved, in-depth details of the product help the customer to take better and informed decisions. Therefore, it becomes important to develop blogs on your products and FAQ’s related to the sector. Try to conduct a survey within your present customer base. Jump into the deeper questions and mention answers for all of them on your blogs. Search for the trending topics like in the past few of the banks reduced the interest rates on home loans. Such type of news should be always be presented in an effective manner.

• Develop Your Strategy and Campaign from Conversion Perspective

It is very important to do all the promotional activities from conversion perspective. There is no meaning of any campaign if it doesn’t have any call to action. You have to tell your audience, what they are supposed to do after watching any video or campaign. Hence the phrases like “call to”, “visit here”, should definitely be used. Be creative in the campaigns, but tactfully keep the customer engaged and induce him or her to contact you. Do not compromise on the creativity because it is the key to any marketing strategy.

• Engage Your Customers Wherever Possible – Email, Blog, Social Media, Forums etc.

You can track customers over internet through emails, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and you can create blogs, forums and groups. You have to just join all these and you would find more and more people searching for you. Engagement is the quickest and the most effective tool to find an audience and this is done by various methods like blogs, info-graphics, videos and you should start any campaign, keeping in mind the end result of the same like sales, loyalty and identity. These engagement techniques are effective and if done at the right time, would take your business to new heights.

• Second Screen Marketing for Real Estate

India is witnessing a new wave in technology and smartphones are the first ones. Today, more than 90% of the youth have smartphones and so it becomes essential for real estate companies to implement second screen marketing strategy and should have mobile responsive sites. It should make groups like Whats App etc. and social media platforms like Instagram, vines. Real Estate Developers target both desktop and mobile customers and in a very short span of time, the results would be in front of you.

6 Real Estate Marketing Considerations

You’ve decided it’s the right time, for you to sell your home. While this decision may be based on a variety of considerations, the first decision, the homeowner needs to make (next), is selecting the right agent, for him. One should thoroughly interview prospective agents, and discuss, in advance, considerations, philosophies, perspectives, systems, approaches, etc. One of the most important discussions should be about how one might market the particular property, in order to achieve the homeowner’s needs, concerns and objectives, with the best results. This article will briefly examine and discuss 6 real estate marketing considerations, alternatives, and options.

1. Conventional advertising: Traditional, or conventional advertising/ marketing approaches, include using newspapers, sending postcards, mailings, etc. Over the past decade, there has been far less attention to these methods, because of buyer’s reading policies, widespread use of the Internet, costs, etc. However, this is still a needed, necessary, useful format and media, especially if done, with professionalism and focus!

2. Social media/ internet: There are many popular real estate websites, including: Trulia, Zillow,, MLS, real estate broker sites, etc. In addition, there has been a widespread emphasis on effectively using Social Media, etc, which garners widespread focus and attention. The advantages of this method, include attracting potential buyers, and minimum costs.

3. Word of mouth: Wise Realtors realize, the best form of marketing, is word of mouth! Superior real estate agents, have a following, and references from former clients and customers, generally, produce the finest results!

4. Open Houses: There are two types of Open Houses: 1) Broker’s Inspections; and 2) Consumer Open House. One promotes these, via a combination of the previous 3 methods, as well as by using well – situated signs. The basic advantage of these, is it permits lots of exposure, and there is an adage which states, the more potential buyer views, the better the possibility of a sale!

5. Staging: Certain homes might benefit from the services of a Professional Home Stager. Homeowners should discuss this, with their agents, including the benefits, costs, needs, options, etc.

6. Niche marketing: Does the specific house, fit into a particular niche? Are there, perhaps, certain groups of buyers, who might have a better chance of being attracted to this home? How might one focus on this group, if applicable?

Houses don’t sell themselves. Real estate professionals proceed with a quality, overall marketing system, and customize the best one, for the particular client’s property!

5 Real Estate Marketing Options

Selling a house usually comes, as a result of a combination of curb appeal, location, pricing, marketing, negotiations, and a few other factors. This article will concentrate briefly, on some of the options, in terns of how houses might be marketed, why one might be better than another (in certain circumstances), cost factors, effectiveness, and usage. There is no such thing as only one way to market and sell a house. Years ago, real estate agents were heavily dependent upon newspaper advertising, and that’s where most prospective buyers looked for information. In today’s information – driven, digital society, much more data is readily available, and while there is still a place for newspaper advertising, it is not the premier way, most of the time. Let’s review 5 marketing options.

1. Direct verbal: This includes face – to – face, telephone calls, contacting a Realtor’s personal contacts, etc. The advantages include cost, and the ability to effectively communicate, articulate the home’s strengths and possibilities, and motivate individuals, to take a look. The disadvantage is, it’s time – consuming, and somewhat limiting!

2. Direct marketing: Some of these include using postcards, flyers, door hangers, for – sale signs, Open House signs, etc. Mailings have become somewhat costly, especially when you consider the relatively low transaction rate, but is often a good supplement, and a positive way to get the message out.

3. Print media: Print media includes newspapers, magazines, weekly circulars, and direct – to – home marketing pieces. These approaches may be somewhat expensive, and surveys indicate most of today’s buyers pay less and less attention to these, than in the past!

4. Digital (websites): When we ask attendees at Open Houses, how they heard about it, the predominant response is from some website. Many use MLS, Trulia, Zillow,, or a larger agency’s own site. When listings are placed on Multiple Listing Service, many other Websites pick up the information, and include it on their sites, as well. There is a cost to this approach, but is probably the most bang – for – the – buck, in terms of marketing real estate, today!

5. Social Media: Social Media includes things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. The advantage is low or no cost, but there is still quite a bit of uncertainty, as to their effectiveness as a marketing tool, to sell a particular house.

The bottom line is, a real estate agent must know, understand, and use the best marketing tools available, to sell a particular house. Dependent on type, price, niche, location, etc, the options often vary.