By Kelly O’Ryan, Office Manager Coldwell Banker
As an Office Manager of a busy real estate office, I have the distinct advantage of looking at top performers and identifying what they do right. It is with pleasure that I share these observations with the rest of the agents, in hopes that one or two points will resonate and they too will implement some of these best practices. By sharing them with the rest of the agent community, everyone can benefit because as they say, "a rising tides lifts all." Here are the top 5 tools you too can use to grow your business:
1) Plan your marketing budget for the year.
Clearly define where you want to allocate your money and stick to it. Through direct mail, online venues, targeted magazines, social media, and involvement in your local community you can stay top of mind. Think about your target market and find venues that put you in front of that audience. Make sure that the marketing vehicles you choose targets one of these segments; it is in your target geographical area, it fits the demographic profile of the people most likely to buy your listings, or it targets people who are in the market to buy or sell real estate. If you keep your ads dollars focused on any or all of those three segments, you can't lose.
2) Get involved with the community.
There is a lot of latitude to be creative with your community involvement and really connect with people locally. For instance, how about starting a $500 scholarship for a graduating senior interested in real estate? If set up properly through the school, you should be able to present the scholarship to the recipient (who you should also be able to choose from submissions). This will put you in front of faculty and the parents of graduating seniors, quite a way to get your name out in town that directly relates to what you do. If you're feeling ambitious, write a press release about it and send it to your local paper.
3) Find the one thing that makes you different and use that consistently in all aspects of your marketing.
What is the true value to doing business with you? Is it that you're a master negotiator? Are you well connected to a hearty pool of buyers you can bring to potential sellers? If so, tell people about it, and tell them about it, and tell them about it some more. Identify yourself with SOMETHING and consistently market it.
4) Don't forget good old fashioned ways to connect with people.
Picking up the phone to catch up, handwriting thank you notes, and dropping off a small plant are all great ways to connect with potential clients without sending an impersonal email. Now, more than ever, people are appreciative of the gestures that require actual effort. There's practically no effort required to add someone to a mass email or newsletter and little more exertion used for a personalized email. If you really want to connect with people and show them that you are different, pick up the phone, make an effort and find out what is important to them. You'll leave an indelible impression.
5) Marketing results require you to layer your marketing plan.
Often times with marketing, agents become disappointed when they don’t garner immediate leads. It can be easy to get caught up in whether a particular advertising venue brought them a lead during the time they advertised. I use this example to illustrate this point: If you need supplies for a home project, where do you go? Everyone usually says "Home Depot." When I ask them if it’s because of Home Depot's insert in last Sunday’s newspaper their answer is usually no. They explain the reason they go to Home Depot is because of the collective advertising Home Depot has used for years across all mediums. Television ads, in addition to radio, print, and direct mail keep Home Depot top of mind; this is the same concerning real estate marketing. It needs to be consistent and ongoing to have an impact. Don't get caught up in the "I didn't get any leads" trap. If you're targeting your audience (see #1), your ad dollars are not wasted.
The moral of these guidelines is that no perfect lead generation tool exists. Proper marketing can be hard work and will require patience and a budget, but it is the best way to grow your business. I hope that the traits of my top performers, that I've shared here, will help you reach your top performance!