Today we’ll discuss 60 actionable marketing ideas for realtors and real estate agents. You will notice that the list contains lots of ideas regarding social media, website, email, networking, phone calls, communication tips and so on.
Getting a real estate license is a minimum investment of your time and money, and it’s the first step to a wonderful and rewarding career. But before you get to the “rewarding” part, it requires a lot of work and stress. Newbies usually don’t know where to start and what to do. This is where this article comes in.
You can use these ideas if you’re just starting out, need inspiration or want to try something new, you will certainly find something helpful in this article.
1. Write smart listing descriptions
Write attractive listing descriptions for each house that you want to sell or rent, highlighting the best features and unique amenities. Mention all new improvements and use words to paint a picture of what living in that house would feel like. This is a good example: “Soak in the hot tub and relax after a hard day at work.” A good listing description has the power to transport the reader into the setting that you are describing and make a potential client grab the phone and call you.
2. Professional photos
Photos are incredibly important for real estate, perhaps even more important than descriptions, so don’t underestimate their power. According to realtor.com, about 92% of home buyers use the internet for home searches. Can you guess what is the first thing people will notice on your site? It’s photos! They can make a house sell faster, and for more money. But, if you only have small photos, taken with your phone camera, that isn’t going to encourage anyone to even read the description.
A professional photographer will know what it takes to highlight a house: angles, light, editing. Hiring a photographer to do this is the best option, but if you don’t have the budget you can do it yourself, with a good camera and maybe some study. Remember that a good photograph will have a positive emotion associated with the home.
3. Virtual tours
What is better than a photo? A 360 degree panorama! It’s a unique and exciting way to let visitors fully immerse themselves in a beautiful room or garden. Virtual tours are a fantastic way to present your best properties. Your viewers will be able to look in any direction, side to side, to see all the details of the place! Embed these virtual tours on your site and you’re guaranteed to impress your visitors. People like to hire experts. Virtual tours will make you look like one.
Videos are a fantastic marketing tool for all businesses, but they work especially well for real estate. Make videos presenting your best properties to show off the listings you represent in an attractive and engaging way, and to attract new leads.
5. Put customer testimonials on your site
Testimonials and reviews help generate social proof, making you and your business seem more trustworthy. How does this work? People tend to follow others like them, so if they read about a person who was in a similar situation, they are going to pay attention and take advice from that person. This is how testimonials work. Make sure you include testimonials from various people who have relatable stories.
A real estate blog is going to take some effort in maintaining it, but all the work and time invested in it will eventually pay off. Having a blog is a great opportunity to present your experience as an agent, drive business to your agency, get more traffic to your site and show your understanding of the real estate market.
7. Ad in local paper
Newspaper advertising still offers value to realtors, even now, in the digital age. You just have to find an attractive local newspaper that brings in quality leeds.
8. Targeted FB ads
Newspaper ads are good, but online ads are even better. Even running a $5/day Facebook campaign can generate good leads, with the right campaign settings and the right ad. If you’ve never done this before, here’s what you need to do. Select some houses, in different price ranges and write a short, interesting headline/ ad text. The headline should stick out among all the other boring ads, so make it interesting. Add pictures of houses and target first time homebuyers and renters for your audience.
9. Google Ads
I found a really interesting suggestion from a Quora user, that is worth sharing with you. The idea is that you can easily swipe leads from Zillow through Google Ads, and pay less. If you try to target “Homes for sale San Francisco“ you’ll have to pay about $2.94 / click, but… if you target “Zillow San Francisco”, you’ll only have to pay about $0.40/ click. Here‘s the entire post.
Nice trick, right?
10. Youtube Ads
If you have already made some videos to present your listings, why not use them in a Youtube campaign? Limit the audience to only viewers in your city/ area. Youtube is a very popular platform so many people will see your ad, and a certain percentage are going to click the ad, and hopefully call you to see a property.
It usually takes people between 2 weeks to 4 months of research before they make a property purchase. That is a window of opportunity that can be leveraged through retargeting, to remind all your website’s visitors about you, and encourage them to come back. These people showed an interest in your website’s listings, so they are qualified leads. If you set up a retargeting campaign, they will continue to see your ads when they see other websites, and you will not waste any money on other uninterested audiences.
Retargeting usually has higher conversion rates. Just sayin’
12. Automatic email marketing campaigns
By automating your email marketing campaigns you can make your life much easier. Placester published a very good article on email marketing campaigns that we recommend reading. There are many tools that can help you send out automatic email, like Mailchimp or Constant contact.
13. Quick, informative replies
You should have constant access to email, so set it up on your smartphone. Keep an eye on your inbox and check notifications. Respond to all queries, as soon as you can, even if you don’t have time to write a long reply. Use email to encourage leads to give you a call for more details or to set up a meeting.
14. Email signature
Keep your email signature simple, but include the following contact info:
- Job title, Company name
- Office phone number
- Mobile phone number
- Website link
- Optional: social media profiles
Make your listing presentation more interesting, by turning it into a flipbook. It’s super easy, looks beautiful, and it’s highly sharable. You can even embed it into your site if you wish. Just sign up for Flipsnack, and create a flipbook from a PDF or from scratch. You can even add videos and links in your real estate flipbook. There are lots of real estate professionals who use Flipsnack to present their listings. Here’s an example:
16. Flipsnack profile
Display all your real estate flipbooks on your own profile, for free! You can customize it with a cover and profile picture, and use your profile as a “mini library” where you send your leeds to see all your listings in a beautiful, engaging format.
17. Facebook page
Nowadays all businesses are expected to have a Facebook page. It’s super easy to make, and it doesn’t cost a dime. Create a page and use it to promote your properties and to engage with your audience.
18. Boost posts
If you have low engagement rates on your Facebook page, you should try boosting your posts. Add a pic of a house, a brief description, and the link to the listing on your website. After you post it (like a regular Facebook post) click the boost button. Next step would be to select the target audience: go for local audience, and target only people who you think would be interested in that type of property. Set the budget: even $10/day can make a difference.
19. LinkedIn profile
You don’t necessarily have to use all social media platforms, but you should be on Facebook and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the best network for professionals like you. It’s a great place for networking, and it’s like an online business card. Make sure you fill in your summary, education, experience and so on. If you’re willing to go the extra mile, start a LinkedIn company page.
There’s a Twitter for real estate tutorial here, so check it out. It explains all the steps that you need to take to build an audience there, engage them and find leads through Twitter.
Yes, Craigslist is a way to generate qualified real estate leads, and it costs absolutely nothing to use! Here’s a video tutorial:
22. Real estate Whatsapp and Facebook groups
These local real estate groups are gold. Find out if there are any dedicated Facebook or Whatsapp groups in your area and join in.
23. Lead generators
Some realtors have success stories from using lead generators, others think they are not that effective. Like them or hate them, these websites are an widely used by realtors, so they deserve a mention. By far the most popular ones are Zillow, Trulia and realtor.com
24. Partner with real estate online brokerages
By partnering with an online brokerage platform like Movoto or Redfin you can receive qualified leads, expand and grow your network.
25. Attend real estate related events
Go to trade shows and other real estate related networking events. It’s a great way to meet people who can help you later.
26. Professional business cards
Just like your phone, you should always have some business cards in your pockets, ready to hand out. Make sure they look professional and that all your contact info is correct.
27. Start a direct to door marketing campaign with door hangers
Here‘s a full guide for door to door marketing.
28. Prospecting for expired listings
Did you know that prospecting for expired listings can be a great way to find leads? I didn’t know, until I found this video:
29. Create a website, if you don’t have one already
Nowadays you are expected to have a website for any business that you have. But in addition to that, a website is a great way to capture leads organically online. You can update your website in your spare time, between calls and meetings.
30. Make your website look professional
Your website should have a clean, professional, uncluttered look and feel, because you want your clients to be able to find your listings easily.
31. Optimize your site for local searches
It’s beneficial to study a little bit of SEO, to increase your odds of getting found on search engines. Your focus should be local traffic, so remember that your main keywords should include the name of the city or area that you work in.
32. Optimize for mobile
Basically, your website has to look great and load fast on smartphones. If it doesn’t, people will abandon it very quickly, and your site will also get penalized by Google. If you don’t really know what to do about this, you should talk to your webmaster. He’ll know what to do.
33. Don’t forget your past clients
Your past clients can be your biggest referrals. A happy client who felt like you did a good job helping them sell, buy or rent a house will recommend you to others. Keep in touch with them after the sale and remind them you’re still in business. You can do that via email or by sending them thank you notes, birthday and anniversary cards.
34. Continue to be helpful right after a sale
If you help someone buy a house, make sure you’re still available and helpful to your clients even after you get your commission. Call them the next day to say thank you, ask them if you can provide them any helpful materials or information.
35. Always call after a house visit
Even if your leads decide that they are not interested in what they saw, you should still call them to thank them for their time and suggest other options that might be a better fit for them. Always put on your best face, give leads your best.
36. Hold open houses
It’s smart to expose houses to the largest number of buyers, right? It increases the odds of selling the house, and it also places you the same building with a large group of people who (1) are leads and (2) can provide leads. Here’s a very useful article with tips on hosting a successful open house.
37. Ask for referrals
Outbound Engine did a study on 500 real estate agents and it revealed that 75% of their business came from referrals, and that only 20% of their past clients were sending them leads. In other words, 20% of their past clients were responsible for 75% of their business. If you want to increase the percentage of clients who recommend you, the way to go is to ask for referrals.
38. Incentivize referrals
Incentives can be one a great method of generating referrals for successful real estate professionals. Incentives can range from a simple gesture that will surprise and encourage the referral, like a thank you note, flowers, chocolate, to bigger rewards based on the business generated. Other incentive ideas: concert tickets, game tickets, dinner at an expensive restaurant, or even monetary rewards.
39. Get referrals from other agents
Sometimes realtors need to refer clients to other real estate agents from another region or country. If you’re in Seattle and and want to buy property in Miami, you’ll probably go to a local agency which will help you find a realtor in Miami. Yes, sometimes realtors help each other for the benefit of the client, so go to networking events and befriend other realtors.
40. Build relationships with collaborators
In your job you’ll often meet loan officers, mortgage brokers, housing inspectors and people from construction companies. Who do they meet on a regular basis? Leads. It would be highly profitable to befriend them and get them to recommend you or hook you up with clients.
41. Sphere marketing
Sphere marketing is reaching out to people in your sphere of influence: acquaintances, family, friends, specifically to ask for leads. It doesn’t have be annoying and aggressive, you simply have to make sure that the people that you meet know what you do, and that when you ask for leads you ask casually.
42. Build a database
You need to build a strong database in which you input all your contacts and connections. Add in all the people that you have contacted through phone calls, newsletters, personal notes or visits.
Divide the list into categories: people who will always refer you, people who will only if you ask, new leads and people that are not qualified leads.
43. Initiate calls and meet-ups
Your database isn’t going to help you much if you’re not proactive. Get your phone and call your leads and initiate meet-ups regularly. To be a good real estate agent you need to be a good communicator, to like to talk on the phone and to be around people.
44. Create a contact management system
You need to constantly work on your database: adding and removing contacts. You can do that manually or use an online contact management system who will automate some of your work and send you reminders: who you need to call, email or meet.
45. Get an assistant
Once you get too busy and you feel like you can’t keep up with your database, you should hire an assistant who can take on prospecting leads. This can really take your marketing to the next level.
46. Connect with local press
The local press can be a place to promote your business indirectly. You can write press releases or reports about the local real estate market, pricing trends and so on. At the bottom of the press release you should include your contact info and availability to answer any questions journalists might have about your piece. Send your article to local newspapers, radio and TV. If you have any prior connection to journalists contact them directly.
47. Offer free market reports on your site
Since you’re interested in marketing, you probably heard that “content is king”, which means that high quality content is the best way to promote any brand/ company. Realtors can create quality, data-driven content in the form of reports, so we encourage you to do this. Put it on your website to build your authority and them promote it on social media, send it to local press etc. If you invest some time into creating an insightful report you will certainly get the media’s attention.
48. Develop an app
If you want to go the extra mile, you can also develop an app for iOS and Android. However, the simplest and most effective way is to just have your website work nicely on mobile browsers.
49. Educate yourself
You education will provide you the knowledge you need to become a better realtor, which will help you do more sales. So invest some time in your real estate education, more than just the minimum required to pass your exam. There are some excellent resources online, free of charge, so all it takes from you is to be willing to learn, spend time reading and practicing what you learn.
50. Treat everyone like a potential customer
I recently read about Bob Golomb, the sales director of the Flemington Nissan dealership, who sells on average 20 cars/ month. That is more than double what the average car salesman makes. One of his secrets is that he tries never to judge anyone on the basis of his/ her appearance. In his own words: “Prejudging is the kiss of death. You have to give everyone your best shot.” – Malcolm Gladwell. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
He assumes that everyone who walks in the door has the exact same chance of buying, so he gives everyone his best shot, and it pays off. Buying a car is a huge commitment, just like buying a house, so you can apply this principle in your own business.
51. Be nice, thoughtful and attentive
Maya Angelou has once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” If you think about it, it’s true. Be nice to all the people that you talk to or meet with. It will give you a competitive advantage. When I was looking for an apartment 2 years ago, I met with several real estate agents. I don’t remember everything they said but I remember their attitudes: there was the “I-know-it-all guy”, the “I-love-talking-about-myself guy”, the “i’m-just-so-bored lady” and also a really nice guy who made us feel like he really cared.
52. Remember and use names
Humans are wired to produce an emotional response every time they hear their names. When someone uses our name we know they know us and it makes us feel important. Make a habit to use the names of your potential customers while talking to them. They will remember you as the person who paid attention to them. It’s a small detail, which can make a huge impact.
53. Smile and dress well
The first impression is important, and often a first impression is made before you even get a chance to open your mouth, so looks matter. You don’t have to be Angelina or Brad. You simply have to care about you appearance. Don’t be sloppy.
Smiling will make you look friendlier and more approachable.
54. Be available
As a realtor you have to always be available and have a flexible schedule. If you’re not available, someone else is.
55. Join a team / get a partner if you can only do part time work
If you can only do part time work at this point, you must have a partner or a team who can fill in for you while you’re not available.
56. Be accessible on multiple channels
The life of a real estate agent is full of conversations, both online and offline. You need to be accessible on all modern communication channels: phone, email and even whatsapp and facebook chat.
57. Be responsive
Respond to emails in a timely manner, and pick up the phone!
Check all your social media accounts at least daily and reply to all inquires.
58. The phone is your best friend
The phone is every real estate agent’s best friend. It helps you keep track of all of your tasks and organize your schedule, but most importantly, it’s your connection to your clients.
This is why you need to keep your phone within reach and answer all your calls. If you can’t pick up because you’re showing a house or you’re engaged in another conversation, call back as soon as possible.
59. Professional voice mail message
Every once in awhile you’re not going to be able to answer a call, and it will go to voicemail. Make sure you have a professional voice mail message, something like: “Hello, you’ve reached Agent X. I’m unable to take your call right now. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible”
60. No goofy ringtones, please
You’re phone is going to ring a lot, hopefully. It will often happen during client meetings. Pick a classic ringtone that isn’t going to make you blush when you hear it.