Now that you are licensed and have made a few crucial steps in starting out as a real estate professional, it is time to get more detailed in how you market yourself and network to expand your sphere of influence. Let’s dive right into the specifics.
Decide Who You Would Like to Represent
Do you want to sell high-end homes, or do you prefer middle class families or investors? Once you know your client persona, you can then gear your strategy toward reaching them. If you want to sell high-end homes near a popular metropolitan area, it would be in your best interest to find an agency that caters to high-end listings instead of a local family-owned brokerage that specializes in cheaper homes and rentals.
Build Your Sphere of Influence
There is not one magic solution to gaining leads and converting them. However, in this day and age, it is important to be present in the real world as well as online. Cold calling and door knocking are swiftly becoming less effective than having a stellar profile on Zillow with enthusiastic reviews and 5-star ratings, as potential leads usually browse the internet for agents when they begin their home search.
Networking today involves a healthy balance between real-world interactions as well as effective online and print marketing. It is also wise to get involved in the community to make personal connections that can become leads in the future. So, in short, be social and digital, and make the most of every interaction with people at every social event- you never know who is going to need your real estate prowess!
Build Your Online Presence to Gain Leads
To connect with the many leads who are online, you will need to:
- Have a website.
- Be on social media.
- Post good content.
Usually your brokerage should have a deal with a website platform like Placester or Ultra Agent that provide comprehensive templates, IDX searches, generic blogs, and other essentials that should be on a real estate agent’s website. The fees for using these services vary depending on the services they are using, but generally you can expect to pay yearly fees to your brokerage to get on board. You can also obtain a solo subscription if your brokerage doesn’t have a deal with one of these services.
You can also make your own website if you find the fees for these “ready made” sites are not what you are willing to currently spend . Some agents use free blogs from WordPress to start out and later purchase their own customized website with all the shiny features leads love. If you go this route, make sure you have your company info, logo, and all your licensing information on your page so you remain in compliance.
No matter what course you take with obtaining a website, be sure to regularly post fresh and relevant content on your website’s blog to help your page rank higher in search engine results. This content can involve blogs, inspirational memes, or videos that are intended to grab the user’s attention and bring in more website traffic. Give visitors to your page the choice to “opt in” and subscribe to your mailing list and blog, which helps increase the chances that this person will become a future client.
Using social media is also important. Facebook is free, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t at least set up a business Facebook page. Over 80% of agents have a Facebook business page and many users go on social media to find the agents’ ratings and performance results. To maximize the benefits of social media, be active weekly and make status updates that link directly to your website to increase your website traffic.
Your marketing strategy will depend on what types of clients you want. The key is to make sure that your marketing costs will make sense in proportion to the commission you will be receiving from a closed deal. Generally, any marketing material in print is going to be more expensive than a digital campaign.
- If you are targeting middle-class buyers and rentals, then stick to your building your online presence and real-world connections. Usually, for homes with more competitive price points, you don’t need to exhaust yourself with brochures and fancy signs because the home’s affordability will be enough to draw in enough interest. Share your new listings on all the top home search sites like Zillow, Trulia, Homes.com, and Realtor.com, and also be sure to post them on all your social media outlets.
- For high-end clients, you will need all the bells and whistles. These buyers will take more time to make their decisions so brochures, glossy flyers, newspaper ads, open houses, and pristine information packets are definitely required. Your high-end sellers also know that you will be getting a huge payout at closing so they will expect you to market their house aggressively and give it as much exposure across as many channels as possible. With these listings, hiring a professional photographer is non-negotiable to make the home look expertly rendered online.
Beginning your real estate career can seem daunting, but taking the appropriate steps to define your marketing and networking strategy will give you the best chances for success. As your plan becomes more clearly defined, you can navigate this new career confidently.