Coming up with ways to differentiate yourself from the mass of real estate agents out there can seem like a daunting task. In today’s technologically savvy world, it’s not enough to send out Just Sold cards and expect an onset of interested home sellers…you need to put in the work if you want to see a substantial return. Some of you are reading this who have built a business based on referrals and you’re probably thinking, “what is this gal talking about? I’ve got more than enough business and I don’t have to do a thing.” Let me ask you, do you have a contingency plan in case that lucrative referral well dries up? Do you like relying on the word of mouth process and hope and pray it will be enough to secure future business? I don’t know about you but having a plan in place to ensure I’m constantly attracting the right clients to me feels good. So buckle up, grab a pen and paper and get ready to take notes cause I’ve compiled 5 marketing ideas that are guaranteed to boost your engagement.
GENERATE REFERRALS BY HOSTING COMMUNITY EVENTS
Have you ever attended a get-together or a neighbourhood event and as a result got to know new people and formed connections that resulted in you making new friends or acquaintances? I bet my bottom dollar that you have! Hosting community events not only shows your benevolent side, but it also has the potential to put you in front of a lot of interested people, all of whom probably own a home or know someone who does. But what kind of event should you host? The possibilities are endless, think of something that would genuinely engage the community keeping the demographics in mind. Are there a lot of renters? Host a first-time homebuyer seminar. A lot of elderly folks? Maybe host an event for downsizers. If you want to put more a fun spin on things you can do seasonal events like pumpkin giveaways, Valentine bake sales, donation drives or garbage clean up day! The trick is to do something that resonates with you and will attract the community in which you live.
UPLEVEL YOUR OPEN HOUSES
Open Houses are the PERFECT opportunity to showcase just how far you’ll go to sell someone’s home. Think of the house as a blank canvas and what you can bring to it to make it shine. Does it have a big kitchen island? Host an open house where kids can do arts and craft at the kitchen island while mom and dad take a look around. Or host a summer BBQ showcasing the gorgeous backyard with organized games for kids to play and food for all to enjoy? What about hot chocolate and biscotti on cold winter days… or offering loot bags like the ones you get when you leave a birthday party (do kids still do this?). Get a pile of gift cards from your local coffee shop (Tim Hortons has personalized options) and hand them out as people leave. Have a giveaway for a night at the movies, a sporting event, or a gift card to a fancy restaurant. Involve the locals offering live music or treats from the neighbourhood bakery. If you think of open houses as events rather than just walkthroughs you open the door to MAJOR engagement.
REFINE YOUR WEBSITE
If you cast a wide net on your website, you have not differentiated yourself from the other 99% of the realtors out there which makes it very hard for you to stand out. If you, on the other hand, set clear intentions describing who you serve and why, you offer the viewer a chance to see you as the expert and we all want to work with experts. Think of your target market (keep it simple with three audiences) and then speak to each one on your website, but also in every single piece of marketing and messaging you have. I would rather work with Mary who specializes in holding the hands of first-time home buyers, then Sarah who “helps buyers find homes.” Stay away from the wide net and focus on a specific niche and you’ll see your engagement skyrocket.
FRIDGE WORTHY MARKETING PIECES
Here’s a behind the scenes fun fact for you… On my fridge right, this very minute is a “tips to carving your pumpkin” it’s an 8.5 x 11 postcard from a local realtor who gets it. It’s been on my fridge for two weeks which means his name and face have been there as well. Want to get the best bang for your buck when it comes to direct mail campaigns? Make it relevant, interesting and beyond real estate. Just sold’s are great, but if I’m not thinking of selling my home, that card goes right into the recycling bin, but if you multi-purpose your card with one side advertising your sold and the other showcasing your favourite recipes, spring cleaning checklists, or seasonally relevant tips and tricks, you offer the viewer a chance to engage with you beyond real estate, and when they are ready to sell that connection will help them find their way right back to you! If you want your postcards to be more than just filler for the recycling trucks, add value with information your target market or ideal clients will find relevant and, of course, “fridge-worthy.”
LET PEOPLE IN BEHIND THE SCENES
How many times do YOU show up in your marketing? Are you offering yourself and your life up for others to connect with? Us mere mortals thrive on connection and if you aren’t letting people in you are missing a huge opportunity to sell yourself. I know you are probably thinking … Who cares what I have for dinner? Who cares what I do in the morning? Why would anyone want to see that?? Let me tell you, friend, what’s boring and mundane to you is fascinating to someone else … how you pick flowers for your open houses, or how the stager gets the room looking just right… taking snaps of before and afters, your morning routine or your favourite family dinner … let people see what your life is like behind that fancy curtain… People like to feel connected to you before they agree to sign on the dotted line so make sure your personality is shining through in ALL of your marketing material.
Whether you’re creating a killer open house to maximizing engagement through letting people see what your real life is like — I hope you’re able to take some of these strategies to help boost your engagement and incorporate them into your own real estate business so that you can confidently and creatively share what you’ve got to offer and make an impact with potential clients and beyond.