By: Emile L’Eplattenier, Fit Small Business
Updated: January 15, 2019
We all know marketing can help build a loyal customer base and bolster sales, but many real estate agents are still shying away from advertising for fear of the cost. Sure, a mega-advertising budget has helped many products (and the people behind them) become household names, but you don’t need to hire the top marketing firm—or pay a lot—to effectively reach new clients in your area. There are several good ways to market yourself both online and off, on any budget.
Don’t overlook local, traditional forms of marketing when developing your marketing plan. Advertising around your area can be an affordable way to reach a good amount new clients very quickly.
One way to get started is with open house signage. It can be difficult to get people to sign up for your email list or to follow your online listings. Luckily for you, there are plenty of nosy neighbors, which means potential future clients. It would be best to make an effort to get them through the door of your next open house. Although they may not be looking for a new house right now, they might be in the future...and you’ll be the one they go to.
There is a variety of open house signage that you can use to boost traffic to your listing, from A-Frame Signs to Feather Flags. Each type has its pros and cons, and ideal usage scenarios. You’ll want to place your main sign on the front lawn, where people driving by can see it and read it.
If you have large fences or bushes, or the house is located in a heavily wooded area, you’ll need to take that into consideration when placing your signs. More signs within a certain radius of the property can help boost traffic as well. Open house signage is a great way to advertise locally and get the traffic you’re hoping for.
Advertise on Search Engines
No marketing campaign is complete without a hefty dose of online advertising (including retargeting), but you don’t need to shell out thousands for expensive banner ads. Start by creating an ad on a search engine like Google or Bing.
Google’s advertising program, Google AdWords, charges on a pay-per-click basis, meaning you won’t get charged until a customer actually clicks through your ad. And those locally-targeted cost-per-click rates can be downright affordable for real estate agents. For example, our research found the average suggested bid for keywords related to the term ”real estate Providence” was $1.50.
You can also advertise on Bing in much the same way. However, keep in mind, Bing has a lower visitor base than Google. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford both search engines, Google is the better bet.
Advertise on Social Media
People spend an average of 118 minutes on social media each day, according to recent statistics. That figure has only increased in recent years and is likely to continue in the future. And with so many people browsing Facebook and Twitter during the day, it just makes sense to advertise through these sites.
While you can build a brand and target new clients on any form of social media, starting off with Twitter and Facebook is the easiest way to build out your marketing plan. Both sites offer the option to either create an ad or develop “sponsored” posts without requiring a large monetary investment.
Both sites allow you to promote to a targeted audience, meaning you can choose who sees your ads. This is great for targeting people in specific geographic locations. such as locals. But Facebook goes a bit farther. For example, the site offers a feature that lets you target users who are “likely to move” in the future, meaning you’ll be able to narrow down your results even further. (Of course, first you need to be sure you're noticed on Facebook, so here are some tips for that.)
Keep in mind, when advertising on social media, you should continue to post on your actual profile as well. Your business will benefit by keeping an open channel of communication between you and your followers. For more details on social media marketing, check out this article.
Use a Real Estate Based-Ad Platform
Round out your marketing plan with a real estate based ad platform. These ad platforms allow you to both post and highlight listings, as well as engage new clients. And the gains often greatly outweigh the initial cost. For example, with Zillow Premier Agent, our data shows you get around $2.60 back for every $1.00 you put into the plan.
Most real estate listing databases—such as Zillow and Realtor.com—offer some sort of marketing platform for agents. Most work in a similar fashion to each other. For example, if you’re a premier agent with Zillow, your contact information will be highlighted on both your listings and other listings, increasing your chances of connecting with clients no matter what.
Whichever platforms you choose for your marketing plan, be sure to keep tabs on things. Set aside time each week (or each day) to go over your marketing, add to your social media accounts, and test different options.By constantly monitoring your efforts, you’ll be able to tweak and develop a marketing plan that works perfectly for you.