UPDATED August 2021
Every real estate agent is faced with the same problem… there are only 24 hours in a day. So, if you want to get the most return for those hours and surpass your competition, you need to focus your real estate marketing plan on ideas that will deliver the most value in the least amount of time and for the least amount of effort.
We call it being efficient.
Competition among real estate agents is growing fiercer every year. In 2012, there were about 1 million licensed real estate agents in the U.S. Each year since then, the number of agents has grown between three and five percent. In 2020, that number was 1.46 million—a record high.
With a strong economy comes a strong housing market and, if history is any indication, more agents competing for those sales.
Since the competition for new clients is growing, it makes sense that there is no shortage of real estate marketing ideas out there…
- Social media for real estate agents
- Real estate tools for real estate agents
- Real estate marketing for beginners
- How to market your real estate business
- The top 50, 35, 25 marketing strategies for real estate agents.
Seriously? Who has the time (or team) to implement and support 50 strategies?
Make the limited time you have to market your real estate business count. These three essential real estate marketing ideas will keep your pipeline full of potential clients and give you the most return for the time you invest.
1. Use Facebook
Notice we didn’t say “social media.” That’s because we promised you the most ROI for your time.
Social media is absolutely a necessity if you’re going to be marketing yourself as a real estate agent. And yes, a presence on all the big ones (LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest) is the ideal. But if you’re looking to maximize your effort, then Facebook is the way to go. It’s easy to use, takes no time to learn, and we have lots of useful tips to get you started.
Why Facebook? Take a look at some of the stats provided by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR):
- Among NAR’s members, social media was the tool reported as the best source for generating high-quality leads.
- The #1 reason NAR members use social media is to promote listings.
- Among NAR’s members who use social media, the most often used was Facebook (97%). (LinkedIn was a distant second at 59%).
Our experience here at ReminderMedia reflects these statistics. Nearly 96% of our clients use Facebook to share content.
No time to write your own content? No problem! Check out our personally branded social media posts with Facebook Scheduler!
If you’ve already got a Facebook business page but want to kick it up a bit, then this video is the one to watch. You’ll get some great tips for creating a listing ad and a brand ad that will get you noticed.
Facebook offers a multitude of ways to market real estate listings and promote your business. Below are a few of the easiest, most effective, and least time-consuming ideas that will still deliver a clickable punch.
Photos are one of the best ideas to sell a house. With Facebook you can confidently upload panoramic and 3D views of your listings, which is a valuable benefit when you want to showcase a listing.
Keep an online photo album of successful sales and purchases. Nothing communicates credibility like success.
Use pics to promote local events and businesses. Endearing yourself to the community is never a bad idea.
You can use Facebook Live to broadcast video and establish yourself as the expert. For this one, you might take a walk in a desirable neighborhood making sure to capture and comment on homes, local business, schools, and parks (don’t forget the dog parks!). You could also use Facebook Live to launch a virtual open house, provide a tutorial for home buyers, or host a Q&A.
If you hated writing papers in school, don’t worry. Writing a post is nothing like that.
First, they don’t have a required number of words.
Second, you can “bend” the rules for grammar and punctuation, but use spellcheck.
Finally, if you don’t outright copy and paste, it isn’t cheating if you borrow ideas from other people. Just add your own spin.
The best posts will be those in which you write about what you know and are useful to your readers.
An enticing and quick post is something called a “listicle.”
A listicle is among the most popular posts because their titles promise a quick read with a limited number of ideas. Examples would be “The 7 Best Budgeting Tools,” “5 Questions to Ask Your Moving Company,” and “The 3 Biggest Home Buying Mistakes.” (Use odd numbers; they attract more attention.)
If you write what you know, you could kick out a short listicle in about 15 minutes.
Click here for some super easy tips for writing a great post.
If you aren’t into writing and want to save even more time, you can also use Facebook to share information your future clients would find useful.
All you need to do is find something of interest like a story featuring ideas for interior design or maybe a summary of local laws about pet ownership. Copy the link, paste it in a new post, and include a short message. Hit enter and you’re done.
What did that take? Three minutes? Easy-peasy.
Try to be consistent about how often and when you post. While there is likely no single “best time” to post, there are some optimal days and times when to post to Facebook and other social media. A good idea is to write several posts and then use a social media manager, like the Facebook scheduler we offer as part of our personally branded social media posts, to schedule and automate their distribution.
Create a group
Groups are awesome for bringing people with the same interests together and building relationships. It’s not a place to sell your listings. Instead, you want to chat with the group; be professional but be yourself. Make it a habit to answer questions and respond to all comments, even the ones that aren’t flattering.
When using Facebook, it’s true your listings will compete with many other agents’ listings. BUT (and this is important) … when it comes to real estate and social media marketing, buyers are using social media to find potential homes and not to select an agent.
That’s why we recommend the second of our essential real estate marketing ideas.
2. Request reviews / testimonials / referrals
Reviews, testimonials, and referrals may be among the best marketing tools for agents and requesting them some of the best advice for new real estate agents we can provide. Why? Because they hit three sweet spots of advertising. And what could be faster or easier? Ask. Get. Type. Post.
They build trust and credibility
At ReminderMedia, we whole-heartedly believe in our product, but that doesn’t mean others are sold on the idea. You know you’re a fantastic agent (yes, you are!), but potential clients are going to have questions. Questions like, “Can I trust her?” “Is he any good?” “Will she steer me in the right direction?”
Before you establish a relationship, every potential client is going to be skeptical until someone else vouches for you.
Believing someone else and following their actions, especially when we don’t know what to believe or do—like, “Which real estate agent should I hire?”—is called social proof. And it is more powerful than the best advertising.
When people refer you, they’re telling the world that they’re happy and satisfied with their experience. They trust you and find you credible.
A 2020 survey reveals a whopping 63% of marketers from across four countries (U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia) report that word of mouth is their most valuable channel for attracting new clients. And despite a lower 2021 figure (53%) likely caused by the pandemic, word of mouth is still local marketers’ most valuable channel for attracting new clients.
Why are the numbers so high? It’s because we instinctively know that when someone provides a referral, review, or testimonial they’re putting their reputations on the line—and no one wants to tarnish their good rep.
Think about it… would you recommend a friend for a job if you didn’t think they could do it? Of course not. Your boss would question your judgment (and possibly your choice of friends).
If you’re a bit shy about asking for a review, get over it. You can’t afford not to… not when 79% of people report trusting an online review as much as recommendation from family or friends.
If you’re not sure how to ask for a review, we can offer you a few tips to get going.
They promote emotional connection
You are your brand, and when people feel good about a brand they buy.
Real estate agents know this is true. You’ve shown a house to some potential buyers. One couple “falls in love” with the hardwood floors, crown molding, and built in bookshelves. They diminish the potential trouble of leaking plumbing and a cracked foundation and put in a bid.
Glowing reviews from past clients that are filled with vivid adjectives and exclamation points will make future clients feel good about you. And they’ll buy into your brand.
They tell a story
What’s great about reviews is they tell stories. Stories emotionally connect with people; they draw us in and make us feel happy, sad, excited, scared, etc.
Good reviews evoke positive emotions. They’ll feature your clients as the main characters. Your clients are faced with a conflict—finding and buying a home. You’re the wise adviser who points them in the way of a solution. They find the perfect home.
And they lived happily ever after…
Reviews should be posted on your website and certainly shared on Facebook. Consider boosting their effectiveness with video.
Video reviews provide even more connection with future clients—the smiles, the tone of voice, the triumphant gestures make everything more immediate and “real.” Bring along your smartphone on closing day!
3. Use high-quality print targeted to your best clients
Despite the doom and gloom that you may have heard about print media, reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. In fact, print has not only seen a comeback but also is thriving.
“Wait! Didn’t you just spend 100 paragraphs selling me on Facebook?”
Yes. Yes, I did.
Digital real estate marketing is essential; it’s why we wrote all those paragraphs recommending Facebook marketing for agents.
But it’s not enough.
Digital marketing engages only one of our senses—sight. Print, on the other hand, engages sight, touch, and smell. High-quality magazines, for example, are tangible and experiential. We interact with them.
And because of its lack of engagement, digital lacks an essential ingredient for effective sales – the emotional connection.
The power of print
Imagine routinely sending your sphere of influence a really nice magazine—thick, glossy paper; gorgeous photos; interesting and useful content. Your sphere will associate your magazine with you. In a very real sense, your magazine is an ad for you, and it will keep you top-of-mind when someone asks, “Do you know a good real estate agent?”
Now imagine your magazine is the ad in the table below:
Print is powerful stuff. It ranks higher in nearly all attributes: review time, stimulation, memory speed and confidence, desirability, and valuation. In three other attributes, print ties with digital. In only one attribute does digital fair better than print— people focus more on “key components” in a digital ad.
Components—not even the entire ad.
Incremental costs for incremental growth
Print does not have to be expensive. There are plenty of options that can range from high-quality magazines to print-it-yourself cards. And you can choose to lick stamps or use a more sophisticated marketing company that will take care of everything from a prospecting list to packaging, handling, and delivery.
Whatever the cost, typically one sale will more than make up for your investment.
And because you want the most for your time (as equal an investment as your cash), you can set up your print once and then, aside from an occasional refresh, let ‘er rip.
Now that you know what to do, go do it!
There you have it . . . three of the most effective, least costly, and most efficient real estate marketing ideas.
- Use Facebook because it’s the best for generating high-quality leads.
- Request reviews, testimonials, and referrals because they promote you as worthy of trust and confidence, create an emotional connection, and significantly increase leads.
- Use print because it makes a powerful impression that clients will remember.
Good for you for reading this far. As a reward for being serious about marketing your business, here’s a bonus real estate marketing idea…
If you haven’t already joined the National Association of REALTORS®, then do it today. Membership is a valuable credential that speaks to your professionalism. Regardless of whether you’ve been in real estate for months or years, NAR has something for all its members:
- huge amounts of information on all aspects of the business
- current research and reliable statistics
- professional events
- education classes
Check them out. And here’s to your continued success!