It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating the end of 2020 and cleaning up the confetti from socially distanced, Zoom-based New Year’s Eve celebrations. Now as we head into the holiday season, it’s time to think about 2022 and the possibilities it offers for your business. That means getting ahead of the game and planning your marketing strategy for the new year.
Revamping and Revising Your Current Marketing
Before you can change your marketing, you need to evaluate what’s already in place. There are a couple of things to consider as you do so. First, does your current marketing reflect the focus of your business and the way you operate? Second, does it look up-to-date and attractive, providing the authority-building information you need to bring in clients?
For many real estate agents and brokers, the past year and a half has involved a major pivot to describing how you can serve COVID-era buyers and sellers. This may mean an emphasis on virtual tours, virtual open houses, virtual staging, and enhanced marketing for your listings.
These are worthy value-adds for your business. At this point, however, you may be ready to separate them from their roots in quarantine-based necessity. Many of these services are now part of business as usual, so make sure that your marketing materials include them as standard services without the COVID-era messaging.
Marketing Resolutions for 2022
It takes some time to change up your current marketing. Start creating a foundation for 2022 enhancements now, and reap the rewards later.
Look at your website with a fresh eye
Everything starts with looking—really looking—at your current marketing materials, including your website. Here are some places to focus:
- Pull up your site on your computer and your phone, and look for performance or alignment differences. How fast does it load? How fast do subpages load? Does it look comparable to other websites that you visit?
- Consider functionality. If you were a seller, how easy would it be to find information aimed at you? What if you were a buyer? How easy is it to send an email or communicate with someone from the site? How easy is it to find testimonials or a bio? How easy is it to share a blog post or to visit your social media platforms?
- Now, go to the site of your fiercest competitor or the leader in your market. How does your website compare? Do they have more content? Better images? More defined branding?
- Now Google “[YOUR CITY] real estate agent.” Do the same with the names of local neighborhoods where you specialize. See where you rank or if you rank at all. Search for your name and find out what comes up first. If you don’t see anything, try searching for your name along with the words real estate or with the name of your city.
Use the information you’ve gathered to consider what you may need to do to improve your website. Maybe you need some keyword research to develop a targeted SEO strategy. Maybe you need additional content or updated images. Maybe you need to consider a redesign or an upgraded hosting service for faster load times and better functionality.
Real estate professionals are notorious for headshots that no longer bear any resemblance to themselves. If your headshot is more than five years old, it’s almost certainly time for a new one. In addition, headshots now tend to be more casual, more fun, and less formal than the old-fashioned “grab and grin” headshots of the past. Look for a fresh, modern approach from a local photographer specializing in professional headshots.
Remember, too, that part of what you’re selling is your local expertise. If there is a recognizable local landmark in your market, consider having a set of photos taken on location so that you can show how much a part of your area you really are.
Revise your boilerplate
We all have boilerplate language that we use to respond to inquiries or to follow up on routine communications with leads, clients, and colleagues. Review your go-to content and see if it needs to be updated. You may have cobbled together past emails to create something new. Make sure that there is a good flow throughout and that the fonts, sizes, and style of the boilerplate are consistent.
Get into content
If you’re not currently providing content in some form, it’s past time for you to start. Whether you choose to create a blog, film videos, or host a podcast, you need to share your knowledge of both real estate and your local market with leads and your sphere of influence. Even just a weekly or monthly email to your SOI is an important first step in helping you begin to create meaningful, sharable content.
Do you have a presence on multiple social media channels yet find yourself only using one or two? It may be time to close out those old, unused accounts or simply add a pinned post directing visitors to the platform you use most. Take a look at the performance on your favorite platform over the last year. What worked and what didn’t? Take some time to create a plan for social media and make it an action item in your calendar or favorite productivity app.
Look at analytics for social media, your website, and any other platforms you’re using. Find out when your traffic is highest: Which day of the week? Which month of the year? Which page was most visited? Which post got the most Likes? Create a plan to regularly check in with your analytics in 2022 so that you can see trends and capitalize on them for better engagement with your followers and website visitors.
Look for talking points based on the value your marketing adds
What are you already doing that is great for your clients? Start by asking yourself these questions:
- Do you maintain a robust social media strategy?
- Do you provide professional photos and property description copy for every listing?
- Do you enjoy a high-ranking SEO position in your market, making your listings more visible?
Think through all of the ways that you are uniquely positioned to provide more value to your clients, and then make sure you are communicating that value in your marketing.