REALTORS® spend a lot of time working on their craft, but no one is perfect. It’s hard to be the master of every discipline and sometimes REALTORS® make real estate marketing mistakes that could be avoided with a little more time, planning and education. We’ve compiled a list of eight marketing mistakes REALTORS® should avoid along with suggestions on how to right the ship if you’re an offender.
1. Your Marketing Plan is Done. Now You’re Done.
Your marketing plan is just the first step towards your goals. It should be on a white board, not etched in stone. Your plan should be reviewed and revised often – it’s an organic plan that should alter as you learn more about how your strategy and tactics are getting results.
2. Using Vague, Passive Language
People are busy these days and they’re hard-pressed take the time to read more than a few words of any advertisement. They’re multitasking just as much as you – online or at the local coffee shop. Figure out how to hook them and what you want them to do. Use strong, active language and make it easy for them to know why they should care about your message, what they can do to learn more and where they can go.
3. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
With today’s technology, there’s no excuse for not having more than enough good photos of your listings. We’re a visual society and people are more likely to spend time looking at photos than just reading text. Use photos in all your marketing efforts – print, web, email and social – and if you have a little more aptitude, think about upgrading to video to create short walkthroughs of homes that you can embed on websites or link to social channels.
4. Bad Twitter Etiquette
Social media is like a dinner party – no one likes a guest who can’t stop talking about themselves. Twitter is your chance to share content, answer questions, ask questions of your own, and yes, promote your business. Try to stick to a 3:1 ratio of sharing to promoting to avoid making it all about you. Monitor what others are saying, share helpful articles and blog posts, give credit where credit is due and you’ll see your Twitter following grow and stay engaged.
5. Boring Email Campaigns
Even with the explosion of social media, email marketing is still an effective marketing tool when done right. Don’t bore your subscribers and don’t make your emails all about sales. Tell a story, give them useful information – maybe tell the tale of a first-time homebuyer you helped find the perfect home. Email is a great way to send highlights from any blog posts, offer up timely content like “Great Outdoor Upgrades” and including photos. Visit the REALTOR® Content Resource for access to hundreds of FREE articles on home ownership, buying, and selling for your communications.
6. Not Marketing to Your Family, Friends and Neighbors
Consumers are making more and more purchasing decisions based on recommendations from friends and people they know. Social networks make it easier than ever to see the connections we all share. It truly is a small world. Connect with friends, family and neighbors on social networks, including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, and ask for recommendations on LinkedIn and Facebook to build an online stamp of approval. Potential clients may see that they’re one step removed from you through a friend or neighbor and will be much more likely to do business with you if there’s already a level of trust.
7. No Email Signature Line
How many emails do you send and receive every day? Fifty? 100? 200? If you’re not using an optimized email signature line, you’re missing out on that many marketing opportunities. Ensure that you have your name and pertinent information in the signature, along with contact numbers, links to your social media channels, your website, your blog and, if it works, a headshot or the REALTOR® logo to set you even further apart.
8. Not Measuring Your Results
You’ve put together a crackerjack marketing strategy – you’ve got your social media channels up and running, you’re creating great content, your blog is regularly updated and your emails look great. But how are you objectively measuring your results? There are a number of free analytics tools available for tracking clicks, reach and engagement, including Google Analytics for blogs and websites, bit.ly for social media links, SocialMention.com to do a high level look at key search terms and Facebook offers its own free insights for brand pages. Keep an eye on your metrics and see how they measure up to your marketing goals. Balancing the subjective and objective will help you make the necessary changes to stay ahead of the game.
What common marketing mistakes have you seen from real estate professionals or fellow REALTORS®? Share your tips on what to avoid and how to improve your game in the comments below.