REALTORS® who are serious about proactively marketing their services will use a wide variety of tools to promote their business. Websites, blog postings, emails, e-newsletters, postcards, etc. are just a few examples of marketing content assets distributed through traditional and digital marketing platforms. As you create these assets, keep the following tips in mind to maximize their effectiveness.
Know what your clients want
Buyers or sellers may be considering a starter condo, a multi-million-dollar mansion or something in between, but they will all want assurance you are qualified to represent them. That’s why promoting you yourself as a highly-skilled industry expert will be most important. Knowledge of the marketplace, strong negotiation skills, focus on customer service and dogged attention to detail are skills you will likely want to promote.
Educate your audience
What specific area of the real estate industry will most likely present the best opportunities for success? Short sales? Mid-priced homes? Luxury or resort properties? Whatever your sweet spot is be sure to educate buyers about shifting trends and/or economic conditions that will affect property values and sales. For example, did a local school just obtain top rankings for the area? Do hidden association fees in a community more than offset perceived savings gained in lower purchase prices? If so, build your position as a local real estate expert by creating content addressing these trends.
Pay attention to keywords & titles
How many times have you used the words “best” or “most qualified” when doing a Google search? Utilization of keywords like these command attention, especially when included in headlines. Consider the following sample headline: “Best Ways to Maximize Pre-qualified Mortgage Letters.” A blog posting with this title would be of keen interest to highly-qualified buyers if it also provides five tips on how buyers can use their strong purchasing position to get a great housing deal.
Keep providing new content
Truly dynamic marketing campaigns never stop evolving. Months should not pass without new content being created to serve your customers. You should have a calendar outlining asset creation dates throughout the year. Start by creating two assets a month and build from there. Find simple messaging tactics such as shorter blog postings under 250 words to make the process more manageable. You’ll be surprised how this effort will gain increasing attention over time.
Be available to answer questions
When a customer reaches out to you be sure to respond promptly. Your contact information must be current and direct inquiries to a place you check daily. Prompt response to questions builds immediate trust. Delays suggest you don’t have your act together.
There are countless ways to build content that promotes your services in a beneficial way. Through content marketing, you can nurture these digital conversations into motivated and loyal clients, according to REALTOR Magazine’s article, “How Content Marketing Can Get You More Leads.” Also, check out a blog posted on Inman.com entitled “12 Tenets of Content Marketing” for more immediate tips. Brokers who end 2013 building and distributing targeted marketing will likely find more business coming their way in 2014 than those who do not.
Have you established a simplistic way to consistently generate targeted marketing content that drives interest in your business? Please share your experiences in the space below.
Simple, fast and unique, the Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® provides NAR members with more than just discounts for property upgrades. It also offers a cutting-edge and professional digital marketing tool and discounts on gift cards that help to exceed client expectations. And using the program will help set you apart from other real estate agents in your market. Available through NAR’s REALTOR Benefits® Program, the Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® offers members a free marketing service featuring an eCoupon that is customized to include your business contact info. Recipients receive 10% off purchases made at Lowe’s or lowes.com. Members can also purchase Lowe’s gift cards through the site at a 5% discount.
Set Yourself Apart with Lowe’s
Clients will appreciate the savings opportunities you’re providing to instantly address home improvement. Most sellers realize that even modest upgrades or repairs to their home can increase its value on the marketplace. Buyers moving into a new home will want to make changes to their new home as well. Use the Lowe’s Program for REALTORS® to show that you understand this, and it will position you as a caring business partner who goes the extra mile for clients.
How the Lowe’s Partnership Can Promote Your Business
Savvy real estate agents who value digital marketing are always on the lookout for new opportunities to communicate with clients. The eCoupon provides a professionally-designed template describing the 10% savings offer. Better still, the eCoupons clearly display the personalized contact info of the REALTOR®, and the speedy delivery via email allows the client to have quick access to the discount. The program now also offers limited-time special product offer eCoupons, available exclusively for REALTORS® for their own use and to send clients. The eCoupons may be sent the same way the 10% eCoupons are sent, are customized, and are effective for a minimum of one-month from the date the eCoupon is sent to your clients. Make sure to sign-up for the program at lowesrealtorbenefits.com to receive notices when new specials are added to the program.
How to Get Started
Register for your free account in the Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®. You will be asked to verify your NAR membership, so be sure to have your NRDS ID information ready. Once verified you will get access to the eCoupon template and gift card link. Help desk personnel are available via phone between the hours of 8 AM-5 PM EST for those who need assistance (888) 913-6060. Assistance can also be obtained via email. Every home can use improvement either before it is sold or after it is purchased. Your clients will appreciate it for thinking about them as they move onto their next phases of homeownership. They will also be more likely to keep you top of mind the next time someone asks them if they know a great real estate agent.
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The eCoupons are automatically customized with the information used by the REALTOR® when he/she signs up for the program.
How do you thank clients for their business? Share your experiences in the space below.
Periodically, The Member’s Edge lists mobile applications (apps) for busy REALTORS® looking for ways to improve efficiencies, communications and overall business lifestyles. Following are several apps that recently caught our eye:
1. YouMail Visual Voicemail
There will be a time when you are not in a convenient place to engage in a live conversation on your smart phone. However, the call may contain a vital piece of information that you need for what you are working on right now. Wouldn’t it be convenient to simply get an email of that information sent to your smartphone in real time? That’s exactly what the Youmail Visual Voicemail app does. Even voice mails that are not immediately received by your cell phone due to a bad signal will be sent to your email. $4.99/Mo. │ Apple │ Android
Upload images from your computer or grab from Facebook, Instagram, Picasa, Flickr or elsewhere to create wonderful property photo video montages. Animoto allows you to establish a professional-quality visual story of your listings and share them with buyers, agents and other interested parties. You can even add a fun music soundtrack for each property file. FREE │ Apple │ Android
Offer letters, home inspection results, estimates for house repairs, recent tax bills, etc. The list of documents that buyers and sellers will need grows as deals get nearer to close. And oftentimes busy agents are forced to re-send documents that were sent several times prior. With the Dropbox app a password-protected file can be created that allows critical documents to be available for all parties to view in one single folder. Documents can be updated or edited with changes viewable to all in real time. FREE │ Apple │ Android
Turn any Smartphone into a scanner with CamScanner. This app is a great fit for busy brokers who want to scan, sync, edit, share and manage various contents on the spot, particularly signed documents that need to be sent to colleagues during fast-moving negotiations. CamScanner employs a cropping and enhancing feature that leads to clearer images. Once scanned, the information can be saved as a PDF and easily shared or saved in the cloud. FREE │ Apple │ Android
5. Mortgage Calculator
Most people have a pretty good idea what they can afford when it comes to taking on a mortgage, but it never hurts to have instant access to a variety of finances on your Smartphone. This is one of many useful apps like it that bring immediate access to monthly payments with a few simple entries, such as principle payment percentage, amount to be mortgaged, current interest rates and time to pay off loans. Charts and amortization tables are provided. FREE │ Apple │ Android
Foursquare is a location-based social media network that real estate agents can use to tag listings. Use the app to promote properties as a place of interest to other real estate brokers or home buyers who may be in the area. Combine with Instagram linking viewers to photo montages of appealing or unique features such as outdoor scenic gardens or fall foliage that may be seasonally appealing. Key selling features inside the home are also great things to post. Home buyers and other agents using Foursquare will come across your postings each time they log onto their account and are geographically nearby your listing’s location. FREE │ Apple │ Android
7. Glossary Real Estate Terms
Even if you think you know every real estate word ever created, there may come a time when certain industry terms are unfamiliar. This app provides instant access to a wealth of real estate terms and what they mean. Ideal for newcomers to the industry, this app may also come in handy for seasoned veterans as well. In either case, invite curious buyer and seller customers to check out this app as a means to learn more about the real estate industry at large. Doing so will help build trust with clients. FREE │ Apple (Not Available) │ Android
8. DriveSafe.ly SMS Reader
It’s human nature to want to read text messages and emails as you are driving, particularly during the business day. It is also illegal nearly everywhere for obvious reasons. This app allows busy agents to listen to emails and TXT messages aloud while driving. Fee-based versions lets users respond via voice. This app allows agents to get work done while driving while greatly reducing the risk of causing an accident. FREE │ Apple │ Android
9. Realtor.com Real Estate, Homes
Share this app with consumer customers for sure, but also use it yourself to find homes that are both for sale and rent. Homes can now be sorted based on school and district assignment boundaries. This app gives instant access to property photos, tax data, home sales history and school ratings. Custom searches can be defined by areas on a map. Details about open houses, recently-sold homes and rentals are available with one simple touch. FREE │ Apple │ Android
10. NAR Member Center
Member Center app offers exclusive access to member benefits from the The National Association of REALTORS®. Access the information you use most, including the latest benefits, association contact information, educational programs, advocacy updates and more. You can also use the app to customize your membership card and get the latest personalized information on events from your primary State and Local Associations. FREE │ Apple │ Android
One More to Consider
One website to consider visiting is www.repurposeapps.com, where real estate professionals recommend and share creative ways they use apps for their business. Visit this site often to learn how to use well-known apps in ways you never before thought were possible to benefit your business. Also check out REALTOR® Magazine’s Best of the Web 2013: Apps article for a list of REALTOR® Magazine‘s picks for 2013.