Taking your business to the next level is never easy, but it can be done. We asked some of the best real estate experts in the world to share their top tips for marketing real estate in 2015. Check out their responses alongside our own, below!
1. Set Your Goals
The first step to success is knowing what you want to accomplish. Setting goals will give you direction and help organize your efforts. Ensure your goals are tangible and set smaller milestones for those big goals, to keep you motivated along the way. Set Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly and yearly goals for both personal and business goals. Once your goals are in place, you'll be ready to take them on in full force!
-JustinHavre.com, Justin Havre
2. Ask For What You Want
You can get all sorts of things, just by asking for it! Facebook likes, backlinks, guest blogs, client referrals, lower ad rates... whatever it is you want, try asking for it. The worst that will happen is someone will say no.
3. Expired Listings & FSBO
"Go after expired listings and for sale by owners. Home prices don't seem to be rising at the same rate they were in the last couple years. I see a slight correction in the market. This means sellers are going to have be more competitive about their pricing and there will be more expired listings in your market. Price and condition are going to be more important than ever. For a while, For Sale By Owners thought they had the whole industry figured out because there was a huge shortage of inventory and buyers were seeking out for sale by owners. Sellers were listing at any price and getting it because inventory was low. The market has shifted and there is a lot more inventory. Still not the inventory we need for a balanced market, but nonetheless not nearly the shortage we once had."
-MarkZProperties.com, Mark Zawaideh
4. Always Be Honest - Lets switch this one out....
People expect honesty and brands are being held accountable more than ever. Social media, review sites and the internet as a whole make it easy for people to fact check and share opinions, which means you need to always be true to others. Never make a claim you can't deliver on! There is such thing as bad publicity.
5. Become An Expert/Specialist
"Pick a condo building or neighborhood and know it better than any other REALTOR in town. Find out who developed it, when, average sale price, days on marker, absorption and every other stat that someone might ask you. Memorize those stats. Make a video of the community and website with a branded domain name. Plan on a direct mail campaign for the next 12 months and stick to it. Hold open houses whenever possible. Brand yourself the expert of that condo or neighborhood. It takes time but it pays dividends if done properly and consistently."
-Dwell Real Estate, Marc Rasmussen
6. Think Fast (& Reply Instantly)
Welcome to 2015, the era of instant gratification. Ensure you have the tools in place to give your clients and potential clients the fast replies they expect. Hire an assistant, turn on your ringer, enable text messaging, set up automated messages and do everything you can to reply to everyone right away. If your replies take too long, your clients will be long gone. Speed or response is crucial to any business in today's world.
7. Focus on "One Thing"
"The best thing a Realtor can do in my mind is focus on One Thing! Find a hole in the market place and fill it. Whether it be new home buyers, high end luxury listings, condos, etc. Too many agents try to do too many things. All the time I talk to agents who work with renters, do property management, work with buyers, represent sellers—they are a jack of all trades and master of none. For us, our business started out focused on the needs of builders. We understood that builders had a need to partner with someone who they could count on to get their buyers' current homes sold. After years of mastery in that one thing we finally moved on to general resale. Only after years of mastering that (and due to market conditions) did we move on to short sales. At the end of the day, it is all resale, though. Our agents don't work with foreclosures or renters, we don't do commercial, we don't sit on site for builders—we simply work with homeowners looking to buy or sell their homes. The most successful people in the world are typically only really great at One Thing! Find your One Thing!"
-MarkSpain.com, John Makarewicz
8. Leverage Your Efforts
The best marketing efforts are intertwined, leveraging every opportunity for maximum impact. For example, ask satisfied clients to write a testimonial, send them the link via Facebook (along with a friend request), and then mail a thank you note with a couple spare referral cards. Then share a photo with the review on Facebook, tagging the client's name in the post. Getting into this mindset of leveraging your efforts will extend your reach and ensure your marketing budget goes even further.
9. Create A Team Culture
"Creating a strong team culture of support and learning is one thing that we have developed over the past few years and as a result have cultivated a great relationship with all our vendors, who essentially have become part of the extended team. We also encourage an environment of sharing and support so that when an agent has a question about an area they are unfamiliar with, or they need the history of a builder, or a legal question answered, the team can respond quickly to assist.
Part of the culture we have been focusing on over the last couple of years is the need to provide training and education platforms that allow the agents to continue to grow and evolve as agents. We have recognized the talent and resources we have within the team, and have created training classes that allow agents to learn from the best agents on the team. Together we grow and learn as a team."
-NashvillesMLS.com, Gary Ashton
10. Know Your Market Data
"Know your market data and use it to find win-win negotiations between buyers, sellers and their agents. Knowing average days on market and what percentage of asking price homes are actually selling for in specific price ranges can often indicate which party is being unreasonable in the bid or ask. When everyone can get on the same page as far as values, everyone wins. Unrealistic buyers and sellers reveal themselves. The win when the unrealistic one is discovered is that they either get real or others quit wasting their time with them."
-GulfShoresLife.com, Cal Carter
11. Take Risks...
Don't bet your entire fortune in Vegas, but do find other risks that may make you rich! Look for marketing opportunities you've always wanted to try, like radio commercials, Facebook ads or a website redesign, and make this the year you go for it!
12. ...But Honour The Tried & True
Figure out the things that are already working for you...and keep doing them! Put some time aside to sincerely evaluate which of your marketing efforts generated results, identify ways to enhance that success even further and then make it happen.
13. Build Your Database
"Commit to building a database of 1,000 raving fans over the next 3 years. According to the book "Real", that will produce 60 to 120 transactions per year."
-Dwell Real Estate, Marc Rasmussen
14. Engage Your Community
The best real estate agents have always been able to make a personal connection, and your marketing efforts should strive to do the same. When it comes to social media, share things that are actually interesting, engage people, ask questions, enjoy conversations and ultimately put the "social" back in social media. Self-promotion should come secondary to building personal relationships.
15. Leverage New Technology
"Learn and master one or two new technologies that will make you more efficient. I would highly recommend every agent to utilize the iPad and PDF Expert to become completely paperless when doing contracts. Take it a step further and implement electronic signing software like DocuSign or eSignonline, which allows clients to sign contracts on their computer or mobile devices. Best thing since sliced bread, in my opinion."