It’s a good time to be in the real estate or mortgage business, with shockingly low interest rates, record home equity, and thriving – if not spectacular – real estate markets nationwide. However, we all know that these halcyon days won’t last forever.
Note: I originally wrote this post for the folks at Blue Water Credit. They're super reliable, really care, and the best in the industry for responsible credit repair, so give Jeff Sipes at Blue Water a holler if your clients need credit help.)
In fact, with about one million licensed real estate sales people and 300,000 mortgage lenders all fighting for the same shrinking piece of the pie, competition will soon be stiffer than ever.
But when rates go up, sellers stall, and the seasonal lull becomes a recession, where will your business be?
It’s time to think MARKETING (if you haven’t already), so you’ll have a head start on your competition once the housing and home loan markets recede back to normal.
Here are 10 marketing commandments for Realtors and mortgage lenders so you can have a fantastic 2020 – and beyond!
1. Be consistent.
Make at least one post per day on your Facebook business page and Instagram (at the minimum). Email your database at least monthly – but weekly is ideal. Make a social media, email, and content release calendar to start the year and make sure these items are on your daily checklist.
42% of brands that post content daily receive some sort of lead, prospect, or client monthly, but that drops to only 13% for brands that post 3 times a week or less.
Forget to market when you have a lot in the pipeline and are busy with clients, but then start your marketing push the second business slows down. That’s whiplash, not effective marketing!
2. Talk to your audience - not at them.
Ask your audience plenty of questions and use surveys, opinion polls, and other ways to get responses and build engagement.
Studies show that consumers are 789% more likely to pay attention, engage, and respond when asked for their opinion or feedback.
It’s SO hard to shut up and just listen – but that’s exactly where your true connection to your audience and clients starts!
3. Add value.
Always focus on content that adds value, solves problems, addresses challenges and needs, and saves them time, money, or energy.
Thee-fourths of consumers are looking for online content and posts that help them solve problems, save (or make) money, or improve their lives in some way.
We’re all guilty of all-or-nothing, transactional thinking. But just focus on helping as many people as possible, no matter what that looks like or the outcome, and your business will thrive.
4. Create content.
Keep people informed with customized market reports, stats, data, infographics, and more. Make sure it’s branded to you and even has a dazzling photo on it, as well as contact info and your social media or web link.
Brands that create at least three pieces of unique content every week receive 289% more responses and engagement than when they post generic content.
Stop only sharing other peoples' content – that’s doing nothing to elevate and differentiate YOUR brand. Make and share your own (by outsourcing and using a team!)
5. Email is alive and well.
Build your email list with a free offer and landing page. You should be adding 50 emails a month MINIMUM and work towards building a 10,000-person email list.
Email is 40x more efficient at acquiring new clients than Facebook or Twitter and a client on your email list is 6x more valuable over their lifetime than social media followers alone.
Using a service that offers “canned” generic content for emails. Your clients know that’s not original, personal, nor did you put any time or thought into it. They also might be getting the exact same thing from other Realtors or lenders! Oops!
6. Shoot plenty of (short) videos.
Video should be a key component of any smart marketing campaign. Take plenty of short (1-2 minutes) videos and post these to your own business channel on YouTube, as well as Instagram and Facebook.
It’s estimated that by 2022, 82 percent of all internet traffic will be video. According to Forrester Research, just one minute of video is the equivalent to 1.8 million words to the human brain – about the same amount of content as about 3,600 web pages filled with text!
Reluctancy to get started is the biggest mistake. Just take out the phone/camera and start shooting! Remember that you can always edit them down the road. Other common video mistakes? Crappy audio and having the sun behind you or filming in shadows.
7. Differentiate with a book or podcast.
Want to REALLY separate yourself from the competition? Consider writing and publishing a book (or, at least short-form white paper or market report) and start a podcast. If you want extraordinary success, you’ll have to do what others are not!
Last year, 675 million print books sold in the U.S., and each day, Amazon.com alone sells more than a million eBooks! Likewise, at least 50% of all Americans have listened to a podcast, and about a third of Americans (32%) listen to one or more podcasts monthly! Both of those are HUGE, untapped opportunities for marketing!
Thinking that a book needs to be a 300-page epic novel. You can also publish market reports, white papers, surveys, special reports, and short handbooks or guides.
8. It’s not about you.
Incorporate referral partners, brands, media, other vendors, trades, events, charity, community, etc. into your marketing – it will be a complete game changer!
You should easily be able to 2X your marketing reach just by incorporating frequent mentions of others.
Buy from me. Sell with me. Follow me. Use me. I’m the best; it all gets painfully redundant! Revolutionize your marketing by making it all about OTHERS, not you!
9. Build a smart and savvy sales funnel.
Consider a funnel marketing system that includes strategic Facebook ads, Instagram ads, or YouTube pre-roll ads, etc., plus a landing page, giveaway, chatbot, auto email responses, and more.
Research shows that a well-designed sales funnel will bring in 13x more leads and allow for 9x more closed deals than having no funnel or system.
Trying to do it all yourself. You’re in the real estate business, not the marketing automation business.
10. Define your brand.
Your brand is your promise to your clients, so build a brand that will be consistent, recognizable, and reflects your personality and what you can do to help people. Your brand should reflect who YOU are, but also encompass the ethos of the community you’re trying to build.
83% of consumers follow at least one brand and 71% make purchases strictly because they know and like a brand, not just the individual product or service.
Whatever you do, don’t say “I offer great service.” Everyone should have great service – it’s the bare minimum these days, especially for the rip that comes that the end of a closed deal!
Bonus marketing tip:
Partner with a great credit repair firm like Blue Water Credit to nurture your home buyer leads that aren’t ready now because of credit score challenges.
They’ll help rebuild your turn-down clients' credit scores and deliver a ready-to-qualify buyer to you within months! Just contact Jeff@BlueWaterCredit.com and he'll help you out!
Now go out there and get some new business!