Whether you’re a rookie or a seasoned real estate professional, a solid marketing strategy can help your business truly grow. That’s especially true in an increasingly crowded field of technology disruptors. “It’s a critical time for our industry,” says Bobbi Decker, ABR®, a broker-associate with Today Sotheby’s International Realty in Burlingame, Calif. “In many ways, the traditional business is under attack from many angles, business models, and innovations.”
Your marketing must speak directly to buyers’ needs and concerns to rise above the noise. The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) aims to help real estate professionals maximize their marketing results through its new course, “Marketing Strategy & Lead Generation.” The one-day elective course counts toward the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation. The course will debut at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco in November before rolling out nationwide.
REBAC’s goal is to help you elevate your marketing efforts through digital and traditional channels and create relevant messages that speak to today’s home buyers. The course will delve into some of the following areas:
1. Size up the competition. Complete a competitive analysis of your business. “It’s important to know what you’re up against,” says Katie Eddy, the Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education’s course development manager. The REBAC course will highlight the SWOT (Strength-Weakness-Opportunity-Threat) analysis tool. Course attendees will learn to complete a competitive analysis of both internal and external factors that can influence their business, such as:
- Who are the most successful real estate agents in your area and why?
- Are there new brokerages moving in?
- Is business growing? Is the market heating up or cooling down for home buyers?
2. Target your market. Taking a personal hobby such as tennis and prospecting at your local tennis club isn’t enough, says Decker, the instructor for REBAC’s inaugural class. Consider the value you bring to clients beyond having something in common with them, she says. The REBAC course intends to help attendees identify ways to connect over real estate—but also how to expand their business outreach. “Say you want to reach the 5,000 new millionaires that the IPO market this year is putting on the street in September,” Decker says. “You’ll probably mostly rely on ‘tech marketing’ to connect with them through content in a format they prefer. For senior buyers, you may mix in more traditional marketing tactics, such as newspaper ads, direct mail, and phone calls. The course will show you how to create and deliver messages tailored to your target audience.”
3. Raise your digital presence. Most home buyers start their house hunt online, and if you have vague profile pages on social media, you likely won’t catch their eyes. “In the fast-moving world of social media, you need to learn how to navigate it and create value for your audience and yourself,” Decker says. There are plenty of ways to create your niche digitally, such as through testimonials, videos, blogging, and content marketing. The REBAC course will include real-life examples through “Practitioners’ Perspectives,” showing how to apply new marketing concepts and best practices for using websites and social media to grow your business.
4. Track your results. The more data you collect on how your marketing messages are being consumed, the more you’ll begin to see patterns and use them to guide your marketing moving forward. For example, you may find plenty of leads are coming in from digital channels, but not very many of these clients end up making appointments. Identify areas that may be turning off potential buyers. Is there a lack of consistent follow-up? Is your follow-up too slow? Learn survey tools, CRM systems, and analytics tools on social media to better track leads and spot potential areas of growth, Eddy says. “Marketing isn’t an instantaneous game. … A big thing I’ve seen in marketing studies is that it takes about 32 touches before someone thinks they know you or want to work with you,” Decker says. “So much of good marketing is repetition.”
5. Position your value proposition. Effective marketing will speak to the buyer and show how you bring value to their home search. One of the best ways to do that is to earn professional designations such as ABR® to build your credibility. (Bonus: The “Marketing Strategy & Lead Generation” course counts toward earning the ABR® designation.) Decker recalls an agent who, at every open house, introduces herself to visitors by saying: “I’m an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, and let me tell you what that means to you.”
Indeed, “knowing your unique value proposition, your strengths and weaknesses, and your competition will better enable you to distinguish yourself in a competitive marketplace and what makes you different and successful,” Eddy says.