“A few years back, I did an experiment,” explains Beth Phillips, a broker-associate at The Group Inc., in Fort Collins, Colo. “I decided at the beginning of the year to target my entire database with a consistent marketing program. That year, my revenue jumped $75,000 in the first six months. I noticed a huge difference between dabbling and having a full-on consistent system.”
Prospective clients need six to nine impressions (or times they’re exposed to your marketing message) before they begin to recognize you as a real estate professional who can help them, according to conventional marketing wisdom. So, like Phillips, you need a consistent marketing system. Without one, it’s difficult to get your ideal customers to learn who you are.
Many agents have an on-again, off-again relationship with marketing. When money is tight or home sales are slow, you may delve deep into your marketing toolbox and pull out all the stops. But when you get busy, you may push marketing initiatives to the side. This tenuous relationship can create a cycle of drastic peaks and valleys in your business and cause you unnecessary stress.
Having more consistency in your marketing can smooth out those cyclical ups and downs and give you the peace of mind of steady business. How can you achieve that? Here’s a step-by-step plan.
1. Get your mindset right. Paul Schnaitter, another broker-associate at The Group, says that when he started in real estate in 2011, he wanted to keep his business costs low. He assumed saving his money instead of investing in marketing was prudent. But without a consistent marketing message, he struggled to stay top-of-mind with friends, family, and other clients.
Once he committed to working with a sales coach to develop direct mailings, email campaigns, and geotargeted social media ads, he crafted a system in which he contacts his sphere of influence at least every 10 days. Schnaitter says it’s no small investment: He spends $1,500 to $3,000 monthly to support his marketing efforts. But his revenue has also increased 35% annually since he started investing in marketing. He says his clients retain more information about his business, and he has received more responses and engagement from his marketing efforts.
It can be a process, though, to commit yourself to marketing consistently. “I wish it was as easy as flipping a switch,” Schnaitter says. It may take time and trial and error before you realize the value of your business and growth. Then, you’ll be ready to invest more in marketing strategies.
2. Choose the thing you’re best at. When building a successful marketing system for your business, start small to earn some quick wins. Ask yourself: What is the one thing I enjoy doing most and that my network can come to rely on me for? Michelle Hatch, PSA, a sales associate at Beacham & Co., REALTORS®, in Atlanta, publishes a monthly market report on her blog.
“I started it because Atlanta is full of micromarkets, and I’m a data geek,” Hatch says. “The newsletter followed, and I started to get positive feedback about the numbers and my knowledge of these micromarkets, and that has won me business over other brokers.”
She’s become widely known for her expertise in her local market and has even captured the national media’s attention as a result of her value-packed blog posts. Identify your favorite marketing activity and go all in with that one strategy. Once you’ve given it some time and see the results, you can add other strategies to your repertoire.
3. Don’t overdo it. Phillips says starting small with her marketing efforts made a difference to her business. “It can be overwhelming to do all the things all the time,” she says. “But you have to give yourself the grace to do the most important things right all the time, and then everything else can fill in as you have the time.”
Thinking about embarking on a huge, aggressive marketing campaign can be daunting and overwhelming. Give yourself a break and start with simpler marketing tasks. Even just a 1% change in your marketing effort will result in new business for you, if you stay consistent over the long haul. Achieving small wins will build your confidence, and you’ll work up the courage to go a little bigger.
4. Make marketing a habit. Along with starting small, set an intention to make your marketing as routine as brushing your teeth. Reward yourself when you achieve a goal, connect your marketing habits with things you love to do, or set a timer for two minutes and complete one step in your marketing plan.
Choose a marketing habit that’s fun and easy for you, whether it’s posting on social media once per day, calling just one person, or sending out an email newsletter once per month. Put it on your calendar and value that appointment with yourself like you would an appointment with an important client.
You can build the business you want, and consistent marketing is one of the most important pieces in that puzzle. So remember, get your mindset right, place the proper value on yourself and your business, and you will be able to create a workable plan for consistency and stick to it.