In a traditional industry like real estate, agents need to engage customers both online and in person. Even in the technological age, engaging with others in person is just as powerful as sharing content over social media channels. Ideally, you want to blend both types of work. When online and offline marketing campaigns complement each other, they’ll ultimately increase your following, influence, and client base in both worlds.
Here are five ideas for how you can use offline tactics to improve your online following, and vice versa.
1. Host a Neighborhood Tour
What better way to encourage personal engagement than by offering a fun event that showcases your neighborhood? Tours could focus on the history behind a local hotspot, common architectural styles, or interesting anecdotes about properties and their past owners. Even the smallest towns have stories to tell, so showcase some of the unique features of the area to entice and inform prospects.
Bring it online: The offline tour can lead to online followers in an organic way, if done right. Ask followers to post about the event and use a specific hashtag. According to a recent survey by the Event Marketing Institute, 98 percent of consumers regularly capture content such as photos and videos at live events, and 100 percent of those that do share it on social media. At the beginning of the tour—and in all informational content, both online and offline—invite tour-goers to share pictures using a hashtag and your company’s tag so that you can then collect all images and write a post that features them. This will also encourage attendees to follow your social media channels, which in many cases means their online friends will see your content as well.
2. Door Hangers
Direct mail often gets lost in the pile of ads and bills, but door hangers are almost guaranteed to be seen. Hangers are an excellent way to showcase your next open house or recently sold homes as well as show off testimonials from past clients. Make sure the hanger is well-designed and straight to the point; don’t include too much information or you risk overwhelming the reader.
Bring it online: To transition this to online followers, be sure to put your website URL or a QR code that links to your website on the hanger and explain what readers gain by going to your website. For example, if you’re listing property in the area, highlight that more photos can be found on your website or social media page. Make mention of any tools or neighborhood guides you have on your site. Give your target audience a clear incentive to take the offline action online.
3. Postcard Announcements
You can announce your next open house by sending out marketing postcards. You can even include properties that you just sold or put on the market. But don’t just send out ads in postcard form; try out some ideas from Karen Wachtel of the Porchlight Real Estate Group for making your postcards “fridge-worthy.” This means including a recipe, staycation ideas, or simple hacks for the home. “We regularly hear from clients—and even prospective agents—who end up calling us or their agent directly based on a postcard that had been hanging on their refrigerator or memo board for months on end,” Wachtel says.
Bring it online: Take your postcards to the next level by incorporating an online aspect. Include a link to a Facebook group where leads can RSVP for an open house or join a conversation about a local issue or development. This will keep them engaged and connect them to your social accounts.
4. Host Events for Clients and Their Spheres
Host regular lunches or happy hours for your top clients and their friends and family. These events should allow everyone to network and mingle freely. Rent a room in a favorite local restaurant and encourage your clients to attend. Always bring plenty of business cards and pamphlets because friends and family of clients might be ready to buy or sell.
Bring it online: These fun gatherings will grow your referrals and add variety to your social presence. Post pictures and videos from the event on your site or social media page. Much in the same way mentioned in the neighborhood tour section above, ask attendees to use hashtags when posting photos and to tag your social channels.
5. Send Handwritten Notes
In this digital age, writing handwritten thank-you notes after clients buy or sell a property can help you stand out. People are very receptive to this notion and the notes often serve as a physical reminder to refer to you to friends and family.
Bring it online: After the client has settled the buying or selling process and you’ve sent your note, email and ask them to write a referral for your website or to be featured in a video testimonial. Clients will remember that you took the time to send them a handwritten thank-you note, and they’ll be more likely to say yes after receiving it.
While an online social presence is key in today’s real estate game, don’t forget the old-fashioned ways of personal engagement. A five-minute conversation at a happy hour gathering or a simple handwritten note can go far in the minds of buyers and sellers. And integrating your offline and online marketing efforts will boost your in-person branding and online following alike.