Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas
Every realtor knows that real success comes in knowing and loving their community. They know that building meaningful relationships is as important as following through on their word. You also likely know how valuable it is to build a strong and growing community around your brand. If you are like many of my clients, you are tired of the traditional forms of marketing and you are ready to try something new, something memorable, something wickedly clever. Let’s start by reviewing the traditional marketing strategies that every realtor uses:
1) Publishing properties on MLS
2) Calling brokers and past clients for referrals
3) Spam purchased email lists
4) Buying ads at bus stops on the back of a bus
5) Buying ads in super local magazines
6) Host open houses
7) Publish details of properties for sale on social media with a spammy listing ‘pitch’
Don’t get me wrong, traditional marketing tactics should still be a part of your overall strategy but if you do not amplify these efforts with creative, clever twists, how do you expect to stand out from your competitors who are doing the exact same thing as you? Why would a new client want to take you for a ‘test drive’ over the other realtor who has 4 park benches, three buses, and the full back page of a local magazine?
I advise you to step back and take a good look at your business. Do you have a 3 month, 6 month, and 12 month goal? Who is your target market? Where do you think you can ‘find’ your target market? What form of communication does your target market respond to the most? Stop trying tired, ineffective marketing strategies and start embracing 2016 and all of the resources available to you to help you grow your real estate business.
In your business, you are responsible for two things: 1) Your brand 2) Your client’s listing
Properties are what give you a career so that is what we’re going to focus on sharing our top two unique real estate marketing strategies to effectively promote and sell a listing:
1) Allow potential buyers to ‘test drive’ their perspective new home:
Isn’t it funny how we don’t even consider ‘trying out’ something that we intend to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on? We test drive cars before we buy them. We try on clothes before we buy them, so why don’t we try on a new home for size before we commit to the next 30 years in one place?
What are we suggesting? Exactly what you think I am suggesting, offer a short term rental to prospective buyers in lieu of an open house. Buying a home is an emotional decision and unless you are able to trigger strong, positive feelings of happiness, belonging, safety, and comfort, you will not sell the house.
After you have sought out approval from your client, have the client set up an account on a short term rental website. Here are a few platforms you can use to advertise your ‘open stay’:
This creative twist on open houses doesn’t need to be limited to just a ‘free’ stay. Let’s make sure you maximize your return on this tactic. As part of the free stay, request that your guests take a selfie or two and share on social media with a custom hashtag. Ask clients to leave a review on your Facebook page, Google + page, or website. Now, not only are you offering potential buyers the opportunity to truly experience the property, you can also share their endorsed, authentic experiences on your social media channels as a way to attract more qualified leads.
Think of this as an opportunity to really impress a qualified lead – you get one chance. You don’t want to skip a beat when you get as far as qualifying a lead and booking the 2-night stay. Design a local guide to the area, find out if the guest drinks coffee or tea in the AM, invite their pet to come along for the ‘mini vacation’, and lay out fresh slippers and towels fro your guests. Can you imagine how huge an impact you can have on your guest if they can actually imagine themselves waking up every morning to coffee freshly brewed (as your guests what time they normally wake up and pre-set the coffee timer accordingly) and their favorite newspaper sitting outside their door? Sounds like a sale to me.
TIP: I suggest you create a ‘qualification system’ to streamline this entire process. What do i mean? Once you have successfully found a candidate for this new strategy, you want to be able to recreate the process from start to finish every time. You also want to practice improving the process every time you do it – there is always room for improvement. For i.e. if you find that guests are asking a lot of questions about the area than you are going to want to design an area ‘guide’ that you can make available online or keep a hard copy in the listing. This is just one example – you will find that every listing is unique and every guest is unique as well.
I know what you may be thinking in the back of your head, this sounds like a way for people to con ‘free stays’ out of me. Well, it very well could be, but I am sure that this is not your first time around the block, and it is up to you and your ‘spidey’ senses to determine if a lead is genuine or not.
2) Show your prospective the amenities in the area:
Very few buyers take the time to explore the amenities in the area, especially if they are from out of town. There is no better way to impress and delight your prospective buyer by offering them a ‘night on the town’ without the hassle of figuring out where to go and how to get there?
Here you have a great opportunity to think outside the box and show your buyers that you care what neighborhood they live in and you know how to leverage technology to do this. This is where you use Whyzlist, Opentable and Uber (Unless you are in Vancouver) to fully immerse your guests in the area.
How do you execute a tactic like this? You will want to identify how you want to qualify your prospective buyers (ie. Have them apply for the offer and fill out a short survey) and then set out the terms of the agreement (ie. Pre-paid Uber within 5 KM and a $25.00 voucher toward a restaurant). In return for this offer, you can request your guests take a selfie and tag your Facebook account. This last step is very important – you need to get comfortable with the fact that traditional forms of follow up just don’t work. You cannot just expect guests to ‘spread the word’ and you should not feel like you are being to ‘pushy’ by asking them to take a selfie and tag you in it. You would be surprised how many home buyers are social media savvy and will be happy to post a photo for you. But this is where you can use your ‘spidy’ sense. If you’re selling $5,000,000,000 homes then you are going to have to ramp it up – a lot. Think about the age range and the socioeconomic category your client falls into and let THAT govern your feedback initiatives.
I hope these ideas really triggered some creativity in you and made you feel more comfortable with the thought of trying out something new. I know real estate has a very large sales cycle and it is my goal to help you shorten that sales cycles so you are able to close deals faster and increase the return on every dollar you spend to sell a listing.
I challenge you to try something different and let us know how you get on! Don’t be shy, connect with us on social media, and comment below if you found and of these ideas helpful!
Love the article? Please share it – don’t be concerned if another real estate agent sees it, because they will interpret this article completely different then you will – chances are – they won’t even act on my advice and they will keep trying the same, tired old market strategies that just don’t work. But not you, you are different, you are going to heed this advice as though it was a real estate doctrine.