One of the biggest challenges with being a successful real estate agent is marketing. In short, you have to figure out how to spread the word about your services. For some agents, this is the most critical yet difficult aspect of running a small business. From getting new clients to advertising new listings, good marketing can be the lifeblood of any real estate agent’s operation.
If you have a small real estate business, marketing can almost seem impossible if you have to wear many hats at once. Short of hiring a third-party marketing agency or an individual employee to handle these tasks, you are likely left to market your business yourself. Thankfully, there are many tools available you can use to make the job a bit easier.
Here are five simple and effective marketing tools you should be familiar with as a real estate agent.
1. Content Management Systems
It is no secret that having a good website to represent your business is a must. An online webpage is a digital business card. It gives customers the necessary information they need to judge whether you are a good investment or not. A good web page alone, however, is not enough.
In the real estate industry, information is key. Current, updated information is even better. When certain things like listings and industry trends change on a daily basis, it helps to have a website that can accurately reflect these changes without hassle. This is where a content management system comes in.
Many websites and web providers have a CMS that makes it easy to update website information on the fly. Instead of having to know a coding language or hire someone to make the changes for you, this online system acts as an interface for your website. Need to change a listing? Simply access the CMS, change a few lines of text and you are done.
2. Automated Email Software
Email marketing is an effective and affordable means of advertising to potential customers in the real estate game. When you want to save as much money as possible for other expenses, email marketing is a popular solution. It can also be challenging when you have to juggle the different aspects of creating an email list, developing the marketing language, infusing the message with your branding and more. Automated email software is a tool that can help manage these individual tasks.
Different software options offer a variety of capabilities and features; however, most come with notable similarities. In particular, most automate the process of contacting recipients on the list automatically based on a specific schedule.
Some software gives you advanced capabilities such as monitoring when someone receives an email, how long they spend reading the message, trying out different versions of an email’s message, launching multiple campaigns and more. In short, the more the email does for you after you have created the messaging itself, the better.
3. Social Media Management Software
Beyond advertising through email or paid marketing, social media has become a crucial part of surviving tough and competitive real estate markets for many agents. Compared to other forms of advertising, social media offers the most engagement with potential customers. It is easier to respond to inquiries, create online communities around your business and push necessary listings and other information to the digital world.
To be effective, good social media advertising needs fresh content almost daily. In other words, if you are not giving digital natives something new to consume on a regular basis, your marketing efforts may become stale. This is where good social media management software is effective.
Much like email automation services, online platforms like Hootsuite automate the process of posting new social media content at specified times. This allows you to create a whole campaign, including different messages and postings, upfront with a detailed schedule. Once you hit the “go” button, the automation takes care of the rest. You will also likely find helpful features that allow you to monitor the success of the campaign as well.
4. Real Estate Listing Websites
In recent years, websites like Realtor.com and Zillow have become the standard tools potential home buyers and sellers use for their advertising and home searches. In many ways, real estate agents who do not know how to write sales content for these web platforms are at a distinct disadvantage. Beyond listing homes, these websites can also be a great resource for potential customers and conversions.
Some sites offer their own advertising platforms such as Zillow’s Premier Agent. With these, much like Google AdWords, you sign up with a unique account so you can begin advertising on the platform to potential customers. These tools are advantageous since they get you in front of people actively seeking to buy or sell a home and who need the services of a real estate agent.
5. DSLR Camera
Going relatively old school, one of the most cost-effective marketing tools is a digital camera. If you lack the funds to pay a professional photographer or prefer to do things yourself, having the ability to take your own photos is an advantage in an industry where pictures speak more loudly than words.
Knowing how to use the camera is especially important. Understand that the quality of photos a DSLR camera can take often outmatch the same pictures a smartphone can generate. Even though they are more complicated to use, a little bit of training and learning goes a long way when it comes to taking stellar photos without the need for a lot of expensive equipment.
You will find a DSLR camera comes in handy in many aspects of marketing. From taking photos of a home to getting new headshots for the team, a picture is one of the most effective basic forms of advertising you can have. Take the time to learn a bit of composition theory and how to get the most out of your shots as well. A few extra pieces of equipment, like lights and shades, can help illuminate interiors for better results.