Increase real estate traffic - you deserve a piece of the social media pie
When times get lean what is the first budget people are tempted to cut out? You got it...marketing. This is a crazy, crazy decision for most businesses but in real estate and property sales, the strategy of cutting back your marketing activity would leave you literally dead in the water. You need to do the opposite, you need to increase your marketing activity; get your listings to more people and increase your lead generation budget.
So how do you do this, while still maintaining or even reducing your overall marketing budget? Two ways - you re-examine your strategy and you re-examine your avenue to market.
There are a few things as a real estate business that you need:
1. Returning customers
2. New customers
3. Your competitors customers
As you know, the way that you approach all of these targets is different, but the process you use to re-examine your strategies can be the same.
1. First of all, take a look at what you are doing, be brutal, what's working and what's not. Think of effectiveness. Newspaper ads may bring in great local revenue, but what is the time consumption of creating them and managing the process. If you are a one man band, put a dollar amount on your time and then look at ads using a cost-benefit ratio. If an employee is performing the task, how much is it costing you directly and most importantly, what are they not working on while creating the ads. Is another vital area of your marketing strategy not getting the attention it deserves?
2. Look into adding new advertising streams. These could be paid or free opportunities. Use the same process as above to ask yourself the tough questions about what you value. If your strength is commercial Real Estate but you want to get into residential and the new advertising stream will allow that, is your core business going to suffer? Are you giving your customers mixed messages? Is it having a negative impact on your brand? Look at the really successful people within your niche of Real Estate and see if you can learn lessons or model any of their strategies.
3. When you have gone through your analysis and are ready to implement a new stream, do not overstretch yourself. One of the biggest individual reasons businesses fail (especially in the first 2 to 5 years) is due to stretching their resources. Pick one additional stream and stick with it tweaking when necessary. This way you have the time to actually track the new stream to make sure it is performing in the way it should. Tracking is at the core of marketing. If you are not doing it already, START! If you are already tracking the effectiveness of your marketing, make sure you are tracking the right things. Sit down and think about what you are actually trying to get out of your marketing, leads, local sales or short sale revenue increase. Whatever it is, make sure that these needs are at the heart of your tracking process.
There is also another re-examination that will make the whole process above 20 times more simple: re-examining your avenue to market.
On-line marketing makes every process I have mentioned above 100% more simple. Unlike other forms of advertising you do not have to lay out huge sums of money to get started and you can even test different market areas before you make a commitment. Tracking is also tons simpler, rather than embedding code in ads and asking customers where they found your ad, simply use a different URL link for different advertising streams. You will automatically know who came to you from that particular stream and whether that visitor converted into a sale. You can make huge increases in the effectiveness of your marketing and the volume of your sales.
Taking it to the next level, within online marketing there is a revolution brewing that could be the biggest change in the history of communication...social media. Many people dismiss social media as a potential sales route, but look at it this way, 70% of the top 11 traffic generating sites on the web right now are social media websites, don't you want a piece of that? Many people dismiss social media as complicated and time consuming, but it does not have to be. Few people have the time to sit on twitter or facebook all day, which is why some great leverage tools have been created to syndicate real estate listings with very minimal effort on your part.
So take the time to consider what I have said, have a look at your present marketing strategy and see if any of these suggestions strike a chord with you and your business. Most importantly start thinking about social media; there are some great tools available that do not require you to be a social media ninja!
A tool I would recommend that is free for the moment (not sure how long it will last!) is Sellpoint's listing syndication tool; here is a link, have a look and a play around, you'll quickly see how this could leverage your time and maximize your profits.
Check it out: http://ht.ly/23rN6