Most consumers search before they buy. Websites have replaced the person as the new first impression. It’s the first place potential clients will go to learn more about you. Make sure you have a full and complete profile of yourself, and that information is easy to find and relevant to your target audience. Don’t overfill your website with gratuitous information about yourself; people are looking for data about listings and neighborhoods.
2. Email marketing
Email marketing is affordable, produces real-time feedback and is an attractive option for anyone with limited funding for marketing. It can be an effective tool for targeted campaigns. Its affordability, however, also makes it one of the most misused or overused tools. Just because it can be sent frequently, doesn’t mean it should be. Try to target your email messages and segment by audience: past clients, potential buyers, potential sellers, farm, SOI, etc. You want your message to be relevant to the person receiving it. Keep them short, and always have a call to action.
Blogging is another way of creating a connection. It enables you to stimulate and facilitate online conversations with clients, old and new. A simple blog can also drive up web traffic from search engines. Providing information consumers want, and not necessarily pitching them your services, can help build trust and your reputation. You can easily post market activity on your blog as a starter. You can also link to articles that you’ve read and comment on them. You can repurpose Chambers of Commerce events and activities. The options are limitless.
4. Social media
Businesses that take advantage of social networking as a marketing tool will have an edge over competitors who do not. Social media is a great opportunity for you to cut through the marketing clutter and engage clients and potential clients. Give them a chance to share their stories and talk about what they want to talk about. Don’t overpost new listings or open houses. If you want to talk about a new listing or open house, do it in a casual manner, i.e. I’m hanging out at my open house (link to listing) today if anyone wants to stop by and say hi. This more casual manner is best for social media.
5. Web video
Consumption levels of web video are exploding. Using the tool for marketing can give you the ability to create direct connections with target audiences. Videos also set off emotional triggers than the written word cannot: A video testimony from a client who bought their dream home with your help can go much farther than the same story in written form. As well, you can post every virtual tour to YouTube for further exposure and search engine juice.
6. QR codes
The quick response (QR) code—basically a next-generation barcode—is an example of how quickly mobile marketing is changing the way businesses interact with consumers. QR codes can be a relatively low-cost, easy way to draw clients and potential clients to a landing page simply scanning a code. There’s really no limit to how you can use QR codes, and many marketers are trying out inventive approaches. QR codes can be used on yard signs, on postcards or anywhere. The best use is in promoting a listing, and driving visitors to a property landing page and/or video tour.
7. Search engine marketing
Search engine marketing can be an important tool in capturing business. Consumers in search mode often are consumers in some stage of the buying/selling cycle. If you can capture their attention, you may be able to capture their business. Even people with limited budgets can take advantage of pay-per-click advertising. There’s no out-of-pocket expense for you if consumers don’t click. The more you are on the internet, the more search engine juice you will get organically. Make sure you have “claimed” your profile (and the profiles are complete) on sites like Zillow, Trulia, Yelp, etc. Having your profile filled with information can drive traffic back to your website.
8. Google Places
Nearly all consumers (97 percent) search for local businesses online, according to Google. If you are not listed online, you’re missing a golden opportunity to be found in your own community. Google Places, which is free, is similar to an enhanced yellow pages of business listings that show up in search engine results.