In a perfect world, you’d have time to run your business like a mini marketing agency, creating campaigns on a whim using a flurry of designers, copywriters and coders who were dedicated to building and reinforcing your brand.
In the real world, you’re lucky if you have time to post a Facebook ad about an upcoming open house.
Is it really possible to close the gap? We think so, but it requires you to outsource and automate your marketing to trusted experts. Today, we’re going to show you how automated marketing can help you solve (at least) five of the main issues most real estate agents face every day.
1) Take advantage of your annual sales cycle
If you’ve ever spent Super Bowl Sunday staring mournfully at a plate of nachos, then you know that the “unofficial” start of the spring market tends to sneak up on even the smartest agents. If pressed, most agents could quickly rattle off what their annual sales cycle looks like — from the start of spring market, to the end-of-summer rush to close, to the quiet (and sometimes scary) lull around the holidays.
But knowing isn’t doing, and many agents fail to plan their marketing around the sales cycle they work through every year. With automated marketing, you can work in advance to plan a quarterly or annual marketing agenda that resonates with your target audience at the right time.
For example, if your goal is to win more sellers and listings tend to dwindle in the fall, you can boost your seller-focused campaigns online and via direct mail as the summer fades. In addition to getting alerts when your prospects respond to your marketing, you’ll benefit from having more time to interact with them given the slow nature of the market at that time of year.
2) Keep in touch with softer, brand-building campaigns
Whether it’s sending out Just Listed or Just Sold cards at the right time or hosting community events, it can be tricky to find time for brand-building efforts to your sphere or farm. If you automate your marketing in advance, you can rest easy that your contacts are not being left high and dry.
It may take a few hours of upfront planning but you’ll be delighted when you see on your calendar that your past clients have received an invite to pick up a free holiday wreath in early December. Instead of panicking about how you’ll get the word out in mid-November, your only task will be to call the local nursery to place your order.
And instead of beating yourself up that you forgot to do a fall food drive, you can schedule flyers to be distributed in advance — leaving you time to plan a low key event where you’ll meet contacts who are equally committed to giving back to your local community.
3) Reinforce your brand with matching online and direct mail campaigns
Take a step back and put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. Would you be likely to remember the face or name of an agent based on one social media ad or one direct mail flyer? It’s tough to admit, but as consumers see more and more ads each day, it’s hard to stand out.
By reinforcing your brand across various channels, you can increase the odds that buyers and sellers in your farm (or sphere) remember you and contact you when they’re ready to transact. One easy way to do this is to use the same creative and messaging while running advertising campaigns that target your prospects online and via direct mail.
Think of it this way — when NBC is promoting a new season of The Voice, you don’t just see TV commercials about the launch. You also see the hosts of the show on the cover of People Magazine, and you run across ads on Facebook and other online sites that remind you of its upcoming air date.
You may not have the budget of a national television network, but the reality is that you don’t need it. You’ll be amazed at how powerful your marketing can be when it’s sent to a small, targeted local audience who has expressed an interest in buying or selling.
4) Control your spend
This is a big one. If you have a set marketing budget and you tend to go over (or way under out of fear), automating your marketing can help you get back on track — provided you work with a transparent vendor who has an “all-inclusive” plan you can take advantage of.
Upselling is big business in real estate, but at SmartZip we prefer to lay it out on the table in advance so you can understand the exact package you’ll need and how much it will cost.
SmartTargeting, our predictive seller solution, comes with automated, farm-based marketing that targets predicted in-territory sellers online and via direct mail. Some agents also like to target sphere contacts who are showing a high likelihood of selling — and we have plenty of marketing options available for them as well.
In short, whether you go with us or someone else, be sure to ask about ALL the costs of automated marketing before you get started. If the number seems too-good-to-be-true, then the company is likely showing you the bare bones pricing instead of what you really need to target every seller in your area or sphere.
5) Spend your time on what matters — your real prospects, leads and clients
There comes a time, in every agent’s professional life, when they find themselves standing in a 45-minute post office line or staring at their computer screen trying to understand Facebook’s targeting algorithms. For some agents, marketing is fun and natural, and the time spent deploying their campaigns doesn’t feel misspent.
But most solo agents find that running a great marketing plan year-round takes time away from their actual job — the business of buying and selling homes. So when looking at the price of automated marketing programs, be sure to factor in the potential increase in your volume and commissions if you had one extra hour per day, or 15 extra hours per month, to truly engage with your clients, potential clients and sphere contacts.
Ready to get started?
Wouldn’t it be better if, as your marketing was working hard to build your brand, you could be working hard to build relationships and create trust with the people most likely to hire you? It’s time to make it happen.
While many automated marketing products offer only online or direct mail options, SmartTargeting has hundreds of creative options available so you can easily target your top-predicted sellers online and offline.