Real estate marketing: The real cost of new vs. repeat business

Marketing can be expensive, especially when you're working on commission. And, as the old adage goes, “It takes money to make money.” But, the question remains, how much money does it take to successfully market your real estate services? Unfortunately, there's no easy ROI formula for Realtors®, but there is a way to maximize your marketing budget. Your highest ROI can be achieved by spending more time building relationships with existing clients than chasing after new leads.

Finding new clients can be expensive and time-consuming.
Many real estate agents pour money into expensive online real estate platforms. These platforms are highly competitive, and even the most conservative plans can cost you between $200-$300 per month. So, what's the solution?

Repeat business is much less expensive.
The vast majority of clients who are extremely satisfied with their home-buying experience want to work with their Realtor® again in the future. The problem is many of them have lost contact with their agent by the time they're in the market for their next home. Your positive relationship with past clients can continue to develop with a relational marketing strategy that requires much less time and investment than developing a new client. And when your past clients are in the market again, they'll know how to contact you.

Relationship marketing means more referrals.
Your referral business will grow rapidly as you continue to remind past clients about the great service you provided them. With your name top of mind, they'll happily refer you to their friends, family and coworkers.

We'd like to share a referral from one of our highly satisfied customers.

“Without repeat business, a real estate company is going to fail. They can go out looking for new business over and over and over again. The cost involved in creating new business is far more expensive than the consistent follow-up that it takes to create business from your existing clients,” says Wayne Murray of Weichert, Realtors® who has been using the Client Follow-Up Program for 15 years. “That's an opportunity where you're going to create business for a lifetime.”

Are you ready to create business for a lifetime?
Check out the Client Follow-Up Program. This marketing program keeps you in touch with your past clients with 23 mailings over 5 years for only $25.

While it may take money to make money, with the Client Follow-Up Program, you won't need an expensive marketing budget to stay in contact with past clients, who are your best source of referrals.

How to use home staging to your seller's advantage

Keeping up appearances is essential to selling a home quickly and for the right price. Most agents agree that home staging is an important piece of the selling puzzle. But, how it's staged can be the difference between making a sale or making a bad impression. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors®, 62 percent of seller's agents agree that tastefully staging a home significantly shortens its time on the market. In addition, 77 percent of buyer's agents say that a home well staged makes it easier for their clients to visualize themselves living there. The numbers don't lie. This can be your secret marketing advantage. But, how can agents stage a home well without interior design experience? Check out these practical tips.

Update the atmosphere.
It's important to talk to your clients about how some simple changes can make their home more attractive to potential buyers. For example, a fresh coat of a neutral-colored interior paint reinforces a positive first impression.

Eliminate dark spaces.
Natural light isn't just on-trend. It's also good for you. Give potential buyers what they want and light up dark spaces when staging a home. You can add mirrors to provide depth, open up curtains and blinds to let in more light, and stick to a neutral color palette for the décor to keep things bright and airy. 

Let in the light!

Highlight featured areas.
If a home has a gorgeous fireplace feature, make sure it's clean and free of soot. If the kitchen is a chef's dream, declutter the countertops to make it more open and inviting. To stage a home well, you need to amplify its strengths and mute its weaknesses.

Tidy up the outdoor spaces.
It can be easy to overlook outdoor spaces when staging a home but don't skip it. Remind your clients to weed the lawn, trim bushes and plants, straighten up outdoor furniture, and sweep the deck or patio. This will make a world of difference to potential buyers who value outdoor space.

Make sure the outside looks good too.

Declutter and clean the interior.
It's important for potential buyers to step into a clean and tidy house. Clutter and disorganized furnishings distract from the best features of the home. Tactfully suggest to the sellers that decluttering will make it that much easier to move once they accept the offer that's bound to come as a result of their efforts.

Remove pets from the premises. Ask the homeowners if it's possible to take their pets away from the home during showings. In addition, remove pet beds, toys and food bowls that can be unsightly to non-pet owners.

Home staging is the first step in improving the property's appeal, and it can be to your seller's advantage in attracting the right buyer.

If you want to improve your marketing strategy, check out our success-proven marketing materials and request your sample marketing packet to see how you could be gaining new clients and increasing your referrals.

Newsletters: what works best for your prospects and clients?

“Variety is the very spice of life,
That gives it all its flavor.”
– William Cowper

As a real estate professional, you want to spice up your print marketing for your specific audience. But, what flavor of information do your prospects and clients really want from you? With high-quality content and images, The Personal Marketing Company offers these 5 varieties of newsletters, tailor-made to keep you top-of-mind with your prospects and clients.

Here are the success-proven newsletters that are published for them each month:

Homeowner's Update: Home improvement is a popular topic for most homeowners. Articles about interior decorating trends, boosting curb appeal and adding value to your hme are hot topics for nearly anyone with a mortgage. Add value to your clients' lives by providing content that keeps them up to date with the latest and greatest in home trends. 


Insights on Real Estate: Send your prospects and clients valuable insights about the health of the market, what is trending across the country, and investing in real estate. Content that establishes you as the local real estate expert is valuable to your sphere of influence. 

Living Well: Exercise tips, health trends and travel ideas speak to their lifestyle. Mix up your newsletters with Living Well, so that your prospects and clients know you care about their lives outside of their next home purchase. 

Money Talk: Topics such as how to make more money, how to save more money, and how to reap the benefits of financial security have the power to catch the attention of your clients. Provide practical information to your clients and they will surely be impressed. 

Spotlight: Seasonal content is naturally eye-catching. The timeliness of an Independence Day article or a fall cleaning checklist is something that resonates with many readers. Send the Spotlight newsletter to spice up your marketing strategy. Your clients will remember your name because it was attached to the Thanksgiving Day recipe that was a big hit in their home.

Newsletters help build a relationshipwith your clients by providing resources that enrich their lives.

Do you still have questions about which newsletter is right for your clients? Give us a call at 800.458.8245. We'd love to help you sample all the flavors in our newsletter products. 

Looking ahead: Marketing to Generation Z

The time is quickly approaching for real estate professionals to start planning for Generation Z. The oldest of this generation are now in college and, as a whole, show strong indications that homeownership is one of their top life goals.

“Wait. Generation Z? Didn't the Millennials just take over? How am I supposed to keep up?”

Don't worry. There is some forgiveness when it comes to marketing from one generation to the next – thanks to the overlap of shared experiences. For example, Millennials and Gen Z both grew up in the digital age, experienced the social effects of unprecedented terrorism, and saw cultural milestones like the country's first African-American president. Thanks to these shared experiences, marketing to Gen Z at the start will be much like marketing to Millennials. However, the similarities will become fewer and fewer over time.

Now is the time to get your plans in place for a generation unlike any other. Here's why.

Good news for home sales
Recent polls indicate that 97 percent of the upcoming generation view homeownership as an ultimate life goal, one they see within reach in their late twenties. Additionally, 81 percent plan to use a real estate professional to buy a home. While many are still teenagers, the oldest of this generation are now in their twenties and thinking seriously about the future. And, to cap things off, Gen Z will make up 24 percent of the global workforce by 2020.

Unprecedented debt
The size of this generation may be good news for future home sales, but the cost of higher education could potentially delay their ability to purchase a first home. In fact, 46 percent of Gen Z report feeling burdened by their financial situation. Though they may have debt, the generation appears to be more fiscally conservative than Millennials and Baby Boomers. The majority describe themselves as deal-seekers who would rather save than spend. Moreover, comparison shopping is at an all-time high with this generation, thanks to their inseparable relationship with their mobile devices (phones, tablets and laptops). This means they will be well-educated, thorough and prepared buyers.

How to reach them
Gen Z are more resourceful, informed and multicultural than any other generation before them thanks in a large part to the media saturation. The majority of this upcoming generation want companies to approach them to make a sale, and they want a good deal. As it pertains to marketing, their attention span on average has been studied to be four seconds less than that of Millennials, suggesting that highly targeted, honest, to-the-point marketing will be necessary to reach them.

So, what can you do to ensure you succeed in the future marketplace? Do your research on Gen Z now and going forward, so you can stay on-trend and relevant. A decisive, high-quality, well-rounded marketing strategy is a must. For a generation that receives the majority of its information digitally, a healthy dose of engaging online content with standout print marketing will be the one-two punch that secures their trust. Don't you want to be their agent?

Turn, turn, turn seasonal content into leads

The quantity and quality of the mailed, emailed, and socially shared content you provide to your clients and prospects matters. But, have you considered how the seasonality of that content can help you build relationships and establish a trustworthy reputation? Sharing season-appropriate content shows that you are paying attention to shifts and changes in the market. It also gives you the opportunity to create a conversation with your audience about things such as the weather, holidays and timely to-do lists. Providing seasonal content can help you stand out from the crowd as an engaging source and friend to potential prospects.

Here are three tips for curating your content on a seasonal basis.

Turn holidays into touchpoints.
It's easy to overlook the holidays when they seem unrelated to closing a sale and generating new leads. However, this personal touch helps your potential clients see that you are friendly and approachable. Send greeting cards for the holidays, mail handwritten birthday cards, or share unofficial holidays on social media such as Take Your Dog to Work Day. These are golden opportunities to relate to your clients as a caring individual, rather than a high-pressured sales person.

Turn seasonal to-do lists into friendly reminders.
Every homeowner should have a to-do list for around-the-house upkeep, but not every homeowner necessarily knows what he or she needs to make a priority each season. This is a great opportunity to share knowledge and establish yourself as an all-around home expert. Send reminders in the spring and fall for homeowners to clean out their gutters, share landscaping tips on social media, or offer recommendations for local businesses and service providers with whom you have a working relationship.

Turn real estate wisdom into seasonal reading.
The real estate market can undergo significant changes each season. As an agent, this is your chance to share your valuable knowledge with your client base and potential leads. Translate market research and trends into bite-sized advice for prospective clients via newsletters, social media, postcards, or other mailings. This will initiate a dialog between you and your prospects, helping turn cold and warm leads into hot ones.

Do you need help providing seasonal content to your clients and prospects? Check out our Spotlight Newsletter or browse through our seasonal postcards

5 Easy ways to use LinkedIn for real estate

In today's consumer experience on social media, visibility is vital to a real estate agent. LinkedIn is one platform that's ideal for networking and building your brand, followed up with your print marketing. So, how can you get the most out of LinkedIn without spending too much valuable time on it? Here are five easy ways to connect via LinkedIn.

1. Be thorough.
After signing up for LinkedIn, it will prompt you to fill out key information about yourself, your career, your company, and more. Don't procrastinate on this step! These are the details that your contacts will use to vet you.

2. Show off your work.
Once you've added your details, it's time to shine it up a bit. Add a recent professional head shot for your profile picture, share and upload pertinent videos and media, and link up your other social media accounts.

3. Connect with local groups.
LinkedIn offers many groups for all kinds of industries. Connect with local, regional and national groups to show those who view your profile that you're well-connected and established among your peers.

4. Stay active.
Whether you're posting original content or sharing trending articles, you can't go wrong by staying active online. This also shows those who view your profile, especially potential clients, that you have the experience to compete in an ever-evolving marketplace.

5. Share content across platforms.
When you share content from LinkedIn on your other social media and networking platforms, you communicate to a larger audience than just your LinkedIn connections. This keeps your appearance and your content fresh across multiple platforms.

These easy ways to excel at LinkedIn will help you stand out on the platform, make professional connections and generate new leads. A well-rounded digital and print marketing strategy helps you reach your clients and prospective leads better than just one or the other. Want more information on how to improve your print marketing strategy? Contact us today!