Real Estate Marketing Blog

Morris Real Estate Marketing Group’s blog is your home for up-to-date information that is vital to every REALTOR®. Visit us regularly for the latest real estate marketing tips and REALTOR® resources. The information we share is designed to provide real estate agents with the tools they need to succeed on a day-to-day basis. Our blog is constantly updated, so be sure you check back often.

How to Get Real Estate Referrals from Local Business Contacts

A woman walks into a local self-storage company. She says to the owner, “We’re listing our home soon and need to declutter. How much does a storage unit cost? The owner behind the desk asks, “Congratulations on your upcoming move. Do you have a real estate agent, yet? If not, I can recommend one.”

That scenario plays out among local businesses all the time, especially those that are connected — in even a minor way — to residential real estate. Examples include cleaners, real estate lawyers, home inspectors, garden stores, florists, interior designers, home stagers, junk removal companies, and even local convenience stores.

Of course, you want those real estate referrals. So how do you get them?

Real Estate Networking TipsThe first step is identifying local businesses likely to be good referral sources for you.

Some are obvious, such as real estate lawyers and contractors. Those businesses are directly plugged into the real estate industry and regularly get asked for, or have the opportunity to offer real estate agent recommendations. But don’t forget those businesses that are on the periphery, yet can still recommend you two or three times a year. For example, self-storage companies.

Once you’ve made a list, get in touch with these business owners and introduce yourself. If possible, invite them for a coffee or lunch.

 Don’t ask for referrals during the first meeting. That sends the wrong message. As entrepreneur Marissa Levin points out in an Inc. Magazine article, “People… refer others that they know, like and trust.” So your initial goal should be to establish and build the relationship.

After that first meeting, however, it’s important to remind these local businesses that referrals are an important part of your business and you appreciate their recommendations. Studies show that you’ll get more referrals if you consistently communicate that you welcome them.

A technique that has worked well for many real estate agents is to set a goal of reaching out to a new referral source once a week. That’s fifty in a year. Not all be end up referring you, of course, but if just 10% do, that’s five local businesses sending real estate leads your way. It adds up fast.

Staying in touch is key. If you have an automated real estate marketing system, then put the local business owner into your database so they get regular email and direct mail updates from you. That will ensure the referral source hears from you regularly, which builds the relationship and makes it much more likely they’ll refer you.

When you get a referral, show your appreciation. Call, email, send a thank you card or even a gift.

Most importantly, look for opportunities to refer your local business contacts. As a real estate agent, you’re able to refer movers, storage facilities, cleaning services, decorators, contractors and so much more on a regular basis. If you successfully refer just one or two business owners within your network with each new sale, you are likely to receive referrals from the people you referred. Business relationships based on trust and reciprocity are virtually guaranteed to become a source of steady and long-lasting referrals.

Reaching out to local businesses takes some work, but it’s worth the effort. Learning how to get real estate referrals from local businesses will up your quality and and quantity of leads.

 

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Top 5 Real Estate Marketing Myths That Cost Rookie Realtors Time and Money

Embarking on a career in real estate is exciting, challenging and nerve-wracking! As with any new venture, the path to success may be a bit bumpy. To help you smooth out that path, we’ve compiled the top five marketing myths that cost new agents time and money, and cause major headaches.

Top 5 Real Estate Marketing Myths That Cost Rookie Realtors Time and Money

  1. Real Estate Marketing Myth #1: If You Build a Website, They Will Come

There are two parts to this myth. The first is believing that a website is the beginning and end of an online marketing strategy. The second is assuming that bigger means better. A website should serve one primary goal: help you capture and convert leads. Read this article to learn more about what your real estate website must have (and doesn’t need) to help you accomplish this.

  1. Real Estate Marketing Myth #2: Buying Leads = Buying Sales

While buying leads can be an effective strategy, it’s important to understand that buying leads does not automatically translate into buying sales. There is risk involved, especially when starting out; capital is precious, and experience is minimal. Read this short article about turning real estate leads into listings.
3. Real Estate Marketing Myth #3: Your Family and Friends Will Hire You

While every circumstance is different, the fact is, it’s not likely that you can rely on your inner network for fast and easy sales. While your family and friends may not hire you to help sell or purchase their property right away, doesn’t mean that they cannot be helpful if you include them in your formal real estate referral marketing strategy. Read these 3 tips for getting your family and friends to help you generate leads.
4. Real Estate Marketing Myth #4: Geographic Farming is Dead

Every day there seems to be a new and exciting way to attract the attention of potential prospects. And with every new social media site or app that’s touted as the latest and greatest, it’s natural to assume that the old way of doing things is no longer relevant.

The truth is, geographic farming is one of the simplest and most cost-effective components of a successful real estate marketing system. Read this short article to learn how to make geographic farming work for you.
5. Real Estate Marketing Myth #5: I Will Reinvent the Wheel!

Nothing derails a real estate career faster than failing to learn and master core marketing and sales techniques that are time-tested and approved by those at the height of success. Read this short article to learn the tried and true real estate marketing methods used by top agents.

 

Now that we’ve covered the Top 5 real estate marketing myths that cost new Realtors money, we’d like to help you save even more! We’re offering North America’s #1 referral marketing system FREE* for six months to real estate agents who have been in business for less than a year! Learn more about our Rookie Realtor Program.

“The Referral Marketing System, Rookie Realtor offer, has been a tremendous help in my first year in real estate. So far 60% of my business has come from referrals. This system will continue to help me grow and become more successful in real estate.”
~Carol Edwards, HomeLife Benchmark Realty Corp.

*Terms and conditions listed on website.

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Get More Real Estate Referrals by Re-Engaging Old Clients

Imagine this scenario. A client you worked with years ago is in his backyard. He’s chatting across the fence with a neighbor. That neighbor mentions that a friend is looking for a real estate agent and asks for a recommendation.

Will your old client recommend you?

That depends on whether or not you’ve been in touch lately. If you have, you stand a good chance of getting that referral. If you haven’t, bad news: some other agent will get the listing.

According to research by the National Association of Realtors, 64% of sellers found an agent through a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative — or, they hired the agent they worked with previously. Other studies reveal that the average homeowner is in a position to recommend an agent two or three times a year. Over three years, that’s nine potential listings!

So you’ve got to stay in touch, if you want more real estate referrals and repeat business.

But what if you haven’t? What if you’ve been busy and lost touch, or just didn’t have an automated marketing system for staying-in-touch that made it easy?

The good news is, it’s not too late. You can still re-engage old clients, even those you haven’t contacted for years.

Your first step is to make a phone call. Your goal on that call is to:

  1. How to connect with past Real Estate ClientsAsk how your past client doing, particularly how they are enjoying the home you helped them find and buy.
  2. Apologize for not staying in touch as often as you would have liked, and promise them you’re going to change that.
  3. Offer to send them something of value on a regular basis, such as a high-interest real estate newsletter or engaging real estate direct mail piece.

Your conversation might go something like this:

Hi, it’s John Smith from John Smith Realty. I know it’s been a while since we connected. I just wanted to check in and see how you’re doing with your home, and also to apologize for not staying in touch more often. How are things going, Rob?”

Be prepared. Some clients will be surprised to hear from you and, possibility, disappointed that you “went dark” on them for so long. Most others, however, will be glad to hear from you — even delighted.

Your next step, is to put your stay-in-touch plan for that client into a system — ideally an easy and automated marketing system — so you an build loyalty with that person over time. High value content (articles, tips, news) is a necessary component of those communications.

Sure, these may be awkward calls to make, but when you make them, you’ll start seeing more referrals when your past clients get asked, “Do you know a good real estate agent?”

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Real Estate Marketing Myths that New Agents Will Fall For

To wrap up our Marketing Monday series, 5 Real Estate Marketing Myths that Cost New Agents Money, we’re finishing with one of the most common misconceptions of new agents:

Real Estate Marketing Myth #5: I will reinvent the wheel!

Throughout my career, I’ve seen this again and again with marketing and sales rookies. They jump into their new career with ambition and a head full of new ideas (fantastic!). Unfortunately, they also hold the misconception that everyone else has been doing it wrong up until this point (OMG, no!). Are you a new Realtor who has had thoughts similar to these?:

“I’m going to turn the real estate world on its head!”

“I’ll show all these old dogs new tricks!”

“These guys put in too much work. I’m going to find an easier way.”

They’ll be asking me for advice when I’m top salesperson next month!”

Of course, any of these statements could be true in your case. Except, well, they won’t be. Not right out of the gate, at least. This is because, before you can successfully switch things up, you must first learn what should be changed, what needs to be improved and what you can drop from your marketing and sales strategy altogether.

Before you can reinvent the wheel, you must learn the mechanics of the entire vehicle.

https://us.fotolia.com/id/205715786As someone who has mentored and advised many new professionals, I’ve noticed a common thread. The best and the brightest are always keen to try new ideas, which is awesome! Unfortunately, they also tend to display micro focus, meaning they concentrate on one piece of a strategy, project, or system, without considering how it relates to every other component within the structure, which of course affects the overall marketing goals. In other words, when they try to reinvent the wheel, the car falls apart.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to learn and master core marketing and sales techniques, the ones that are time-tested and approved by those who are successful in the real estate field. And there are multiple ways to do this.

First, ask questions. You will be surprised how many senior professionals are more than willing to answer them. At Morris Real Estate Marketing Group, for example, we have an idea hotline to answer your real estate marketing questions as part of our Rookie Realtor® program.

The next approach is becoming a mentee. The obvious people to approach are successful, experienced agents within your network. You can branch out even further, however. For example, you can reach out to entrepreneurs in other professions.

Research shows that mentoring will not only help your career but also your confidence level and interpersonal skills. Research also reveals that multiple mentors are more likely to result in success, so don’t be afraid to ask multiple people.

Another avenue that you should take is research, research, research. What are the most successful agents doing? What real estate lead conversion systems are they using? Google is your best friend. Search for blogs, vlogs, videos, podcasts, sales and real estate books and more.

Once you feel you have a good grasp on the tried and true, you will find that you are in a great place to amp it up, incorporate new ideas and reap the rewards. You’ll be able to confidently say: They’ll be asking me for advice when I’m top salesperson next month!”

I hope you enjoyed this article. Please check out the earlier articles in this series:

Real Estate Marketing Myth #1: If you build a website, they will come
Real Estate Marketing Myth #2: Buying Leads = Buying Sales
Real Estate Marketing Myth #3: Your Family and Friends Will Hire You
Real Estate Marketing Myth #4: Geographic Farming is Dead

 

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The End to the “Email Marketing vs. Real Estate Direct Mail” Debate

email vs direct mailWhen it comes to staying in touch with prospects and clients, you may have wondered which real estate marketing approach works best:

After all, both are similar in that you’re sending information — a personal message, helpful article, market updates, recent solds, real estate newsletter, etc. — to your contacts. (And, ideally, doing so on a regular basis!)

While both have similarities, there are also significant differences you need to consider. In fact, it would be a mistake to replace one with the other. The evidence shows you’ll get the best results by using both, strategically, within a comprehensive marketing system.

Let’s take a look at direct mail, for example…

Direct mail is unique in that it’s tactile and highly-visible. When your prospect receives a real estate direct mail piece from you — an update, newsletter or postcard — they interact with it physically. They hold it, scan it, read it. If it contains great content, they might even put it on the fridge door!

According to studies by Canada Post and the U.S. Postal Service, 56% of customers trust direct mail more than other types of advertising. A whopping 48% say they will actually save a direct mail piece if it contains valuable information. Even 92% of millennials — who grew up with the internet — say they have made purchasing decisions based on a mailing they received.

So direct mail can play a big role in getting you more referrals, leads and listings.

Here’s another benefit. Compared to email, the direct mail channel isn’t nearly as crowded. Your prospects and clients might receive dozens of email messages each day. Mailings? Maybe one or two that get their attention.

Yet, direct mail isn’t free. That’s why experts suggest you use direct mail only to stay connected with your best prospects, farm your ideal communities, and build loyalty with your most important clients.

What about your other prospects and clients? That’s where email becomes the winning choice.

Over 200 million adults in the U.S. alone use email on a daily basis. Chances are, the overwhelming majority of your prospects and clients do, too. Many people check email multiple times a day. Those in the midst of a buying decision — someone searching for a new home, for example — will often welcome regular emails, containing helpful information, from a real estate professional.

So what does all this mean for your real estate lead-generation efforts?

It means that direct mail and email are a powerful combination that can significantly boost your business. Use both within a smart real estate marketing system.

Debate over!

 

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