The Real Estate Industry has – thankfully – been in consistent recovery since the darker days of 2012. While those of us who work in it have been very happy for the upswing, there’s still the fact that with the resurgence comes a similar surge of new agents into the field. The number of new agents registered with CREA (the Canadian Real Estate Association) has increased considerably in recent years, so the question if as pressing as ever….
How do you distinguish yourself, your services, AND your clients / listings from the pack?
A recent study in the US and their National Association of Realtors showed that 92% of buyers get onto the Internet to being their search for a new home to buy. We can safely assume there’d be similar statistics for Canada (and perhaps even more so when you consider some of the dynamics found in rural communities), so you should set your sights first and foremost on a more effective digital marketing presence.
Here are 30 effective Canadian real estate marketing ideas that are as close to a sure thing as you’ll find for those of you looking to stay on top of the real estate game!
- Incorporate Social Media
This one is at the top of the list for good reason, and in truth no other suggestion comes even close to warranting top spot. The role of social media in all aspects of marketing has been discussed at length these days, and ANYONE who has a service to offer or a product to sell MUST be utilizing social media. Period.
Get yourself set up with social media accounts for all the big networks like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and perhaps even Pinterest or Instagram if you or someone who works with you is good with photos / images. Share your properties, interact with users, and don’t hesitate to share good press about you or your brokerage if it’s in digital form.
- Consider Social Sharing for your Property Pages
You’ve got TONS to gain by allowing anyone who visits your social media channels to share your content themselves through their channels. It’s super valuable exposure, it’s FREE, and boy oh boy can it be effective! Make sure you add social sharing buttons to ALL you online content.
- Keep an Eye on your Competitors
Having a long look to see what other realtors in your area is doing isn’t wrong, and in fact when you come to understand that it’s entirely commonplace there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t do it. It’s a part of staying competitive yourself, as well as possibly taking a few pointers on how you can be more successful.
Some typical areas to look at; what do their websites look like? Are they active on social media, and if so – which channels and how / how often?
Take note of what your competitors are doing and incorporate their successful approaches into your efforts.
- Make Getting in Touch with You AS EASY AS POSSIBLE
It’s really important not to overlook this one. Put your contract info on every page of your website, as well as constructing an attractive and inviting contact us page that grabs their attention and has your email, phone, and LinkedIn profile link readily available.
- Have a GREAT business card with you at all times
Pay the money it takes to have a designer make you a very good-looking business card. Get LOTS of them, and hand them out any time an opportunity presents itself.
- Obtain Photos from a Professional
The buying and selling of homes relies heavily on great photography. Always has, always will. Poor photos and put a quick end to prospective buyers considering the property, so the smart choice is to hire a professional photographer (preferably one with extensive experience photographing homes and properties). Again, just like with the cards, this is not an area where you want to ‘skimp’ at all. Pay what it costs for pro quality, it’s 100% worth it in the long run.
- Have Virtual Tours Ready for your Clients
Modern computer software technology, high-end cameras, and the Internet make it possible for realtors to offer a very personal and informative tour of properties available to clients. Virtual tours are a great way to give comprehensive, accurate previews of the property that are presented in a very visually engaging manner.
Believe us when we tell you that nearly ALL successful realtors use virtual tours as part of the media kits for prospective buyers. Again, if putting them together is not something you’re capable of on your own, it really makes sense to hire someone to assemble them for you.
- Local Sponsorship
Signing up to sponsor a local festival, sports team, or school events is a tested-and-true method for realtors to gain exposure and make a name for themselves as community-oriented professionals. It will reflect favourably on you, and your name will be kept handy when folks being considering to sell or buy a home in the neighbourhood.
- Pinterest Boards
We mentioned Pinterest briefly above – it’s a social media network and it’s a great place for realtors to provide images and information for specific listings. We recommend creating a Pinterest board for each property or listing you have and then choosing images that best highlight features, location, amenities etc.
- Ensure your Website is Mobile-Friendly
By mobile-friendly we mean having a site version that will automatically convert itself when visitors are accessing your website via a smartphone, which – as you should know – is the most common way they’ll arrive these days. If you’re not sure what to do in this regard, we come back to the same advice – PAY someone to do it for you, as it’s extremely important and you REALLY need to have it done right. However, there’s this resource for DIY types https://4goodhosting.com/mobile-website-builder
- Have a Newsletter that Goes Out Regularly
Utilizing an information-rich newsletter as part of your marketing efforts is highly recommended. It’s a part of effective email marketing for realtors, and is a great means of building client relationships. Make your subscribers aware of upcoming open houses, new houses on the market in certain neighbourhoods, and any other type of news that would be of interest to them. Get creative and really put yourself into your newsletter, and remember – it should go out regularly at a set time! Don’t neglect this.
- Next, an Email Nurture Campaign
“A What?” you might be saying. This type of campaign gives only select amounts of valuable information to subscribers at any given time, with the idea of ‘piquing their interest’ so that they want more information in the future. Be selective about what information you’ll provide, and to what extent you’re going to elaborate on that information.
From there, you’ll want to deliver the next set of ‘breadcrumbs’ at a set and regularly recurring date to keep your subscribers engaged and firmly within your sphere of professional influence. Give this a try, you’ll likely find it’s very effective!
- Build a Google My Business Page
These Google location-based pages are great with the way they generate viewers based on where they’re located via their IP address. It’s the same idea as Google Places for Businesses and Google+ Pages.
- Make a Niche for Yourself
Create yourself at the go-to realtor for families with pets, retired couples from England, young professionals – the possibilities are endless. Making a name for yourself in regards to a specific niche is a way to make yourself noticeable, especially in an area that’s heavily saturated with realtors
- Use Emotional Storytelling
Do this with select written communications. Anytime there’s an opportunity to incorporate compelling copy and powerful visual elements. Remember, humans respond to stories, and ones that involve a human element especially.
- How about Hosting a Webinar?
Hosting a web seminar, or webinar, is a great way to establish yourself as a local expert who’s on top of trends AND digital marketing approaches. It can be nearly any home buying or selling topic, and you can share your knowledge and get viewers to interact. They can also be repurposed as Youtube videos.
- Old School Mailers
Traditional advertising may be taking a back seat to digital these days, but is still has real value when you target your audiences effectively. One idea is postcards for qualified leads or prospective buyers in specific zip codes.
- Host Free Seminars for Home Buyers
This can be as simple as a basic seminar on buying homes and mortgages, or any other topic where you make yourself available as a local expert for the community, and again one who’s “just here to help” rather than explicitly looking for clients. People will appreciate this, and they’ll be more inclined to choose you as their agent in the future
- Use Marketing Collaterals with YOUR Branding
This is particularly effective if you’ve worked with a graphic designer (recommended) to get a logo or other type of branding for yourself. Pens, note pads, drink koozies, and other freebies that people will use and have in front of them now and again are always welcome and will promote you and your services.
- Establish Partnerships with Local Businesses
Developing relationships between yourself and local businesses is always key for any real estate agent’s marketing efforts. Try to find an arrangement where you promote their business, and they promote your real estate services. Get creative, and know that ANY business will be interested in you’ve got something that will benefit them
- Get testimonials
Having someone vouch for the quality of your services goes a LONG way in establishing your credibility. When a real, live person endorses your services it is much more effective than you or another realtor doing so. Be sure to use testimonials on your website (often with their own clearly identified page) and they can be incorporated into print materials too. Share them on social networks too
- Get Yourself a Great Website
This one is an obvious one, but the key is in getting one that looks really sharp and is engaging for visitors. Yet again, working with a web design professional is highly recommended. See to it your property pages have great photos, virtual tours, and easy access to Google Maps and Google Earth. Last but not least, make sure your headshot photo on the website is a really high-quality photo where you look good!
- Make that Site Easy to Navigate
Visitors need to be able to move easily from one page to another, and discover information in a linear manner. Information architecture is key, so again make sure you work with a web design professional.
- Copy should be Optimized for Current Location
This involves incorporating local-oriented keywords into your web copy to ensure that buyers who are using those same words in their web searches find your content. Be careful to avoid ‘stuffing’ the keywords into your copy, and if you’re not confident with writing make sure to work with a web copywriter.
- Use an Online Lead Generator
Real Estate Leads – for those of you who may be unaware of it – is a superb resource for realtors in North America. You really should be there if you want to maximize your exposure to prospective home buyers and sellers. Agents can ‘claim’ a territory of their choosing (if it’s still available – this service is VERY popular) and then all of the leads (which are generated through online ads and surveys and deemed genuine) are provided to that one realtor exclusively.
- Care Packages for Closed Deals
It’s important to continue to foster your relationship with clients even after they close deals. Sending them a ‘thank you’ package is always a good idea, and you should do it EVERY time and be sure to address them and some aspect of their individuality in the accompanying note
- Keep in Touch
Staying in touch with clients indefinitely after working with them not only continues to keep the relationship intact, but you stand to benefit greatly with the fact that home buyers and sellers ALWAYS tend to know other folks who will at some time be going down that same road. When they have a friend who’s ready to buy or sell, they’ll be more likely to refer you.
- Create a Referral System
Providing incentives for them to refer you is also highly recommended!
- Utilize Call Tracking
Realtors should use call tracking in their paid search campaigns. If a call from a prospective client comes as a result of someone – for example – seeing your PPC ad, you want to be able to track which ads and keywords are driving those kinds of calls.
All of these approaches have the potential to be very effective in promoting your services as a real estate agent, in much the same way that registering with realestateleads.ca provides a big boost in lead generation for realtors who want genuine location-specific home seller leads provided to them EXCLUSIVELY through this increasingly popular online real estate lead generator.
Check it out for yourself at www.realestateleads.ca and get in on the action – before another realtor claims your ideal territory. Remember, only that one realtor will receive ALL of the leads generated for the territory he or she has claimed!