Real estate is a market that can be counted on for one thing: people will always be moving. Transactions will always be taking place. Money is always exchanged. It might be a family, military personnel, a business, a couple looking to downsize their empty nest, or a 20-something preparing to buy his or her first home. Real estate is attractive to a vast group of people for lots of different reasons, which is why so many dabble in it.
Whether buying a new home or selling an old one, moving a business from one location to a larger space, or purchasing a condo in a vacation spot usually requires the assistance and knowledge of a realtor. A good realtor works hard to ensure that the entire process of buying or selling goes as smoothly as possible for his or her client. Realtors know that a good experience with a client will go a long way with his or her future business opportunities.
But how does one realtor set himself or herself apart from the scores of others that are vying for the same clientele? Most realtors use print advertising in local papers and fliers. Technologically savvy ones have turned to the Web.
The critical thing is that as a realtor, you want a person who is considering a move to think immediately of you. The second that someone ponders the thought of buying or selling a house or relocating, his attention turns to you, your business, and what you can offer as a realtor. So, how do you, the realtor, accomplish this? What sets you apart from your competitors?
You must be in front of your audience at all times. Yes, you want to market to those clients whom you have worked with in the past - there's a very good chance that if the past experience was pleasant, the client will return to you to conduct further business. Plus, he or she will pass your name along to others who might utilize your services. Thus, much of your opportunities will be the result of referrals.
Keep yourself and your services in the minds of your clients, your referrals, and others in your local community as much as possible. Okay, sounds like a good idea. So, how do you do that? Will it cost a lot of money? Will it take a lot of time? The answer to both questions is no.
I have a friend who is a realtor. I've never bought or sold real estate through her, but I have done some projects for her over the years. From my past experience, I know that she is reliable, committed to her clients, and always available by phone, email, or text. I consider these three traits to be critical in a realtor, because I know that she really is working for each and every one of her clients, is anxious to keep those clients happy, and is an authority in her industry.
Something else that I know about this particular realtor is that she is regularly marketing herself to clients, potential clients, and leads. Every two to three months, I receive something in the mail from her. It might be a sports schedule for our local NFL team with her magnetic business card attached. She knows this simple, yet powerful item, will probably end up on my refrigerator. Every time my husband or I check that schedule to see what time the Sunday game is on, there's that realtor's business card staring right back at us. You might say it's subliminal. I say it is smart marketing.
Another promotion that she sends out at the end of the year is a small tear-off recipe booklet. Again, her magnetic business card is attached. Each month, as I rip off the previous recipe, a new one appears. Again, this promotional item is in my kitchen on the fridge conveniently located near my stove (so that I can make the yummy recipe of the month) and near my phone (so that I can immediately call the realtor should I decide I'm looking for a larger house). Do you suspect it was a fluke that she chose the recipe booklet to send out around the holidays in December? Of course not!
What other marketing and promotional products are ideal for real estate agents to use? Anything in the office category will work from pens and paperweights to clocks and business card cases. Personally, I think that something as simple as a hand held stress reliever is a great idea. Think about it. You, the realtor, can certainly take the stress out of the buying or selling process, making life so much easier for your client than if he or she opted to go it alone. It's a simple yet powerful tool to showcase your services!
And don't just assume that because you sent out a stress ball or a magnetic sports calendar with your business card attached that you will be drawing in more business than you can handle. It doesn't work that way in today's world. You have to push yourself to the front of the line so to speak. And you have to do that constantly and consistently. Remember, the potential client must think of you not your competition. Sending out a promotional item on a regular basis (consider doing it monthly) so that potential leads turn into customers.