Unless you came to the real estate industry after a career in marketing, you’re not a marketer. It’s that simple. And that means, you’re likely making some of these real estate marketing mistakes. I mean, I hope not, but you know, it happens, right? Well, let’s see if we can correct that today!
Sure, we can learn marketing tips and tricks, but along the way we’ll make some pretty big blunders. Today we’ll take a look at 5 of them and see if we can lead you in another direction.
1. Buying into myths
How often do you read information like this: “ … the majority of people looking to purchase a new home are first-time buyers?”
It’s absolutely untrue, but many agents won’t bother checking its veracity. In fact, it’s one of the biggest myths in the real estate industry and agents across the country are wasting precious time and money because of it.
For the record, only 35 percent of homes purchased last year went to first-time buyers
So, while you’re out there focusing your marketing efforts on this tiny pool, other agents are getting the remaining 65 percent of buyers.
Many of whom have homes to sell
Speaking of possibly double-ending a deal, how about this one?
“Gen X homeowners represented the largest share of sellers in the past year (27 percent),” according to the NAR. The very next sentence, belies this claim, albeit sneakily.
They split the boomer generation in half, for some reason, but when added together, your most likely home seller this year will be between the ages of 54 and 72 because boomers make up 43 percent of the home seller pool.
Or, how about the advice that you should be marketing on a specific social media platform because it’s “growing at an explosive rate?”
Do you stop to wonder which demographics are included in this growth? Are they people you want to spend your time and marketing money on?
Focusing your marketing based on myths or half-truths will get you nowhere.
Kick your big-kid brain into gear and pay attention to the details of what you read and hear. Be discriminating in what information you file away to use when making marketing decisions. This is how you avoid real estate marketing mistakes.
2. Lacking a focus
Shooting marketing arrows into the air, hoping something will stick, isn’t a winning marketing strategy, either. But, it seems to be the preferred method in much of the industry.
In fact, this may be one of the easiest real estate marketing mistakes to make. The wide-range-appeal-agent-thing may get you a couple of deals a year, but if you want more, you need to focus.
Whether it’s simply deciding to be a listing or a buyer agent or if you man- or woman-up and go for a narrower niche, target marketing is effective.
Not only that, once you narrow your market you’ll find everything else — from branding to content marketing – far easier.
3. Not Learning From Your Mistakes
In a perfect world, we learn from other people’s mistakes – because it costs less, happens faster, and is usually a lot less painful (for us!). However, truth is, you will make some mistakes along the way.
Real estate marketing mistakes are easy to make because as a new agent, you’re juggling so many aspects of your business. Some balls are bound to drop.
And when you do, you’ll have to pay the price. The consequences may be easy or difficult – a lost contact or a lost contract – both hurt, but at different levels.
Truth is, you likely already know yourself. You can see where these may come from, so be ready. Missed details? That’ll cost you. Misjudging a situation or individual. Yep, that’ll cost you too. Assuming someone else took care of things? Oh yeah, there’s a price for that too!
Here’s the thing to remember – don’t just pay the price and move on – learn the lesson so you have something to show for your pain! Too many people don’t learn from their own mistakes and so they repeat them over and over.
Sometimes this is because we’re moving too fast. Take a moment and reflect on the big losses – be honest about your involvement, and make a commitment lookout for the same behaviors in the future and steer clear. Look, you’re going to have some scars, might as well have the wisdom too.
4. Not outsourcing
Who told you that you had to wear all the hats in your small business? Point him or her out so that we can go have a chat with the fool.
If you truly have a background in marketing, advertising, publicity, copywriting, graphic arts, blog writing, photography, CRM management, bulk mail, social media management, office administration, transaction coordinating, lead nurturing, testimonial gathering, bookkeeping, accounting and website development, then by all means, wear all the hats.
If you lack all of the aforementioned experience, or you would rather spend your time actually making real estate deals, you need to hire help or outsource.
From virtual assistants to freelance writers to social media management companies – there is marketing help available.
Once you free yourself from the minutiae of your business, you’ll make the money to pay for all the marketing help you need. Be brave – have faith – take the leap. You won’t regret it.
Pro-tip (just for perfectionists): Lots of times people don’t outsource because they are afraid that ‘no one can do this as good as I can’. That might be true. But who cares? As a general rule, if you have a service or an individual who can do something 80% as good as you could, let them do it.
From a few steps back, you’ll wonder how you made it this far doing everything…and the small differences in quality are more than made up for by your efforts being focused on higher-value aspects of your business.
Neil Patel gives you his take on outsourcing marketing efforts right here –
5. Not taking advantage of FREE marketing opportunities
Passing up on free is a serious version of real estate marketing mistakes, folks!
It’s easy to assume that free stuff doesn’t have any value. But remember, opportunities aren’t really free things – they are a place to start. Sometimes they can be very valuable because the work you put in makes them so.
When was the last time you thought about Craigslist? Not only is it still a smart place to market your listings (and pick up buyer leads), but to troll for FSBOs that may not be showing up in the MLS.
A while back, Tyler from Easy Agent Pro posted a definitive guide to using Craigslist in your marketing mix. Check it out. In fact, if you’re looking for marketing opportunities
Do you remember those stats about referrals that the National Association of REALTORS published? Agents who make more than $100,000 a year can thank former clients for nearly 65 percent of that business.
Referrals from past clients and repeat business made up the bulk of these highly successful agents’ businesses
That’s nearly 65 percent of clients they won’t have to chase – pretty compelling, right?
Getting to that point won’t happen by accident, though; it takes a concerted and consistent marketing effort to keep those relationships alive.
Remember, relationship marketing emphasizes your relationship with the client, so ditch the sales and promotional messaging.
This doesn’t mean you can’t use traditional marketing methods, only that you need to change the tone. Drip campaigns, for instance, are ideal ways of keeping in touch with past clients.
Just ensure that you aren’t crossing the line between the casual “reach-out” to being annoyingly spammy.
While under-marketing can be a problem, over-marketing, especially to the wrong crowd, is among the most annoying real estate marketing mistakes. The occasional face-to-face meeting is also quite effective. Many agents hold some sort of annual client appreciation event or, make a list of who to take out for coffee or cocktails.
Probably the biggest mistake agents make in marketing is not understanding that the plan isn’t a set-it-and-forget it thing – it requires consistency and commitment to make it work.
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”