Creative ways to make every marketing dollar count

Track results and respond to leads you generate

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Are you clinging to the old marketing strategies that no longer work in today’s market? If so, it’s time to inject some creativity in to your marketing efforts and to make every marketing dollar count.

No matter how long you have been in real estate, there are always new ways to market your business. If your marketing could use a redo this spring, here are some great ways to market more effectively and to convert more leads into signed business as well.

1. Post-closing marketing

Having a “sold” sign on your listings is one of the most powerful ways to advertise, especially when you sell the property quickly at a good price. On the other hand, there are very few good ways for the buyer’s agent to market that he or she sold a house. The classic approach to this issue is to send out a post card that says, “I participated in the sale of 123 Main Street.” (In most areas, only the listing agent can send out “just sold” cards.)

Here’s a terrific way to overcome this challenge. Once the transaction closes, ask your buyers for permission to place a sign in their front yard. The sign should say, “This property sold by Jane Agent of ABC Real Estate 555-1212.” Give your buyers a gift card or some other item of value in exchange for allowing you to post the sign for 30 days after the transaction closes.

The agent who created this approach didn’t have many listings, but he did sell a large number of homes in the area. This tactic really upset many of the listing agents. The reason? People are more likely to remember the agent’s sign that they have seen the most recently. Moreover, most people who see the “Sold by” sign conclude that the agent who sold the property actually had the listing.

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2. Track your success

Most agents fail to track where their leads originate. A great habit to establish is to always ask every potential client, “Where did you hear about this property?” If someone is inquiring about your services ask, “Where did you happen to hear about me?” Finally, if another agent shows one of your listings, do your best to determine where the buyer heard about the property.

Once you obtain this information, carefully evaluate which marketing strategies are effective and which strategies are not producing a return. Eliminate costly activities that don’t work and focus on activities that result in closed transactions.

3. Three creative open house ideas

Joe Meyer of Joe Meyer Presentations was recently a guest mentor on RealEstateCoachRadio.com. Joe had three powerful ideas for marketing your open houses. First, instead of waiting until Sunday to post your open house sign on your listing, post it early in the week so that people who drive by the property can see what time it will be open on Sunday.

Second, posting your open house on your Facebook profile page violates the Facebook terms of use. Meyer suggests a different alternative: use the Facebook “event” function. While you won’t want to invite all of your Facebook friends, do select those who may be a good fit for the property, live in the area, or who are current clients.

Third, people love getting something for nothing. Meyer suggested creating gift bags for your open house visitors. Inside of them, you will include all the information about the listing you are holding open, any other listings you may be marketing, as well as some little gifts. Some ideas for spring include Forget-Me-Not Seeds and a pair of gardening gloves that you can pick up for a $1 or less at a dollar store. You could also include individually wrapped chocolate candies or anything else that will remind the client of you.

4. Return phone calls

In a recent blog post, Roger Noujeim described an experience that one of ListedBy’s investor clients recently had when attempting to reach agents. The client was an all cash buyer who was calling agents in order to write an offer on one of their listings. The results were disturbing. Only one agent out of 100 phone calls made actually answered the call. Only 5 of the 100 agents returned the call within 24 hours.

In terms of your marketing, it makes no sense to waste money marketing if you are not going to follow up on the leads you generate. If you can’t personally return calls, consider hiring an assistant who can handle these calls for you.

Here’s how to capitalize on this fact to gain more listings. If you are competing for a listing against an agent that you know doesn’t call people back in a timely fashion, suggest that the sellers contact the agent in order to experience how their listings will be handled if they were to list with the other agent. The agent’s lack of response will usually be enough to persuade the sellers to list with you.

You can have the best marketing ideas in the world, but if fail to track results and you fail to respond to leads that you generate, you’re throwing your hard-earned marketing dollars away. Start tracking what works now and eliminate activities that produce inadequate returns. As the old saying goes, “keep the best and dump the rest.”

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