- As an agent, your job is to guide clients through the ever-changing process of buying or selling a home, and you must constantly be learning.
- You need a website so that you can share interesting content and draw in those homebuyers that need help.
- But great content gets you nowhere if you don't promote it, so get schooled in social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you might be so wrapped up in your to-do list that you can’t focus on getting prepared for 2016. Not to worry.
Soon the new year will begin, and you’ll hopefully have some time to mentally recharge and set your sights on what you want to accomplish in 2016. Luckily for you we have four ways you can put yourself ahead of the game in the upcoming year.
1. Hone your skills
“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” -Albert Einstein
The same goes for getting ahead with your business in 2016. There’s something to be said for stopping to refocus and keep learning. Don’t be sucked into the idea that because you already know how to sell a house, write a listing or finish a closing, there isn’t anything else you can learn.
To be better at your job, get more clients and ultimately increase your profits, you have to keep bettering yourself and learning constantly.
Kroger Charles Menzer, an agent for Keller Williams Realty and chairman of the Professional Standards Committee, suggested taking the Code of Ethics (COE) class four times in 2016.
“The COE is the one document that governs our entire industry, yet it is only required every four years — soon to be two, but still,” he said. “It is the fabric that keeps us together. It holds us to a higher standard. Think just for a moment where we would be as an industry if it didn’t exist.”
Although the Code of Ethics is something most agents have learned, you can always get more insight and understanding from learning the principles again and again.
Another idea came from Heather J. Robins, an agent with Utah Select Realty, who said to go through all of the possible documents word-by-word to make sure you’re not missing anything.
Robins also explained that it’s a good idea to learn or brush up on parts of the homeselling process that you might not be directly involved with.
“Catch up on the lending terms and what is expected to change,” Robins suggested. “No, you aren’t their lender, but I think it is important to be informed on all areas of the transaction.”
As a real estate agent, you want to create an atmosphere where your clients can constantly ask question and feel like they’re getting an answer from an expert. As you hone your skills and relearn terms, you’ll be able to provide that for them.
2. Adopt inbound marketing tactics
The real estate industry has changed a lot over the past 10 years. Marketing a real estate business was a whole different ball game than it is now. A decade ago, real estate agents drew clients in through outbound marketing.
They placed advertisements, made calls and asked for referrals from their previous clients. Now, with the rise of the Internet and powerful search tools such as Google, marketing has switched to an inbound method. Instead of you as the agent going out and finding individuals, people are finding and approaching you to sell their home.
Inbound marketing is an art form. It takes a lot of time and effort to pull off an entire campaign, but as a real estate agent, there’s no reason you can’t adopt some of the same tactics inbound marketers use to provide some benefit to your real estate business.
3. Have a website
It doesn’t have to be complex, and you don’t have to code it yourself. However, you want to make sure that it’s simple, easy to read and you can edit it. You want to provide your business information, how potential clients can get in contact with you and even a place for them to leave their name and contact information so you can contact them later.
Most important: you want it to be simple enough that you can edit the information on the website on the go. There are many different website-hosting sites you can explore, such as Square Space or WordPress, but having a website is the first step in getting clients to come to you.
4. Create or share interesting content
Part of starting an inbound marketing presence is providing potential clients with crucial information. Many first-time homebuyers scour the Internet looking for more information on how the homebuying process works.
As an agent, you can provide your expert knowledge on this subject. Write valuable information on your website on things like, how the closing process works or how to prepare for purchasing a house.
You can write some of this yourself or ask other individuals to write for you. Most of the time, people will jump at the chance to publish their knowledge on a website — usually it’s something they do for free.
For example, I’m writing this uncompensated article for Inman because I want to be able to provide expert information in the real estate field from my experience.
The more information you publish, the more chances a potential client will find it and your website. If you have a plethora of posts on your site providing them with valuable content, they’ll begin to trust you. As you being to build that expert relationship with them, they’ll be more likely to hire you to help them in their homebuying or selling adventure.
Unfortunately, even with the most amazing content out there, you won’t be able to promote it if you aren’t fluent in social media.
5. Develop a social media presence
Millennials would much rather connect with a Facebook page or an Instagram account than pick up the phone and call a business. That’s why it’s vital to get a Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus page for your real estate business.
That way, you can share the content you’re creating on your website and hopefully more customers. Promote your content on social media, and you’ll have finished a well-planned and less time consuming real estate inbound marketing campaign.
What tips do you have for 2016? Let us know in the comments section below.