• When agents are unsure of how to begin their marketing, a detailed strategy is a good place to start.
  • If you aren’t sure where your time is going, track your hours.
  • For agents whose excuse is a lack of money, better budgeting is the answer. Budgeting the year before will help marketing dollars have a greater impact.

We hear every excuse in the book when it comes to agents not following through on their marketing. Agents begin with a great idea, one they can’t wait to implement, but then they do not follow through. The good news is that for every excuse we’ve heard, there’s always a solution.

Excuse 1: I don’t know what to do.

If you aren’t sure what to do, start with a plan. A marketing plan that you strictly adhere to is a great way to overcome this hurdle, particularly if the marketing plan details when and how each piece of the strategy is to be executed. Include as many details as possible.

You’ll first want to begin by thoroughly understanding your value; this is when that SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) analysis you learned in school comes in handy.

Next, and before you begin to plan what you will do, you’ll need to conduct a thorough analysis of your audience. What does your target audience look like in terms of age and family structure? What is their financial status and educational level? Knowing who you are trying to reach will help you create the right marketing plan.

Equally important is understanding your marketing goals. Do you want to attract a new target? Are you looking to increase your revenue? Sell homes in a new community? Break into a new market? Ultimately, there has to be a reason for any marketing that you plan to execute.

Once you have a clear understanding, you’ll be able to detail when and how you will reach your target. If you are looking to target a new community, you’ll want to create a campaign that introduces you and deliver it at the right level of frequency.

If you’re approaching a community that doesn’t know you, hit them with something compelling every three weeks, at minimum. Create a direct mail plan, and stick to it! If you have it planned and printed in advance, it will be much easier to commit.

Excuse 2: I don’t have enough time.

We know your time is better spent selling real estate and closing deals. If you are super busy, it means business is good, right?

If you aren’t busy with business, what are you busy with? Delve into what is keeping you tied up, and time block your hours. It might be that you haven’t created a marketing strategy; if that’s the case, create one along with an actionable plan.

If you don’t have someone who you can delegate tasks to, make some time for creating your marketing materials in bulk and having them scheduled and ready to go. If you set aside five hours a week for marketing, don’t find an excuse to get out of it. Skipping this could cost you dearly.

If you aren’t sure where your time is going, track your hours. For the next two weeks, download a time management app, and check how you are spending your days.

You might find there are routines that can be eliminated. Once you know exactly how your time is being spent, decide on the tasks that are depriving you of achieving your goals. That daily Starbucks visit might be much longer than you thought. Managing your time effectively will help you make better use of your downtime and work time.

Next, create a to-do list. There are plenty of free tools including Google’s calendar or to-do apps that can help keep your day organized and efficient.

There are plenty of articles out there that can help you make the most of your time.

Excuse 3: I don’t have the money.

The most common excuse: real estate can’t be predicted, so I don’t know how much money I will have. Wrong. You should have set aside an amount that can only be used for marketing.

By having a set budget, you ensure consistent marketing the entire year. If last year you earned $70,000 in gross commission, save 25 percent for next year’s marketing.

Don’t spend it all! It’s a sacrifice. That 25 percent you invest will yield even more business. If the next year you make $100,000 gross, keep on saving and reinvesting the 25 percent.

Don’t falter. The money you are spending on this year’s marketing should come from the previous year, not from the existing year. If you had an awesome year the year before, and because you have a slower year you decide to cut your marketing, don’t expect your situation to get better.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to budget properly. The money you set aside for marketing should not be used for any other purpose.

Only you can help yourself make marketing a priority, and keep it consistent. With money saved for marketing a year in advance, you’ll always know exactly what you have to work with, there won’t be any surprises, and you’ll be able to complete your entire marketing strategy — a formula that will undoubtedly yield success.

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Laura Ure.

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