- Make a plan that combines past experience with new experiments.
- Agent education will be the fuel that takes your brokerage to the next level.
- Get in the game! New social platforms are primed for your brokerage to make its mark.
Next year is in the headlights, and marketing directors across the country are getting their budgets ready for the new year. Brokerages have a massive opportunity in 2017, not only for themselves (at a corporate level) but also for their agents.
This post is specifically for brokerages; if you’re an agent looking for a marketing plan, I put together this list of non-negotiables for your marketing plan.
1. Have a plan
Flying by the seat of your pants is not a marketing plan.
Start with looking at the last year with a critical eye. What was your breakdown in spend in offline versus online?
What initiatives were the most expensive and biggest time-sucks? What did you get positive or negative feedback on?
Answering all of the above questions will have you on a nice path to tackling 2017. From here, I would break down all planned activities into:
- Agent recruiting and retention
- Branding for B2C (business to consumer)
These two categories are not mutually exclusive, but they’ll give a good marker on what your objectives are for each campaign or activity.
2. Educate agents
Agents are your lifeblood, and you’ve got to treat them as such. This means not only giving them tools and resources but also teaching them how to use them.
Brokerages can give value to agents in several different ways.
I’ve worked with brokerages that have monthly webinars for their agents, on topics they are inquiring about, and others who did in-office trainings regularly. The point is to make a commitment to agent education; this will advance your brokerage in 2017.
3. Adopt and experiment with new platforms
If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. End of story.
Your brokerage needs to take a marketing approach that incorporates experience with experimentation.
What I mean by this is creating a combination of marketing channels, the first consisting of efforts you’ve seen pay off in the past, and the second of channels that your brokerage hasn’t attempted yet.
Currently, there are too many “gurus” who are insisting on going all-in on a certain platform: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and so on.
This strategy is nuts.
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter — all I’m saying is that you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing.
If you don’t believe me, go talk to a Vine guru, and see how they’re feeling.
4. Stop thinking Instagram and Snapchat are just for kids
You’re never going to get a hit in baseball if you’re sitting in the stands. The same goes with new marketing channels.
These are not just for kids, they are where the world is going. Get comfortable with the platforms, experiment — and then experiment more.
5. Take advantage of Facebook ads for recruiting
Facebook ads are still the best bang for your buck when it comes to advertising.
I believe the price of Facebook advertisements will be three to four times more expensive by 2018-2019, so now is the time to advantage of the platform.
For recruiting, you can target agents working for other brokerages (target by employer), and filter through to top producers (by income).
If you’re looking to add a few top producers to your team, this could be the method for you.
6. Get contacts at local news outlets
When it comes to PR, you can hire an agency or rely on your internal team to get the word out about your brokerage.
One of the best things you can do is position your brokerage CEO as a thought leader by offering quotes on the marketplace to local journalists.
There are two ways to do this: make a list of all the publications in your area, then look at the writers who cover the real estate sections; they should be relatively easy to contact.
Send them an intro email, saying you enjoyed their latest article and that if they ever need a quote on the market, you’d love to help them out.
Becoming the go-to resource for a journalist can help your team get valuable exposure.
Or you could sign up for HARO (Help A Reporter Out) and get queries from journalists to your inbox three times daily. HARO is a great way to get mentioned in local and national publications.
Even if you only adopt one of the above tactics, you’ll still be in better shape from a marketing standpoint.
Remember, marketing is about constant testing and iteration — what worked last year might be in decline this year or need a tweak.