Over the past couple of days we have created a niche to differentiate ourselves and we have researched that market and learned the inventory. We also identified our ideal client and learned how to qualify the client.

Now, it’s time to create your written marketing plan.

image from wikicommons

It’s important to get the steps right because, as Tony Robbins once remarked, “If you do the right thing at the wrong time you get pain.”

Creating a quality plan takes a little time, but it will save yourself a lot of headaches and dollars down the road.

Offline and online

Every great marketing plan has two approaches. As you begin to build your marketing plan, make sure you have a combination of these two approaches throughout your plan:

1. Active approach.
2. Passive approach.

It is much easier to stand on two legs than one leg.

Your marketing plan must begin with your best, most promotable message.

As a customer, we all need to be led through the following five steps before we will buy or take action. It is important to understand that these steps apply to all products, services and professions. You are no exception.

  1. Awareness of need and/or desire.
  2. Picking the “thing” that fulfills the need/desire.
  3. Picking the source for the thing.
  4. Accepting the source’s price.
  5. Finding reasons to act now.

Calls to action

The famous Zig Ziglar once said, “The difference between being a professional salesperson and a professional visitor is asking for the order.”

The point is … to be better than most of your competition, all you need to do is actually ask for the sale.

Every marketing piece or message must have a “call to action” to entice your potential client to pick up the phone and call you right then and there or to stop in your office today.

Targets — There are three targets you must identify and become an expert on.

  1. Your target niche — be it a neighborhood/community or demographic.
  2. Target property — pick a property type that you are most interested in.
  3. Target client — the one you would most like to work with.

Publicity is one of the best things you can do for your business.

Literally free advertising at its best! Getting free press is like a sweet combination of strategic print advertisement and testimonials.

Hot tip: Hire a good publicist with the money you would’ve normally spent on advertising. You will thank us for this one later.

Finding new clients: This may be the one place where more Realtors fail than any other single point. This is the lifeblood of your business; no new clients means no business, period!

Spend some time brainstorming here; there are many more options that you might imagine.

We have listed a few to ideas to get you started.

Active: cold calls, warm calls, door knocking, direct email, networking events, volunteering for community events, attending lunch meetings, using the social networking sites to meet new people, find happy hours. This is anything you do to go out and find prospects!

Passive: Web marketing, buying leads online, direct mail, print advertisements, etc. — you wait for prospects to knock on your door!

Referrals: Ask for referrals from everyone you can. Don’t beg for them, but let your friends, co-workers, associates, social networking friends, people in your community, etc., know what you do and that you would love to take care of any referrals they can give you.

Delivering your marketing plan to your target clients

Social media: Facebook is where the eyeballs are. If you keep being the source of info for your niche market, others will want to friend you on your profile and “like” your Facebook business page; then even more people will share what you posted if it affects them. This is why it is called relationship marketing.

If you have not done so yet you should set up your niche website. Your website should be based on WordPress, a content management system that is search engine friendly right out of the box and is best supported by third-party programmers.

It’s content that drives the Internet, and consumers are looking for pertinent information that solves a problem — not immediate sales pitches.

Question: Where do you go to research new subjects?

image from wikicommons

Answer: Search engines — to find content-filled, relevant websites.

That’s why you should start creating and freely sharing informative content based principally on the niche market research you did earlier. You will also be writing articles aimed at the ideal buyer you envisioned earlier. His or her image should be burned into your mind as you write.

To get started, write articles about the types of properties in your niche, notable sales and sales trends. Write also about the schools, neighborhoods, commute times, dog parks, and other amenities unique to your niche and your target client’s interests.

These pages can also be populated with listings and/or sold information relevant to your blog article. There are a number of companies that have adaptable Internet Data Exchange (IDX) systems (including WordPress plug-ins) making this relatively easy to pull off.

Budgeting and targeting for success

It’s critical in your real estate agent career that you not only cover your real estate expenses, but your personal living costs as well. If you were previously an employee, it’s important that you change your mindset to that of a self-employed independent contractor.

In other words: Don’t forget to pay yourself, or the quarterly taxes, either.

Once you’ve figured out what you need to survive personally and in your business, then you can adjust your behavior and marketing to make that minimum income and hopefully more.

I strongly suggest using a product called Create A Plan. This professionally produced, Internet-based software has been tried and tested for use by real estate agents for years. It will help you track your actual performance against your target.

Don’t forget that if it’s measured it can be improved.

This article is the fourth in a five-part series during the course of this week. Tomorrow’s article focuses on finding a mentor and securing a never-ending stream of referrals: every agent’s dream!

Read the whole series: 1, 2, 3, 5

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