Map out your marketing strategy for 2019 with these tips
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
Your mission for 2019 is to dominate your local real estate market. Gain more exposure. Create more connections. Generate more sales. But you can’t be great without preparation. You need a plan— a marketing plan.
In this post, we’ll share tips on how to create a 2019 marketing plan for your real estate business.
But don’t let the phrase “marketing plan” intimidate you. A marketing plan can be as simple or as intense as you need it to be. If you’ve never created one before, think of a marketing plan as a map to your treasure. It guides you from where you are now to where you want to be with marketing strategies that you’ll actually use in language that you’ll understand.
By the end of this post, you’ll have an action plan (and a template) to help you create your unique marketing plan. Let’s get started!
Now that you’re a certified real estate agent for the state of Massachusetts, you’re no longer an employee— you’re a business owner.
Owning a business (a.k.a. being an independent contractor) requires a shift in thinking. Instead of relying on an employer to secure work, you’ve got to hunt for your own dinner. Even if you’ve joined an amazing brokerage, you still can’t pin all of your hopes and dreams on the leads that filter in through them.
To get work, you need a plan to market your real estate business.
Start your marketing plan by defining your mission statement for the year. What do you want to happen as a result of your marketing? For example, would you like to become the go-to neighborhood expert? Or would you like to build a reputation for yourself in a specific niche?
A one-sentence mission is all that you need here. Here’s a quick example:
“I will use my skills and community resources to help first time buyers on their process to home ownership, from house hunting to closing and beyond.”
Yes, the above mission statement is simple and that’s the goal. Start off with a simple mission and remember that this describes your purpose as a business owner. Then create a marketing plan off of this solid foundation.
If you have no idea who you’re trying to reach with your marketing, you won’t get very far.
Who is your audience?
Are you trying to reach buyers? Sellers? Both? Don’t stop there. Get specific. What type of buyer? First-time? Second chance? Luxury? Retired? What is their lifestyle? What neighborhood? What income?
It may seem counter-intuitive to limit yourself to a specific demographic when you can potentially help anyone who wants to buy or sell in the entire commonwealth, but there’s a method to the madness. The more limited your audience, the more relevant your marketing message becomes.
In other words, you can create a better marketing campaign when you know exactly who you’re talking to. You can use motivations, words, and imagery that appeal directly to that target audience.
The marketing message that appeals to a luxury buyer approaching retirement probably won’t resonate with a first-time buyer who just finished graduate school.
By getting specific, you don’t have to use overly generic language that can dilute your message. Instead, you can speak directly to the potential client’s real estate needs and desires (just keep in mind fair housing law).
When formulating your marketing plan, be sure to indicate what makes you different. Why should a client choose you over your competition? There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other real estate agents available, so why you?
Do you have special skills that can give you an advantage? Perhaps you’re also a lawyer? Maybe you live in the same area and can act as an expert. Maybe you’re an excellent negotiator. Or you’re very detail oriented.
We all have something that makes us amazing— find your thing, and then capitalize on it in your marketing. Don’t just wait for your clients to find it out. Announce your advantage in your marketing. No need to be shy.
Even though you shouldn’t spend too much time thinking about your competition, you do need to know who else is out there. They are competing with you for the same clients, after all, so it makes sense to know what they’re saying.
Analyze their branding. What words and images do they use to describe themselves? What can you learn from your competitors— what do they do well? What opportunities have they missed? Are there any gaps that you can fill?
Now comes the fun part. After you’ve defined your vision, your audience, yourself, and your competition, it’s time to come up with marketing ideas.
You probably have a ton of marketing ideas already. Get them out of your head and write them on paper. Write down every idea, even the ones that you don’t think you’ll actually use. The act of writing them down will help the creative process and inspire more marketing ideas.
Now that you’ve emptied your head, it’s time to figure out which marketing ideas belong in your overall plan for 2019.
To do this, you need to create an overall marketing goal and strategy. Your goal is to secure 12 listings, but how? Your goal is to earn $100,000 commission income, but how?
The “how” is your marketing strategy, and it can be accomplished in several ways, for example:
You can pick and choose any combination of the above to create a basic marketing strategy to help you meet your specific goals. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list, and there are many more marketing strategies you can use.
Yard signs, door hangers, and postcards are all traditional ways to market your real estate business. They may be old school, but they’re still around because they work.
However, it’s 2019, which means that you should also consider incorporating new marketing ideas along with the tried-and-true strategies.
Try your hand at video marketing, for example. Video marketing is huge for real estate because house hunters enjoy seeing walk-through tours of properties these days. Use video on Facebook, YouTube, and even in the inbox (using a tool like BombBomb).
Other ideas include:
When creating your marketing plan, don’t forget to set a time limit on your goals. This is important because it takes your goal mapping from some nebulous time in the future to a concrete deadline.
Start with smaller goals. For example, what are your goals to meet for the first month? Perhaps you’ll set up a website or start posting to a social media account.
Now, define your goals for six months down the road. Perhaps it’s to build your email list to 100 people through Facebook ads.
Then, define your overall goals for the year.
Break down goals into tasks that can be accomplished on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. By doing so, the goals become easier to meet. Plus you have a game plan for what to do each day to get one step closer.
Last, but certainly not least, you must come up with a budget for your marketing plan. How much will you need to spend on each of your marketing ideas? Where will that money come from?
It’s important to be realistic with yourself.
When you’re just starting out in real estate, you’ll have to support yourself until your first deal closes. The pot of money that you’ll use to pay bills and basic needs as a fledgling agent will also fund your marketing plan. Bank on that, because you can’t rely on money from a future deal that may or may not fall through.
Because you’ll have to make miracles happen on a meager budget, don’t overspend on your marketing. Choose only the strategies that you can afford and be sure to measure the efficacy of each marketing campaign.
Before you go, check out these related posts to help you with your marketing vision for 2019: