When it comes to marketing, many real estate professionals are getting creative in trying to find housing supply. Although traditional methods prevail, many agents and brokers are also trying new and different methods, as well as combinations of tactics.
- 41% are using direct mailers
Traditional marketing methods such as email and digital newsletters remain popular. Many brokerages are using content marketing such as "sharing pertinent information relevant to residential real estate", "current market trends in the community" and "home ownership tips". There’s a focus on the personal touch, such as "personally dropping gift bags off with handwritten notes at homes in our database" and "phone calls and friendly notes that have nothing to do with real estate. They just know I care about them".
One agent is trying "automated 'Action Plans' -- birthday ecards, holiday ecards, monthly newsletter, direct mailer recipe postcards via snail mail." Another uses "Direct mail, a heavy social media presence, a digital newsletter that goes out twice a month and sponsoring zip codes on Nextdoor.com."
- 10% are cold-calling
Cold calls are still a successful way to win business, though in a more targeted way than "spray and pray". The personal touch also remains important here. Smart agents are doing their research into prospects, rather than calling someone out of the blue with no information about them.
"In addition to direct mail postcards I am sending personal letters to pocket neighborhoods that attract a lot of buyers. I have many buyers who are unable to find listings that meet their specific criteria, so personalized letters have been quite successful," one agent reports.
- 5% are relationship building with HOAs
Homeowner Associations (HOA) can consist of thousands of properties. They typically have well-established communications with homeowners in their neighborhood and can open opportunities for networking, exposure, and new listings.
Expanding networks through community groups generally - "Social, realm, clubhouse" - is considered effective. One agent is "spending more time at my golf club, lots of real estate activity going on." Another is "increasing alumni association and chamber communication".
- 5% are hosting virtual events
The pandemic has opened up videoconferencing as a marketing channel, with agents hosting virtual events and taking part in podcasts. Social media including Facebook is also being leveraged: "I’m connecting with my sphere of influence via phone, social media or FaceTime," one agent writes.
Hosting real estate seminars can be a very effective way for real estate professionals to build a trusted brand as a "local expert" and expand their networks of buyers and sellers.
- 4% are targeting new construction
With home building remaining depressed, there’s competition for new development listings. Home developers can provide a stream of new listings but the relationship needs to start early to develop trust on both sides. While builders can sell directly to buyers, having a professional real estate agent can smooth the process and offer a much wider pool of buyers. It allows everyone to focus on their core business and mutually boost revenues.