Consider this a list of business resolutions – five things you can easily do that are guaranteed to make a difference for your business in the coming year.

  1. Add 150 new people to your marketing mailing list

The Xpressdocs blog posts are packed with great ideas for expanding your marketing mailing list. But the ideas require extra effort and a long-term commitment. Make this the year that you commit to really bulking up your mailing list. Having a growing, up-to-date mailing list is the most important element of any successful marketing campaign.Five marketing to-dos fo the new year

  1. Determine what sets you apart from the competition

If there’s nothing that makes you different from every other real estate professional, prospective clients have no reason to choose you over them. Even worse: If consumers think you and your competitors are all the same, they’ll simply go with the cheapest option.

Forget about the basics: attributes like “friendly,” “experienced,” “ethical” or “knowledgeable.” Those are things all your competitors can easily claim as well (and usually do). They don’t set you apart from the pack, and they’re so basic that prospective clients expect them.

You need a trait that really makes you different. Once you discover what that special something is, start promoting it in all your marketing materials.

  1. Emulate a real estate agent who’s really good at marketing

Some agents have figured out the secrets to marketing success. Rather than try to learn all those same things on your own, just emulate what you see the successful agent doing. Attend some of their open houses so you can see them in action. Sign up for their mailings. Friend them on Facebook. Get their brochure. Call them and act like a prospective client.

Sure, you could just ask them if they’d be willing to share some of their marketing secrets, but it’s better to see them in action with your own eyes.

  1. Focus on the influencers

Save your best efforts for the folks with the largest circle of friends. Make a list of the most influential people you know, then start reaching out to them on a regular basis.

  1. Read what people are saying about you

Check Zillow, Yelp, Angie’s List, Google+ (Google maps) and any of the other online peer-review services to see what past clients and others have written about you.

If there are any positive reviews / statements, start using them in your marketing materials. Customer testimonials are a sure-fire way to grab the attention and win the confidence of new clients. Even jaded consumers who’ve grown leery of all advertising tend to let down their guard when they see real people (in their own words) touting products/services.

For any bad reviews, see if there’s an option built-in to the service that allows you to leave a reply (have a trusted friend review whatever you plan to write to make sure it doesn’t come across as bitter or angry). Or, try to contact the disaffected person directly – by phone or email – to see if you can win them over, or at least apologize. Sometimes, the best customers / referral sources are those who have had their complaints satisfactorily addressed.

To find out more about our online and print marketing tools or to help with your personal marketing strategy, visit http://www.xpressdocs.com. Be sure to join our Facebook Community and follow us on Twitter for real estate marketing tips.