Real Estate Marketing Tips for a Volatile Market
If you’re a real estate professional, maneuvering within the industry in 2023 has probably felt like driving down a two-lane back country road. At midnight. In the rain.
You might think you know where you’re going and how to get there, but with each sudden turn in the road, visibility gets sketchier (along with your cell phone signal), and your navigation tools lose their credibility.
In times like these, we advise white-knuckling strategies you know to be true — even in the face of climbing interest rates, low inventory, and a million unknowns. Because strong real estate marketing will always keep your business grounded.
5 Real Estate Marketing Tips for a Volatile Market:
Prioritize Clean Data and Consistent Communication
A healthy database = a real estate agent’s best friend. Yours should include every human you do business with and even some you don’t. Examples: every homeowner you know and anyone you know who’s considering owning a home in the near(ish) future.
Mind you, for the information to do its job, it must remain accurate. Keep a close eye on addresses, phone numbers, and last names. When data changes, your database should, too. Consider these other best practices for maximizing your customer management software:
- Use built-in analytics: High-quality platforms almost always include an analytics function. Use it to study client trends and behaviors, and you can better personalize your marketing approaches.
- Integrate with other relevant systems: Once your business hits a certain level, you might want to upgrade to a CRM platform sophisticated enough to integrate with other technology. For example, if you integrate with email, you can access productivity tools and client contact data from the comfort of your inbox.
- Audit your system regularly: Ensure you have clean information by giving your database a quarterly or yearly check-in.
You can continue growing your clean, healthy database by adding people you meet, buying online leads, and accumulating referrals. With a steady flow of new leads, your farm will fatten enough to get you through any downturn.
Finally, what’s the point of a pristine database if you don’t do anything with it? Remember to nurture clients and prospects with useful marketing like newsletters, automated (and amazing looking) direct mail pieces, and periodic market updates.
Nurture Your MVCs
Even if you’ve only worked in the industry a few years, you hopefully have a few big fans. Maybe you bonded with them over a shared love of baking or a favorite city, then went on to get them an amazing deal. Whatever the case, you feel confident that relationship could lead to referrals. They have become your Most Valuable Clients (MVCs). Here are a few tips for keeping these clients on your radar:
- Tailor communications by channel: Every medium deserves some level of differentiation. A direct mail send may demand months of persistence (and message variation to find the best approach), while reaching out via social media can be more spontaneous and casual.
- Prioritize clients who are responsive to your messages: If you reach out three or four times and hear crickets, this client may not be ideal for future business or referrals. The best way to nurture relationships is to listen. If someone tells you they’re not interested — with or without words — make sure to respect their position. Instead, focus your efforts on clients who are responsive and enthusiastic.
- Ask for what you want: Sometimes the best way to get what you want is to ask for it. Nervous about coming out and asking for a referral? No problem. How about asking for an introduction instead? If a business-first approach feels too hasty, try letting clients know you’re available to meet with friends or family who need real estate help. This softer tactic can take the pressure off, so it becomes all about providing guidance when needed.
- Keep in touch with useful (free) information: Building relationships means reaching out when you don’t want something in return. Remembering major events like client birthdays, graduations, or home purchase anniversaries is a solid way to show you care. Newsletters or industry updates via email can also keep you top-of-mind during off seasons.
- Treat every client like an MVC: Doesn’t this one go without saying?
Aim for a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) a Day
Many homeowners are reluctant to sell because they don’t know how much their home is worth. That’s where a comparative market analysis comes in. Especially now, when prices and interest rates are moving faster than anyone can keep up, showing folks what they’ll get for their effort can help them take that first step. Here are the basic steps to a comprehensive CMA:
- Gather current property data: Show people you’re the go-to expert for their area by getting ALL the information you can about the subject property, including location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, acreage, year built, renovations or major changes since property was last sold, notable interior finishes, extra features (pool, barn, etc.), and current taxes paid.
- Gather past property data: When you pull together past sales numbers, you’re better able to predict future value. So, gather the property’s previous sale and listing history (previous list prices, previous sold prices, price adjustments, days on market) and do a little math. For example, let’s say the property sold ten years ago. At that time, the median home price for the area was $250,000. Today, the median price for the area and property type is $500,000. With an impressive 100% increase, you might assume the property will follow a similar trend ten years from now.
- Gather recently sold comps: Presenting relevant comparable sales can help homeowners see what’s trending for their neighborhood. A trustworthy comp includes a property that is near the subject property (the closer the better), has sold within the last six months to a year, and has closed within a reasonable number of days with favorable sale terms.
- Gather active listing comps: This step will help you estimate another dimension of property value and gauge the level of competition. Find four or five active properties (under contract but haven’t yet sold) that match the subject property in relevant details (size, area, etc.).
- Asses detailed trends about the area: The most successful real estate professionals embrace details. That means understanding microtrends about the subject property’s area. For example, is it near a railroad (trains make noise and noise matters), major construction, or convenient businesses. Knowing these details can help you get in front of price adjustments that should be made accordingly.
- Make it pretty: Put everything together in a scannable, attractive way (remember to include great-looking images), and get it in the mailbox (or inbox).
Strengthen Social Media Marketing
In real estate, people prefer to work with someone they know, trust, and like. Having a standout social media presence gives you the opportunity to share who you are in an engaging, relatable way.
Focus on a mashup of useful content (personal and professional) presented in exciting (but brief) ways. Short videos are excellent for connecting with your audience, and it helps to try a live stream every so often.
People enjoy seeing authentic representations of your business, not only the polished kind.
Use Geographical Farming
This evergreen marketing strategy works in every market. Because it’s all about targeting your ideal clients.
Geographical farming involves defining an area or neighborhood where you already have a foothold (or you know you can get one), then marketing consistently in that area to become the resident expert.
From yard signs and door hangers to sharp-looking direct mail campaigns, invest in quality marketing materials so homeowners in the area get used to seeing your name.
To make this strategy more impactful, use a direct mail vendor who offers targeted mailing lists:
- Radius: Find prospects by specifying a distance around a center point or property.
- Street: Target homeowners along a street where you’ve recently helped someone buy or sell a property.
- Demographic: Filter your list by age, income, or other demographic.
- Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): This elite tool lets you send a campaign to an entire city or zip code (by a postal carrier route), and costs less than standard mail.
The real estate industry is full of unknowns and constantly changing variables. When you feel uneasy about the future, it helps to plant your feet somewhere steady, with proven strategies that help grow your farm and nurture existing relationships.
As one of the industry’s most trusted providers of direct marketing solutions, Xpressdocs understands the unique constraints real estate professionals face.
Our direct mail templates, automation technology, list-building tools, and state-of-the-art printers help you strengthen your marketing with less time and effort. Because you already have a job.