2020 was a challenging year for real estate professionals. The COVID-19 pandemic restricted in-person home showings and prevented business as usual in nearly every way. Agents scrambled to find new ways to reach clients and deliver the services they required.
Thankfully, much of that uncertainty has lifted, and while the pandemic is still impinging on normal business operations, real estate agents have developed a new arsenal of real estate marketing tools to help them do their jobs. As vaccination efforts ramp up over the first half of the year and life returns to normal, many of these techniques will likely remain relevant because of the convenience they provide.
Below you’ll find a helpful mix of marketing practices pulled from around the industry. The focus on digital marketing reflects the realities of the pandemic, but make no mistake. Direct mail and other analog methods will remain powerful real estate marketing tools well into the future.
SEE ALSO: How to Generate Better Mortgage Leads
ESTABLISH CREDIBILITY WITH CONTENT MARKETING
The pandemic has forced considerable belt-tightening among real estate professionals and businesses in general. Large-scale marketing campaigns were seen as too risky, causing agents to look at channels that required lower investment or promised a higher ROI. Content marketing offers both.
In 2021, these strategies will continue to be effective. Real estate marketing professionals should develop content and share it on their blog and across their social media channels. Content includes blog posts, webinars, infographics, and more.
Content leans on the expertise agents already possess. It packages it into bit-sized servings that demonstrate the agent’s knowledge to viewers while simultaneously promoting their services. Content marketing is a long play. It can take some time to gain traction, but as long as you’re consistently adding new content and promoting it vigorously, it will eventually help drive traffic and leads right into your inbox.
FIND CLIENTS ANYWHERE USING VIRTUAL TOURS
Virtual home tour technology has existed for several years, but the pandemic allowed it to flourish. At the height of the lockdown and beyond, agents replaced live tours with online virtualized experiences to keep their clients and potential buyers safe.
In 2021, virtual tours are likely to be among the more important real estate marketing tools agents have at their disposal. Companies like VPiX sell 3D cameras and software that enable agents to create immersive 3D virtual walk-throughs that offer 360° views of a home’s interior and exterior spaces. Agents can share these anywhere in the world, which means they can find buyers and sellers anywhere. The technology is perfect for people looking to relocate across the country or around the world.
FIND QUALITY LEADS WITH HANDWRITTEN INTRODUCTION CARDS
Real estate is a relationship-centric business, and trust is critical. Sellers need to know that their agent has their best interests at heart. Real estate marketing efforts that recognize this tend to do better than less personal strategies.
Handwritten direct mail is a great way to introduce yourself to new customers. There are several ways to approach this. When you sell a home, you can send mailers to other homes in the neighborhood, letting them know about your success. You can also respond to online leads with a warm, handwritten introduction card. Finally, you can purchase a targeted mailing list and send handwritten letters to people that have demonstrated an interest in selling their home.
Simply Noted takes the hassle out of handwritten mailers. We’ll handwrite, hand address, and mail your cards using our state-of-the-art handwriting machines outfitted with real ballpoint pens. It’s the next best thing to writing it yourself, and your prospects will appreciate the gesture.
OFFER FREE HOME VALUATIONS
Sites like Zillow and Redfin provide consumers an estimate of their home’s value, but there’s no substitute for the judgment of a skilled agent. You can generate leads by offering a free, professional home valuation.
Set up a simple request form on your website and promote it through social channels and along with any digital or direct mail pieces you send. You can also email it to former clients to share with their family and friends.
Prospects will come to your site and provide their contact information in exchange for your valuation service. You now have a lead that you can market to. Consider sending their valuation through the mail along with a handwritten introduction letter.
LEVERAGE EMAIL AUTOMATION
Along with direct mail, email marketing offers a high ROI and a low cost of entry. It has the added benefit of automation. Services like Sendinblue and Drip give users the ability to create automation workflows that trigger predetermined marketing emails based on specific circumstances.
You could design a workflow that triggers a welcome email as soon as you add a new lead to your list. Then you could automatically send a new email every week, slowly building your credibility. If a prospect responds to one of these, a more robust sales email can trigger to help close the deal.
Once you’ve set up your workflow, it runs without your input, which means you can focus on your customers and less on your real estate marketing.
It’s also worth noting that Simply Noted offers integrations with many automation applications, meaning you could trigger handwritten notes just as easily as emails.
SEE ALSO: How to Prospect for Insurance
KEEP IN CONTACT WITH FORMER CLIENTS
As we mentioned earlier, real estate is a trust-based business. When someone’s looking for an agent, they’ll often ask friends and family for recommendations. If you’re in constant contact with your previous clients, you’ll be at the top of their mind when they get the question.
The simplest way to keep the conversation open is to create an email newsletter. You can share home tips, market updates, and other useful information. When your clients are asked for a recommendation, they won’t have to look far for your contact information. It will be available right near the top of their inbox!
In truth, the most effective real estate marketing plan is multichannel. You should be leveraging social media, email, direct mail, and everything in between. The more places you market yourself, the easier it will be for prospects to find you.
If you need help integrating handwritten direct mail, give Simply Noted a call. We can discuss your options and help you create a game plan. Good luck and good prospecting!