Many real estate professionals only focus on digital marketing and advertising while ignoring traditional marketing. However, traditional marketing is still driving clients for agents across the US.
Traditional marketing techniques can be very inexpensive and are designed to help save you time by sharing your message with many people at once. However, if you are a professional looking to up your game in real estate marketing, the old is once new again!
Human Interaction and Word of Mouth
Digital marketing has become so prevalent that most digital marketing efforts are ignored. As a result, your digital real estate marketing isn't as powerful as it once was. So consider implementing a more traditional marketing campaign that will set you apart from your competition.
Humans love interaction, and the best type of marketing is often word-of-mouth referrals. An essential aspect of selling homes is keeping a human touch and building and maintaining a friendly business relationship with your clients (past, present, and future).
We see success with the following:
Make calls to clients at least quarterly, but don't harass them by asking for their business. Call to connect. Ask the F.O.R.D. Questions. If you are unfamiliar with F.O.R.D., it stands for Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams. Often, asking about these four categories will result in a conversation about real estate! Let them speak while you listen for the opening.
We often think that real estate marketing means we need to be "selling" ourselves all the time. This couldn't be farther from the truth! Instead, consider offering value with every real estate marketing activity.
The pop-by takes a little more planning and creativity, but can be one of real estate's best traditional marketing techniques. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Consider quarterly pop-by activities staggered with your quarterly calls.
You might also consider cookie or basket drop-offs for birthdays or special occasions. You might be surprised how often someone will spread the word about how thoughtful their real estate agent is!
Other popular pop-by ideas are dropping off vegetable or flower seeds to clients in the Spring or pies at Thanksgiving. Of course, you don't have to take a gift. Instead, you could do a pop-by with a comparative market analysis for past clients so they can see their current value. It’s best to have a sense of who the client is and their personality when strategizing your pop-by.
Now, before just "popping by," make sure you call first and forewarn your clients that you would like to bring something by or have it delivered. Of course, the idea of a pop-by is to have face-to-face interaction, so planning and making an appointment is best. Then, keep your conversation short unless they choose to have a deeper conversation once you are there. The goal is to say hello, let them know you were thinking of them, and not be intrusive.
A traditional marketing idea that never goes out of style is to host an event at your office or a local venue. You can let your clients know to bring a guest when you host an event. This way, you can connect with their friends, family, or co-workers.
One of the most traditional real estate marketing events is the open house. However, don't limit yourself to doing open houses. Some other events real estate brokers have planned in the past have been happy hours, movies in the park, garage sales, bowling, golf, pet adoptions, charitable events, and movie nights.
Events can take some planning, and costs can run high if you aren't working with your office or industry partners, but some events become the buzz in town and end up as a yearly tradition.
The opportunities are endless!
Many competitors may not be taking advantage of direct mail in this new digital age of marketing. Take advantage of the mailboxes that lack a personal touch and consider sending a handwritten letter, postcard, newsletter, and brand magazines.
Handwritten Notes and Cards
A fall traditional marketing campaign (around Thanksgiving) can be to send letters to past clients with a handwritten note of gratitude and thank them for their business over the past year. Your handwriting will help personalize the touch and show that you care!
Consider sending clients cards for birthdays, anniversaries, or special life events. Be sure to capture birthdates, anniversary dates, adoption dates, or other important dates in your client profiles early and update them frequently.
Unfortunately, many real estate professionals aren't doing a good job staying in touch with clients. This one activity will get you noticed!
Postcards are back in style! Further, there are services out there where you can contract for coupons and discounts for your clients. Some services take your client mailing list and create "done for you" monthly or bi-monthly discounts and offers.
Another traditional postcard marketing idea is the "just sold" and "just listed" postcards for your farm area. These can generate a new stream of clients and selling opportunities if done correctly. However, you have to stay consistent with your brand, message, and mailings.
Most brokers have moved to online or digital newsletters. The result… all newsletters are automatically getting marked as "spam" and not reaching the client's email. You should consider reverting to the traditional newsletter and mail to clients.
Some brokers have been known to send traditional mailers weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Either way, newsletters work!
Remember, you don't want your newsletter to be an ad, but more information on what's going on in the industry from an industry expert. Also, be sure to keep the information focused on the neighborhood or area in your mailing list. Include local events that miss media outlets. Consider including city or county building, planning, or even economic activity.
Take advantage of this traditional marketing idea by incorporating images, new businesses, product offers, or other benefits for their business. You could also consider offering your preferred vendor list to connect clients with painters or plumbers.
Billboards can be a cheap and easy way to increase brand awareness in specific markets. However, billboards might not be suitable in every real estate market.
They can make a bold statement or garner attention for your brand in high-traffic areas. If you decide to go with billboards, test them out first before committing to them. See what the billboard company offers for terms and price. Billboards could be a tremendous untapped real estate marketing tool for you, depending on the area and your goals.
Radio marketing is making a comeback! Radio has made a comeback because it's another traditional advertising medium that continues over time. Stations need content 24/7, so don't think traditional media is dead.
Specifically for traditional real estate marketing, think about ways to get on the radio. Many media outlets like local affiliates of NPR (National Public Radio) or other conventional news providers are always looking for interesting news stories or segments that might interest their listeners during morning and evening commute times.
Consider contacting traditional outlets like your local newspaper, traditional TV stations (CBS, NBC, ABC affiliates), college newspapers (local colleges always have activities going on).
These traditional marketing techniques can yield excellent results if you stay consistent with your messaging and market it right! Follow up diligently with all prospects; traditional marketing takes a lot of follow-ups to be effective.
Door Hangers / Flyers / Brochures
Door hangers, flyers, and brochures are probably the best-known traditional marketing tool for real estate. Real estate brokers are great at using flyers and brochures to give potential clients more details and information about listings. However, don't limit this category to sign boxes and open houses.
If you want to create traction for an open house, use door hangers and flyers as a real estate marketing primer for neighbors around the open house. You can also use flyers or door hangers to announce an event like a movie in the park or garage sale.
Door hangers, flyers, and brochures are great traditional marketing tools to share information about the community or your services. You should include your success rate, add some customer testimonials, or share your expertise on the different floor plans in a neighborhood.
Traditional marketing for real estate is still relevant and sets you apart from the competition in many ways. Thus, you should consider including some traditional real estate marketing into your budget and campaign. Just remember, for your real estate marketing to be successful, you need to be consistent and balance between personal touches and professional expertise.
About Brian Juris: Originally from the Windy City and now makes his home in The West's Most Western Town, Brian is an assistant managing broker and recruiter for Realty ONE Group International at the Scottsdale, AZ office.
Realty ONE Group offers Real Estate Professionals 100% Commission AND the best training, support, technology, and tools in the industry! Learn more on how you can grow your business with Realty ONE Group!