Real Estate Marketing Plans
How To KEEP More Money When Marketing Real Estate!
Realtor business plans are NOT a real estate marketing plans. While a business plan maps out the goals and objectives you hope to achieve for the coming year, a real estate marketing plan primarily focuses on HOW you plan to reach those objectives.
Here’s how the American Marketing Association defines it: "Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."
Focus on two words here: "exchanging offerings." Most of us have been taught that marketing is about making an offer that attracts people. Conventionally, agents made an offer of a "Free Evaluation" to their target market, either through a postcard campaign or newspaper ads. Today, most savvy sellers find that simple "offering" (in its basic form) is less valuable as than it once might have been. Most agents aren’t earning their potential because their marketing looks "ordinary".
Develop A Business Owner’s Mindset
When asked, most real estate agents will tell you they had two objectives when starting a career in real estate. The first objective was to achieve a certain level of income that might not have been possible otherwise. The second objective was to be independent, that is, free to make their own career and business choices.
Building a growing business that could potentially be sold in the future was/is an idea that only a few agents ever envisioned.
Developing a business owner mindset in your real estate business will help you benefit more from the time, energy and capital you invest in it. Your investment of time management skills, marketing strategies and customer service are the same whether you operate a team of agents or you do business as a single agent. You need to establish a set of business systems, in addition to the sales and customer service programs, in order to build a solid real estate business.
Add systems that track and monitor your business performance. If you operate a team, you need to track and monitor the performance of your business team as well. With everyone being held accountable for their production and performance, a real estate business is well on its way to success.
Real Estate Business Marketing Plan + Marketing Strategies
Real estate marketing plans should include all facets of your real estate business. Marketing to real estate sellers or home buyers requires different strategies. The marketing strategies also need to utilize both online and offline methods of advertising.
Making use of real estate marketing plans is not a just a suggestion but rather, one of the most effective ways to start a real estate business. The processes and key elements may look complicated but they are actually quite simple to follow.
Why Bother With A Business Marketing Plan?The business marketing plan will help you to focus on critical factors including:
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">what sets your business apart from other real estate agents and companies,
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">who your clients are and
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">the easiest and least costly ways you can reach your prospects and clients.
Be very clear when writing your real estate marketing plans as you may find it beneficial to return to them several times throughout the year to ensure that you are on track toward your clearly defined goals.
Marketing research links the public to you, the real estate agent/marketer, through information. This information can be used to:
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">identify and define marketing opportunities and problems
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">generate, refine, and evaluate marketing actions
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">monitor marketing performance
" border="0" width="23" height="15" alt="checkmark">improve understanding of marketing as a process.
Marketing research specifies the information required to address these issues, designs the method for collecting information, manages and implements the data collection process, analyzes the results, and communicates the findings and their implications. (Courtesy of American Marketing Association)
I need to caution you at this point. Looking for "one-size-fits-all" real estate marketing plans is a futile search. YOUR business goals are likely different from other agents for many obvious reasons. There is no plan that would apply equally to every agent in every marketing situation.
Target Market or Multiple Target Markets?
Which specific market segments do you plan to concentrate on? If you try to cover too many segments, you will end up running around directionless, spending a lot of money and achieving very little success.
Well written real estate marketing plans will provide the clarity of vision as to what should be done as well as HOW it should be done.
Identify your prospective customers and create a clear programmed plan to impress both prospects and clients with how you can best serve their interests. Develop a solid sales strategy to secure and complete real estate deals. To succeed in the real estate market, you should be skillful at listing presentations as well as an excellent negotiator capable of controlled bargaining.
Financial Planning - It's Your Business And Your Life!
The primary reason most give for becoming real estate agents is to become financially independent, yet few actually achieve this goal. Financial management is usually the problem rather than poor earning performance.
I’ve personally met several agents who make 6 figure incomes from commissions each year but are broke! With no business background, no self-employment experience, and a play-now-pay-later mindset, most end up with big financial troubles.
These top producers overspend on business expenses as well as their personal expenses. With no fixed budget that restricts spending, sets aside funds for taxes, and allows for savings and investments, their house-of-cards lifestyle is doomed.
Most agents have very little invested in their real estate practice. As in any business marketing plan, a budget is always mandatory. How much money will you earmark for your promotional efforts?
"They’re missing the boat when there is a huge opportunity with limited capital invested that will sway the odds heavily in their favor.
Establish your marketing budget for at least the first six months to a year. It's as important for an agent to factor in an annual budget for his/her business marketing as it is for any other business. For example, doctors, lawyers or retail stores have earmarked (allocated) an annual specific amount of money for marketing and advertising.
Analyzing the expected income, commission, and prospect types are the key elements in planning your marketing budget. Count the number of transactions you want to close in a month or year.
Real Estate Marketing Plans - Time Frame
How quickly do you need your marketing program to generate business in order to stay afloat? Or to be very clear, how heavily will you depend on your marketing efforts from day one?
The Marketing Mix
Real estate marketing is somewhat like financial investing — the more diversified, the better.
Market to the "unaware", that is, people who haven't yet decided to buy a house. Why? Because the likely scenario is, if they know for sure they want to buy a house, they probably already know an agent. Be the agent to plant the seed of hope and most likely you'll get the business.
This entire site is about real estate marketing! Most agents are quite familiar and comfortable with a few offline or direct marketing methods. However, it would be wise to use online real estate marketing methods as well. Browse through and implement a mix of these ideas that would work in your area and targeted niche markets. Spread your marketing efforts over multiple channels. Or, to put it another way, don't put all your eggs in one basket when creating your real estate marketing plans.
Testing And Tracking Marketing Results
By tracking your marketing results, you will know what's working and what's not. You might be spending too much money on advertising tactics and strategies that generate a low ROI (return on investment), and not enough on those channels/programs that are producing a higher ROI.
Use common sense when testing and tracking. Have reasonable and realistic expectations for each particular channel you use in your real estate marketing plans.
This is not an all-inclusive examination of real estate marketing plans. Obviously, there are more factors at work, and more decisions to be made, than what we have covered here. But the five factors listed above form the framework of a good plan. So if you start with these when creating your real estate marketing plan — budget, target markets, timeframe, marketing mix along with testing and tracking results, then you'll be off to a great start.
If you’re a marketer who doesn’t know how to invent, design, influence, adapt, and ultimately discard products, then you’re no longer a marketer. You’re deadwood. ~ Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog ===============================================================================
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Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.
~ John Wanamaker
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