Marketing Your Business In June

Happy summer! As we know, the summer months can be a little crazy (in a good way) in the real estate world. Hopefully, your business is booming and we’ll be seeing your happy face in our office several times in the next few months. Whether things are going strong or you’re wondering when you’ll get that next client, this is no time to let your marketing efforts fade away.  What can you do this month to strengthen your future business?

Keep An Eye On The Calendar

It seems like everyone is offering some kind of promotion for Independence Day. If you’re worried about getting lost in the 4th of July crowd, there are fun holidays throughout the month of July that might be fun to celebrate. What about an ice cream social in your neighborhood to celebrate National Ice Cream Month (July) or Vanilla Ice Cream Day (July 23)? Pass out free breakfast on July 26 for National Bagel Day, or hold an event to celebrate International Day of Friendship on July 30.  You can also begin to think a little further ahead to Back To School in August and host a school supply drive or back to school party.

Pop Bys

Stopping in to visit your past clients’ houses with a small gift is a great way to stay in touch. For summer themed gifts, consider a S’mores kit, beach pail filled with goodies, or gift cards to get ice cream or frozen yogurt or to see a movie in a nice, cool theater.

Social Media Fun: Party Time

Social calendars fill up during the summer months. Use your social media pages to feature easy-to-make dishes and desserts to bring along to those summer cookouts and 4th of July parties, DIY party decorations and ideas, and pool safety tips, among other ideas.

Social Media Challenge: Host A Scavenger Hunt

Get your followers engaged by hosting a fun city-wide scavenger hunt. Make a list of fun things to see and do around town (theme parks, popular eateries, and more) in the summer months, and ask them to post a photo and tag your business page. Any follower who completes your list can be entered in a drawing for a fun prize!

Be A Better Listener In 3 Easy Steps

Good listeners are worth their weight in gold. Being a good listener shows the people around you that you’re sincere, caring, attentive and more. In the business world, it could make the difference between closing the deal and losing the sale.

Take a look at what TheBalanceCareers.com has to say about being a good listener:

Active listening is especially important in the sales world. That’s because prospects are often ignored or talked over because the focus is on making the sale, not the person making the purchase. When salespeople show that they value the prospect’s needs and opinions, it is far easier to build trust and ensures that the conversation results in a mutually-beneficial experience.

If you’re not a great listener, don’t fear. Forbes.com has some great tips on increasing your listening abilities and letting your clients know how much you care.

  1. Build Rapport

    Building a strong rapport with a customer let’s them feel like they’re in good company. You’re creating a safe environment for them to be themselves. Forbes suggests physical body mirroring (matching your posture to theirs) and keyword and gesture backtracking (using similar words and actions) to appear more attentive. These subtle action can go a long way in earning trust.

  2. Use The Meta Model

    When your client uses phrases like “This is too difficult” or “I’m frustrated,” these can often seem like signals used to end conversations. However, this is a great opportunity to truly understand where your prospect is coming from. By asking questions like “Can you elaborate on that?” or “What do you mean, specifically?” you’re offering them a chance to open up and be better understood. This will allow you to see the world from their perspective instead of imagining how they’re feeling.

  3. Make It Easier For Them To Express Themselves

    It can seem difficult to share thoughts or feelings in many situations. Forbes suggests that feeling a lack of safety, belonging, or mattering are the root causes for this kind of difficulty. Let your conversations be a safe haven where opinions are heard, respected, and understood.

     

Do Yourself A Favor And Start Delegating These Tasks

Sometimes, as business grows, so does discomfort. There’s an awful in-between place for growing businesses where agents are too busy and successful to handle all of their mounting responsibilities but not quite busy enough to justify a new full-time employee. But there is a third option: Outsourcing! As you struggle to keep your head above water, consider the following tasks for outsourcing.

Marketing

There are plenty of companies and freelancers looking for new clients. If you love your work, but struggle to stay on top of important dates and opportunities to market your services, finding a firm or a contract professional to help you on your way is a huge weight off of your shoulders. Marketing professionals can run about $50/hour, but if you’re paying them for just a few hours a week, you’ll be in good shape. Outsourced marketing personnel can handle creating a marketing schedule, communication with vendors, mailings and more.

Data Entry

Whether you’re looking for someone to input your information into the MLS or clean up your email database, a data entry professional can help streamline your work. A freelance data entry contractor can charge between $12-20 per hour, depending on their skill and experience.

Graphic Designer

Even great tools and apps like Canva and Snapseed can frustrate the technologically-challenged agent. Graphic design professionals are available at a variety of rates and skills. If your needs are simple, you may want to hire an art student to whip up Open House flyers in their free time. If you’re looking for more consistency in your look, an independent graphic designer will usually charge between $45-75 per hour, but may be available for less on a retainer.

Search Engine Optimization

If you’ve read anything on getting traffic to your website, you know that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is crucial. If you don’t understand SEO, you’re not alone. It can be confusing without professional help, but implementing the right keywords and techniques can put your business at the top of search results. An SEO expert will probably charge one rate to analyze your website and set up your pages for success at the start, and then an ongoing monthly rate. These rates vary greatly depending on how experienced the professional might be, so be sure to shop around.

Content Writing

One great way to improve SEO is with consistent blogging and content creation. Search engines like to see that websites are being regularly updated and blogs are the way to get there. Most people start with big plans to blog, write consistently for a few weeks, then let it go. An outsourced blogger can help you stay consistent and top-of-mind with your clientele. Expect a good, experienced blogger to start at $75 per blog.

Social Media

Now, to be honest, the best social media is personal. If your goals are to create engagement and develop relationships, it is always best to handle your own social media. However, if you are short on time, and looking for someone to keep your page up-to-date and consistent with posts and current events, hiring someone isn’t a terrible idea. Most social media gurus will ask for a monthly retainer, varying from $25-75 an hour.

Ready, Set, Blog! 5 Great Tips for Beginners!

You’ve probably heard it said in plenty of marketing workshops and classes. Blogging is a fantastic way to get traffic to your site, declare yourself an expert in your field, clarify your brand, and add value to both prospective and former clients.  However, despite it’s multitude of benefits, it’s a tool very few real estate agents use. If you’re ready to take the next step and gain a competitive edge, here’s where you need to start.

Pick Your Platform

While there are many options available to you, you’ll want something that isn’t a chore to access, especially if you’re new to blogging. If you already spend a lot of time on LinkedIn and connect with friends and prospective clients there, using their blogging feature is a natural choice. If you log on to your broker-provided website back end frequently, using a connect blog is a better idea. You might want to look into Facebook notes or even set up something new that you can brand well by choosing a page name on a site like WordPress or Blogspot.

Get Visual!

Think about the way you spend your own time online. When scrolling through social media, pictures and videos catch your eye. Be sure to take advantage of this when planning your own content. Great info can be helpful, but good images or videos can grab and keep your audience’s attention. Be sure you own the rights to the images you’re using – taking an image without permission or payment could result in copyright infringement and easily cost you over $1000.

Tell Your Story

We all know people tend to do business with people they know well. Let your audience feel like they know you by being available to them through your blog. By letting people in to your “real” life, you’re giving people an opportunity to relate to you on an emotional level. You don’t have to get deeply personal to tell a story. Tell your followers about a listing from your own perspective, write about how you got into real estate to begin with, or share info on a restaurant or business in the neighborhood you love. People will appreciate the chance to get to know you better.

Offer Value

Be sure that your content is both useful and original. In the examples above, the content is useful because it allows your audience to know who you are. You can continue offering value by giving helpful tips, interviewing local business owners, feature trendy areas, and more. Don’t blog for the sake of blogging – blog to be a resource to your followers.

Don’t Get Upset If Your Phone Doesn’t Ring Off The Hook

Sales are great – but we can all spot an insincere salesperson from a mile away. You won’t win any business by pushing the hard sell in blogging. In fact, it’s a quick way to lose your audience. Make your goal to get engagements. These can be in the form of comments, shares, or likes on social media. This kind of engagement encourages visibility on your social media platforms, putting you in front of new potential clients with a chance to build relationships and credibility. Engagement leads to sales. It may take a little bit of time, but the connections you’ll make are more than worth it.