Slow days are coming (spoken in my best Game of Thrones-style voice). Days when buyers and sellers would rather be doing their holiday shopping, entertaining guests or going to holiday parties than helping you meet your real estate marketing goals.
Unless you squirreled away leads and showings for the days – weeks – months of the year when they are not as plentiful as others, sooner or later the holiday season slow down is going to hit. When it does, here are four things you can do to lay a foundation for busier days ahead.
The Paragon Real Estate Group “Seasonality and the Real Estate Market” chart below provides a visual that demonstrates just how dramatic a seasonal real estate slump can be. The drastic decrease in the number of new home listings available and the disappearance of property buyers who are eager to make an offer creates the perfect storm, leaving you with little to do but wait out the holiday season and hope for a nice bounce back early in the New Year.
image: paragon-re.com/Seasonality and the Real Estate Market
At the busiest of times, few realtors have the luxury of turning business away. Each new home buyer or home seller that comes your way represents not only a sale today, but the potential for repeat sales over time, as well as valuable referrals. When the market is slow and property buyers and sellers take a break from their real estate search to focus on other activities, it’s the perfect time for you to amp up your marketing and position your real estate office to attract more new leads when the housing or commercial property market heats up again.
4 Real Estate Marketing Tasks that Can Speed Up Slow Selling Seasons
Time to dust off your old files and reach out to former clients. Per NAHB.org studies, more than 25% of first time home buyers will move to a near home within 5 years of purchasing their first home (presumably, many of these will be trade-up buyers). If one in four buyers can be expected to make another move within a few years of utilizing your services, that’s a lot of potential repeat business to be had.
You should also be reaching out to old clients on a regular basis for referrals. When things are especially slow you may also be able to spark more referrals by extending rewards or holding a contest for who can send you the most referrals (that convert) in a given period of time with an exceptional grand prize.
Slow days present a perfect opportunity to catch up on activities you may have been putting off, including updating your print and digital marketing pieces. From your professional bio to your social networks, website or brochures, it’s important to remember two things.
One, everything obsolesces. Phone numbers, fax numbers, email addresses, street addresses, photos – there are any number of small details which can get missed. It’s important to review your marketing collateral on a regular basis to ensure that everything is up to date.
Second, people ignore what they’ve seen before (our brains are wired that way). On the flip side, the human brain is also wired to notice what it perceives as new information. Sometimes making simple visual updates to your social profile, website and blog, email newsletter, business card, brochures or other marketing pieces makes all the difference in getting people to sit up and take note.
Now that you’ve got everything polished up, you need to put it on display. From your agency’s indoor and outdoor signage to your social networks, website and blog, you need to be constantly displaying content (text) and visuals that help your ideal client types find you.
In particular, you need to ‘display’ your services or agency using website content. Having web site content and blog articles that are optimized (infused with key phrases that prospects would type into a search engine when looking for services like yours) is the only way you can give your realty agency a chance of getting found online. Seasonal slowdowns provide you with a perfect opportunity to write content for your website or blog that will help your ideal buyer (or ideal seller) find your business.
For instance, let’s say you have just listed a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home for sale in a typical residential development. While you may get some traction from directory listings, you are also competing with every other 3 bedroom home in the directory in the city. That could mean hundreds of home listings that buyers have to sift through before they find yours.
However, by using content, you can write a dedicated page of content (500-600 words, which is only about half the length of this article!) about the home as an article on your blog, including key phrases such as 3 bedroom homes for sale in (your city), homes for sale in (name of development or neighborhood), homes for sale near (local school name), etc. In your content, simply incorporate the type of phrases that prospective buyers commonly type into a search engine when looking for a house like the one you have listed.
Buyers who find your page in their search listings will arrive on your site and immediately see what you want them to see. Don’t forget to include photos as well, so that they’ll have not only the basic information you list about the home and its amenities but compelling visuals as well. The great thing about using content this way is that you’re not competing for prospective buyers’ attention like you would be if you only list homes for sale in directories like the MLS, Trulia, Zillow, or even corporate real estate directories.
Last but not least, you can spend time during seasonal lulls preparing and practicing for when things heat up again. Using the 2015 Marketing Calendar for Real Estate, you can prepare blog and web content for future publication that is likely to interest your target markets, and schedule out social media posts using a free tool like Hootsuite.
You can work on your presentation skills and write up a list of trial closing and closing questions so that when you’re working with buyers or sellers, you can identify buying signals and know when the time is right to close the deal.
You can set up a series of email campaigns that can be triggered automatically when someone subscribes to your blog or completes a contact form to get more information about your services (commonly called a “drip” campaign as it provides a regular, recurring communication with prospects meant to help them progress through the buying cycle).
There’s No Such Thing as a Slow Day in Real Estate Anymore
Once upon a time there were slow days in the real estate game, because realtors waited on buyers or sellers to come to them – but not now. Now real estate pros can take their futures – and fortunes – into their own hands and use slow days to execute low-cost, high-yield marketing tactics to help grow more quickly when things heat back up after the holiday season is over.
Own It: 2015 Marketing Calendar for Real Estate Pros provides a day-to-day guide that can help you step up your game and carve out your own digital real estate, so that more of your ideal client types will find you, your services, your agency or the properties you have to sell. The tactics laid out in the calendar are the same ones that I’ve used to generate up to 250% increases in year over year web traffic, qualified leads that turned into buyers. For about the cost of lunch, you can have the formula, laid out on a 2015 calendar that takes the guess work out of real estate marketing!
Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if you have a question or just want to say hello – Elizabeth