Spend Your Real Estate Marketing Budget Wisely
Realtors, home mortgage lenders, title company agents and other real estate professionals all face the unique challenge of needing to constantly refill the customer pipeline in order to survive, let alone thrive. Given the high cost of traditional advertising, spending the real estate marketing budget there may not be the best idea. Traditional paid advertising and marketing can produce leads; however, you have to keep spending money in order to keep filling the pipeline.
Mastering today’s inbound real estate marketing tactics can keep costs down and provide you with a renewable source of new leads when it comes to home buyers, sellers, and builders. It’s not how much you spend but how you spend your real estate marketing budget that counts. Here are nine real estate marketing tactics that you can incorporate into you plan, no matter the size of your budget.
Attract Home Buyers and Sellers with 9 Real Estate Marketing Budget Options
1. Web Content for Engagement and SEO – From $0
Search optimized web content should be the hub of any real estate marketing plan. Without “evergreen” search friendly website and blog content, you must spend money to attract home buyers and sellers every time you need to fill the pipeline. Engaging, search-optimized website content can live forever, helping you attract local home sellers and home buyers over and over again.
Free: Write it yourself. If you enjoy writing and have time to create new content every week, you can research keywords and write engaging website content every week with only the investment of time.
From $100+ per week*: Hire it out. Hiring content writers who understand local search, your objectives and know how to research keywords and write search engine optimized content can help you fast-track your client acquisition and pipeline building marketing activities.
2. Social Media – From $0
Social media updates aren’t just effective at engaging people on the network, they have search value as well. When you contacts are signed into social networks and perform an online search, your social posts may also be displayed in search results right alongside other web content. This can help ensure you get found when people you know are thinking of buying or selling, since they’ll be reminded that they already know a great agent to work with.
Free: Do it yourself. Use Hootsuite.com to connect up to 3 social media accounts so that you can plan out and schedule social posts to go out on a regular basis throughout the week:
- Twitter – as many as you like and repeat posts at different times/days
- Facebook – 2-3 posts a day and it’s ok to repeat interesting updates on different times and days
- Google+ – whatever you post on Facebook, post here – seven out of every ten online searches occur on Google – leverage this network to ensure that your search-optimized posts can show up online in social search results
You should also plan to use Pinterest and Instagram to feature image-based updates, including content you’re sharing that has good feature and article imagery. You can automate posting to Instagram; however, you’ll still have to log in on a mobile device and share the posts manually, and you’ll need to pin to Pinterest manually as well.
From $125 per Week*: Hire it out. As you can see, coming up with all that content for social sharing will take time. If your time is more valuably spent in other parts of your business or marketing then outsourcing to social media marketing specialists like ours may be ideal. Not only do we know how to source appropriate, non-competing content in addition to the content you’re publishing yourself, we know how to write social updates effectively across networks for engagement and online search value.
3. Paid Ads on Apps and Real Estate Platforms – From $25
Facebook sponsored posts and ads can help you reach and connect with home buyers and sellers and as a real estate marketing budget line item goes, can be done effectively, even on a very small budget. Options for real estate marketing paid ads and sponsored updates include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest as well as real estate specific platforms like Zillow, Trulia, and others. Knowing where your target audiences “are” online is key to knowing where to invest advertising dollars, as is having a way to track results so that you can prove effectiveness.
From $25: Manage it yourself with the investment of time and start with a $25 budget using Facebook sponsored posts and ads. Concentrate on one goal at a time, such as reaching home buyers in your area, reaching home sellers in your area, or sponsoring a post featuring a listing you are trying to sell, etc. The more focused your message and the better you get at segmenting and targeting specific local audiences on Facebook, the more likely your sponsored posts are to generate new business or help you sell homes.
From $125 per Month*: Hire it out. Let our social marketing team help you find and engage target audiences on social networks. We can start small and work up, or take over management of your social media marketing activities across channels, especially if they are becoming cumbersome for your team to manage, take up too much time, or you feel that results and your return on investment should be better.
4. Marketing Collateral – From $0
Real estate marketing collateral isn’t just about having a great business card design or flyers to help you sell homes. Today, real estate marketing collateral includes every visual and audio element used to represent your agency or yourself as a real estate marketing professional: business cards, flyers, folders, website, blog, stationery, email stationery, email newsletter design, etc.
Free: Do it yourself. There are many platforms that enable you to design real estate marketing collateral effectively without any special training or software needed, from business cards to flyers, websites, blogs, email newsletters and more. You’ll just need to invest time and creativity as you work to build a cohesive stable of real estate marketing collateral you can use to grow your business.
Hourly Rate or Retainer*: Hire it out. Our team can help you complete your real estate marketing collateral line up or help you build one from the ground up. We can work with you for a set fee, on a hourly billing basis or on a monthly retainer, helping you not only create your real estate marketing tools but helping you use them effectively, too.
5. Training, Education, Resources, Classes and Conferences – From $0
Many real estate-affiliated companies hold free classes and training workshops for realtors. For instance, last month we conducted a free real estate marketing class which was hosted by The Fornerette Team at Guild Mortgage-Tacoma. They generally host from one to several free realtor trainings every month. Home loan mortgage lenders, title companies, and real estate agencies themselves often offer free training and classes for other real estate pros.
Another option for getting real estate marketing training is to find a mentor or coach who is willing to share their expertise with you either as a give-back or gesture of goodwill (such as someone you know who is willing to mentor you) or to pay an expert to coach or mentor you for a period of time as you learn new skills.
Free: Reach out to local title companies, lenders, and agencies to find out about free classes and workshops. Go online to research real estate marketing ideas – most of today’s marketing tactics can be learned with just a few online searches and mouse clicks and the investment of time.
From $25*: We offer monthly $25 real estate marketing classes that include a webinar (attend in real time to ask questions and interact or listen online any time) and a monthly marketing calendar for the following month that teach real estate professionals how to capitalize on the most effective digital marketing tactics. We also conduct team workshops and can provide training to individuals or groups on an hourly or fee basis.
Other options for paid training including buying e-books and real books, videos, and other resources from sites like Amazon.com as well as real estate marketing experts. You can also hire a local expert for coaching sessions on a weekly, bi-monthly or monthly basis to cover a given set of topics over time. There are also local and national conferences, such as the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders) and International Builders’ Show® where experts come together and from which you can absorb a large amount of helpful knowledge and information over the course of a few hours or a few days.
6. Strategy and Planning – From $0
If your marketing has largely been done day to day in a one-and-done or listing-by-listing basis, investing time in creating a real strategy and workable real estate marketing plan should be high up on your priority list. Short and long range strategies help you focus on what’s most important, instead of just throwing marketing up against the wall and hoping something sticks. If you don’t start with goals, your marketing isn’t going to get you where you want to go! From strategy, you can then develop the working plans that lay out the path you’ll take to get from where you are to where you want to be as a realtor or real estate marketing professional.
Free: Invest time and learn how to write a formal business plan, or formal short and long range strategic plan. From there, invest time in writing the tactical plans that will help you achieve your goals – and then implement them.
One-Time Fee, Hourly Billing or Retainer Basis*: We have experience writing long range strategic plans and we also do workshops where we can walk you or your whole team through the strategic planning process over the course of a few days (or a few weekly sessions). Not only can this be invaluable to actually helping you “do” marketing that actually works well to help you attract home buyers and home selliers and meet specific goals, it’s also a great team building exercise. There’s nothing more effective at garnering team buy in and understanding as when everyone participates in the training and gets a chance to contribute ideas.
7. Events, Contests and Giveaways – From $25
Look, it’s a proven fact that people like to win things! Even a $25 gift card for Starbucks, a local restaurant, or a home décor store like Pier 1 can help you extend your reach on social networks, generate growth to the number of social followers and email subscribers you have, get people to come to open houses and home buyer classes, and get people to take other actions you want them to take.
8. Networking, Clubs and Associations – From $0
Your city may already have business owner and professional networking groups that meet on a regular basis and give you the opportunity to reach out to potential home buyers and home sellers directly or by word of mouth referral. Investing only time, or time plus the cost of dues or membership fee, you can join any number of local organizations like business networking groups, Rotary, Chamber of Commerce or Real Estate Professional networking groups.
9. Digital Marketing Tools – From $8 per month
From $0: To do email marketing, you need an email marketing hosting provider. MailChimp lets you start for free, and move to paid email marketing plans only when the size of your network grows. Starting with their lowest paid plan might be smarter, since it gives you access to analytics and automation tools the free starter plan does not. As an added benefit, it has ready made templates that are super-easy to brand and use.
From $0: Automate social posting using HootSuite or a similar platform. Upgrade to a paid account to add multiple social media profiles and make it easy to execute a sophisticated, multi-channel posting strategy.
From $7.99 per month: Get a hosted, managed WordPress Website on 1and1.com and work from a free template to customize your own website or to use as a blog for search-optimized content you need to attract online search visitors.
*Cost reflects our starting prices
Of course, we would love to be part of your story!
From helping you choose and set up marketing tools to helping you craft an effective real estate marketing plan and executing the plan with you or on your behalf, we have many ways to plug in that start at a low fee or monthly retainer.
The first step is often the hardest, so reach out to us with your questions or to request a quote for any or all of the real estate marketing services we provide.