Being a real estate agent is a constant grind of finding new clients. The tricky part about the industry is most client relationships are short term. That is, in residential real estate, most agent-client relationships last only for one or two transactions — buying a home, selling a home, or buying and selling a home.
This churn nature of the industry is what makes it so important for real estate agents to constantly be seeking new clients. The key, of course, is to be in the right place at the right time — when a potential client is ready to buy and/or sell a home. But the challenge is that even if you put yourself in that situation, the competition is likely to be very high among other real estate agents to land that client.
Nowadays, it’s easy for people to go online and quickly get a list of real estate agents in their area. So, how can real estate agents stand out among their competition and improve their engagement with potential clients?
Here are five ways they can do so.
1. Become a member of the community
How homes are bought and sold, and who they are bought and sold to, has a huge impact on the community. That’s why one of the best ways for a real estate agent to improve engagement with potential clients is to establish a foothold in the local area.
In addition to direct advertising through traditional means, real estate agents should establish connections in the community in more indirect ways. This could include:
- Joining the local business association and networking with other lenders in the community
- Hosting charity drives and/or other fundraisers for local nonprofits
- Sponsoring a local youth sports team or league
- Manning a booth at local festivals and other community events
These are all tactics real estate agents can take to brand themselves in a non-direct way to the local community.
2. Establish solid relationships with current clients
Real estate is all about relationships. That’s why it’s so important for real estate agents to make a good impression on their current clients. Doing so will not only help you complete the buying and/or selling or your current clients’ home; it will help establish a good referral network, too.
If you make a good impression on your current clients, it’s likely they will recommend you to their friends, family members, and other members of their personal and professional network. Your current and past clients can serve as some of the best advocates and lead generators for you, because they will have a direct experience with you.
The key to doing this, though, isn’t just finding your clients a good deal when they’re buying a home or selling their home for top dollar. It’s also about treating each as if they’re your one and only client. People love it when they feel they are your top priority, when you make it seem you’ll drop everything to answer their call, respond to their email, and be proactive about their needs.
The marketing shouldn’t stop when the transactional relationship ends, though. Most real estate agents will give their clients a generic gift when the sale and/or purchase of their home is completed. Take this a step further by throwing your clients a housewarming party at their new home or creating a guide for the top things to do in their new neighborhood.
3. Market yourself in unconventional ways
Real estate agents are very familiar with the traditional methods of advertising. Who hasn’t seen billboards, signs on buses and park benches, and advertisements in newspapers and on TV stations touting someone as “the most trusted real estate agent” in the region? While these are all effective ways to get the word out, it’s essential you market yourself in what were once unconventional methods.
Instead of highlighting claims that you are the most trustworthy real estate agent, that you give your clients the most attention, or list your most recently sold homes, try branding yourself as an expert with content marketing. This is an effective tool to brand yourself in a non-direct way by establishing yourself as an expert in the field.
This could include creating an email newsletter where you write weekly blogs that include tips on things related to real estate that do not directly tout your skills as an agent. Examples of this could include:
- Tips on how to decorate your home for the holidays
- Ways to brighten up your living room
- How to set up a nursery
- Creative ideas for tackling a DIY backyard project
You could also delve into topics more directly related to buying and/or selling homes, such as:
- How staging your home could return top dollar
- How local comps affect the selling price of a home
- How to set yourself apart from other buyers with creative mortgage programs
- How to increase the curb appeal of your home
- The top 10 tips for finding a great deal when buying a home
Creative content is a great way to increase engagement with potential clients through soft marketing tactics.
4. Create highly-targeted digital advertising campaigns
The top research tool for both buyers and sellers are online real estate sites such as Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and Redfin. This is where most people will initially go to find homes they’d like to purchase, do research on a town, and see what other homes in their neighborhood are selling for.
This provides a wonderful opportunity to engage with people who would be considered strong leads. Today, there are a plethora of digital marketing options. Not only can you purchase display advertising on popular real estate websites and on the Google advertising network, you can also:
- Create re-marketing campaigns that target people who browsed real estate listings in the past
- Set up automatic lead generation and response programs on social media
- Create a white paper on the top tips for finding a home online and use it to collect email addresses for a weekly newsletter
In addition, you could partner with a local lender to share the cost of this online marketing and establish a referral network at the same time.
5. Establish a relationship with a mortgage company
One of the most effective ways for a real estate agent to increase engagement with potential clients is to establish a good relationship with a trusted mortgage company. Doing so can significantly increase your sales pipeline and serve as a mutually beneficial business relationship.
Most buyers will finance the purchase of their home, and will therefore require the services of both a real estate agent (to find them a home to purchase) and a mortgage professional (to finance the purchase of the home). Establishing a solid relationship with a trusted local mortgage professional will serve as yet another way to add more leads to your pipeline.
When buyers go to qualify for a home loan, their mortgage professional can refer them to you as a top real estate agent. Conversely, if buyers seek you out first to serve as their real estate agent, you can refer them to this mortgage professional if they haven’t already decided on a financing company.
The key is not only establishing a solid relationship, but doing so with a trusted mortgage company that will take care of your potential clients, as they will serve as third-party representatives of your brand as well.
At Embrace Home Loans, not only do we have more than 35 years of experience, but we set ourselves apart by taking care of our clients in a personal way and educating them about the best mortgage options available to them.
Contact us today at 888.907.6261 to find a local mortgage professional near you.