With a passion for real estate and a license under your belt, you’re ready to kickstart your career as a realtor. But in a highly competitive field, you need to be prepared to set yourself apart from your equally bright-eyed colleagues. As with most careers, the first couple of years in your new life as a real estate agent will be full of ups and downs as you navigate what works and what doesn’t.
The new wave of technologies and tools available to realtors means that effective marketing methods have changed. It is not unlikely to see realtors adopting new marketing trends, replacing newspaper ads with Facebook ads and flyers with Instagram.
Here are five tips on how to market your brand:
Be Personable and Professional on Your Socials
Buying a home is a daunting task – especially for those who have no idea how to go about it. As a real estate agent, you need to be approachable in order to start building client relationships that will last. Take advantage of big social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to communicate with your audience and promote yourself.
Choose two or three socials to focus your efforts in, as anything more is overkill and would become repetitive. Set aside some time to construct these posts (but not to the point of spamming) and use scheduling features such as the one on Facebook to manage when you want to post.
Examples of content ideas to share include:
- Listings (current and past)
- Testimonials from former clients
- Articles relating to real estate, development or interior design
- Blog posts of your own experience
- The occasional post about good news in your life (professional or personal)
Jump on social media trends if relevant, and keep in mind that some content fair better depending on the platform you’re using. Instagram is heavily-based on visuals, so use eye-catching photos or graphics for your posts while Twitter is a good channel for opinions and immediate news. Remember to avoid getting too friendly, as at the end of the day you want to maintain a certain level of professionalism.
Make a Mobile-Friendly Portfolio
While social media platforms are useful for creating an image for yourself, an online portfolio can delve into details and offer potential home buyers an easy way to learn more about you. Smartphones are a convenient way for people to look up websites on-the-go and gives all the more incentive to adopt a mobile-friendly site. Websites built on Wix and Squarespace for example, have mobile-optimized versions that can better user experience.
When designing your portfolio, keep it simple to avoid over-crowding your site with information. Some popular trends lean towards minimalism, illustrated touches, and data visualization. If you’re not confident in managing your site, it doesn’t hurt it enlist the help of a professional who is able to design your portfolio.
Unlike your socials, use your website to refer contacts, run blog posts and go into extensive information about your listings. You want to make sure that some form of contact sits in the header or footer of your site, as well on all your social media accounts, saving potential clients the hassle of searching for it themselves.
Get Google Analytics
Spending all your efforts into maintaining social media accounts and a functioning website without knowing what is pulling leads can be hard. By installing Google Analytics on your website, you can track all information relating to the content on your website over time.
This tool allows for you to see what posts are garnering more attention and which ones aren’t fairing so well. Even knowing how long people are spending on your site can give you the information needed to keep improving your site.
Build a Referral System
Aside from friends and families, a significant part of a realtor’s job is to network with people. A good amount of referrals can come from connections that you build with other professionals. Aside from buyers and sellers, you may also be working with loan officers, mortgage brokers, inspectors, cleaners, or renovation contractors. Exchange contacts with people you work with asking for referrals or agreeing on a give-and-take situation.
It also doesn’t hurt to have a referral system on hand for when a client asks for advice. You should also review your sources occasionally, so that your name doesn’t get linked to a bad experience.
Look for Learning Opportunities
While also applicable to established real estate agents, new agents especially should be on the lookout for new opportunities to learn. When you’re just starting out, you want to make up what you lack in experience, with expertise. Keep an eye out for training workshops at your brokerage and reach out to senior agents who have had their share of experiences in the market.
Most major cities hold an annual conference regarding real estate investment and developments. For example, MLS listings in Vancouver are covered by Vancouver Real Estate Forum, and similarly, MLS listings in Calgary are covered by the Calgary Real Estate Forum.
Remember that building a brand and reputation for yourself takes time and a lot of effort. But as long as you plan ahead and prepare for challenges, you’ll be in for a rewarding career!