The number one key to getting business in the real ... sales market is to be people’s first contact. ... ... of ... last three surveys ... to 2003 said 66% of buye
The number one key to getting business in the real estate home sales market is to be people’s first contact. The National Association of Realtor’s last three surveys between 1999 to 2003 said 66% of buyers stayed with the first real estate agent they contacted yet only 6% of this number came from web sites. This number is rising as people become more comfortable finding their information on the Internet. There are three ways to show your uniqueness on the Internet: words, pictures, and interactive activities.
What is pulling prospects to visit your web site? You have the obvious -- strategic alliances with lenders, title reps, home inspectors, appraisers and attorneys. Here are ten ideas that aren't obvious.
1. Use balloons besides at the open house. Print an action slogan on the balloon along with your URL -- web site address. An action slogan is very important, otherwise people will not know what the URL is for. When attending an outdoor event, like a fair, carry them, place them on your children’s arm so you can find them, and hand them out. Take the balloons to the kids baseball games or other sports. If traveling with balloons is difficult, call the show’s event office and find out if there is going to be someone there with the equipment for balloon blowing. When you get there, give them a few dollars to blow a few up for you. You can order all sizes and balloon shapes: http://www.gopromos.com/store/category.asp?CL=101A1276A1292
2. On brochures add an action request, such as "Search all area homes for sale anytime." Or change "anytime" to "24/7". If you don't have this on your brochures, go to an office supply store and pick up some colorful Avery labels, or maybe you have some hanging around the office, and create them yourself. Also add your URL to that action request. Go ahead and use the stickers for a lock box action request, "If this house doesn't fit your needs, visit [URL] for a complete search of other homes in this area".
3. Home-For-Sale Signage. Does your for sale front lawn or directional signs for the open house have your web site address on them? If not, add them with along with an action request for all those not quite ready that are driving by, or for those that don't have the time to stop at that particular time.
4. Community bulletin boards. Grocery stores, libraries, community centers. Post your business cards at minimum. Create tear off tabs small flyers that fit within their requirements with an action request and your URL.
5. "Honk, if you want to sell your home" can be a bumper sticker or a clear sign for the side or rear top portion of the back window.
6. Glow in the dark banners, stickers and auto stickers. Home signage like: Visit [URL] for complete information on this property. Make it a glow in the dark for night time visual effectiveness.
7. What about the times that you don't have office duty? What about setting up a table for 3-4 hours outside the grocery stores. Add a nice table cloth, the balloons, and a large sign, "Ask me anything about buying a home." Or, "Ask us anything about selling a home." Switch approaches every few hours to see which one fits best. I don't suggest place both out there unless there are two of you. Create tee- shirts with the same action request along with the URL. Use a table covering that is the same color as the tee-shirt to help support your message and attractiveness.
8. Transit ads. What type of transportation is available in the areas you focus in? Is there massive transit like buses or metro? Don't forget taxi cabs, inside and out, as well as the taxi stands. Find out where their direct phone lines are. Sometimes, yet rare, you can place an Avery sticker next to. One sign works with well if you have this ability on your web site: "Take a virtual tour of our latest properties [URL]."
9. This one is something I dreamed up and it really works. Rig a button that people can press on the side of your car window that gives off a recording of the latest houses you available for sale. Then park in obvious places for people to see the button. Add a sign on the inside of the window giving them permission to press the button. Caution, this doesn't work with some car alarm systems.
10. Merchants. Where do you get your dry cleaning done? Hair cuts, massages, or other frequented stores. Do you have some favorite restaurants? Can you stock a business card holder by the cash register? As a previous owner of restaurants, the one I like best is when the real estate agent paid for part of or the whole cost of the menus. In exchange we allowed them to create some marketing information on the menus.
Testing is always important when trying new things. In selling real estate, uniqueness is the key. As said in the latest National Association of Realtors 2003 survey, most people perceive all real estate agents as being the same. But you know you aren't. Yet, how are you showing it? Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Create play and fun and stretch with your marketing. Let it be as unique as you are and then smile all the way to the bank.
Catherine Franz, business coach. Previously a real estate agent and exec with National Association of Realtors. Additional articles and ideas about marketing to attract business: http://www.abundancecenter.com Blog: http://abundance.blogs.com