I’m not a real estate agent. I don’t know all the ins and outs of closing deals. I haven’t been the person who has guided first time homebuyers through the adventure of finding a new home. And I haven’t coached sellers through the details of getting a house show-ready.
However, I’ve talked with several real estate agents about their work. From my perspective, there are two main marketing jobs that need to be done in residential real estate.
- How do you become the first person people that potential homebuyers call when they start looking at homes?
- How do you show your listings so that the right homebuyers connect with the story of that house and want to make it their own?
So how can we get to the place of being “top of mind?” And how should we present homes?
My suggestion? Be helpful and invest in storytelling. That is the strategy.
Be helpful: Genuinely care. Have empathy. Be generous.
Storytelling: What is unique about this house, it’s history, the previous owners? What is special about the neighborhood, the street, the schools, the community? What are ways to create conversation around this property in a fun and engaging way?
Medium: Video, audio, written posts, customer service, creating in-person experiences. There is a wide range of mediums that you could use. Figure out which ones are best for you.
Here are a few specific ideas for tactics.
- Use Social (Instagram/Facebook to start) to tell stories. The first thing that may come to mind is showing the house. And yes, that could be a great start. Show the house, record a video of yourself in front of it or in it and share the unique properties. If there is something fun or different, you can do a quick clip just showing that. You can find a unique quirky thing that you use to introduce a home. For example, if you’re a singer and are willing to be goofy, you could do a bathroom acoustics test where you sing a short clip in the largest bathroom of the homes you list. Yes, it’s fun and different, but you’re creating conversation about the home! Hashtag the neighborhood or local area.
- Does your brokerage have a conference room? Make it available for others to use – community groups, churches, and other businesses. Become a resource for others. How can you be even more generous with them? Keep it stocked with coffee and snacks. And do this all free of charge.
- Add a twist to your open house. Have a special home? Instead of a regular open house, what if you add a something more? Is there a local musician or artist you know? You could host a living room concert or make it an art gallery event in addition to a showing of the house. Love Pinterest and crafts? Make it a craft party!
- Become a Google local guide.
- The local guides program is still being developed, so some of the benefits are still unforeseen. However, they have been rolling out new features that benefit people who want to be connectors in a local area.
- It can also be used as a conversation starter with local businesses, especially when it’s a business that you’re impressed with and left a higher review for. You’re creating the relationship with them as a person connecting them to their customers and potential customers. For example, “I’m a realtor and also Google local guide. I left a 5 star review for you. Here is what impresses me about your business….”
- Name recognition. If you use your real name on your guide profile, it will eventually build your brand recognition. Especially since if it’s the same as your business name.
- Profile pic. If you have a shirt with your business name on it, it will additionally tie back to what you do.
- Waterstamp your images. You can get an app that will let you put a small waterstamp in the corner of the photo. Very small and discreet is best. Link to a personal about page.
- Answer phone within 2 rings.
- Host a round table meeting about specific business topics
- Join the Facebook group for a specific local neighborhood that you serve. Try to simply be helpful and answer questions surrounding the neighborhood and questions that people have.
- Start a podcast that gets to know local businesses, business owners, and people in the community.
- VLOG. A video blog can be helpful, tell stories, and build a connection with the folks you want to serve.
- Team up with other professionals to give tips in various media surrounding family life or home ownership. Possible topics could be how to adjust to schools, cooking meals, lawn care, or local dives.
- Start a hyperlocal website that goes in depth on the places and people in the local community.
- Give tips for first time homebuyers.
If you’re a real estate professional, there is a good chance you’ve thought of several of these already. A great opportunity (and sometimes feels daunting) is that we have so many ways to create genuine connections with others and be helpful.