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30 October 2014

Making the Most of Less Hectic Times

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In marketing, as in life, it’s easier to address major projects when you have a baseline of go-to resources available to you. As a real estate professional, the amount of work you need to address on a daily basis is staggering. You can save time and energy by using slower times in your business to enhance your marketing resources, community knowledge, and expert network. Create a strong bank of content, photographs, and community knowledge ready to be used when time is of the essence.

A Content Treasure Trove
Social Content: Many real estate professionals want to get more involved in social media, but have difficulty finding the time and energy to push out enough content to keep their stream current and interesting.

Of course, a good social media strategy is a mix between of-the-moment thoughts and observations and evergreen content that you can write during a slow period and save for a busier time. Insights for first-time buyers about the real estate transaction, tips for sellers, certain community information, reviews of local establishments, school insights and the like are all content you can create—in short (post) or long (blog) form—and stockpile for later.

Professional Marketing: Take the time to build, polish and refine a set of words, phrases and messages that describe you as a professional. Do you have a strong description about your experience, curated insights about your service philosophy and business approach, as well as hard-hitting marketing language about you as a professional? If not, get cracking! These are some of the most important assets you will have in your marketing arsenal.

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During a slow period, take the time to write them thoughtfully and expertly. They can be used to enhance your listing presentation as well as your professional talk track, or elevator pitch. They can also be used for social, online or print advertising, content for your website, and any other channel through which you market yourself.

We call it a “messaging strategy.” Every brand has one. You, as a brand, need one, too. It saves time and ensures you are being consistent and impactful in everything you do.

Impactful Photography and Video: Use this time to take professional-looking photos of parks, shopping and dining areas, and other important hallmarks of your community that you can use for social, on your website, and in your marketing materials.  Call past clients and ask for references—video and written—which will make your content and marketing even stronger.

Take the time to fill in the blanks with references you don’t have yet, so you can be sure to have third-party reinforcement of all of the types of transactions you handle, and all of the demographics of buyers and sellers you serve.

Build Your Knowledge Base
Things change in neighborhoods and communities all of the time. Because you are so busy working leads, prospecting and selling, sometimes you may not have enough time to dedicate to the other, equally important part of your job: being the definitive expert on the communities and neighborhoods in which you do business.

When business hits a little lull or when you are in between projects, go out and do some good old-fashioned community reconnaissance.  Drive around to get a firm grasp of routes and traffic impacts to and from key neighborhoods to key areas of your community.  Make sure you are up-to-date on the latest and greatest happenings in your local schools (new teachers, new improvement projects, program or curriculum changes, parent feedback).  Eat at the newest restaurants and be able to recommend them later to your clients.  Check out the cool new coffee shops or women’s’ boutiques.

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Form working relationships with a stable of professionals—contractors, electricians, plumbers, interior designers—who can be your SWAT team in the event a house you are showing or a listing needs some TLC to move. These connections are also valuable to educate you on the ins and outs of common improvement projects. They also are extremely valuable if you need to give buyers advice on who to call to help them with renovations once they buy the home.  Taking the time to learn a little bit about what home improvement costs (even directional knowledge) by walking some listings with some of these experts will position you later as an expert yourself to potential buyers or sellers.

Marketing is like having a great wardrobe—you want all of the classics and go-to pieces hanging in your closet, just waiting for you to pluck them out, put them on, and wow everyone around you.  Use your schedule ebbs and flows to your advantage.  Treat the cultivation and curation of your marketing assets—content and knowledge–as a strategy to help supercharge your business and service delivery when things get really busy.

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