Over the years, things have changed quite a bit from using paper exclusively in real estate transactions to now the dominance of mobile devises for the same transactions.  So, it’s rather interesting that many agents still completely depend on physical mailings as their primary method of advertising.  Yes, we do know that mailings are still effective – to some degree and also costly.

According to the National Realty Association (NAR), approximately 40% of sales come from referrals. The question is – how are these referrals obtained and what advertising strategies are used to further galvanize additional referrals and sales?

Several weeks ago, while speaking with a REALTOR® about his marketing and sales strategies, he asked me what else could he do to increase his online exposure and gain access to a wilder audience with the aid of technology.  He said – “I’m in my early 50s and have little interest in online marketing but I know that I have to do that stuff.”

Curious to know why he felt compelled to engage into online marketing at this point, I probed him further about his timing, area(s) of focus, budget, etc.  He stated quite frankly that – 15 years ago when he became a real estate agent, he was the only real estate agent in his community.  Essentially, almost all referrals came his way – with little or no additional work.

Now, he says – “There are 10-20 agents in that same community and I’m not as relevant as I once was.”  He felt somewhat lost with no idea on how to deal in this technologically advanced real estate market – where the trend points to the use of more mobile devices and apps.

AgentRave.com is currently working with this real estate agent to improve his online presence and increase his referral based to become relevant again in his community.

In this article, I will discuss 8 online advertising ideas real estate agents can use to sell their services. Before I present a few of these real estate advertising tips, it it vital that I expand on the difference between advertising and marketing – given most real estate agents use these two terms interchangeably.

Think of advertising as the subset of marketing.  Market research, public relations, customer support, distribution, sales strategies, adverting – among others – are all part of marketing.  An advertising strategy is a subset of your entire marketing strategy.

Advertisement is defined as – Any paid form of non-personal presentation and promotion of ideas, goods or services through mass media such as newspapers, magazines, television or radio by an identified sponsor. (Principles of Marketing: Kotler, Armstrong, Saunders and Wong)

Essentially, when you advertise your real estate services, you are letting your audience know who you are and the value proposition. We intend to expand on this subject in subsequent articles. In the interim, here are 7 online advertising ideas for committed real estate agents:

  1. A credible online profile: Websites are important and valuable; however, a simple online profile on com, AgentRave.com or Facebook.com that displays your credentials, services, reviews and/or recommendations from past or current clients is extremely powerful and can get you great exposure. Make sure that these are organically nurtured rather than buying fake reviews or recommendations. Home buyers and sellers know the difference.
  2. Share your knowledge: Surprisingly, very few real estate agents blog or tweet about the experiences and lessons they’ve learned in the industry that could potentially help the general public. By sharing your knowledge, you are essentially offering the masses information that can potentially save them hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars.  Who wouldn’t want to gain access to such information.
  3. Use infographics: Infographics are graphical presentations of content to your audience. For example, with a few infographics, you can explain why it’s important that your buyer moves quickly to buy home within the next 30-60 days while foot traffic is low.  Infographics also help real estate agents showcase trends in the real estate market with minimal effort.
  4. Video clips: Make a quick but informative video clip about your real estate services and your value proposition. Share the video with your audience and anyone who is willing to watch it. I don’t have to elaborate on the value of videos in today’s market.
  5. Google Adwords: Do you know – FOR CERTAIN – what exactly homebuyers and sellers search for when the search for a real estate agent or REALTOR®? Do they enter “find a real estate agent in my zip code?” The answer is, less than 50 people a month type in that exact phrase in Google.  Google Adwords provides awesome analytics that lets you understand exactly how homebuyers and sellers search for real estate professionals like yourself.  You then create ad(s) to display your services.  Believe it or not, you can create an ad for under $10 per month with strategic keywords.
  6. Offer something of value for free on your website or social media profile: A typical real estate transaction on a $200k home sale may yield a real estate agent ~$6,000. Use a small portion of your commission check to purchase a tablet to give away for free on your website to folks interested in joining your mailing list – for example.  For instance, I believe the Amazon Kindle Fire is only $39.00.  You could get good leads if you offer to give one of these away for free on your site.
  7. Useful templates: Create useful templates and/or spreadsheets – i.e., sample settlement statement with common mistakes made by buyers and sellers. This could be a useful template a home buyer or seller could use as reference in a real estate transaction.
  8. Email Marketing:  NO – NOT SPAMMING!!! Rather, I am referring to another form of ‘staying in touch’ with past clients.  The ideology that a real estate transaction is a one-time deal couldn’t be furthest away from the truth. Real estate agents should regard a transaction as a life-long relationship and should do everything possible to keep such relationship alive by sending past client updates on market trends, population growth, school district rating adjustments, etc.  A simple email system or a robust mailing list can accomplish this.

AgentRave.com was created to help home buyers and sellers select the right real estate agent in their area.  On AgentRave, all real estate agents get a profile with detail information about the real estate agent; including real estate agent’s contact information, zip codes of focus, license number, neighborhoods of focus, property specialization, hobbies, etc.

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