Photo: Updraw Illustration Library
Real estate is a competitive business. Sometimes the biggest deals happen when you find the right client and the right property at the right time. These perfect storms are tough to find, especially when dealing with luxury real estate. But you can increase the number of opportunities for the perfect deal with effective marketing.
Marketing plays an instrumental role in the real estate business. When a client is ready to sell or buy a home, you want your business to be on their mind. Marketing will keep you in touch with current and potential clients, but staying salient for a potential home buyer is tough. Often homeowners are swamped with different media and advertisements. Direct marketing is a tested tool to keep your business ready to pounce on a potential client or deal.
Direct mail marketing sounds simple, right? But it may be more difficult than you think. A good direct mail marketing campaign in real estate requires a consist marketing strategy, effective targeting, good timing and persistence.
Most important, your mail campaign has to fit your business. The scale or your business, the type of properties you sell and the type of clients you serve all matter in making a marketing campaign. Make sure your marketing fits the aesthetics of your company and the goals of the campaign. For example, you may want to use mail marketing to recruit more clients or to more deeply engage with current clients by showing them new listings or deals that you may offer. Make sure to set the goals of your campaign so you do not waste resources, money and time on a campaign that doesn't fit your business goals.
Shoot for the Target
Now that you have a marketing strategy, you need to think about targeting. Basically, make a list. The size of your audience depends on the goals of the campaign. Regardless of the size of your audience, you need to target the right kind of consumer. You want to make sure you are sending mail to clients that would be able to buy in your price range. This means doing research about different neighborhoods and average incomes in target areas. Once you know the interests of your intended audience, you should tailor your campaign to their anticipated real estate needs. One of the worst things you can do during a marketing campaign is send out mailers en masse. Sending to customers that will have no interest in your services wastes your company's resources and will cheapen your brand.
Focus on Timing
Next, decide how to time your mailings. Maybe you want to send a monthly newsletter with company updates and new listings. Perhaps you want to target homeowners right before the prime moving season. Maybe you just want to send a friendly holiday card. Your direct marketing strategy needs timed mailings that fit your strategic goals, whether you are trying to recruit new clients or foster client loyalty. Timing also means not flooding people's mailboxes — this will drive them away. This may require some trial and error based on your client base, but try to strike a balance. Keep your business on the client's mind without feeling like an intrusion.
Finally, don't give up easily. Response rates may be slow at first as your marketing campaign gains momentum. Give yourself time for your strategy to flourish. And, if it's not working, try tweaking your campaign before abandoning it. Maybe try different types of materials, or something else that you think will catch the customer's eye. More than ever these days, customer's attention is valuable. Put something in their hands that can compel them.
You know your business best. So it's important to make sure your marketing campaign fits with your business's ambitions. If you want to learn more about developing your strategic real estate business plan, putting it into action, or fleshing it out with innovative marketing strategies, take a class with some of the best real estate experts around.