Top 7 Marketing Mistakes Real Estate Agents Make: What a twist!
In March’s “Marketing & Branding Month” we’ll be detailing agent branding and spending best practices at Zillow, Realtor.com, and more. Top CMOs from leading firms also drop by to share their latest tactics. And to round off this themed month, Inman is introducing a brand new set of awards for industry leaders in branding and marketing called Marketing All-Stars.
As a real estate professional looking to stay ahead of the competition, solid marketing tactics are your lifeblood. On the contrary, bad marketing is at best a weak customer deterrent.
As if I was planning this, I received a terrible postcard in the middle of writing this article from a local real estate agent. With over six fonts in use, a missing text size hierarchy, use of capital letters, mixed messaging, and a bunch of random colors, I immediately thought this postcard single-handedly proved the need for this article.
Marketing that pushes the target audience away is much worse than marketing without positive qualities. Although marketing should be done, it must be strategic, purposeful and professional. Here are seven key marketing twists you should avoid.
Negative Factor 1: There are no quality photos or 3D virtual tours in the listings.
Yes, you heard me, virtual 3D tours. What was once a luxury is now a must. Buyers don’t have time to waste, which is great because you can too. A 3D tour allows potential buyers to take a virtual tour of a property without having to show it in person. The old adage is true: time is money.
There is no need to physically inspect each property once the technology has effectively qualified the buyer. Give buyers access by providing as much visual information as possible, including high-quality photos, 3D virtual tours, floor plans, and even a tour recorded on a mobile phone and posted by you on YouTube.
Nothing keeps buyers away from a potential home like bad images. In the previous market, houses were sold before they were photographed, but that excuse doesn’t work today. Don’t rely on just a few photos or unprofessional shots taken with your phone.
Make sure your phone rings by providing buyers with quality photos, a 3D tour, a recorded walkthrough, and even a floor plan if possible. After all, a good picture is worth a thousand words.
Drawback 2: Poorly written listing description that lacks details.
Suppose you are like most agents; then sitting down to write the description of the listing is like writing a two-page, single-spaced report on the sleep patterns of the green turtle beetle. Instead of staring at a blank screen, you make the mistake of capitalizing multiple sentences with too many exclamation marks.
After all, getting a house in MLS as quickly as possible will lead to better results, right? Wrong. Homebuyers don’t want to waste time visiting a home they’re not even 80 percent sure will suit them. An illustrative home description helps buyers fill in the gaps in the images provided.
A compelling and informative home description can greatly influence a buyer’s decision to view a property, stimulating demand, which ultimately leads to a faster sale for a higher dollar amount. A good listing description tells a story, highlights unique features, and includes a call to action.
Trip 3: Always Sell, Never Be Authentic
Real estate agents need to understand that constantly being in sell mode can alienate home buyers and sellers. In today’s authentic world, real estate agents who aren’t authentic seem insincere and pushy. Agents must build relationships with their audience by providing valuable original content that offers value and solves problems.
By taking a more organic approach, you can establish yourself as a trusted expert and earn the trust of potential customers. Once that trust is established, targeted sales can be much more effective, resulting in higher commissions and more successful deals. Talking about your latest birding adventures will attract more potential customers than shouting about your new ad.
Disable 4: Ignore Online Reviews
Nothing says I don’t care like ignoring positive and negative reviews. Positive reviews can increase the credibility of a real estate agent, especially when they are responded to. Show clients that they care enough to leave positive feedback about how great it was to work with them and sincerely thank them for their words. This shows that you are listening, grateful and available.
Online reviews can have a significant impact on your reputation and ultimately your business as they increasingly become a powerful factor in the decision-making processes of potential customers (especially millennials and Gen Zers). Potential customers are more likely to leave if they stumble upon this negative review with no response, which is not worth the risk.
Agents who respond to negative feedback within 24 hours of receiving it demonstrate that they are available and willing to help customers, even those who are not satisfied. Potential clients want to know that you are ready to help them; show them, always responding to reviews.
Trip 5: Using social media as a billboard
Aside from sending me a horrible postcard that almost made my eyes water, one of the worst marketing infractions is using social media as an interstate billboard. Real estate agents often use social media to showcase their properties and services.
Here’s the big secret: it doesn’t work.
First, social networks should facilitate interaction with people, and not shamelessly advertise. Social media users want to avoid being flooded with ads and promotional content, especially if they can’t actively search for real estate services when they encounter such posts.
Regardless of the platform, you will be penalized for doing so; their job is to make sure all users are excited about the content they see, otherwise they get bored with the platform. If they see any sign that you are spamming, they will remove your messages from circulation and you will be left screaming alone.
Instead of turning off your leads, engage with them. Social media users are more likely to interact with informative, entertaining, or emotional content. So focus on creating valuable and engaging content that can capture your potential customers’ attention and provide them with useful information, rather than just promoting listings. Don’t be afraid to share personal stories, but do it professionally.
Trip 6: Cold Calling via TikTok
Real estate agents are very busy. Sorry. I do. However, if you tell me that you have time for two-hour cold calls, you have time for TikTok. Did you know that TikTok has become a popular platform for real estate agents to showcase their properties? Compared to cold calling, TikTok reigns supreme.
Agents using TikTok can create compelling video content that is easy to share and can use it to showcase a property’s unique features and even take a virtual tour to help shoppers better understand it. TikTok’s robust algorithm allows you to reach a much larger audience than you can over the phone.
The algorithm is designed to promote relevant and engaging content, making it much easier for agents to reach potential buyers interested in real estate. TikTok is valid not only for buyers in the marketplace, but also for sellers, which gives sellers information and builds trust before they decide to list their homes.
Agents must use the phone. But time is a scarce resource, and if TikTok is going to get more leads and your target audience is there, save time on cold calls. If your audience is older, cold calling can be the deciding factor.
Mistake 7: Unprofessional Marketing Materials
Here is one that needs no explanation. A poorly designed postcard, email, promotional brochure or any kind of marketing material is equivalent to shorts and flip flops at a formal event. Any marketing you produce reflects your brand; A poorly designed flyer, brochure, or website will give the impression that you need to take your job more seriously. This reflects badly on the experience, professionalism and level of commitment of the agent.
The only message that unprofessional marketing materials send is: “Stay away.” If you’re using amateur home advertising materials, expect fewer offers and fewer visitors. Since I’m playing the part with proverbs, let’s add that you get what you pay for.
Professional marketing materials communicate your message effectively, increase property value, and generate significant interest from your potential clients.
Show your potential customers that you’re committed, and as a bonus, outshine your competitors.
Bad marketing can turn off potential customers. I have outlined seven major twists and turns that are a problem for real estate professionals. As an agent, be careful that your marketing always works for you, not against you. By avoiding these mistakes, you can establish yourself as a trusted expert, build relationships with potential customers, and drive demand.
Laura Vignalet is the CEO of Keenability, a lifestyle marketing agency focused on high net worth consumers. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.