When the goal is to grow a business, social media and digital marketing are extremely important, whether you’re an individual agent or a globe-spanning company.
There’s an influx of noise in the digital world right now, with consumers glued to screens for work, school, social networking and—based on the current market—searching for homes. For entrepreneurs, and especially real estate professionals, this means it’s imperative to find new and niche ways to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to advertising your services and brand, timing, performance and brand recognition make all the difference.
Create true and timely messaging
Here at RE/MAX HQ—and all around the RE/MAX network—we prioritize delivering the right message at the right time, staying flexible in a constantly evolving climate.
While we all continue to navigate life after one year of COVID-19, timely messaging involves being a comforting and trustworthy industry expert, while also helping clients understand the upsides and downsides of this market.
The ways in which you promote yourself can vary, but regardless of the platform or media type, the most important thing to remember is to stay true to yourself and your own voice.
Mixing advertising with a genuine connection requires a delicate balance. Today’s savvy consumers can detect a disingenuous voice and can be turned off by incessant content that lacks depth. They’ll notice if you rarely post or produce content. Your best bet to gain traction—and trust—is to be yourself and maintain unwavering professionalism. Your online presence should mirror your real-life self, so don’t mislead people with a made-up persona or practices that don’t align with your own values.
Additionally, if business slows, making sure you still have some budget, even if minimal, and some time dedicated to online outreach remains essential. When the future was cloudy with uncertainty one year ago, some agents thought the easiest place to make budget cuts was their marketing funds. As we saw in some instances, that backfired.
When the housing market picked up again shortly after, those who had essentially furloughed themselves or halted advertising were behind the curve.
Right off the bat, our company pivoted in our messaging to show empathy toward those impacted by the pandemic. In doing so, we created a video tool that allowed agents to customize our advertisement with their information: a resource over 17,000 affiliates took advantage of to show their communities how they could help amid uncertainty.
Especially during challenging times, it’s necessary to make sure your community knows you haven’t given up on them and you are still accessible.
Continue to track metrics
Analyzing how much traffic your website and social media platforms receive is a great way to make sure your marketing budget is being allocated to the correct avenues.
Remember, as the old adage goes, “A goal without a plan is simply a wish” – so if you’re not measuring your online reach, you’ll have no concrete way to assess your own growth. RE/MAX CEO Adam Contos often emphasizes the importance of having easily repeatable systems in place, because patterns drive success.
Using a platform to track metrics, like Google Analytics, helps establish a baseline of engagement, so in the occasion of a dip in business, you can track your online reach and find areas to boost that engagement.
Ultimately, it’s critical to see how your materials—and the cadence in which you roll them out—help or hurt your business.
Build brand recognition
Being affiliated with a widely recognized brand with values that align with your own is half the battle when marketing yourself. Before even hiring an agent, oftentimes homebuyers and sellers start by seeking out a familiar brand name that has a dominant presence and great reputation in their area.
Local advertising, especially online, is strengthened by brand recognition. Social media is a no-brainer for agents to advertise on because it has a low barrier to entry, can be free to utilize, and is typically easy to maintain. But it takes a bit more than photos and tweets to drive traffic to your business.
For that reason, RE/MAX affiliates are empowered to create their own custom advertisements (branded with our iconic balloon)—from photo graphics to video spots to commercials—using tools that are tailored specifically to the needs of the network. Instead of having to use a production company, agents can simply incorporate their personal information and flare into a wide variety of professionally crafted commercial reels.
Even when affiliated with a brand backed by time-built recognition, agents can’t lean on that factor alone for growth. You must still get out in front of people and find new contacts to nurture every day. Identify people in your sphere and create new and lasting relationships with them, in part through your marketing.
Effective advertising will gain the attention of consumers, make a thought-provoking claim, and position you as the best solution to their problems. Bear in mind that who you are in the digital world must align with the real world— so make sure you’re putting your most honest, true self forward, and go forth building community.