One of the worst things about being wrong is that you almost never find out until it’s too late.
That headshot with your dog your mom loved? It makes you look like a veterinarian in a pantsuit…
Sure, it’s blatantly, almost comically obvious to you now, so why did it sound like the best idea ever last week when you forked over $150 for the shoot?
We’re not going to pretend we have the answer, but we can help you avoid some of the more common marketing mistakes that can hurt your bottom line.
1. Not Taking Advantage of Video
Video, from Snapchat to Instagram to Youtube, is slowly but surely dominating social media.
Considering how immediate and intimate videos are, it’s not hard to see why.
Even though the real estate industry is generally a few years behind the curve, smart agents are diving into video in a big way.
Just ask Beverly Hills Broker Peter Lorimer. His Magic Minute videos have become incredibly popular and are surely part of the reason he is now starring in his own reality TV show.
While you’re probably not pushing for your own reality show, you can use video to touch your leads in a more personal way via email.
BombBomb is a tool that lets you shoot, edit, email, and track quick videos you can send to your leads or clients to answer common questions, address concerns, or just say thanks.
According to BombBomb’s client survey, agents that switched to BombBomb say 81% got more replies, 68% converted more leads, and 56% got more referrals.
Click below for a free trial of BombBomb to start humanizing your marketing today.
2. Not Trying to Stand Out From the Crowd
Unless you’re the only agent in your farm area, chances are the competition for the buyer and seller leads you need to get ahead is going to be fierce. If you’re a relatively new agent, the problem will be ten times worse.
In order to actually get a return on your marketing spend you’re going to have to cut through the noise and give people a reason to call you.
Now don’t get me wrong, being different just for the sake of being different can kill your brand faster than an ethics scandal.
Instead, take the time to figure out what skills you have that set you apart from the other Realtors you’re competing with and incorporate that into your marketing.
For more on standing out from the competition in your farm area, check out this quick video from Tom Ferry:
3. Not Working With a Professional Designer to Create Your Logo
Just like writing, graphic design seems easy. After all, how hard is it to pick a cool font and make it a nice color?
That is until you actually sit down to try and design your own logo. Suddenly, every font, every icon and every color just looks… off.
There’s a very good reason for this. People train for years in order to master even graphic design fundamentals like typography.
Unless you want a logo that looks unprofessional, you’re going to want to hire a graphic designer.
A service like DesignBro let’s you send in examples of logos you like so that multiple talented graphic designers can pitch you ideas.
From there, you just pick the one you like best and work with that designer to make it perfect.
Best of all, prices for logos start at $199. Click below to see if Designbro is right for you.
4. Using Misleading Copy in Your Listing Descriptions
Let’s face it. We’ve all been tempted to embellish the truth in listing descriptions… “The basement is kind of finished, right? Might as well call it a dining room…”
Luckily, most of us avoid the temptation to wildly exaggerate features of our listings, but far too often listing agents get swept away in their copy and end up with misleading listing descriptions on Zillow.
Here’s the problem. Even a minor embellishment or exaggeration can theoretically trigger NAR or state violations at worst, or angry buyer’s agents and leads at best.
At the end of the day it’s just not worth it.
5. Not Tracking or Retargeting Your Website Visitors
This one’s not just a marketing mistake Realtors make. Tons of small business owners proudly launch their websites and then just sit back and wait for the phone to ring.
The only problem of course is that very often the phone doesn’t ring. Sure, you get a healthy amount of traffic, but no one seems to want to, you know, buy something from you.
Well, you could have any number of issues with your website from slow loading pages to weak email capture, but you’ll never know unless you can track your visitors on your site.
Here’s where the cosmic luck of being a Realtor in 2018 comes into play.
Today, Realtors have access to software that can track a site visitor’s every move, and even better, predict when is the best time to ask for their contact information.
Using software like Google Analytics, Hotjar, or lead generation sites like Ylopo, you can tell when a lead lingers over that one underpriced cottage with great views.
Wouldn’t that be the perfect place to have a popup that asks for contact information to schedule a showing? Or maybe even a chat window popup that asks if they have any questions about the property?
By now the gears in your head should be moving, but what happens when they decide to leave and go back to Facebook?
Wouldn’t it be great if they saw a Facebook ad with a tantalizing picture of that very same bungalow?
Well, if that sounds like a smart way to capture leads to you (it is) then you’re in luck. You can put what’s called a pixel on your site to advertise to visitors even after they’ve left your site.
Pretty cool, right?
In order to get started tracking and retargeting your website visitors, you can use built in tools available in Ylopo or Zurple, or go DIY if you’re running a WordPress website. To learn the basics of the pixel and retargeting, check out Facebook’s hub page here.
6. Not Using Unique Phone Numbers to Track Offline Marketing
A few years ago I sat next to an old school broker at work. During the busy months, I must have heard him say “where did you get my number” at least every 3rd time his phone rang.
While he did fine at the end of the season, every time he missed a call, or got a random text that never responded he just shook his head and chalked it up to bad luck.
While this isn’t the worst marketing mistake an agent can make, it can and will hurt your bottom line.
After all, how can you tell if that new door hanger campaign or expensive light up yard sign, is worth the money if you can accurately measure your ROI?
Instead of guessing, smart Realtors who want to refine their game use VOIP services to get unique phone numbers they can use for different marketing methods.
Best of all, no need to juggle burner phones or miss texts. Today’s VOIP services allow you to answer, text, and track all inquiries on your cell phone.
If you’re looking for an affordable and feature-filled VOIP provider, check out Ring Central below.
7. Not Including a CTA on All Marketing Materials
Speaking of getting your phone to ring, sometimes it’s even easier than tracking your website visitors and showing ads on Facebook. Sometimes all you have to do is ask.
In the marketing world, asking someone to take a specific action (click here, call us for a free quote, etc) is a tried and true method of increasing engagement with your marketing materials.
When it comes to digital marketing, most agents we deal with understand that writing a great call to action (CTA) is crucial for success. However, many forget that the CTA originated in print media and a great CTA can help your signs, direct mail, or other print marketing shine.
So the next time you sit down to write copy for your door hanger campaign or sign riders, try and come up with a natural sounding CTA that makes sense for the medium.
For example, a CTA on your sign rider might say something like “text XXX-XXX-XXXX for more information” or “Call us today for a showing”.
8. Ignoring Print Marketing
Well, the rumors of print marketing’s death have been greatly exaggerated. In fact, in some farm areas, you might get a better ROI from print than from any online marketing source.
Think about it. If you and most of the new agents in your office aren’t bothering with door hangers, postcards, or other print marketing, then who is? In most offices, it’s going to be the top producer with the corner office and a small team.
After all, remember that many of your potential buyer and seller leads are not tech people and might not bother with Facebook for more than the few minutes it takes to look at new baby pictures.
However, they are checking their mail every morning so the odds of getting their attention with a door hanger or well designed postcard are pretty high.
Even better, many older people (who own homes at much higher rates than everyone else) actually keep and respond to offers they get in the mail.
Just remember to keep your target audience in mind when designing and writing copy.
9. Not Setting Realistic Goals
We’ve all met the new agent who struts around the office expecting to get a 75% click through rate on her first round of Facebook ads. There’s no point explaining the odds, this is something people just have to discover on their own.
Marketing real estate, especially when you don’t have the luxury of a listing or recent sales to brag about, is hard. Response rates from almost every channel are often in the LOW single digits on a good day.
So don’t freak out if you’re spending money and not seeing a huge return right away. Success takes time, and getting your brand out there can have long term benefits that outweigh a few phone calls or clicks to your landing page.
Common Marketing Mistakes From Pacific Palisades Broker & Team Leader, Michael Edlen
Having sold more than $1.5 billion since 1986, California Broker and leader of the Michael Edlen Team has seen it all.
Michael is consistently ranked among the top twenty Greater Los Angeles area Coldwell banker agents, and has successfully completed a staggering 1,350 transactions during his career.
That’s why he was the first person we reached out to when we started working on this article.
As you can imagine, he had plenty to say on the matter, but we managed to get him to boil it down to three big marketing mistakes:
10. Using iPhone Photography for MLS & Print Ads
The lighting and general quality is almost always inferior to that of a professional photographer. Similarly, having photography done without professional staging (or at least significant preparations by a skillful and experienced marketing individual) can be highly detrimental to the marketing process.
11. Getting the Initial Asking Price Wrong
This is usually in reaction to what a seller says they want or need or what a neighbor is asking for their place or what their investment in it is. Education based on actual current sales and competitive environment up-front is the usual solution.
12. Basing Price Position on Zillow or Other Online Valuation Sites
None of those algorithms ever see a home, know of views some other properties may have, factor in the condition of the house or site, etc. Also, they can vary between themselves by 10-15% quite frequently! Same solution as #1 above.
Common Marketing Mistakes From Miami Beach Broker Carol Cassis, Director of Luxury Sales for the Cassis Burke Collection
After more than a decade selling everything from multi-million dollar hotels to a $20 million residential mansion in Coconut Grove, it’s safe to say that Carol Cassis knows a thing or two about real estate marketing.
In fact, we first met Carol because she was the first Realtor in the country to conduct a full “wallet to wallet” bitcoin transaction for a $6,050,000 property in Miami. Which just proves that true innovation and a sterling reputation can work better than any marketing campaign.
Here’s Carol’s top three real estate marketing mistakes she sees agents making:
13. Using Social Media to Only Showcase Properties, Not Your Personality
A big issue today is that realtors use social media only as a real estate tool, which has become both repetitive and impersonal. To be seen as genuine and engaging, your audience wants to meet the person behind the realtor to connect first on a human level — and then hopefully do business together. The magic of this industry is to maintain long-lasting relationships, so remember to be a person first and a salesperson second.
14. Bombarding Your Email List
Bombarding your circle of influencers with useless email campaigns all week is a surefire way to lose subscribers. Be consistent with your message, as well as with the day and time you want to connect with your audience, and always provide them with real value.
15. Marketing Inconsistently & Expecting Immediate Results
Many realtors spend thousands of dollars on marketing mailings to generate awareness. However, they start one month and then stop — possibly resuming several months later — and they cannot understand why they’re not seeing results. You must be methodical and consistent with your messaging, and understand that results take time. You have to execute a strategic marketing campaign for at least six months before you hopefully see some leads. Even then, this technique is a passive yet effective way for positioning yourself in the market.
Over to You
What are some common real estate marketing mistakes you see agents making in your farm area? Let us know in the comments.