One of the worst things about being wrong is that you almost never find out until it’s too late.
I hate to say it, but because real estate agents are natural optimists, they seem to get marketing wrong more than most entrepreneurs. I’m sure you can think of an agent right now (maybe even one sitting in the room with you) who keeps making disastrous marketing mistakes and then wonders where all the leads went.
Of course, since we care about your success, we sat down with some top-producing brokers to put together this list of 15 real estate marketing mistakes that are far too common today. How many are you making?
1. Chasing the Latest Social Media Fads
Don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram. But that doesn’t mean that I’m going to ignore one of the biggest marketing mistakes agents make these days: chasing down the latest social media fads.
Sure, spending five hours on TikTok might seem like a good investment in the future of your business, but is it really? What are you really getting from all that time and energy spent chasing likes on the latest social media app all the kids are raving about?
In too many cases, the answer is well, nothing. That’s because even if you grind for months and become a bona fide star on TikTok, you are highly unlikely to get leads from it. The demographics just aren’t there: 69% of TikTok users are between the ages of 13 and 24.
So unless you want to start a side hustle as a makeup influencer, leave the latest social media fads for your kids.
Why not spend your time and money on social media platforms that are filled with wealthy, older people who might actually list with you someday? LinkedIn is a sleeping giant for real estate agents who want an actual return on investment (ROI) from social media.
2. Ignoring Print Marketing
In the age of Facebook Messenger ads and Slydial Broadcast, many newer real estate agents think that print marketing is dead. They put tons of money into Facebook advertising or super-expensive lead generation websites, just to end up chasing the latest digital marketing fads we just talked about.
Of course, while those marketing channels can get you plenty of leads, they’re ignoring something important: The boomers who own the best homes don’t spend a lot of time online.
Think about it. Getting the attention of homeowners online is only getting harder and more expensive. Print, on the other hand, is still affordable, and since fewer agents bother these days, much, much easier to get noticed with.
Of course, it’s not all wine and roses. You need high-quality designs if you want your phone to ring from your print marketing.
That’s where Lab Coat Agents Marketing Center comes in. It’s the first easy-to-use design app created specifically for real estate agents. They offer beautifully designed templates for door hangers, open house flyers, open house signs, letters, business cards, and much more. Don’t worry, they have tons of eye-catching templates for your social media posts too. It’s basically Canva on steroids.
3. Not Taking Advantage of Video
Smart agents are diving into video in 2021 in a big way. Everyone else will get left behind. There’s no other way to say it.
While you’re probably not pushing for your own reality show, video is endlessly useful for your marketing. You can create short videos explaining the homebuying process for new buyers, walk-throughs of hot listings, tips for closing faster, answering common questions … you get the idea.
Luckily, we have an in-depth guide on video to get you started, so no more excuses!
4. Not Trying to Stand Out From the Crowd
Unless you’re the only agent in your city, chances are the competition for leads is going to be fierce. If you’re a relatively new agent, the problem will be 10 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 real estate agents you’re competing with and figure out how to center them in your marketing.
If you want to stand out, then creating a strategic marketing plan that centers your mission, vision, and values is crucial. Yup. We have a guide for that too:
5. Not Hiring a Professional Designer to Create Your Logo
Just like writing, graphic design seems easy. After all, how hard is it to pick a font and make it a nice color?
That is until you actually sit down to try to design your own logo. Suddenly, every font and every color you choose just looks … off.
There’s a very good reason for this. People train for years in order to master graphic design basics like typography. Like musicians or athletes, they make it look easy when it’s actually very hard.
So unless you want a logo that looks unprofessional, the DIY route is not an option. You’re going to want to hire a graphic designer. A service like DesignBro lets you send in examples of logos you like so that multiple talented graphic designers can pitch you ideas and create a perfect logo.
Best of all, prices for logos start at $199. Click below to see some amazing examples of logos created by DesignBro.
6. 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 the features of our listings, but far too often listing agents get excited and end up with misleading listing descriptions on Zillow.
Here’s the problem. Even a minor embellishment or exaggeration can theoretically trigger the National Association of Realtors (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 the risk.
As you might have guessed, we just so happen to have the best guide to writing listing descriptions on the internet. Check it out for some tips:
7. 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 third 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’t accurately measure your ROI?
Instead of guessing, smart real estate agents who want to refine their game use voice-over-internet-protocol (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 Grasshopper below.
8. 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, and so on) 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 signs, try to 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.”
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.
Marketing Mistakes That Michael Edlen Sees LA Realtors Make Far Too Often
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 20 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 upfront 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, and so forth. Also, they can vary among themselves by 10% to 15% quite frequently! Same solution as the tip above.
Marketing Mistakes Nicole Cassis Keeps Seeing in Miami Luxury Real Estate
After more than a decade selling everything from multimillion dollar hotels to a $20 million residential mansion in Coconut Grove, it’s safe to say that Nicole Cassis knows a thing or two about real estate marketing.
In fact, we first met Nicole 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 Nicole’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 real estate agents 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 real estate agent 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 real estate agents 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.