4 Ways to Attract Luxury Open House Attendees

Selling a truly unique luxury property is different from your typical sale. It requires a more focused approach and a more sophisticated touch. Clients whose homes are worth many millions expect that special measures will be taken to market their property.

Sometimes agents will need to take extraordinary measures. When there is competition in the luxury market, there is an increase in high-end open houses — elegant and expensive events that spare no expense in showing a listing’s best qualities. This is not a typical open house.

In this blog you’ll learn some of the ways that you can host a unique event to showcase a special property. If you’re part of the TL:DR crowd, then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and watch the full course.

 

Traditional advertising

In many cases, traditional media is still very effective for the real estate business.  Agents may be getting great results from direct mail postcards and advertising in print and online. Using postcards to let neighbors know what you have just listed or just sold works because it offers market information, plus exposure for listings and for yourself. Make sure the photos look great, the message and the call to action is clear and that the brand is properly reflected. Advertising in print is effective in certain markets, though not in others. Online advertising allows potential clients to click through the ad to your website or email. And don’t forget to look into marketing opportunities on syndication sites like Zillow. These can help with lead generation as well. Ultimately, advertising works best when you know who your target market is and how to best reach them.

 

Social media

With social media’s important role in marketing, most real estate agents maintain at least one social media account for their business. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are among the most popular, but additional networks may emerge, and you’ll need to be ready. The idea is to keep your company relevant and useful. If you can find a specific angle that can bolster your brand, all the better. Create an editorial calendar that runs at least three months out so that you can map out a strategy and use any analytics that are available to optimize and refine your message. Social media holds a varying level of importance, depending on your target market, but no agent can afford to neglect it entirely.

 

Surveys, testimonials and reviews

A completed transaction is not the end of the relationship. There is still marketing work to do! Start with surveys, testimonials and reviews. It’s a good idea to send a survey to clients after a transaction is finished to let them share the pros and cons of their experience with you. This information can help you make improvements to systems and services. It’s also a low-pressure tactic to ask for a testimonial and an online review. There are third-party survey services that are simple and inexpensive to put into practice. This should be part of your operating procedure at the close of every sale. And getting testimonials and reviews on sites like Yelp can really help you expose your brand to new clients and stand out from the competition.

 

Participate in the neighborhood

Lastly, one of the best ways to market your business is by simply being top-of-mind when it comes to real estate in your neighborhood. The simplest and most effective way to do this is by actually spending time participating in local events. Have a presence at festivals and town meetings. Consider volunteering at the local school. Suggest that your brokerage sponsor neighborhood events, or simply make sure to get a table at them. You may want to keep track of event opportunities and attend yourself. Seek out opportunities to put yourself in front of the right target market.

No one likes someone who only talks business, but there’s nothing wrong with being helpful and relevant. If you keep your ears open and participate with people, you will find organic ways to help market a company that truly is a part of the neighborhood.

All in all, it’s important to remember that selling homes is just one part of your business. It’s just as imperative to ensure that your business has a future flow of potential customers and that your brand and reputation is being managed in the best way for you and your business.

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How to Determine Your Advertising Needs

Many successful agents reach a point in their careers where they need more sophisticated marketing and advertising strategies. Though many brokerages offer this kind of support, top agents often outgrow typical offerings and want to take brand marketing into their own hands. If this is where you find yourself, or you just want to stand out from your competition, you may want to consider tailoring your relationship with your in-house department or using an outside marketing firm that can offer you something different.

In this blog you’ll learn the pros and cons of working with in-house personnel vs. outside firms and how to determine what you really need from your marketing campaigns.

If you’re part of the TL:DR crowd, then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and watch the full “Using In-House Vs. An Outside Ad Agency” course.

 

Cost

For many agents, the cost of working with a professional agency is the most important consideration in deciding who will handle marketing and advertising efforts. While you investigate whether or not your brokerage can do the job for you, consider these questions.

Can you get discounts for media placement? If your brokerage already has an advertising contract with a particular media outlet, you may be able to benefit from their frequency discount. Many media outlets offer lower rates on advertising space based on the number of placements purchased. If your brokerage secures a substantial media buy, and in return offers you discounted pricing for the space, you may see a significant savings when compared to buying media placement on your own or through an outside agency.

Does your brokerage offer opportunities to include your listing in ads that advertise multiple listings? What does it cost to be included? This opportunity may give you access to media space you couldn’t afford to purchase on your own.

Do the research, because there may be considerable cost advantages to using brokerage resources. When you work with your in-house marketing department, you may be offered different payment options. You may pay for time, per project or creative services may be a free perk for top producers. It’s up to you to negotiate your own marketing package. You can compare the services offered in-house to those of an outside agency. However, keep in mind that most brokerages are less inclined to help you build a significant brand outside of the brokerage. You’ll need an outside agent if you want to secure a higher level of attention to your own brand.

 

Available resources

Let’s talk about the resources available to you. You’ll have to know what your options are before you can plan. Is there a skilled in-house marketing department that can provide the creative services you need? Is there a strategist on the team? Is there a graphic designer who will execute your direction? Are there professional copywriters?

Building effective ad campaigns and branded marketing is a highly creative pursuit, and quality may be subjective. As most agents have real estate expertise but are not trained creative artists, there may be a tendency to underestimate the value of quality design and to misunderstand how messaging can help or hurt marketing efforts. While agents may not recognize low-quality design or copy, many consumers do see the difference. Once you get a feel for it, you will see why some brands outperform other brands even when the actual products are very similar. It may seem too costly to hire professionals, but it will cost you even more to spend your ad budgets on ineffective designs and messaging.

The qualifications of the people you hire to execute this creative work can vary greatly. When reviewing candidates, look for artful attention to detail and an understanding of how to connect with audiences. Seek out creative people who know the principles of design, messaging, effective calls to action and brand standards. Ask for portfolios and past work and have them explain their process to you to see if you’ll work well together.

As in the real estate business, you may find your best candidates through referrals. Ask your colleagues if they have recommendations for marketing professionals or teams. Interview several candidates and get a feel for who would be a good fit. These people will be a part of your extended team, helping you identify your vision and meet your goals.

Don’t be intimidated. Some very good ad agencies are small shops while others are huge companies. If you are unsure if a particular agency is appropriate for the budget you have in mind, just ask.

To learn more about how to determine the marketing needs of your real estate business, as well as how to develop an advertising campaign that works, begin your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU today and start with our eight-course advertising track.

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3 Ways to Use Open Houses to Build Your Business

Although many home sellers consider the open house a standard practice, stats show that open houses don’t often generate an actual sale. Still, many agents find open houses offer a way to get new clients, deepen their engagement in the neighborhood, and satisfy the seller’s expectations. In this blog, you will learn three ways you can use open houses to build your business.

The fact is, almost everyone who comes into an open house is a potential homebuyer. Many are looking to buy a home and may not have an agent yet. And even if they are not in the market, they may know someone who is. Maybe they plan to buy sometime in the future. This is your chance to show them that you know the neighborhood well, understand area pricing and are easy to work with. Demonstrate your leadership and marketing skills and show that you are sympathetic to the challenges of buying a home. Don’t squander any opportunity to make what could be a life-long connection with every person who walks through the door.

If you’re part of the TL:DR crowd then start your seven-day free trial of AgentEDU and watch the full “How to generate leads with open houses” course.

 

Market your open house to a large audience

Get your name and brand out there! The first step is thinking about how to market your open house to a wider group. There are many ways to get the word out about an open house, and you should explore them all. Employ the most appropriate methods for each home’s particular circumstances. For a big impact, send two waves of direct mail postcards and emails: both before and after the open house. Send out the first email as an invitation. Let them know how to schedule a private appointment with you if they can’t make the open house. Then, position your brand in front of leads in the neighborhood who didn’t attend the open house by sending a post-open house mailer. It should say something like: “In case I missed you at the open house last Sunday, I want to make sure you have this information…” Simply putting out signs the day of the open house is not enough to maximize your opportunity. Use the postcards in conjunction with signage, flyers, print ads, Facebook ads or whatever is appropriate for the market.

 

Invite neighbors to a private open house

If you think your open house will be busy, you may want to schedule a special open house where you can spend time getting to know the neighbors.  When appropriate, this kind of open house can help you grow your business and deepen your involvement in the neighborhood. Consider holding a “neighbor’s only” preview a few days before the public open house. This is a great way to get to know neighbors’ concerns, allay any fears they have, and enlist them to help you find suitable buyers. It also gets the “curious lookers” out of the way early on, allowing you to spend more time with serious buyers who attend the weekend open house.

 

Man the open houses of other agents

If you find yourself without any listings suited to open houses, you can build your business by offering to man the open houses of other agents. Open houses can be a great way for agents to jumpstart business activity. Whether you are a new agent or just want some new business, helping other agents with their open houses can give you practice with potential buyers while you learn about the local market. If you are new to an area or a specialty, manning an open house can give you the experience and confidence to move forward.

It typically works like this: An agent who is looking to gain experience lets their managing broker know that they are willing to man open houses, and the managing broker can put the word out. Some agents may choose to offer their assistance directly to experienced agents who may be too busy to man their own open houses. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement: Experienced agents get help with the details of their open house, allowing them to concentrate on other priorities or listings. And the more junior agent gets to attach his or her name to a more experienced agent while getting real-life experience. There is often a daily stipend or a referral fee if that open house leads to a sale. Either way, it’s smart to man the open houses of agents who do a good job of marketing the homes. If there has been no marketing and the agent is just holding an open house to appease the sellers, it may be less fruitful. If this happens to you, make sure any potential buyers who attend the open house know that you’re hosting it on behalf of the seller’s agent.

 

Whether an open house is for your listing or someone else’s, when you host an open house, you get the opportunity to put yourself in front of a group of potential new clients. To learn more about how to generate leads from your open houses, start your free seven-day trial of AgentEDU and begin with the course, “How to generate leads with open houses.”

 

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