Expert marketing advice for new real estate agents:
When I talk to real estate agents who are new to the industry, one of the first questions they ask is, “How can I compete with veteran agents?" Or more specifically, “How should I conduct my real estate marketing program to compensate for my inexperience. "
My response: “Take experience out of the equation, and focus on lead generation. "
Remove Experience from the Equation
Veteran real estate agents were “newbies" at some point. They got past that stage, and so can you. In fact, everybody in the entire world has been new to something at least once in their life. We are new to elementary school, middle school and high school. We are new to the working world. We are new to people, places and social situations.
Everyone knows what it's like to be the new guy or gal. So why sweat it?
As a real estate agent, you'll find that most clients judge you by your knowledge, your personality and your professionalism. And here's the good news - you can bring those things to work with you on Day 1.
Focus on Lead Generation
Some marketing “experts" will tell you to promote your brand and keep yourself “top of mind" with your prospect area. Those things are okay over the long-term. But if you're relying on them to generate business in the short-term, you better have some living expenses tucked away. It's going to be a long wait.
Here's where you, as a new real estate agent, can actually outperform the veterans you're up against. Build a better lead-generation program. Instead of relying too heavily on branding or top-of-mind awareness (secondary marketing strategies, by the way), focus on generating leads you can turn into clients.
Here are three specific ways to outperform the veterans in your area:
Be More Visible
Get yourself a website and start learning about search engine visibility. Search engines don't care how long you've been in business or how many clients you have. They will rank a popular, well-optimized website over an older, more stagnant website much of the time.
Build a strong web presence, get some people linking to it, publish press releases and articles online, and you'll make your website more visible to the search engines. See the resource mentioned at the end of this article for more.
Be More Proactive
Build an exclusive “must read" report around a hot topic in your area. Make it provocative and thought-provoking, not just another “Tips for Home Buyers. " Urban sprawl is a great example. If there's development in your area, create a report along the lines of “How Urban Expansion Affects Your Property Values. "
Choose a topic that matches your audience (buyers, sellers, affluent, middle-class, etc. ). Build a direct mail postcard campaign to promote the report. Send people to a web page where they can sign up for it with only an email address. Make it easy for them.
You've just built your first lead-generation program, and no experience is necessary!
Be More Creative
Why not partner up with a mortgage professional, a home inspector or both to launch a home-buying seminar series? Make it free, easy to sign up for, and fun! Come up with a creative angle for it, like “The Modern Real Estate Process" or “Mortgage 101 for the Mathematically Challenged. " Invite your local news to cover it (that's the kind of thing they look for on slow news days).
Knock people's socks off with the quality of your presentation and your enthusiasm. Give them your business card and other take-away items. Stick around afterward for questions and chit chat. There will be clients in that group, I guarantee it.
I spun off these ideas in the span of an hour. You might come up with a dozen more of your own. But let me ask you this - how many of the tactics outlined above require vast experience? That's right, none of them. Be creative. Be proactive. Be enthusiastic and positive. Before you know it, you'll be so busy you'll forget how new you are.
* Copyright 2006, Brandon Cornett. You may republish this article online if you keep the hyperlinks active and retain the author's note and byline.
Brandon Cornett is the author of several real estate marketing books. You can learn more about real estate marketing for new agents by visiting the New Agent Learning Center at: http://www.armingyourfarming.com