9 STEPS TO CONSISTENCY
When it comes to winning new or repeat business, it’s critical that agents develop and sustain a consistent presence with top prospects and members of their sphere. However, any agent can tell you that this real estate is, by nature, an inconsistent business.
Whether you look at the day-to-day schedules of a typical Realtor or the changing market cycle by season, it can feel impossible to plan ahead (and stay on schedule) when your client pipeline is churning and your phone never stops buzzing.
Here are nine steps ANY agent can follow to help them get into a better, more consistent marketing routine — while still maintaining time for their personal and home life.
STEPS 1-3: THE SET UP
1. “Set and forget” your brand standards
The fastest way to fall off track is to panic any time you need a creative asset for a routine marketing campaign. Instead, carve out a few hours where you finalize the graphic and text basics that you need to build any marketing piece.
Here’s a great starter kit from our previous blog on building an online brand:
- A current, high-res photo of you (Put your 1998 headshot to rest!!)
- An approved broker or franchise logo
- An approved logo of your brand (whether agent, team or group)
- A “handle” to use across social media accounts. Examples:
- A short bio (under 140 characters)
- A medium bio (between 500-700 characters)
- A long bio (2-3 paragraphs)
- A primary phone number (mobile) and back-up (office)
- A private, secure email address Hint: Create one folder that houses all your images, and one working document that houses all your bios and text assets. Store this folder in the cloud so you have access to these materials anywhere, any time.
2. Pick a primary audience
Look for patterns in your business. Do you tend to represent a lot of first-time buyers, empty nester sellers, vacation homeowners or move-up families in a certain school district? Whatever your bread-and-butter is, lean into it by making that your “primary audience.”
This is the group of people you should spend the most time engaging, whether it be via online lead gen campaigns, direct mail postcards or one-to-one follow up. You’ll want to hit your (total) primary audience 2-4 times a month — and leads within this segment more often.
3. Pick a secondary audience
When picking a secondary audience, choose a demographic that you’d like to work with more often.
If the bulk of your work is with starter home buyers, for example, you’ll want to start building up a client base of higher-end buyers eventually. If you find that buyers are too time-consuming and sellers are more your speed, then dig into the types of sellers you’d like to represent. You’ll want to hit your (total) secondary audience 1-2 times a month — and leads within this segment more often.
STEPS 4-7: BUILD YOUR CONTENT MACHINE
4. Set up automated marketing campaigns
Automated marketing will help you keep a steady cadence with your primary and secondary audiences, but you need to make sure that the tool you use matches your overall brand style (see step #1) and your personal voice.
When reviewing automated marketing campaign tools, like SmartTargeting, be sure that the tool you select allows you to incorporate or customize your brand elements — including your headshot, logo, broker logo, phone number or license number. That way, you can save time by knowing that you are within bounds even if you select a pre-designed mailer, flyer or ad from a third-party company.
Of course, your logo isn’t the only thing that can help you stay consistent in brand. Be sure that your automated marketing tool also allows you to hit your specific target audiences, and that their library of templates includes homes that match your location. If you typically represent Cape Cod homes, you can’t deploy ads featuring Spanish-tile roofs typically found in the American Southwest.
Your automated marketing tool should help you hit your audience segments at least half the time. So if you plan to target your total primary audience four times in September, choose a tool that can send at least two campaigns via direct mail, online ads or emails. Then, you can fill in the last 1-2 touch points with original content.
5. Schedule original content or posts in advance
Automated marketing isn’t the only way to work in advance; top agents can also schedule their own original content (whether it be via email newsletters, social media posts or blog articles) in advance so they appear to be engaged and online in real-time.
Take one morning every week or every other week to set up these quick marketing tactics.
Not sure what to write about? This is the most common gripe among agents. We recommend keeping track of questions you hear repeated from one listing appointment or buyer’s meeting to the next. Whether you find that your audiences are asking about a market trend, a standard process, how interest rates work or what escrow really means, you are in a unique position to answer their questions in person while also taking note of the known patterns of your typical buyer or seller.
Keep a “notes” app on your phone and as you leave appointments, jot down the questions your prospects asked you. When it’s time to write an original blog, pick one of the topics and answer it succinctly. Boom! In 15 minutes, you not only have content that REAL clients want, you also have the makings of your next email newsletter and social media campaign.
6. Remove pre-scheduled content when national events arise
Keep in mind that scheduling in advance is a great way to save time — but there are certain times when posting a self-serving ad or update can come off as extraordinarily tone-deaf. Pay attention to big news stories — whether it be a national crisis or the death of a beloved celebrity — and be sure to reschedule email campaigns or social media posts that are set to deploy automatically.
By rescheduling your posts for a time when they’ll be more appropriate, you’ll also ensure they are better received by your target audiences.
7. Leave room for real-time interaction
On the flip side, what if you have BIG news you want to share in real-time… like you landed the listing of a lifetime, or you need to share that mortgage rates skyrocket overnight?
Be sure to leave room in your marketing plan for real-time updates to your base, whether it be via email or social media. This will help develop your online persona as a real practitioner and a trusted local resource.
STEPS 8-9: ODDS AND ENDS
8. Read your stuff out loud
This tactic might seem like an outlier but it’s extremely important when you’re using automated tools or other technologies with content that didn’t originate with you.
Before you hit “send” on any marketing piece, be sure to read it out loud. If you stumble over any of the words, or it doesn’t feel like something you’d naturally say, it’s a good sign that you are sending a marketing piece that doesn’t match you. Consistency is about more than just cadence; don’t send out anything that doesn’t feel authentic.
9. Delight and reward your target audiences
Last, make sure you stand out from other local agents by hosting an activity or event that no one else does. Whether it be a hosted pumpkin patch or fall food drive, a summer cocktail party around a local pool, a free day and BBQ at a local amusement park or an adults-only holiday gathering, you want to make sure that your clients and prospects see you in person and not just in their monthly mailers.
And if you’re lucky, you’ll have a technology like CheckIn set up to automatically track your in-person interactions in mere seconds. That way, whether you run into a top sphere contact once a year at your event or every few weeks at neighborhood events, you can update your contact records with conversation topics, milestones and other contextual hints that could help you win their business down the road.
Ready to build a consistent presence?
As you may have noticed, the easiest way to remain consistent is to rely on automated or in-advance content tactics as a starting point. From there, you can add more personal outreach and engagement to ensure you come off as a REAL person with REAL skills they need to buy or sell their next home.
SmartTargeting does a lot of the hard work for you — by identifying and segmenting predicted sellers in your area or sphere, and targeting them with engaging marketing campaigns. SmartTargeting also leaves room for you to engage these likely-to-sell homeowners one-to-one, so you can build a relationship and win their business in less time. Find out more.
For more helpful tips, visit the SmartZip blog.