A real estate brokerage can be an excellent business, but if you want to be successful, your business needs to grow. There are many factors in play here, all of which need to be balanced for optimum growth.
Growing your real estate brokerage isn’t merely a matter of taking on more houses to list. While this does increase your offerings, it won’t necessarily help you make more sales, which is the key to a successful business in any industry.
There are a few things you can do to step things up in the business department, provided you are willing to put in a little extra work.
Do You Have a Growth Plan?
While most businesses have a basic business plan in place, not all have considered their ongoing growth. Don’t start just randomly doing tasks to try and increase sales . . . this rarely works.
Instead, you need to lay out a plan and follow it on a regular basis. This will consist of:
- Deciding what promotional methods to use
- Setting up a marketing schedule
- Doing daily tasks designed to slowly and steadily increase publicity
Using Social Media as a Marketing Tool
Social media is an incredibly useful method of gaining more traffic to your listings. There are hundreds of social media sites out there, but if you are on the main ones, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you’ll find that you can reach thousands of people who are all potential clients, either buying or selling.
Because social media is so interactive, it’s the ideal medium to build up relationships with clients and gain trust. You need people to trust you in order to give you the chance to sell their home or to let you arrange a sale that involves a lot of money. People are far more likely to go with a real estate agent that they feel a connection to than they are with someone they don’t know at all.
Try Email Marketing
If you run a business, you should be keeping a list of contacts that you can email. These can be:
- Previous clients
- Potential buyers who lost their bids
- Real estate investors
- Other real estate agents
Being able to email a list of people who may be interested in a new listing at any time is a very powerful marketing tool. Even those who aren’t interested in buying may pass the information on to someone who would be interested, which expands your reach even more.
Stay in touch with your list at least once a month, even if you have nothing new to share. You can always revisit earlier listings or just give them some tips on real estate buying. Also include a sign up form on your website so visitors can easily access your email listings.
Blogging for Real Estate
A blog can also help you get noticed and can bring more attention to specific listings. You may stick to just reviewing the different properties that you are brokering, or you can give tips and information on buying and selling homes, or do both. The idea is to establish yourself as an expert in the field so that when someone thinks of buying or selling a home, they think of you.
A blog is relatively easy to start and you’ll find that there are many free guides available. Avoid going with a free site like Blogger since it gives a bad impression and looks like you’re too cheap to invest the $20 it costs for hosting and a domain name of your own. You can hire someone to set up a simple blog, but if you use WordPress, it is extremely user friendly and you should be able to use it on your own fairly easily.
Step Up the Advertising
Paid advertising is certainly not a waste of money if you do things the right way. Flyers and business cards are still very much a part of the world of marketing and you will find that print marketing is often worth it, as well. However, if you want to keep your spending to a minimum, then online advertising is the best way to go.
There are many different options online and none of them are terribly expensive. You might consider the following:
- Classified sites
- Blogs and websites related to your area or real estate
- Pay per click ads (such as Google Adwords)
Your marketing budget will go much further online and let you gain thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, more views.
Expand Your Offerings
Don’t just offer houses for sale . . . if you don’t already, consider getting into the rental business. This is shorter term and pays far less, but it is ideal for bringing in constant money during slow periods. More people are looking at renting these days because of the issues with the economy, so you should have a booming business.
Rather than complain that business is slow, take this time to make a plan, start building relationships and start publicizing your real estate brokerage more. There are a lot of free things you can do online to gain publicity, so even if you are short on money, that’s no excuse not to start putting photos on Flickr or actively seeking out buyers.