Creative marketing is not something you see too much in the real estate business – at least not in my experience. The reliance has always been on the tried tested and true method of hammering a sign in the front lawn of a property and wait for a phone call from an interested buyer. With the significant change in the real estate marketplace though, things have changed in the way that agents are marketing their properties too.
The general stereotype of the intrusive real estate professional who pushes the hard sell and wants all of your contact details so that they can badger you about your intentions is not accurate. At least not all the time. Sure there are some annoying agents who are pushy and cross the line, but there’s a bad one or two in every bunch, that’s business. The trick is to separate the wheat from the chaff and find a true professional who not only knows what they’re talking about, but who walks the walk and talks the talk.
Think outside the box
A good way to recognise an imaginative real estate agent is by how they do their marketing. As he passed the proverbial torch to me, Jonathan was telling me about Carra Riley and her creative marketing efforts. In order to attract a bit of a buzz around a land release she was selling, Carra threw in a very interesting incentive to buyers- a red Ferrari. This seemed to me to be a little gimmicky at first – but the more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed. First, a red Ferrari is very rarely gimmicky – especially when it is given away. Second, it is a genuine incentive for real people to buy real land and grab a real bonus. It takes more than a ‘reduced sale price’ to get people interested these days.
It’s obvious that real estate is a little slow at the moment – and it is in times like this that creative marketing efforts usually come to the fore. ‘New low price’ will only get you so far in this market, and this sort of pitch is (to be absolutely honest) is old and lazy. Agents and brokers out there need to do something different to attract attention in the marketplace.
Be professional and approachable
Many professionals will tell you that the best form of marketing is word of mouth – it’s been that way for a long time and it’s still true today. If you have a good name in your industry, then people will not only come to you more often to do business, but because of the way they have found you, they will trust you more. This is a kind of vicarious trust. You are recommended by someone whose opinion they trust enough to seek it out – and you are the result of that query – that’s a very solid start to a business relationship.
How do you get business through word of mouth? It’s simple – be approachable and professional. Have standards and stick to them. Over time (it’s not instant, it takes a little time to build this type of a reputation) you will build a name for yourself as a decent human being as well as a good real estate professional. Do it well and people will recommend you to friends and family without even being asked. If you are patient, respectful and professional, you will do well in real estate.
If you are looking only for the sale and don’t focus on the relationship, then your business will fail. It may take a little while, particularly if you’re especially slick, but it’ll happen. Creative marketing in the real estate business is an absolute must, and it begins and ends with the listing agent.