A quick Google search for “real estate marketing ideas” will probably give you more than you bargained for — the first three results offer over 150 suggestions…
In this article, we’ve decided to go in the other direction.
Instead of giving you a lot of sub-par ideas… we’re going to only give you 10 real estate marketing ideas, each of which is fairly new and has been proven to work by various agents operating in the real world.
We’ll also give you some details to help you get started with each as well as examples of how agents are using the following tactics to get listings and generate leads.
Let’s dive in!
1. Hand-Written Direct Mail
Thanks to Ballpoint Marketing, the days of boring mailers that get immediately tossed in the trash are gone.
Think about it.
How often do YOU ignore mail from agents, lawyers, and credit card companies? You see the mail… but do you remember their brand names? Do you remember what they were offering?
You threw it away without a second glance.
The same is true for the vast majority of mailers that real estate agents send…
It’s not bad… but it’s too similar to the mailers that other companies send… and thus it’s easy to ignore.
What if, instead, your mailers were hand-written with real pen-and-ink?
That would catch people’s attention far better. And that’s what we offer here at Ballpoint Marketing. These golden letters, in particular, work like a charm…
Check out what Arvi Carkanji from Tennessee had to say…
“BPM has really exceeded my expectations when it comes to direct mail. I’ve used different companies before and the response from the handwritten letter has been ridiculously high. Totally surprised me.
Because of their handwritten letters I got my first deal with only 500 letters dropped in the first week.”
You can see more testimonials from our customers here.
This isn’t guess-work.
These hand-written mailers work… and they work far better than 99% of the mailers that your competitors are sending.
Not sure how to send direct mail? Or where to send it? Or when to send it?
Wes Litton is an agent and broker. His team sells an average of 5 homes per month. We interviewed him to find out how he’s using our mailers to get those results. You can listen to the full interview (he gets into all the juicy details of his strategy) for free below!
2. Get a Column in Your Local Paper
Then why not try to get a column in your local newspaper?
Many people — the older generation, in particular — still read the newspaper. And if you fancy yourself a wordsmith, you might enjoy regularly writing about the real estate market or other current trends.
Of course, you’ll have to call your local media outlets and ask what it takes to get a column in the paper — this process will be different for every county.
In the worst-case scenario (if getting a regular column is complicated or overly difficult) you can just send a letter to the editor periodically. I’ve done so multiple times before and found it is always surprisingly easy to get published.
Either way, the people who read your column will see you as the go-to real estate expert in their market and will likely contact you when they’re ready to buy or sell. It’s a great way to build brand awareness for yourself and/or your team.
3. Get Active on Social Media
The older community might read the newspaper.
But in today’s world, the vast majority of people get their news (and entertainment) for free on social media — platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Tik Tok.
You can use those platforms to build brand awareness, generate leads, and even get clients.
Mary Jane Heckman Lewis is a very successful broker in Seattle, Washington — she’s also (not by coincidence) very active on Facebook.
Aside from posting personal content on her personal page (such as pictures of her dog and her family), she also always shares “Just Sold” updates.
As well as open house announcements…
And price adjustments…
You can see that she gets quite a bit of engagement.
That’s because she’s built a ton of goodwill with the people she interacts with by being a kind and giving person (I know her personally… and that’s how she is). It’s also, though, because her posts aren’t pushy or invasive. They’re just straightforward and honest.
You can do something similar on the platform of your choice.
One more example of this is from The Farr Group.
This married real estate agent couple operates in Spokane. Their Instagram has 8,800 followers and they get all of their business through staying active on social media.
I know because I asked.
If you’re wondering what to post or where to get started, I highly recommend studying their Instagram account.
They do a great job of engaging with their followers, attracting new clients, and promoting their business.
However you do it, social media marketing is a great way for real estate agents to generate leads.
4. Build Relationships With These People
On the surface, it might appear that real estate agents are in the business of helping people buy and sell homes.
But really, they’re in the relationships business.
Sure… you have to know the market, understand real estate, and be knowledgeable about your market. But it’s just as important (more important?) to be friendly, kind, helpful, and well-known.
Because people won’t work with you if they don’t like you… period.
It’s not only important to build healthy relationships with your clients.
You should also spend some time getting to know…
- Developers — Developers need agents to help them sell the properties they’re building. It’s very much worth your time to reach out and get to know the people behind these projects.
- Mortgage Brokers — Many people see mortgage brokers before they choose a real estate agent in order to determine how much home they’ll be able to afford. Unsurprisingly, many people also take the recommendation of their mortgage broker when looking for a real estate agent.
- Tax Consultants — It’s quite common, especially for first-time homebuyers, to use their tax refund for the down payment on a home. For obvious reasons, then, it’s helpful to be connected with tax consultants.
- Lawyers — Lawyers help people out of sticky situations. Some sticky situations, such as divorce or bankruptcy, force people to sell their homes. Many lawyers will refer their clients to a real estate agent when needed. Why not you?
- Fix-and-Flip Investors — Obviously, not all investors will want to use a real estate agent when listing their deals. But some will. And you could be the one you use if you build a relationship with those investors.
So how do you build relationships with these key players?
Friendly smiles, business cards, introductions, and quick lunches are great ways to build authentic ongoing relationships. And if you want to add a little extra incentive, build a referral relationship and perhaps even offer a bit of commission for referred clients.
5. Relationship Marketing
We just spent some time talking about the importance of building relationships.
But let’s not forget about your past clients.
These people worked with you, trusted you with one of the biggest sales or purchases of their life, and they likely went out the door happy as a clam.
They represent a treasure trove of marketing potential.
You can think of them as your raving fans — so long as you stay top-of-mind, they’ll tell their friends and family about you when the time comes.
I’ll never forget a car salesman who was particularly persistent.
After I bought a car from him, he called me every 6 months literally just to check-in — as if he considered me to be his close friend. He’d ask about my family, and how we’ve been doing, and the conversation would be a breezy five to ten minutes. It never bothered me. And he never tried to pitch me on a new car — although he would sometimes ask how the Kia we bought was treating us.
I still remember him fondly.
Most importantly, I referred a lot of my friends and family to him.
Contact your past clients periodically as though they’re your close friends and most important asset… because they are.
As a real estate agent, no force is more powerful than the friendship and goodwill of your past clients.
6. Cold Call FSBO Listings
It’s quite common for brave FSBO souls to try their luck at selling their home alone… only to later seek out a real estate agent for help.
As it turns out… selling a home on the market isn’t as easy as listing it and crossing their fingers (go figure).
You can get the jump on these opportunities by cold-calling FSBO sellers.
Check out the video below to see a real-world example…
To pull lists of FSBO sellers to call, you can use Propstream.
7. Create a Simple Website
In today’s world, so much of the real estate experience happens online.
In fact, 99 percent of home buyers between the ages of 23 and 56 use the internet to find homes in their home-buying process.
That’s why it’s so important to have a website.
A simple website will give you a hub for listing your properties (consider getting IDX), a platform for generating seller leads, and a presence for people to discover when they’re doing online research.
We recommend Carrot.
Their software allows you to build an awesome, fast website crafted from high-converting templates specifically designed for real estate agents. Here’s an example of what their websites look like…
They also have tools to help you rank in Google, follow up with leads, and track your transactions.
8. Collect Reviews, Testimonials, & Case Studies
The single best way to sell someone on your services is to talk with them one-on-one so they can get to know you.
But when someone is browsing your website or your Google listing… you can’t do that.
In that case, reviews, testimonials, and case studies will do the heavy lifting.
To get an idea of just how important those sorts of reviews are, check out some of these stats (source)…
- 92% of customers read online reviews before buying (Big Commerce)
- 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business (Big Commerce)
- 70% of people trust reviews and recommendations from strangers (Nielsen)
- 88% of consumers say reviews influence their online purchasing decisions. (Vendasta)
- 88% of consumers trust online testimonials and reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family (Big Commerce)
Fortunately, getting these reviews is pretty easy.
Just ask your past clients what they thought of their experience working with you. When they say something positive, respond with, “Wow. That’s awesome. Would you mind if I use what you just said as a testimonial on my website?”
Most people won’t mind.
9. Use a CRM
Growing and maintaining a steady flow of clients for your real estate business is at least partly about managing your relationships with past, current, and potential clients.
That means following up, checking in, and asking for referrals.
But the bigger your business, the more confusing that’s all going to get.
This is why we recommend using a simple CRM (which stands for Client Relationship Management) like HubSpot to automate your follow-up and keep track of all of your critical relationships in one place.
10. Rank in Google (The Easy Way)
If you spent much time talking to online marketers, then you’ve probably heard how powerful it can be to get your website ranking for key phrases in Google (such as “list my home in [city]” or ‘best real estate agents in [city]”.
The easiest way to rank for those sort of phrases is to get a Google Business profile.
There are a lot of potential leads and listings you could snag by creating and optimizing your Google Business Profile.
Here’s what this actually looks like in Google…
How great would it be to show up there?
Create your profile, reach out to your past clients and ask them to give you a review, and you’ll slowly but surely increase your authority in the eyes of Google searchers.
There are a lot of real estate marketing ideas out there in the digital world…
But, despite appearances, you don’t need a lot of ideas… you just need the right ideas.
That’s what we’ve tried to give you here.
Above are what we consider the 10 best ways that modern real estate agents can consistently and predictably generate leads, find clients, and nab listings.
Choose a few that you find particularly compelling… and try them out.