Best Practices in PR & Marketing for Realtors
By Rodger Roeser, CEO, The Eisen Agency
Most good realtors are born marketers. They have the gifts of socialization, negotiation and association and find ways to bring what appears to sometimes be the disparate of matches to a perfect and mutually beneficial close for buyer and seller. I grew up in the industry. My mother was (and remains to this day) an independent broker/realtor near Cleveland, Ohio – and has been for nearly 40 years. I was the former corporate PR muckety muck for a large real estate franchisor in the late 1990s and during my agency life, have successfully represented the largest of real estate companies and some of the smallest independent real estate firms.
Successful realtors are masters of time management and endeavor to master the tools that will help them to most efficiently do their jobs successfully. Gain inventory, move inventory. This takes hustle, drive and connections – creating a massive referral network and building upon your personal reputation and brand, and the brand of the real estate firm you represent.
The large franchisors have all the nifty whiz bang tools available to their firms to use and capitalize upon, and the smaller independent ones have the opportunity to perhaps do more with less. But, there are a few major pitfalls I often see in the PR and marketing in real estate that happens to both large and small firms, and it’s costing you listings, time and money.
#1 Failing to Use Existing Tools
The franchisors are great at churning out literally any manner of marketing tool to help out the local group. Some pieces, admittedly, are better than others. But, these items give the larger organizations a tremendous name recognition advantage over their smaller counterparts. These pieces are created for a reason – use them. I’ve seen very well recognized real estate brands in colors and combinations that should never appear. Business cards designed by goodness knows, and ads that truly make you want to gouge out your eyes (let alone some amazing poor copywriting).
These pieces are done for the simple reasons of saving you time and effort, but also in keeping a consistent brand and brand message. I understand (since I do it for a living) marketing communications can appear to be a “sexy” profession, but it’s hard work, it’s science and research, and it’s skill and experience. While there are always nuanced ways of doing business, most pieces are able to be somewhat customized to allow for some level of individuality. Understand how your business fits within that brand and use those pieces and that messaging, because spending too much time and effort on this is simply not a good use of time.
The lesson for the smaller counterparts is understanding that while the larger organizations are fitting within a brand, you have the opportunity to truly create a your own personal and differentiated brand. Use cows in your marketing, have a dog a spokesperson. Look at your competition and develop your unique look and feel – then for goodness sakes, work with a professional that can hone that look and make sure that while it’s unique, it’s still professional.
Then use these tools to your advantage and keep them consistent throughout the whole of your communications and pieces. You should review all of your collateral and items you put out each year (I recommend December) and identify anything that is out of synch with your brand and your message.
Part 2: Networking is a Part of, not THE Solution: How to Best Leverage Networking