What is the best way to market in Real estate?

Asked by Katerina, Sherman Oaks, CA Thu Oct 4, 2007

I'm new to Real Estate field. Can you advice me what advertising works best. Did anyone try lead generations? They are expensive, but do they work? What about mailers? Can you share with me?! I tried mailers, but had now response. Please help.

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Linda J Sears, , Lady Lake, FL
Thu Oct 4, 2007

First let me wish you the best of luck you are not entering the field in the best of times. However, if you can make it work now....you will be set. I agree you need to focus on an area. How large an area is totally up to you. But, you need to have you name seen as much as possible. Name recognition is what it is all about. Getting your first listing is the hardest thing to do. Mailings work! They may not work the first time around but again it is repetative. The more often you can do it the better the response. Try contacting FSBO's. Lead generators, in my experience, are simply not worth the money.

You need an edge. You need to research the local realtors for the area you are working and find an edge. Something that they are not doing that you can offer. When I first started I sat on the phone and called every FSBO in the area. I called every expired in the area. It was hard but it paid off pretty quickly. What I offered was not only a brochure on the listing but a booklet that I printed for my listings. It started with a front cover page that had a picture of the house and announcing not only the house but myself. Then it went on to have multiple pages of pictures and descriptions, a sheet on extras and highlights, a list from the chamber of commerce on the local businesses, maps, demographics, comps, everything was in this booklet to educate the buyer in making a decision.

Sellers loved it and buyers, believe it or not, called years later for me to list their home and still had the booklet.

If you do not have a listing to make a booklet up on, use your own house. Once you are established you don't need to be as extensive. Lets face it. Doing this is easy with just a few listings but when you average 15-20 lisitngs it is impossible. But, by then your name is known.

This is just an example. But think of an edge. Make yourself different. Make the seller want to and need to list with you.

The other bit of advice for you is not so spend much money on print advertsing. When you are first getting started, you may need to go into one of the magazines (homes and land or the real estate book) again just for the recognition but they do not sell houses.

Persistance will pay off.

Best of Luck,
Linda J Sears
4 votes
Hi Linda,
Do you happen to have a copy of your book you could email me: taylor.jen.r@gmail.com - the idea sounds great. Thanks!
Flag Fri Jul 27, 2012
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Sat Jan 26, 2008
I have to say get Gary Keller's book "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent" pay close attention to the area of brnading yourself and the prospecting sections. He did a very indepth survey of best practices when he researched the book. Read the beginning of the book, the second and third part are for later in your career. The best advice I have ever heard is "Everything Works and Nothing Doesn't". It says that all of it works. Whether you are mailing, calling, doorknocking, geographic or demographic farming what ever you do do it consistently and if you're not going to do it consistently then dont start it. The other side of that is if you do nothing it wont work to get you business.
You have to meet people and then hold one of the two spots in their brains for real estate agents, preferably the top spot. One manager I respected calls it call - see - send. Every day call people, see people and send out notes to follow up on the two previous activities.
Web Reference:  http://www.JedLane.com
3 votes
Lisa Hunt, G…, , Hutto, TX
Wed Jan 23, 2008
I would be very careful with the lead generators. As a rookie, I in\/ested in two different lead generators and neither produced a thing. My marketing dollars could have been spent elsewhere and been more effective. Many of the top real estate coaches say make a list of 100 people you know and contact them to let them know you are in the business. Start there...and keep building!
2 votes
Kent Palmer, , Denver, CO
Sun Jan 20, 2008
I think agent2agent is going to work. These are some great answers. Here is what works for me. I pick an area of town that I know very well, I pick a house that is on the market that I would enjoy selling. I call the listing broker and ask if I can hold open houses. (vacant and staged homes work best) I am currently marketing a $1.6mill dollar foreclosure in one of Denver's most sought after neighborhoods. I hold open houses any time I have 1 or 2 hours to spare, in the morning, afternoon and evening, of any day. A high traffic street, during rush hour on Tuesday evening, is great place to put up an open house sign. But buyers drive around at 2:15 on Wednesday afternoon as well. You never know when your next client will drive by.

Knowing the area, the restaurants, schools and other amenities is crucial. In this business you have to sell yourself before you will ever get to sell a piece of real estate and the fastest way to turn a client off is to tell them you can look that up for them. Knowing the area will help you maintain a conversation. And conversation is how you get to know who this person is and what they are looking for. I try to ask as few broker questions as possible. I prefer to keep the conversation casual. After the small talk and niceties, start talking about the property, schools and area amenities. As you talk, be sure to listen. Statements about area schools, will often get comments like "My kids are all in college now." or “That school is why we are looking in this area.” Conversation is an art form. It can be hard to not go on and on about the new siding and oversized garage. But try to keep your comments short and to the point. Give the buyer an opportunity tell you what they are looking for and why. If they feel comfortable, buyers will tell you more than you ever wanted to know. If they feel like they are trying out for a quiz show, you won’t get their real name.

Here is the secret. Never host an open house, without having a CURRENT list of other properties available in the area. I like a three ring binder with MLS sheets for each property. Keep it short. Again focus on homes that you would be proud to show. Contact the listing brokers to find out how the sellers will respond to showings with very short notice. If you can keep the conversation alive long enough to show them your list of available property, I like to call it the inventory book, you just might be able to show them some of the other properties in the neighborhood. The buyer now sees a knowledgeable and prepared professional, not a used car salesman that switched to real estate. The rest is up to you.

I really like this method. It works well and costs next to nothing. It exposes you to potential buyers and even potential sellers in the parts of town where you are most comfortable working. If you host several open houses in a week, the neighbors are going to notice. With any luck they will talk to you directly, not just call the number on the listing brokers sign. But even then, the listing broker would be wise to confess that they were not the broker that held 4 open houses last week. This is a numbers game. You can shake hands with 100 people at the expo hall or the hand of 10 buyers at an open house.
2 votes
Perry Hender…, Agent, Austin, TX
Thu Oct 4, 2007
This works for me but a lot of my team refuse to do it. Oh well, good luck with it.

Perry's way to get listings
1. Look around you for any construction dumpster in the driveway of any property.
2. stop car and get out - the most important step and one that 99% of the other realtors won't do.
3. knock on door or just walk in if there is a lot of construction activity
4. ask "who's in charge here"
5. begin discussion of listing the house with whoever is in charge
6. Ask for a time to follow up
7. follow up and compete for business
8. win business

Yeah, its really that easy. I haven't lost to many of those either. The only thing I can think is a bigger identifier of a potential listing is a big sign in the yard that says "realtors - please call me so that you can sell my house"
2 votes
Kevin Keyser, Agent, West Hollywood, CA
Wed Jan 23, 2008
If you are new in real estate, the best marketing you can do for yourself is sitting open houses every weekend. Sunday is a work day. Find out which agents in your office need open house sitters and offer to sit them. Don't wait for them to come to you- actually ASK the top producers if you can sit their open houses if they have too many or are out of town. Face to face exposure is your best- and cheapest- way to advertise yourself, unless you are not very personable, in which case I would suggest customer service at Sprint.
Web Reference:  http://www.keyserhomes.com
1 vote
Matthew Goss…, , Fort Worth, TX
Fri Jan 18, 2008
This could be a long answer but there are plenty of ways out there. There are two secrets to real estate. 1. Constant contact with the buyers/and or sellers. 2. Finding your 'blue goose.'

As an author, I would encourage you to take advantage of the free information on the web to help you create a business plan including my blog, blogofgeese.com.
Web Reference:  http://www.blogofgeese.com
1 vote
Richard M. J…, , Sherman Oaks, CA
Mon Oct 15, 2007
Hi Katerina,

The best FREE lead generating source is Craigslist.com. I suggest you post your listings there or if you don't have any, post another agents. Be sure to include a URL back to your site and directly to the property. That way, you give people what they want and if they call, they call you.
1 vote
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon Dec 20, 2010
Hi Katerina, First I recommend creating a mailing list comprised of your sphere of influence. That is anyone around you that can possibly send you a lead whether its a past client, dentist, family member, etc. Send out something of value every month, try to be creative. I like to send out our quarterly county sales report and other useful news. For Valentines Day I send out some chocolates with a cute little note. This helps me stay in front of the people that mean the most and also make them smile. If you send quality information you will be respected as a resource for usedul information this positioning yourself as the go to person.

Second become an avid user of social media. Facebook has been great for me as a DJ and also as a real estate agent. One mistake many people make is they create a fan page and jam their business down peoples throats. Market yourself but also inject your personalioty so people see you are human and not just a business trying to sell something. Believe me people know what you do. As long as you make them smile, provide useful information, and stay connected the business will come.

Most important: once you start your marketing don't abandon it!!!! Another mistake many make, they don't see results in the first month and get discouraged. Stay in it for the long haul and you will see results.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
0 votes
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Mon Dec 20, 2010
99% of those Lead Generation websites are a waste of money!! Save your money, learn how to market online and you will highly surpass your local competition. There is a good book on Amazon that I had gotten recently called Social Media for Real Estate Agents & Realtors, it teaches how to market your services on facebook, twitter, linkedin, activerain, trulia, zillow, your own website, blogging, and much more. Congratulations on becoming a real estate agent and I wish you much success!

Heather Paul
Coldwell Banker
0 votes
Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Fri Dec 10, 2010
Let's start with an observation, everything that you do matters so even when you ask or answer a question her try to spell correctly. I'm a terrible speller so I will compose in Word and then paste it here.
Now to the money question, you can spend lots and lots of money marketing yourself all to no avail. Direct mail works, so does networking and advertising and every other reach out and touch someone method that will be presented you.
The key to it all is consistency and be a bit of an original. Look at the Hobbs Herder program and maybe even attend a two day seminar of theirs. Be prepared to withstand the onslaught of very expensive opportunities they will offer but they have studied this business and have a good program. Another source of basic best practices is Gary Keller's book "The Millionaire Real Estate Agent". He spent time interviewing the best of the best and wrote the book on how they did it.
Times have changed and no one can tell you if those best practices are still the best practices. Another option is to look at an agent in your market and steal every idea they use. If you don't like the word steal then copy their activities and touch system.
0 votes
Joe Reardon, , Massachusetts
Thu Dec 9, 2010
I enjoy using Craigslist for this and generating leads back to my website. Also watch and listen to the top producers in the office.. These are the ones making all the money and try to take bits and pieces of their way of working and formulate your own way.

Thank You,
Joe Reardon
Exit Group One Realty
Web Reference:  http://www.loftsinlowell.com
0 votes
Mike Kelly A…, Agent, Santa Rosa, CA
Sun Jan 27, 2008
Katerina, Don't use lead generators. They are going to give you the same leads you can now harvest in your own MLS. In our area we have 2500 active listings which is a lot for our area. But we also have 1800 "in-actives" or "Expired" listings. Mike Ferry has good scripts for calling Expireds. Use the old high tech axiom, "Shoot, ready, aim!" The cheapest way to get more business or ANY business is either by the telephone using your index finger or using your knuckles by knocking on doors. The adage of "See the people" has never been truer. Align your self with a company which has a great market share, super reputation and support materials for marketing and then get on the phone or out on the street (don't take that tooo literally!). When you get a lead, "Get them into the office"! Lead generation is one thing but then lead CONVERSION is the biggie. Take the top 5 agents from your company out to lunch, one by one, and ask them what THEY did or what they would do DIFFERENTLY! Go get em!! And remember, "Shy sales people have skinny kids!" Zig Ziglar.
0 votes
Maureen Rossy, , 90071
Thu Jan 17, 2008
I learned from a great real estate coach,Mike Ferry, NOT to buy your business. He taught me that the best way is to spend between 2 and 3 hours a day prospecting using expireds, center of influence etc. I just sent in a question about trying to form some sort of chat room so we can all help each other.
0 votes
Wendy Taylor,…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Sat Oct 27, 2007
Market yourself not the company you work for. Direct mail works but takes time up to 18 mos. of consistent mailings to the same addresses. It is expensive. Lead generators also work but many are not interested in purchasing "right now." To generate leads immediately - speak to people you know everyday consistently. Ask them who they know who might be interested in buying or selling and using your services. This people know you and know you will do a good job. As your business expands and your reputation increases you will receive more and more referrals. Look at the NAR website for business building ideas.

Good luck!
0 votes
Dot Chance, Agent, Burbank, CA
Thu Oct 4, 2007
Hi, Katerina. You need to decide what your farm area is and be consistent with marketing to that area every 3 to 4 weeks if possible. Door knocking is something none of us like to do but in this market we are getting back to it.

I have been a member of HomeGain for awhile. I'm not sure that I would recommend it. However, everytime I decide to let it go I get something! Go figure...

If you would like to respond to me personally maybe we can talk. Does your broker offer help in marketing as far as training?

Hang in there - be consistent and make it happen!
Web Reference:  http://www.DotChance.com
0 votes
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