It was expensive in 2006 to buy Ads to generate leads but it was one of the few ways a broker could reach home buyers.
I would buy full-page ads in the Real Estate Book, HomeFinder Magazine and other publications to get the phone to ring.
So a lot depended on a customer finding one of those magazines, seeing our ad and finding a home that fit what they were searching for.
After years of getting mixed results from traditional marketing, I went looking for a better way to reach customers.
And in 2010, I discovered Inbound Marketing got better buyer leads than anything I was doing before.
What is Inbound Marketing
Ever see how people behave when they’re searching for something online.
It’s not the same as when they’re reading a magazine, watching television or listening to the radio.
They see and hear lots of advertisements during those activities but few ads speak to a need or want they have at the moment.
But when they use the Internet to find information about products, services and locations they’re interested in, they usually find what they’re searching for.
And in our hyper-connected world they can use their mobile phone, computer and any internet enabled device to search online.
Posting and sharing information using the words and phrases your potential customers use to search for what you offer is the magic built into the social web.
When they find what they’re looking for, they feel empowered to take action because they didn’t experience a high pressured sales pitch.
And when that happens … their actions speak louder than words.
How does it work
Let’s look at the types of content needed to advertise a real estate listing;
- floor plans
- location (address, neighborhood, shopping, dinning, recreation, etc…)
- details (i.e., pocket doors, oak wood floors, brownstone townhouse, english Tudor, etc…)
- listing description (an explanation of the benefits the property offers)
Every piece of content you collect, arrange and create to market a home for sale is exactly what you use to promote it online.
You could use it all one time in a web page or separately to increase the amount of information available online about the home you’re selling.
So when someone finds your listing from the content shared via
- a Search Engine
- a Social Network
- a Website
- an Email
- a Video
- a Meme
You need to have a way for them to give their name, email address and phone number in return for more information about what you’re offering.
Once you have that, you can
- send a series of emails about your listing
- invite them to connect with you at your favorite social network
- get them to take a short survey
or just about anything that allows you to collect information from your potential customers.
Is it easy to learn
Since I was already sharing articles, pictures and videos on social networks, I didn’t have to learn anything new.
And because I’ve always used email to communicate with customers, writing and sending messages wasn’t something I had to learn.
The free tools I did need to learn, like
- starting a free website to promote my listings online
- setting up a contact form to collect requests made
- opening a free account to send great email messages
wasn’t hard at all.
Each of the free services I used when I got started had step by step instructions that made it easy to get up and running in no time.
My only regret is that I wish I had learned Inbound Marketing sooner because of the success I’ve had generating better quality leads in less time.
How can I start learning about Inbound Marketing?
While I can share my experience using inbound marketing techniques, you’d get better guidance from someone who’s an expert on the right tools, tactics and strategies available.
Our friend Tierra Wilson is a Digital Marketer and Marketing Consultant with 15 years putting Inbound Marketing to work for fortune 1,000 corporations, including Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and the United States Postal Service.
She’s written a great article on what real estate agents need to know before starting their first inbound marketing campaign.