Like many other sectors that depend on heavily on in-person sales and interactions, the real estate industry was greatly impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 lockdowns. Agents and brokers responded by developing new ways of prospecting and selling, and built robust online tools and capabilities.
Now, with in-person showings and events back to—or exceeding—pre-pandemic levels, you have an extraordinary opportunity to combine both virtual and in-person promotional tactics to generate more leads and new listings. Here are 12 ways to meet new prospects and spread your value proposition:
1. Publish a regular email newsletter.
Use it to feature your listings and sales, of course, but also feature occasional buyer and seller profiles, new financing opportunities, any civic or volunteer projects you and/or your office have been involved with, and positive, uplifting stories about life in the community. And of course, offer to consult with your readers on their real estate needs.
2. Hold in-person and virtual seminars.
Partner with insurance agents, real estate attorneys, mortgage brokers, and churches and civic and community groups to hold learning sessions. Attendees can hear about buying or selling a home, financing, insurance, and other relevant topics. Feature these events in your newsletter and social media.
Pro tip: consider partnering with daycare centers. Often overlooked by brokers, they have built-in venues and highly engaged families that may need more space.
3. Visit yard, moving, and estate sales.
While others are bargain hunting, you’ll be seeking out owners to offer property evaluations and/or help in finding a new home.
4. Keep in touch with past customers.
Email or direct mail people you’ve worked with to celebrate birthdays, holidays, home ownership anniversaries or other events. You’ll stay top of mind when those customers are ready to list or buy again.
5. Follow up on expired and withdrawn listings and “For sale by owner” offers.
Homeowners with listings that went nowhere or owners tired of trying to go it alone may be ready to work with you.
6. Have “exclusive” pre-open house receptions.
People like being treated special. A week or so before an “official” open house, send invitations for a “VIP reception and tour” to likely prospects, letting them know they’re getting an advanced look at one of the hottest properties on the market.
7. Run inexpensive ads on Facebook.
You can easily and cheaply target prospects in your area on Facebook. Link to your site for a no-obligation “consultation,” “valuation,” or “market assessment.” And make sure your site has easy to use lead capture capability.
8. Make them move.
Zillow has a “Make me move” feature where current homeowners list prices at which they would consider selling. Connect and let them know you may be able to help them get close to or beyond their ideal number.
9. Hone your social media presence.
You’re competing not just with agents in your area, but everywhere as more and more communities seek to lure remote workers and retirees from other parts of the country. Make sure your listings are exciting and your property photos are professional and sharp.
10. Be the star of your show.
For little to no cost, you can produce short videos discussing home buying and selling techniques, local market conditions and sales successes for posting on social media and your website.
11. Expand your reach.
You’re probably sending out “SOLD” postcards and mailers to your target area (if not, start). You can also target prospects in other nearby communities who may want to level up to your area. Make sure you’re tracking leads, so you know which lists, areas, and messages perform best.
12. Survey the audience.
Online surveys are an inexpensive way to reach prospects who may have built up an immunity to direct sales approaches. Everyone likes to give their opinion, so ask relevant questions about their housing likes and dislikes, taxes, property values, schools, municipal services, and nearby amenities. Use their answers to sift out likely prospects—and who knows, you may also gain some valuable insights as well.
By being creative and consistent in your promotional activities, you’ll be able to offer your services and unique value proposition to more likely customers, more often, at minimal cost.