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Renovate and build your marketing strategy

Renovate and build your marketing strategy

by Sabri Suby 0 comments
Sabri Suby

Could your real estate agency’s marketing strategy do with a reno, extension or complete rebuild?

Could your real estate agency’s marketing strategy do with a reno, extension or complete rebuild?

Businesses like Marshall White and Raine & Horne's Dib Chidiac have all been "marketing reno" clients of mine, extending their reach through online campaigns, social media marketing and high-converting web pages. Dib Chidiac’s landing page even attracted media coverage as an example of what real estate agents should be doing online.

If I were the architect of your marketing reno, what would I do to transform it? Don’t worry, it starts with the foundation of business acumen rather than expert knowledge of marketing technology.

1. Get to know the market

When you take on a new property, you probably already know the buyers that are likely to be in the market for that piece of real estate. You need to understand your clients — the market of potential sellers — the same way.

Look beyond the obvious traits and work out how your ideal customer thinks, feels and acts by determining their desires, fears, hopes, wishes and dreams. Search forums, comment sections, reviews and social media to understand the language your market uses. Seek out their concerns and questions and organise your research into common themes accordingly. This will form the basis of how you will target your ideal client and will help you identify the gaps and shortcomings of your products and services.

2. Add value

Most real estate agents do what we call "selfish" marketing: it's all about them, not the customer. Their advertising talks more about themselves rather than meeting the needs of their prospect. Instead of offering valuable information, they advertise by saying, "We'll do a free appraisal of your property", or "We can help you sell your house because we are the best". I challenge you to start promoting yourselves less and promoting your services — what you can do for your clients — more.

One of the simplest ways to encourage potential clients into buying mode is to meet their initial need for information. To reach a broad market, offer concise and engaging media that’s informative and easy to understand, such as a free report or cheat sheet, webinars, seminars and/or videos. Truly interesting and beneficial media will exhibit value to customers, and they will go from questioning whether they need real estate services to being ready to see someone. Guess what? Your agency will be first in line.

What does a potential seller want to know? Start by brainstorming common questions like, "What is my property worth?" While some agents offer a free appraisal, it can be too forward for many potential sellers because it involves having a salesperson come into a personal space. There is also a risk the agent will hound them forever until they choose to sell, and most people prefer a softer approach.

A less threatening offer would be to give them a no-strings-attached guide to pricing in the area. For example, if your agency sells property in Chadstone, send out a piece of direct mail that says, "Go here and download the 2017 price guide for how much homes are selling for in Chadstone". Show them how much houses are selling per square metre, perhaps what to expect if selling a house with a pool or a triple-car garage. By offering a free report like this, it provides a checklist of features people might need to consider.

Off the back of this helpful guide, you will then win some interested leads. You could then leverage that by emailing them about the unique selling features of their home, offering more value through your expertise so you’re then positioned as a knowledgeable agent with relevant experience in the suburb.

We are strong believers that the amount of revenue you make is proportionate to the value you contribute to your market. This is important to remember when competing with other real estate agents who charge a flat rate instead of taking a commission. Whoever is going to win that war is whoever provides the most value.

3. Work across different channels

Successful real estate agencies do not rely on just one source of leads because, if that channel fails — for example, if your competitors scale up their advertising in real estate lift-outs and online platforms — your business will suffer. To ensure a consistent flow of business, factor multiple channels into your marketing plan.

The easiest way is to start with one channel, which might be SEO, Google AdWords, Facebook Adverts, Instagram Ads, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc. Once you establish an offer that converts profitably, where you’re making more than you’re spending, clarify your cost per lead (CPL) and cost per acquisition (CPA) of winning a new client on this channel.

Your goal is to add as many channels as possible, but the first channel needs to be firing with a compelling offer and great incoming leads before you look beyond.

Once you hit 50 per cent ROI from a channel, roll additional profits over into starting a new channel. Continue this practice as each channel hits 50 per cent ROI. It could take six months, but keep pushing to make the ROI happen. You want at least three channels firing to ensure a healthy flow of new clients.

4. Use unit economics to make accurate calls

Too many business owners make calculations based on the wrong metrics. It is extremely important to understand the difference between cost per lead (CPL), cost per acquisition (CPA) and lifetime value (LTV), especially once you get a few channels firing. You need to be able to make accurate calls on what is working and what is not.

The best place to start is your cost per acquisition. There are plenty of ways to determine your average revenue per client, but a good starting place is to take your total revenue over a period (year/month) and divide this by the number of clients you had during the same period. Once you know how much an average client is worth, then you can see what your average profit is and then you can figure out how much you’re willing to spend to acquire a client. Armed with this number, evaluate your current marketing activity.

5. Calculate lifetime value

When you start to think about increasing your acquisitions, identify the services you can add to a client’s sale now or offer to them in the future. This way, you can justify increasing the amount you spend on client acquisition because you are making more money from them in the long term.

With these five fundamental areas as a foundation, you will be well on your way to a highly effective marketing strategy that transforms your business from a renovator’s dream to a rewarding asset.

Renovate and build your marketing strategy
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Sabri Suby is the founder and head of growth at King Kong, a digital marketing agency that uses true ROI and only charges for success.
Based in Melbourne, King Kong has clients across Australia and overseas.
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