The old adage is true – putting all your eggs in one basket is just begging them to break!
Having worked in property sales for nearly two decades, one thing I know for sure is that depending on just one source of business or marketing strategy is the kiss of death for real estate brokers and agents.
I’ve seen this game so many times.
The day craigslist removed the ability to create live links in posts without warning, entire brokerages that were built around Craigslist ads were absolutely crushed and lost the majority of their business in moments.
When Google began punishing websites for excessive reciprocal linking, businesses that relied on this tactic went from top google rankings to page 100+ regardless of how much ad spend they spent, which cut old pipes fire leads to a few random drops.
And, of course, when Covid-19 restrictions brought all real-life activity to a halt, agents who relied solely on open houses and happy hours to fill their pipeline found themselves unable to work.
This is why a marketing mix is so important. If you spread your time, money and effort over several heaps of stuff, you increase the chance of filling some of them at any time, even if one or more of them runs dry for reasons beyond your control.
Here are some buckets of business
Friends + family (sphere): If you’re an experienced realtor, you’ll probably agree that this is one of the biggest and most important buckets. If you’ve been in the business for at least two years and are crunching your numbers, you’ll likely find that at least 75% of your sales come from people who already know, like, and trust you.
Sphere references: Hope people in your sphere not only do they trust you with their own real estate questions and needs, but they also refer people in your direction. These “friends of friends” should quickly become part of your sphere and spill over into that friends + family bucket if you do a great job of adding them to your maturing systems after their trade.
Cultivate: Farming is as old as real estate itself, and it’s usually done by focusing on a geographic area with both traditional and tech-driven lead generation tools. Depending on where you want to focus, you can use a combination of postcard campaigns, online ads, and interaction on neighborhood platforms such as The next door and Facebook groups, sponsorship of hyper-local and pop-bys events, plus big data predictors that can help you focus on the people most likely to move.
Open doors : Yes, doors open. If you’ve heard consultants or industry professionals say that open houses are no longer relevant or effective, I bet they’re no longer close to the people who actually sell real estate. Open houses may have had an enforced hiatus during the Covid-19 lockdowns, but in most areas they’ve come back in full force, and now that homes are sitting on the market a little longer, they’re l one of the best ways to meet new potential buyers and sellers.
Ground time: This looks different depending on a brokerage’s business model, but can be a great way to meet new people, especially if your office is a storefront in a pedestrian zone. Open the door and prepare a bowl of water for thirsty dogs. Don’t forget to share your business card and fun and informative accessories. Have fun with it!
On line: There’s definitely room for a bucket of online leads in most agents’ marketing mix, but move slowly and spend wisely. If your brokerage provides IDX leads in exchange for a fence share (or better yet, in your spare time), it’s a great way to try them out. If you find you’re good at and enjoy working to connect and convert leads into customers, and have strong flow systems + development to play the long game, go ahead and fill that online bucket.
Networking: Whether a formal BNI (International Business Networking) group that meets weekly, a book club with your friends, participation on a nonprofit board or local school or chamber of commerce committee, the networking bucket is filled with connections of mutual support who grow with a common cause. Be careful though to have the right intentions, nobody likes a helping hand that only focuses on selling their own services.
Agent references: This is one of the buckets that many real estate professionals miss, but professional references should be a solid and consistent part of your business. By attending industry conferences, volunteering with your association of real estate agents, getting involved in national and international Facebook groups for real estate agents and more, you can develop relationships and create your own referral network without paying the expensive relocation company and affiliate network fees.
Once you’ve established all those business buckets, the magic is in the balance. If you’re not already doing so, now is a great time to start tracking your ROI on each of your business sources. Review all your transactions and note where they came from – these are the buckets where you will want to invest the most time, money and effort, while also working to fill the others to maintain that awesome marketing mix that will support your future production, no matter how hard the world or the market tries to tip those buckets!
Stacie Staub is co-founder and CEO of West + Main Homes.
#Buckets #Business #Realtor