In 2008, the US housing market crashed.
No surprise to many of you reading this article right now.
But since then, the US economy has rebounded quite a bit.
- The US Unemployment Rate is down to 3.6% (May 2019), down from 9.6% (May 2010) and 5.4% (May 2008). (BLS.gov)
- The trade weighted value of the dollar (goods) continues to rise from May 2008, 95.33 index, to 129.13 in May 2019. (Fred.Stlouisfed.org)
- The Bankrate US Home Mortgage 30 Year Fixed National Average sits at 4.01% (Bloomberg.com), down from 6.6% in May of 2008 (FreddieMac.com)
While nothing is 100%, Wall Street Journal reports that consumer confidence is on the rise. Which paints a pretty picture for those looking at real estate as a possible career move.
With the rise of the economy coupled with higher confidence scores, more and more people are moving into becoming a realtor, and opposing chasing the 9-5 work schedule.
From stay-at-home parents looking for part-time work, to people working a full 40 hours+ week to build a new career in real estate, the US market is now flooded with realtors.
Go into any networking event and you’ll meet 5-10 realtors in a group of 50-70 people. The larger the group, the more realtors. The saturation point is palpable.
And with the growth of any industry, comes specialization.
Enter: Real Estate Marketing Companies.
The Concept of Specialization
Real estate marketing companies that focus on helping their real estate clients differentiate themselves in their market (thereby becoming a market of one) are best positioned to help real estate companies become the “go-to” company or brand for their area.
“The fact that market followers (real estate companies and individual agents) can prosper by narrowing their focus rather than trying to be all things to all people is counter intuitive. It’s also highly successful, and highly profitable, if handled correctly.”
– Ries and Trout, “Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind”
In real estate school, realtors are sometimes taught, “everyone is your customer”.
While this saying works in a non-saturated market with low-competition, in a saturated market with high-competition (like real estate today), specialization is KEY for realtors looking to establish their foothold above the masses and be seen.
Real Estate Marketing Companies
Real Estate Marketing companies specialize in digital marketing efforts for realtors looking to grow their business, increase leads, and increase sales.
While many digital marketing companies are capable of this, real estate marketing companies specialize in understanding the fluctuating real estate market.
By specializing in a target industry, real estate marketing companies may outperform digital marketing companies that focus on the mechanism (example: SEO), but miss the point on understanding the market and how the realtor’s audience will responde.
Real estate marketing companies may offer a similar scope of work as a general digital marketing company.
From performing local market research and SWOT analysis, to creating leads and sales through a delicate mix search engine optimization, high-value content, email follow-up strategies, lead magnets, and PPC (paid ads).
Do You Really Need A Specialized Real Estate Marketing Company?
Larger brokerages, like RE/MAX and Keller Williams Realty, Inc., generally have in-house marketing teams and may bring in real estate marketing consultants or digital marketing consultants as needed.
Small to mid-size firms and independent firms may also have a marketing person or marketing team in-house.
But what if your marketing person or marketing team is not hitting the mark? Or what if your a smaller real estate company and don’t have a marketing person on team just yet?
If you’re in a saturated real estate market and need help getting your name (and your head) above the crowd, a specialized real estate marketing company can help you position yourself as “the” expert for your market area.
Real Estate Marketing Services Variations
Many real estate marketing companies offer done-for-you services – like paid ads, SEO, website optimization, and real estate blog writing services. Some companies offer a wider variety of services to choose from.
These services may be offered on a results-basis and/or retainer basis.
With results-based real estate marketing companies, the marketing company uses external data to review your market and market saturation, and may want to interview your real estate company first to ensure that your company can meet commitment deadlines, give approvals, and have the budget available for a dedicated campaign.
Retainer agreements vary. Some may be as short as 3-4 months, while others retainers require a 12-month commitment or longer.
Done-with-you services are services that are, you got it, done WITH you.
These service packages are usually heavier on the consulting side, with the real estate digital marketing company offering done-for-you services upfront, in the form of market research and SWOT analysis for your business, and then prepare a marketing plan for your real estate company based on your businesses needs and how much business you can adequately handle without feeling overwhelmed.
From there, the real estate marketing company may offer regular consulting to review progress and suggest pivotal changes to move your real estate business forward.
These services may be results based, though more likely on retainer.
Retainer contracts vary in schedule and length, based on the needs of the real estate client. These services can be less expensive in the long run than done-for-you services.
Smaller budget? If you are a newer real estate agent, smaller agency, or an agent under a real estate agency (that doesn’t do as well with marketing as you would like) – you may have the time to learn how to do some of the marketing yourself.
While you can dive deep into real estate marketing courses on Udemy and the like, many courses require lots of hours to learn how to manage one piece of the digital marketing puzzle.
A real estate marketing coach, can you help you:
- eliminate wasted time by analyzing your strengths and weaknesses
- identifying what you need to focus on first
- creating a plan of actionable steps for you
- helping you focus on growing your business and leads in areas you’re naturally strong in
- helping you outsource tasks not within your realm of strength
- and may offer online courses or classes specialized to building your real estate audience and empire using your newly learned digital marketing skills.
Your real estate company or individual time and financial budget can help you decide the best course of action for you.
As a general rule:
- Do-It-Yourself real estate marketing courses are the least expensive approach financially, but require the most time commitment.
- These courses are usually online and may or may not offer additional coaching or support for an additional fee.
- These courses may be offered on a monthly subscription basis or on a one-time payment.
- Some courses only allow access for a short period of time, while others allow indefinite access. Once purchased, you have access forever.
- Some courses are consistently updated. Other courses are created once and may not be updated again for months or years.
- Check the course creator’s reputation and look for testimonials from clients.
- Do-It-With-You real estate marketing consultants will come alongside your existing marketing team to analyze the gaps in your existing marketing plan, make suggestions to increase overall ROI and increase and grow your brand and sales.
- Real estate marketing consultants may be available on a project/fee basis or on a monthly retainer.
- A real estate marketing consultant will give you a plan of action, estimate expected growth from changes, and review results from campaigns and changes to find more growth opportunities.
- Consultant fees vary. For many real estate companies, this option is preferred if they already have a solid marketing team in place.
- Done-For-You real estate marketing services require the least amount of a realtor’s time and can deliver the best ROI,but cost more than DIY and sometimes, DWY, services.
- Real estate marketing companies can offer all the benefits of having your own marketing team, without the added cost of payroll, employee benefits, human resources and the like.
- You will generally have one point of contact who will be responsible for your account.
- This person should deliver ROI reports – showing the return on your investment – at a minimum of once every 30 days.
- Aside from occasional check-ins or email, done-for-you is fairly hands off – preferred by many busy realtors.
- Done-for-you packaged services may be sold by the package or sold as a monthly retainer service (helpful for services like content direction, blog writing, and paids ads).
At Mission Marketing Today, I specialize in helping individual realtors and realty companies position themselves in the market by helping them identify their existing market dominance through amplifying their unique strengths and character.
Some of my services are listed in this article, or you can learn more about them on my Services page here.
If you’re looking for someone to come alongside you and help you grow your real estate business, I’d love to chat.