Market Your Real Estate Business Like It’s 2016

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

By Ryan Fitzgerald

This isn’t 1999, so why are you still marketing like it is?

There are two methods to market your real estate business online: chase or attract. You can either chase your online leads or attract them.

Chasing Business Online

Have you ever received an e-mail that you didn’t ask for? An e-mail that was obviously an attempt to solicit you, which was sent to your personal inbox without your permission?

How did that make you feel?

@Yoel, 2014. Morguefile

@Yoel, 2014. Morguefile

Spamming prospects’ e-mails with drip campaigns or their Facebook inboxes with solicitations is what I consider chasing leads. Agents who spam their listings on people risk losing credibility and business. It’s intrusive, it’s a shortcut, and it’s an invasion of privacy.

If you want to risk your business playing a short term game, then this strategy might work for you. But there are a lot of cons with this approach. You risk losing a lot of unrealized opportunity because you’re going to annoy a lot of people along the way. Plus, Facebook is now giving its users the ability to turn the chat/messaging feature “off” for certain people without unfriending them.

Attracting Business Online

Attracting prospects requires a lot more effort, creativity, and patience. This method is a long term play. You need to begin with the end in mind. It’s not going to happen overnight, and you are not going to make as much money in the early stages as those who opt for the short term chase. But the skills you learn from attracting people to do business with you will help you grow fruitful in the long term.

Attracting prospects requires you to be out in front of them at the exact moment they need you. You can do this by creating, publishing, and sharing valuable content that is going to help consumers.

How to Attract Real Estate Leads

Give and expect nothing in return. Build up a library of valuable content on your blog or website that helps consumers in your market. Create a great experience for them whenever they see your brand name online.

Just keep one thing in mind: This takes time.

I almost gave up on this method when I first started out. After six months of publishing blog articles, YouTube videos, infographics, and more, I had little to show for all that content. Other people were having a lot of success around me. Veteran agents told me to get back on the phones. I almost did.

But I stuck it out. In August and September, I was receiving three to four leads each day, only I was requiring people to give me their information to use my website. For every three or four people who were willing to be forced into registration, I was probably losing eight to 10 people who would never come back.

Unforced Registration for Real Estate Leads

Today, I use a new approach: unforced registration. I currently get about 300 people on my real estate website daily who search homes for sale in Raleigh, or come to learn about the real estate industry through my blog articles, infographics, and videos. About one to two visitors willingly give me their information on a daily basis without being forced to do so. These are solid prospects. When a person chooses to reach out as opposed to being forced to make contact, it strengthens the initial relationship.

I realize that 300 people per day isn’t a lot, especially when you compare that to some of the big real estate websites. Just keep in mind that every real estate website starts at zero visitors per day and grows over time through hard work.

At this time last year, I didn’t have a website.

Whether you use YouTube, Facebook, or any other online marketing methods to attract people to your real estate business, you’re going to begin at zero. Exponential growth starts small by nature.

There’s No Overnight Success in Real Estate

Your end goal needs to be clear before you start your real estate business, and everything you do needs to be intentionally directed towards that goal. This is also relevant for seasoned agents who are making tweaks to their yearly business plan.

Be patient and work harder than everyone else. When everyone else is taking a day off, it’s your opportunity to push ahead of them.

I also highly recommend that you check out Gary Vaynerchuk‘s highly entertaining YouTube channel for lessons in business growth.

And with that, I’ll leave you with this quote: “A dream without a plan is just a wish.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Ryan Fitzgerald is the owner of Raleigh Realty in Raleigh, N.C. Connect with him on Facebook, Google +, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Pinterest.

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Comments 26

  1. Another article knocked out of the park Ryan! Such a great topic, and honestly, one I needed to read tonight. As a Realtor who is new to content/attraction marketing, I do get frustrated and discouraged. But hearing your story and how you too went through the same frustrations is very reassuring and empowering to me.

    Here’s a great analogy I heard from Sean Whalen about chasing vs attracting business. Are we being a lighthouse, or a tugboat? They each have the same purpose: to save lives and keep ships safe. The tugboat goes out and grabs boats, one by one, and brings them back to safety. But a lighthouse- a lighthouse just stands there, holding its ground, and shines it’s light. To your point about having the end goal in mind; we need to be conscious every day about whether we are being the tugboat (chasing business) or the lighthouse (attracting business to us).

  2. Thank you, Mike, Dustin, and Leanne!

    Dustin you’re absolutely right and that is the hardest part. There’s a ‘light’ at the end of the tunnel to play on your analogy 🙂

    Leanne, 800/week is terrific!

  3. Very informative article. It addresses some common mistakes people make in digital marketing. Many fail to realize that merely having an online presence is not enough to attract prospects. In a day and age where anyone can get a website up and running, it is important to have content and strategy that compels – not forces – the audience to visit.

  4. Nice job Ryan. As we have discussed most real estate agents don’t know how to use social media to their benefit. The first thing every agent wants to do is dump their listings into social channels. A sure fire recipe for no success.

  5. Great post, Ryan. It reminds me of a quote that has been around — in various forms — that essentially says: “Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can accomplish what others can’t.”

  6. Love that quote, Tony!
    I’ve seen it before I believe it may have even be on a Gary V photo talking about entrepreneurship.
    Thanks for reading my friend!!

  7. Really nice article Ryan & Quite on Point … I’m really interested in your, and others, responses to Sean’s comments RE: The possible MLS’s Terms of Use violations?

    @BillGassett you probably have an educated perspective on that? Is it possible? & if so, would it ever really be enforced?

    Take Care

  8. Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you for reading!

    Great point, Melissa! – I think I just connected the dots. Ray reached out to introduce himself on Facebook the other day. He saw a video interview I did with EAP and mentioned we have similar backgrounds :)! Love your site

    Eddie, tough one to answer as my site has not been around for a full year. The first 6 months I didn’t see many organic leads – it was paid for leads through PPC (Google/Facebook).

    Now I don’t pay a thing, and my leads are all organic.

    If you want a measurable stat, my website alone is generating 2-3 new face to face meetings/week. Hope that helps!

  9. Great info, I have just change my website from forced to view the first property to required registration on the fourth property. Can someone please share how changing registration requirements have affected their sales?

  10. Great article, Ryan. We are kindred spirits when it comes to our site and building organic traffic, it seems. I have bounced around the idea of unforced registrations and think I will give it shot. Thanks!

  11. Certainly the marketing method that was in 90’s have changed quite a lot. Today digital marketing has revolutionized old school methods of marketing and now marketing is much more effective than the previous years.

  12. Thanks Ryan for informative share. However, It was 2016. Now is 2019..the strategies for marketing of real estate has much change. Digital going to be great trend. online marketing help save much time and money for real estate agents to run a marketing campaign.

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