2020 Marketing Trends Coming for the Housing Market

With the new decade here, it’s time again to bring you up to speed on the upcoming marketing trends of 2020 and beyond. Here at PAAR Marketing Center we are keeping a close eye on marketing trends and diligently watching analytics to best predict how marketing trends of tomorrow will shape how we structure our next ads.  

Acting on marketing trends will allow you to … 

  • Keep up with the way your consumers shop and research your properties and listings (and those of your competitors’)
  • Stay up to date with changes in market behavior and priorities
  • Keep you ahead of the curve in terms of knowing who your target audience is and what they look for in listings
  • Stay relevant in your targeted areas and among your competitors (now and in the long run)

We are leading our teams in the direction of content marketing for 2020. The cost of content marketing such as facebook posts and shares, blog article posting and interactive analog media can be at least to 62% less than outbound marketing. This direct action generates three times as many leads as well. Small businesses with blogs generate 126% more leads than those without blogs and rakes in conversion rates six times higher than other methods. 

615 million devices now use social media ad blockers. This means when you purchase an ad with a social media platform, people who may want to see your product are opting out of seeing your ad due to the overwhelming sea of spam.

The most effective means of directly communicating with your buyers is by being in the place they are looking. Where are they looking? Obviously, people are looking in the convenience of the palm of their own hands at unprecedented levels. But how is your listing going to be seen in the endless vastness of the internet? The answer is in the direct listing. 

Don’t give the opportunity for them to see the other listers through the use of placing a QR Code on your print ads. Our studies have shown that agents want to be exclusive and the best means of isolating your ads from the others and still being seen is through smaller print ads that are digitally linked to larger fully informative web pages. This eliminates the possibility of being ad blocked and utilizes the best ad space for the money. QR Codes make direct linking possible to any web page or website where real estate is endless. Learn more about QR Code marketing here.

Are You Staying Ahead of Real Estate Marketing With This 2020 Trend?

REALTOR SIGN.jpg

Let’s take a look at what’s going here in the world of Real Estate marketing for 2020. There is a very serious tool in selling and marketing available and it’s catching on quick. The tool we’re talking about is the QR Code. We see them on concert tickets, in the airport, on contractor vehicles, bus stops, heck – these things are EVERYWHERE!

So what is a QR Code? It’s really not complicated at all. A QR Code is a symbol made up of  tiny squares that is scannable on any smartphone camera which can take you to a specific website of your choosing. That’s it. It’s faster than typing a URL into your browser, it’s more informative than any ad can hope to be with the given space, and it’s fully customizable for any use – INCLUDING REAL ESTATE!

These coded symbols are so easy to use and have the potential to contain every listing you have within your company, individually or collectively. They are not expensive to utilize and you can reuse the same one as many times as you like. QR Codes are helping Realtors and agents inform homebuyers, renters, commercial buyers and land purchasers about every detail of the property in a MINIMAL AMOUNT OF SPACE!

There really is no down side to utilizing this affordable and efficient means of advertising. It makes your printed ad snippet instantly become a fully digital and full color information center held in the palm of a potential buyers hand. In the digital age of marketing and selling, you have to stay ahead of the curve. Staying ahead means getting in early and knowing what is happening next in your professional field, and you can believe QR Codes are hitting our selling markets in 2020.

5 Marketing Trends to Watch for in 2019

2019

*from mediaspacesolutions.com

Autumn is upon us. I know this because Dunkin Donuts is selling their pumpkin donuts, which I happen to enjoy immensely, and which go very nicely with Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spiced Chai Latte.

But I digress…

For many marketers, autumn brings with it not only pumpkin-flavored barista items, but also a sense of urgency to figure out which marketing tactics they should be focusing on in the coming new year.

With only a few more months before the new year starts, we thought we’d look toward the future and discuss some of the upcoming marketing trends we are seeing for 2019.

Internet Watching Catches Up with TV Watching

Couple on sofa with TV remote

According to a recent study, the internet will catch up to TV in terms of number of hours watched. The study predicts people will spend 2.6 hours a day online and 2.7 hours watching television in 2019. This will cause marketers to rethink where their ad dollars go, many deciding to invest online instead of television ads.

Chatbots Will Become the Norm

2018 saw an explosion of websites using chatbots to engage customers, and we can expect even more of it in 2019. In fact, we think the novelty of chatbots will fade in the coming year and the tech will be seen as quite common, even expected. Chatbots will most likely become the first touchpoint for many consumers in 2019. Want to order a pizza? You’ll probably start using a chatbot. Want to book a hotel room or choose a mobile plan? Chatbots will let you do it, and all without the headache of having to download a native app.

Banner Ads Take A Last Breath?

The digital age has transformed the way brands and consumers interact. Not long ago, you could sell what you had through blatant advertising, but 2019 will see even more online surfers using ad blockers. This will force advertisers to optimize their content marketing and influencer marketing strategies. Banner ads will no longer cut it, brands will have to find creative ways to offer consumers real value.

Smart Speakers Will Become Even More Widely Used

Smart Speakers like Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Apple HomePod have become increasingly popular with consumers. In fact, 65% of consumers say they wouldn’t go back to life without their voice-controlled assistant.

So how will this effective marketing in the coming year?

We will likely see more online publishers embrace voice and publish audio content to these devices in an effort to land a spot on listener’s “Flash Briefing.” Also, we will likely see Amazon, Google and Apple monetize their content by allowing companies to buy and sell ad space.

Integrated Marketing Will Become Even More Relevant

We’ve been hearing for years that print is dead, and for years we have been having tremendous success using print for our clients. And, with so many marketers focusing on new digital trends, there will be even more space in print publications with which to make a splash.

We know of companies that went against the grain and chose to spend a little extra money to send print newsletters instead of email newsletters and they got tremendous results. Imagine in the age of HubSpot and MailChimp that someone could have such a successful campaign that hinges on an old-fashioned tactic.

Now we are not suggesting that you completely abandon digital marketing. On the contrary, we are saying that print is a powerful complement to your digital channels. With so many banner ads and email boxes filled with advertising, print marketing is a great way to break through the digital noise and be heard.

A REAL ESTATE BROKER’S GUIDE TO PPC

*from Delta Media Group

blog promo - 9.4.18

Wouldn’t it be nice to pay for your online advertising only when someone clicks on it? That’s the basic concept behind pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, which is an effective but sometimes misunderstood marketing tool for real estate brokers. PPC is an excellent tool for earning clicks on agent websites or targeted landing pages, but success isn’t automatic. Start developing your PPC strategy today, with this step-by-step guide to PPC advertising for real estate brokers.

Learn How to Leverage the Power of PPC Advertising

Step One: Know Your Market & Find Your Target Audience

Successful PPC advertising starts with understanding who you want to reach, and what your audience will be looking for in your target market. Start by considering the target audience that you already aim to reach for each agent or group, and looking at the types of home that audience prefers to buy in your target communities.

The target audience that you choose will have a significant impact on the keywords that you use for PPC advertising. The simple keyword string of “homes for sale in [city/neighborhood name]” is a great place to start, but you can also get more specific. If the agent targets luxury homebuyers, then the keywords you choose for PPC marketing will look a bit different than if they were targeting first-time buyers on a tight budget.

Step Two: Choosing a Platform & Creating Your PPC Ad

With an audience in mind, it’s time to take the next steps toward creating your PPC advertising. Popular search engines and social media sites will generally offer the best bang for your buck with PPC. Google PPC allows you to find your target audience on the world’s most popular search engine, while Facebook offers a huge audience and great tools to help you reach them with PPC.

When you create a PPC campaign, you choose who you want to target, and how much you want to pay to reach them. The amount that you spend for each click depends in part on how specific you get with your keywords and targeting. An ad tailored to a particular audience will naturally cost more per click than one targeted to a large, broad group.

Finding the right combination of audience, keywords, and platform for your PPC advertising may take some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment with smaller campaigns to get started. As a broker, you can also reuse variations of some of your most popular phrases with different agents and markets. The creative demands of PPC are minimal, so you can invest more of your marketing funds into reaching the right audience.

Step Three: Follow Through & Convert

PPC advertising works best when you treat it as a way to get your foot in the door because getting your audience to click is just the start of what you want to accomplish with real estate marketing. It’s critical to make sure that when prospects land on the real estate website or landing page, the agent is ready to take the next steps to convert them into customers through real estate content and authentic engagement. PPC prospects are often in the early stages of shopping for a home, so agents need to be prepared to nurture, develop, and convert those leads as they arrive.

What is a Marketing Plan and Why You Need It for Your Business

*from entrepreneurshipinabox.com

Do you want more customers, more income, and more profitability? Then, you probably need an excellent marketing strategy. But, strategy without a plan doesn’t bring you the success that you want. So, you will need an excellent marketing plan.

The marketing function is one of the most important functions of your company and a vital part of your success. Without marketing, your business may have a very low number of customers. Without customers, you can’t sell enough of your products and services. Without enough sales, you don’t have enough revenue. Without enough revenue, you can’t make a profit.

Marketing presents a continuous process that every business must perform from the beginning. If the marketing is a process then a marketing plan is the tool for implementation of that process.

Writing such a plan is not the simple task. But, if you have one, it will help you to know what action steps you need to take in order to attract enough and the right type of customers for your business.

Marketing Plan: What Is It?

In the simplest way,  a marketing plan is a blueprint for the activities related to communication of the messages about your products or services, or your business in general to your customers or potential customers.

In other words, it is a detailed roadmap that outlines all your marketing strategies, tactics, activities, costs and projected results over a period of time. It is the detailed written document setting the necessary marketing actions that your business needs to take to achieve one or more marketing objectives. This plan contains various strategies formulated to achieve the business growth and profit objectives.

A marketing plan outlines the specific actions you want to take in order to build an interest to potential customers and clients about your products and/or services. Then to persuade them to buy the product and/or services that you are offering.

The Purpose of Your Marketing Plan

The purpose of a marketing plan is to:

  • coordinate your business goals,
  • define the market and create proper market segmentation,
  • define marketing mix and
  • systematize activities about chosen marketing strategies.

Continuity of the Marketing Plan

While a marketing plan will give you an important part of activities for your business, every entrepreneur should update it regularly. This plan, once it is written, needs to be updated on a regular basis. You must remember that marketing and its activity planning is not something to be carried out only once.

For example, you can choose 5 different marketing weapons for the next six months. If you measure the effects of implementation of those marketing weapons, you can easily see that some of them will work well, and some of them will not give you desired, or targeted results. You must change something in those marketing weapons that did not give you desired results.

You must remember that a good marketing plan is something that never ends, and maintaining a marketing plan is an ongoing process.

Marketing Plan: Why It Is Needed?

With a good marketing plan you may:

  • Follow up on marketing activities and analyze what is good and what is not.
  • Analyze your market and gain solid knowledge about your target customers, market segments, your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
  • Timely change your marketing strategies and tactics.
  • Know how you spend your marketing money.
  • Know real ROI from your marketing money.

Implementation

Your marketing plan is effective only if you have the capacity to implement it.

You must implement every step covered in your plan if you want your marketing activities to be effective. If you implement every activity obtained in one marketing plan you will know what to exclude next year, or what to add to new activities.

10 Cost-Effective and Creative Real Estate Marketing Ideas & Strategies for Agents

*from fitsmallbusiness.com

Creating a marketing plan and need some new real estate marketing ideas? Here is a cost-effective and creative list of great marketing advice.

  • Market yourself in the Central Illinois Homes Guide! It’s a publication owned by its PAAR members. Offering agents affordable and high-quality advertising.
  • Host Local Neighborhood Tours: When it comes to great marketing, nothing beats the personal engagement that comes from hosting a fun event for your sphere of influence. Even better, why not host an event that shows off your own love and expert knowledge about your farm area?
  • Create a New Logo:  Believe it or not, your logo (or lack of a logo) is one of the most important elements of your personal brand. A great logo can help propel your brand forward while a bad logo… well, let’s just say it’s not going to help you attract more leads.  According to Patrick Sanders, creative director for real estate marketing powerhouse 1000watt, a great logo should:“… signal something exciting and new — a message to the greater world that your organization is always changing and getting better. The work should reflect that energy.” You can also check out Graphic Design services with the PAAR Marketing Center!
  • Learn Facebook Messenger Marketing: One of the most exciting new developments in real estate marketing for 2018 is leveraging Facebook Messenger. Using Facebook messenger and a free app like ManyChat, you can build real estate chatbots to engage your site visitors 24/7 and even send content to your Facebook audience as direct messages!
  • Create a Video Tour of Your Neighborhood: A video tour of the neighborhood gives prospective buyers a much better feel for what a neighborhood is like to live in. Unless you live in a major city or tourist area, chances are there are very few videos showing highlights of your neighborhood on YouTube. Stepping in to fill that void can mean a nice boost to your online presence and can help generate leads!
  • Start a Direct to Door Marketing Campaign with Door Hangers:Joshua Smith famously built his business from scratch to closing more than 100 homes per year partly by using door hangers. Direct mailers can get lost in a pile of bills but leads need to remove your door hanger to get inside their homes, guaranteeing that they see it. The PAAR Marketing Center offers a variety of door hangers for real estate agents. Check out our Door Hanger options here!
  • Use Instagram Stories: The key is to use Instagram Stories to give your audience a look at your day to day life as an agent as well as focusing on your listings. Believe it or not, many people are curious about what the heck real estate agents do all day!
  • Learn the Art of Real Estate Postcards:  Sending out real estate marketing postcards on a regular basis is a great way to inspire interest in your business and raise brand awareness. You can showcase just listed or sold properties or announce your next open house. The PAAR Marketing Center offers a variety of postcards specifically for real estate agents. Learn more about postcard options here!
  • School Yourself on the Best Ways To Utilize Social Media: Many agents make the mistake of carpet bombing social media with listings, market updates, and tips and never really engaging with their audience. Instead, you need to focus your efforts on discovering what content works best for each social media channel you use.For example, contests can work great on Facebook while behind-the-scenes videos might work better on Instagram stories.
  • Create a Client Testimonial Packet: When it comes to landing more deals than your competition, one of the aces up your sleeve can be effectively using testimonials to help earn the trust of potential clients. Nothing is more positive than a third-party account of your performance from someone who has done business with you previously. Sometimes, this is all it takes to push someone over the edge to work with you and sign the contract.

    For help with creating your marketing plan, give the PAAR Marketing Center a call at 309.688.6419!

Why Personal Branding is Essential for New Real Estate Agents

*From eliteagent.com

Personal branding – it’s the buzzword of the moment, and for real estate agents, it is critical to every sale. Standing you apart from the crowd, making you memorable to vendors, authentic personal branding can be the difference between success and failure.

We all know that effective branding is a critical component to business success. From the start-up handing out flyers to a multi-million dollar logo relaunch, a solid branding strategy can be found within every successful enterprise. Yet this need for a cohesive brand doesn’t just apply to businesses, and in today’s digital world that brand extends so much further than simply matching the color of your stationery. As Seth Godin described, “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a customer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

For customer-facing roles, such as real estate agents, having a clearly articulated brand is as essential as having a business card or a mobile phone. Some might even say that more than any other business, real estate agents are selected and used based on personality and presentation… your personal brand.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others, or to paraphrase:

Your Personality  + Your Promise = Your Personal Brand

For real estate agents, this is the foundation of your sales strategy. Unless you have built relationships and created awareness of your unique sales approach and your Unique Selling Proposition, you won’t be remembered when it comes time for vendors to go to market. You need to be at the forefront of a home seller’s mind when they pick up the phone. And you achieve that with your personal brand.

However, personal branding has to be true to what makes you ‘you’. There’s no point marketing yourself as an agent that loves house styling, if you are color-blind, or don’t know the difference between a chaise lounge or recliner! A false brand will scream of misdirection, and in the real estate industry, presenting a trustworthy, honest version of yourself is critical. Find your positive traits and your Unique Selling Proposition, and from there a genuine personal brand will grow.

Establish your personality

To begin, ask yourself a few honest questions:

  • How do you see yourself?
  • How do your peers see you?
  • What are your beliefs, your values?
  • Are you detail orientated and organized? Bubbly and confident? Personable and thoughtful?

By looking inward at your genuine traits, you can begin to build an honest picture of the person that potential home sellers meet. From this list, you can choose positive attributes that are true to you, and that resemble the brand that you want to present to the vendor; the traits you want to be known for.

Ensuring your self-impression always aligns with how others actually perceive you is key to long-lasting, effective brand. As Jeff Bezos, (Founder of Amazon.com) said, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”

What is your promise?

There are a lot (a LOT!) of real estate agents out there. Somehow you need to be the one that home sellers eventually decide to sell through. So… why should they choose you?

Your promise answers this.

What do you do for home sellers that others don’t?

  • Do you go above and beyond the call of duty in negotiations?
  • Are you particularly skilled in closing deals?
  • What are your passions?
  • What skill are you most proud of?
  • What are your superpowers?!

This promise is what will become your Unique Selling Proposition– that one ‘thing’ that stands you apart from everyone else. Though, when I work with clients, I prefer to use Unique Value Proposition. What value do you bring your vendors over and above other competing agents in the area?

You can identify your Unique Selling Proposition or Unique Value Proposition in 5 simple steps:

  1. List the things that are unique about your service, the things that your competitors can’t imitate. What are the things you are really good at?
  2. Identify what emotional need is being met by your service.
  3. Compare these Unique Selling Propositions against your competitors and remove those that are already being met elsewhere.
  4. Match the Unique Selling Proposition to your personality, the two must complement each other, not contradict!
  5. Remember, it’s not about being the best (everyone is trying to do that!). It’s about being the best at something that no one else is.

Delivering your personal brand

So, you have a personal brand you can confidently use! From here, define your personal brand with a compelling brand statement. Communicate this brand clearly and often.

Use this brand statement to answer the vendor’s first question: ‘What do I get?’ with a short, concise phrase that is consistent with your values and your personal branding. Be different and avoid reusing common terms such as ‘trust’ and ‘integrity’, which have now sadly lost their impact.

Whatever your brand becomes, bear in mind the words of the very wise Sir Richard Branson: “Too many companies want their brands to reflect some idealized, perfected image of themselves. As a consequence, their brands acquire no texture, no character and no public trust.”

How To Make Just Listed and Just Sold Postcards That Work In Any Area

*from jigglar.com

Are your agents considering using a Just Listed or Just Sold postcards? Before they do, you and your agents should read this! If your agents want to know how to make Just Listed and Just Sold postcards work in any area, you’ll need to cover five points.

Just Listed and Just Sold postcards are proven to be one of the best new business lead generators for real estate agents, but making mailers that work well and give a return on investment may be hard.

It’s important to make sure your agents:

  1. Stand out from the crowd
  2. Show how successful they have been in their area; and
  3. Give buyers and sellers confidence that they can do the same for them

Postcards That Work

There are 5 key attributes that your agents need in their mailers for them to have maximum impact.

The things needed are:

  1. Great photography
  2. Show what the properties were sold for or are on the market for
  3. Include testimonials
  4. The agent’s contact information
  5. A clear call to action

Let’s touch on each of those points in a bit more detail so your agents can win themselves more leads.

1. Great Photography

One of the most important ways to ensure your agents have a postcard mailer that grabs people’s attention is by including amazing photographs.

The old saying of images conveying 1000 words is probably more like 10,000 words when it comes to real estate photography.

There’s so much that a photograph conveys to buyers and sellers, and that goes the same for using the property photos of their previous sales to capture new sellers.

Long frontal shots that show off the best aspect work great for these mailers because they’re simple and can show similarities that resonate with other sellers.

2. Show What The Properties Were Sold For Or Are On The Market For

It is really important to be upfront about what kind of result your agents have achieved for their previous sellers.

Agents should include prices on their postcards. It gives buyers and sellers a reasonable idea about what they might be able to achieve for their homes, too.

If your agents are mailing this marketing piece to the same area, then this pricing information might be enough to get them over the line if they’re on the fence about selling.

Agents may also include additional wording here surrounding the prices to show whether it was a high price record for the area/street or how many days it was or has been on the market. Whatever is impressive, this is where agents may boast about it to new buyers and sellers coming on board.

3. Include Testimonials

Testimonials remain one of the most powerful motivators.

There’s something about hearing about other people’s success that makes you think “that could be me too”. For an agent, this is like gold.

Agents shouldn’t cover the back of their postcard in irrelevant fluff. If your agents want it to work well as a lead generator, they should include testimonials about what it’s like to work with them. Let their clients boast about the experience of working with them.

Make sure your agents also include names and photographs where possible and also comply with any local regulations about showing testimonials.

4. Your Contact Information

Obviously, agents need to include their contact information somewhere on the postcard. But, did you know that the placement and way an agent presents that information can make a massive difference?

Here’s what your agents need to include in order of importance:

  1. His/Her name
  2. His/Her direct mobile/cell phone number
  3. Personal headshot
  4. His/Her company logo
  5. His/Her website

It’s important that your agents include all of these if they can, but if they’re limited on space, just make sure that they at least get the top 3.

Also, pay attention closely to the readability of these items as that can affect the performance of your mailer.

Studies have shown that readability is decreased with light colored text on dark backgrounds, so if you are using a template with light text on a dark background you should look at increasing the point size of the font a little bit to help readability.

For templates where the color scheme is dark text on a light background, your agents won’t have so much trouble with readability.

5. A Clear Call To Action

Finally, let’s talk about a call to action – the most important piece of your agents’ Just Listed or Just Sold postcard.

This can take many forms, from the tried and true “free appraisal/price evaluation” through to more creative ones like “I have a list of pre-qualified buyers looking for properties in your suburb. Call me to arrange a chat today.”

Sometimes it can also help to offer a lead magnet, some type of brochure or flyer or report that will get sellers interested to know more about their local area’s real estate performance.

Can your agents put something together that will showcase the latest sales in their area with some interesting statistics? Could your agents put together a checklist of to-do items buyers and sellers may need to work their way through in order to prepare their home for sale?

This information is really interesting to people that are looking to sell and it is a good way to differentiate your agents’ just sold flyers from all the other similar mail people receive every day.

Regardless of how your agents word it, or what they are promising people, just make sure they don’t leave it out.

For more information on Just Listed postcards, contact the PAAR Marketing Center for a quote!

August 10 Central IL Homes Guide – AVAILABLE ONLINE!

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FRONT COVER SPOTLIGHT

Tim Weir of Henderson-Weir Agency presents this simply gorgeous, majestic brick and cedar sided ranch home with dramatic vaulted ceilings. This home has plenty of other characteristics and features. Link for more information and photos inside on page 7.