With any industry, proper marketing and setting yourself apart from the competition is crucial, and real estate is no different. The right marketing strategy is vital to success in a crowded marketplace and many options. Boundary Title is here to help you navigate some of the most common challenges and build a robust approach to real estate in Alabama.
What Are Real Estate Agent Marketing Challenges
Real estate agents in Alabama face several daily challenges in marketing their business, services, and themselves. Some of the most common challenges include:
- Need for more differentiation
- Lead generation
- Online presence and visibility
- Online reputation management
- Time management
- Keeping up with technology and legal advancements
- Budget constraints
Lack of Differentiation
The real estate industry, by nature, is very competitive. In a crowded landscape, it’s essential to set yourself apart from the competition. One way to make differentiate yourself is through personal branding. If there’s a specific area of town or neighborhood you’re an expert in, try marketing yourself as the go-to for that area. This can help you build a lasting and rotating client database. Another way to brand yourself as an expert is to gain certifications within the industry or through marketing courses- like Meta Blueprints or Google Analytics Academy.
Finding good-quality leads is a huge challenge for real estate agents in Alabama. It can be difficult and costly. Some agents have more success using traditional media tactics like direct mail. In contrast, others swear by digital efforts like social media, paid search, and digital display, while some agents will use a mix of the two. Take advantage of free online tools like Google Analytics to understand who is visiting your site, what pages they are viewing, and what content they are clicking on. A high bounce rate, for example, can indicate people aren’t finding what they are looking for.
When meeting a potential lead, it’s important to be professional and get all of the correct information. One tool to keep in your real estate agent toolkit is a follow-up form to ensure you’re not forgetting anything. Purchasing a new home or selling an existing home is a huge decision, and some people take more time than others. It can take time to develop the skill of balancing follow-ups and check-ins.
Online Presence and Visibility
It’s not an unknown fact that when people search for something, they start online. For real estate agents in Alabama, it’s important to have a presence online and ensure that your website, social media pages, and other listing services have the correct information and are written so that they rank high in search engines. One good way to do this is to have a blog on your website. Simple posts about industry news, remodeling trends, or new community businesses are all great ways to connect with potential clients.
It’s also important to have a presence on social media and a constant presence at that. Be sure to post frequently and create engaging content for your followers. Start by creating a content calendar and mapping out your ideas to keep your posting schedule fresh.
Managing Online Reputation
Reading online reviews can provide valuable insight into any item you’re about to purchase, and the same is true when potential clients are looking for a real estate agent. Clients want to read what past clients have to say, and of course, you want what they are seeing to be positive. Asking a client to leave a review on your Facebook Page or Google My Business listing can help legitimize your presence in the industry.
However, not every interaction will be positive, and there will be a difficult client every so often. If a negative review does creep in, it’s important to address it swiftly and professionally. Unfortunately, most platforms will not simply remove a review because it’s unfavorable. Legitimate reasons for removing a review include hate speech, spam, or offensive content.
Keeping Up with Technology
If there is one constant in life, it’s that technology is constantly changing. Last year’s latest and greatest tool or recommendation may not be the best option this year. Some adaptations are automatic, such as when Instagram rolls out a new posting algorithm, and some may require a little more attention and dedication, like migrating CRMs.
One of the best ways to stay up-to-date with changes in the industry is to attend industry meetings and join professional organizations. An added benefit of attending these types of events is the networking opportunities they provide.
For real estate agents in Alabama, time management and finding a good work/life balance can be a bit of a struggle. In the real estate industry, time management is especially difficult since the responsibilities of the job sometimes tend to fall outside of normal working hours.
One way to free up some time is to pass along some day-day tasks to an intern or freelancer. Blog writing, filing, and social content creation are all examples of easily-outsourced tasks. This can free up your time to focus on lead generation, returning phone calls and emails, and setting up showings.
One appealing benefit of the real estate industry is that most agents are independent contractors and set their own hours to a degree. This can free up a few hours during the day you wouldn’t ordinarily have for personal appointments.
Compliance and Legal Regulations
Real estate agents in Alabama must always be aware of real estate laws and abide by the code of ethics. Real estate law differs from state to state, so you want to be sure you’re following your state’s latest guidelines. Your broker is another resource when you have a licensing or real estate law question. When it comes to following the law, it’s better to be safe than sorry and risk losing your license.
Not all marketing is free, and soon enough, you’ll have to pay for advertising, print materials, or other promotional items. Creating a budget is important to know how much money you are spending and accurately counting your ROI. Consider setting aside a portion of each commission check for future marketing efforts. The U.S. Small Business Association recommends setting aside 7-8% of your gross revenue for marketing when your sales are less than $5 million annually.
Boundary Title is Your Partner in Real Estate
A career in real estate in Alabama can be extremely rewarding, but it is not without its own challenges. It’s important for new real estate agents just starting out to come up with a game plan, and important to change and adapt the game plan as time goes on. It’s important to set yourself up for success from the beginning.
Boundary Title can help you stand apart in a crowded marketplace. Our team has years of experience and is dedicated to ensuring your transaction runs smoothly. Whether you need assistance with your first closing or your two-hundredth closing, our team is ready to assist. Contact us online today for all of your real estate title needs!