This question is popular amongst real estate agents across the board. Whether you’re new or you’ve got 20 years under your belt, figuring out how to market yourself as a real estate agent and climb to the top of your market is really tough. But as tough as it may be, it’s a really important question to ask yourself if you plan to make lots of money in real estate. And isn’t that why we do what we do? So, why is it so important to know how to market yourself as a real estate agent? Take a look at your local MLS agent directory. How many agents are currently licensed and working in your market? My guess is LOTS! So how does a little fish become a big, memorable, successful fish in a congested real estate pond? You have a plan, a process, and patience. Let’s break it down.
Every agent knows when they’re getting into real estate that there will be lots of competition but very few take the time to differentiate themselves. Understanding just how many agents are working in your market, competing for the same clients you are might just light the fire under your bum. So let’s take a second to look up how many licensed agents belong to your local MLS and write that number down where you can see it every day. That’s the number of people that are sending out post cards, dripping content, and prospecting in your market. That’s the number of agents your market has to sift through and choose from. So ask yourself, how will you stand out? Spark your inspiration with some of these questions.
- What are my hobbies? How can I connect with people who enjoy those hobbies as well?
- What am I really good at? How can I use that to bring value to my sphere/target market?
- What did I do before real estate? What skills and experience can I take from that to make myself memorable?
- What am I willing to do that other agents in my market can’t or won’t do?
Choose a Niche
By now, you may have come up with a few ideas for a possible niche. Finding a niche and staying in it is a really scary thing to do. You’re thinking, “well Jenna, if I only focus on a small part of the market I won’t generate nearly as many sales.” I’m here to tell you that your business will grow into an automated lead generating machine much faster if you focus on “depth”. What I mean by that is you need to choose your niche and dive deep into how you can become the ONLY option for the people in that niche. You need to be the no-brainer choice for those people. How do you do that? You become a specialist.
Becoming a specialist is really easy if you choose a niche that aligns with your current skills & interests. For example, if you love dogs you can make dog owners your niche. That’s a pretty big niche so you could narrow it down a bit but let’s just go with dog owners in your town. You can volunteer at the local shelter, start your own fundraiser, or sponsor local pet walks. You can write content on your blog about how to safely move with pets. You could partner with a local pet store and host an adoption event or pet wash. You could hand out branded doggy-doo-doo bag holders at your local dog park. The options are endless. Choose a niche that you’re passionate about and the ideas will flow quite easily. Your goal is to become a local expert that your niche will see as the “no-brainer” option because you identify with them, provide them value, and they see you everywhere.
It’s pretty pointless to spend time figuring out how to differentiate yourself and define your niche if no one sees you, right? So, how do you market yourself as a real estate agent to your niche? Well it’s a matter of spreading awareness of your brand. When I say your brand, I mean it. No one, and I mean no one will be able to remember your first name, last name, and URL of your website or blog. And by no means will they remember your phone number or email address. You need to get your brand in front of them on a consistent basis. And you do that by putting your branding wherever their attention is currently. This will change overtime and it’s your job to stay on top of where your niche’s attention is.
Let’s say your niche is still dog owners in your city and right now they’re all over Facebook and YouTube watching funny videos that are going viral. Those get shared quite a bit don’t they? So what can you do to get your niche’s attention and get them to share your brand with their sphere without them realizing they’re working for you? You find or create your own unique dog inspired video that has the potential to go viral. Then you share it on your Facebook & YouTube Channels and be sure to tag a few Facebook friends that you KNOW will appreciate and share it. Then you sit back and watch your branded dog video go viral.
An expert in their field is considered an expert because they’re the ultimate resource on a particular topic. In order for you to become the ultimate real estate resource for your niche you’ll need to provide lots of value. Whether it’s serious, helpful, playful, or actionable information – you need to be sure that it’s valuable to your niche and not just fluff. To make sure your information is valuable you can do a few things:
- Find out what they’re pain points are and solve them. Reddit and Facebook are absolute gold mines for finding pain points.
- Ask them what they want to hear more about. Conduct a survey on your Facebook page and share it on local pet business and shelter Facebook pages.
- Share resources. Create a master list of local resources that dog owners would find useful and offer that to your niche via PDF download or you could just send it to them in the mail.
Giving your niche the tools and information they need and want will create a level of trust that you need to be seen as a trusted advisor and expert. Once you’ve reached this point, you will receive inquiries from people who want to work with you and only you.
Related: 75 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Promote Themselves Online
Skip the Gimmicks
When you’re building brand awareness within your niche it’s really important that you pay close attention to what your content conveys. It’ll be easy for you to get lazy and use some cheesy tagline to capture the attention of your niche but please try to resist! You will derail your efforts towards becoming a trusted advisor and expert if you resort to over-used and annoying slogans or headlines that don’t work anyway. To avoid getting categorized as the cheesy & annoying real estate agent, ask yourself if the information you’re putting out there is helpful to them. Is it something they can take and use that day? If not, you’ve gone off track.
Becoming a local expert and earning the trust of your niche takes consistency. If you’re just beginning to market to your niche it’ll take some effort on your part to be sure that they hear from you frequently and most importantly on a consistent schedule. The best way to do this is to create a drip marketing schedule. First, decide how often you want them to hear from you and then set a reminder for when content needs to be dripped out. I personally make sure my niche hears from me at least once per month. Whether it be emails, post cards, holiday cards, an event, or a sponsorship… I make sure I’m visible to them every 3-4 weeks throughout the entire year.
The worst thing you can do is something that LOTS of agents are guilty of. When it comes to marketing yourself as a real estate agent you have got to make a long term commitment to stick with it. Most of your efforts will go unrewarded for the first year or two. Let me say that again. Most of your efforts will go unrewarded for the first year or two. This is the nature of marketing and it’s the difference between marketing and prospecting.
Create a plan and stick with it. Your rewards will come in time and when they do you’ll have a self feeding lead system of people that will be asking YOU to work together. Imagine that! 😉
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