Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.
Real Estate as a Professional Career, the first course in your Salesperson Registration Education Program, presented detailed information about marketing, such as the three stages of marketing (research, analysis/feasibility, and strategy/plan), the four Ps of marketing (product, price, promotion, and place), and the difference between a marketing plan and a marketing strategy.
We will not be discussing any of above.
Once you have decided to whom to prospect (working a farm, working expireds), you must decide how to prospect, specifically, what tools to use to market your services. The list is not exhaustive; it does not include paid print or broadcast advertisements.
Business Cards – As it is your most effective marketing tool, invest in a high-quality card with a photograph of yourself (even if your brokerage provides you with a basic card). Have an ample supply of cards and distribute them at every opportunity.
Email – Set up an email account (your brokerage will probably provide you with an email address). Set it up so only your full name appears in the “from” box whenever you send an email. Use email not only to promote your services, but also to maintain ongoing contacts with people in your farm.
Direct Mail – Direct mail can be grouped into three categories: addressed, non-name addressed (e.g., business mailings to a title or function at a particular address), or unaddressed (e.g., bulk mail distributed by carrier route or postal code), and can be a cost-effective way for you to reach a large, geographically defined target market. Typical direct mail methods include promotional post cards, just-listed cards, mailers including coupons, and envelope mailers with customized letters and flyers.
Website – The Internet is a powerful and cost-effective marketing tool, and you should have either your own website or personalized page on your brokerage’s website. At minimum, this page should include your name, photograph, a brief description, and contact information.
Do you recall broker Marg Gourlay’s Tip # 6 from Launching a Successful Real Estate Career? Be creative in your advertising and promotion.
Your advertising must comply with Section 36 (Advertising) of the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. In Guide to REBBA 2002, the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) has defined advertising/advertisement as follows:
Advertising includes any activity, public notice or representation authorized, made by or on behalf of a registrant that promotes a registrant or the business, services or real estate trades of a registrant in any medium including print, radio, television or publication on the Internet. This includes all advertising, promotional events, printed material however distributed, circulars, pamphlets, billboards, signs, business cards, letterheads, and other material.
More information on the advertising guidelines is available on the RECO website (www.reco.on.ca).
What you say is just as, if not more, important than the tools you use to say it. You want to distinguish yourself from your competitors. You have to find or create a reason for clients to do business with you. For example, do your marketing materials include advice on how to buy or sell a home?
For More Information
For more information on marketing techniques, including how to build your website, please consult our A Mentoring Kit for New Salespeople: Training For Success at http://www.orea.com/index.cfm/ci_id/14362/la_id/1.htm. This is a valuable resource for both brokers and salespeople.
Have you been creative with how you advertise? Has it been successful? Let us know!