The internet has become the de facto standard for reaching customers as online advertising is now more relevant to real estate promoters than print. Over time, more ad dollars have been allocated to search engine and social media ads. In the future, marketing online will become simpler and more accessible for the promoter.
Promotional materials and methods are usually distinct for each campaign. A condo will receive a treatment that is different from a whole subdivision. Some promotional tools, such as radio, are viewed as subordinate or less relevant to the mass market and may be limited to particular projects.
It seems logical that a highly relevant tool would have more budget allocated to it. However, this is not always true. The Keller Research Center at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, produced a report that showed farming for referrals has the highest return on investment yet receives only 10 per cent of real estate promotion budgets.
Social media opened the door to an integrated approach for digital promotion. The current standard is to employ a wide range of communications and deploy to many advertising sites at the same time. An agent may blog about a new listing on her site but also post that content to Pinterest, LinkedIn and Facebook. Each site has a different audience profile so this type of promoting has good reach but also good depth. Tools such as Sendible.com can automate the process of multi-site postings.
Integrated marketing has a number of advantages, including cost savings. Consumers often go to their preferred social media site before researching on other sites. Promoting on many sites at once makes planning easier and allows for a more cost-effective campaign. Combined with a common lead intake form, from Hubspot for example, integrated marketing can have a lot of value for the sales representative.
The continuing shift toward personalized promotion means that promotion budgets are being allocated to solving communication problems. This speaks to the need for foundational work that enables more efficient communication. Technology such as instant chat, SMS contact forms and database marketing have become cornerstones of the promotion plan.
More agents are using database marketing as the technology becomes more accessible. Database promotion might seem obvious but if you ask 100 people how to import a contact list into a CRM, only a small percentage will say it’s easy. Most will ask themselves if learning the process is worth their time. This is an important question because it compels the agent to examine their promotional plan and focus on what is really important.
One important concept in integrated promotion is understanding the real estate consumer’s point of view. Twitter has a fun poll feature that is easy to use and results can be included in an email or newsletter. For serious research, surveys can be helpful and cost-effective when done by a brokerage or a board.
The focus on the relationship is often the most profitable approach for sales representatives. According to the Harvard Business Review, reducing repeat client defections by five per cent can increase future profits up to 90 per cent. It seems that a strategy of staying in touch with past clients can be very profitable.
Integrated marketing allows the practitioner to create a holistic brand campaign with one voice and look across all media. A campaign can be quite simple, perhaps just a slogan, but also powerful if the message and the promotional tools work together.