It’s the perennial lament: we don’t have enough time to be good Realtors and good marketers. We just can’t block out enough time to focus on social media, email campaigns, or networking.
What’s keeping you from being a master marketer is the self-deceptive belief that you have to have big blocks of time to devote to it. You might initially have to set aside a couple of hours to develop a strategy and a timeline, but once you’ve done that, you can take five or ten minutes to do some or all of these small things that will make a big difference in your marketing.
- Send a thank you note. You may think handwritten notes disappeared with your grandmother’s generation, but they are still a nice–and often surprising—touch, even today. Keep a few in your briefcase or desk drawer and drop one in the mail when you get a referral or someone does you a favor. Preprinted cards are fine too, if you add a personal note before you mail them. If all else fails, a quick email or ecard works too.
- Make a comment (or two). You probably follow blogs (like this one!) by other professionals. Become a commenter, and use your real name too—not some tricky pseudonym. But here’s the real key to enhancing your profile with comments: you need to add something to the conversation—something that provides value to other readers. For example, if you were responding to this blog (and we hope you do), you might add a quick marketing tip of your own, or share how one of our tips worked for you.
- Send an email blast. We assume that you already have an email list that you communicate with regularly. Your list should be segmented by buyers, sellers, new contacts, professional colleagues etc. so you can target your messages to the appropriate audiences. Make a point to share new resources or ideas while they are still “hot” and on your mind. This can be anything from a new restaurant you just tried to information about a bank’s seminar for first-time home buyers.
- Make an introduction. You don’t have to wait until you have time for a coffee date or a leisurely lunch to introduce people who might benefit from knowing each other. You can do this on LinkedIn or Google Circles but a short personal email is even better—“Attorney Joe, you ought to get to know Loan Officer Melanie. I think you two could benefit each other’s businesses so consider this your official introduction.” If you think about it, you probably have several pairs of people in your database who could do each other some good, and they will thank you for thinking of them.
- Make a personal connection. Maybe there’s someone you’d like to meet. You don’t have to be sending them business or asking them for something—just let them know you’d like to connect. Again, you can use LinkedIn and just send an invitation. But a personal email is, well, more personal! “I heard you speak at last month’s Chamber breakfast and I really appreciate what you had to say about the business climate here in Oakville. Perhaps we’ll have a chance to meet in person sometime soon.”
- Streamline your social media. If you feel like a twit on Twitter, or you’re not getting your face on Facebook, change your approach. Take a few minutes to write out five Tweets and schedule them to post daily for the next week via Buffer, HootSuite, TweetDeck or some similar service. Now you can forget about it for a week. Take another five or ten minutes to update your Facebook status, post a tip or two, or link to your blog or web site, which of course is up to date with new listings and other goodies. (See below.)
- Spiff up your web site. If your web site is as cold and uninviting as yesterday’s coffee, make some changes. You don’t have to hire some geek from “Websites-R-Us” and pay him thousands to do the job. Start small. Change the typestyle on your home page, for example. Add a dramatic photo or two. Delete outdated information. Write a quick blog post with useful information for buyers or sellers and link to it from Facebook and Twitter.
There, you see? You’ve got yourself a great marketing strategy that you can implement in about 10 minutes a day. You can find the time to do these things when you’re waiting for an appointment, sitting at an open house, or waiting for your nails to dry. Review and redirect your efforts every few months and you’ll improve your image and your bottom line. And let us know how it works. We love commenters!