Thank you for joining us for another episode of Brilliant Talks, our free weekly coaching program for real estate agents. Barry Jenkins, CMO of Better Homes and Gardens NAGR, will speak to us about the strategies he and his team use to increase sales in their market during this session. 

Barry runs a team of 70 agents in Virginia Beach, and they close 800-900 in sales every year. He has also worked full-time for Ylopo since 2016, where he helps make products, tests them out with his team, and does wide releases.

An obvious thing that agents often overlook that we need to keep in mind when we do marketing is a simple fact that we sell homes—and there is always going to be a demand for buying and/or selling homes. People grow up, have families, move out, relocate, etc., and it is our job as agents to help them meet their real estate needs regardless of any of those life scenarios.

Housing is one of the basic human needs, and when we think of our craft as helping everyone find the perfect home for them, it changes everything, from the way we talk to the leads, to what behaviors we look for in order to better understand the people and see opportunities to meet their needs.

The same can be said for our marketing strategies.

So, what’s working right now in real estate?

CRM

Your database is your best friend. It is where you can keep track of new leads that you can nurture, as well as maintain your relationship with past clients.

Some CRMs, like Chime, provide an all-in-one service of having your website, database, and digital marketing platform under a single company—which can be convenient for some of us, especially those who are just starting out. Other CRMs, such as Follow Up Boss, place more of an emphasis on integration by developing widgets that can be incorporated into your systems.

They also provide automation to help you connect with people faster and more consistently.

With technology moving at neck-breaking speeds, there are many options out there for what database you can use. Choose what works best for you in terms of reaching out to people.

Digital marketing and Lead generation

The Internet is a huge world, and there are many places online where you can run ads to reach your audience, but the most popular are Google PPC and social media ads, particularly on Facebook.

From a digital marketing perspective, Facebook is disruptive. There aren’t many people out there who would think, “I’m going to look for a house; let me go on Facebook.” People go there for a different purpose; they just happened upon your ads.

But Facebook works great for remarketing. Your audience on social media might still be in the early phases of their home search, or the intent may be there but it isn’t that urgent—yet. Keeping in front of these audiences even while they are not yet ready is a great way to increase your brand's awareness and provide value by giving them content that might help them figure things out so they can eventually be more ready to transact.

It is also a great way to get leads that you can nurture long-term until they are ready to buy/sell/invest in real estate. 

Google PPC, on the other hand, is great for new opportunities. The leads you get there are more intentional in their home search. They more or less have an idea of what they want and where they want to buy it. But they might still be thinking of buying 6-12 months out.

These are leads that nobody wants, but they are still qualified leads. A lot of agents get impatient with online leads because they want to close immediately. But this is a great opportunity to build relationships before they start actively looking for an agent; by that time, the competition is high.

Content Strategy

Content is what drives a business because it is how you communicate with a general audience. You need a compelling content strategy in place—videos, music, text, and images—that people really connect with. Great content encourages your audience to engage, save, and share it with others; all are behaviors that indicate they want to hear from you.

It is good to invest in great content for your brand.

Email Marketing and Automation

Email works, especially if you already have a good database and a strong content strategy. The reason why it doesn’t work sometimes is that it is sometimes too specific.

When you set up your email automation, make it less about the specific thing they are looking at, like an ad about a house, and more about the fact that they are looking. Focus on the behavior of your consumer, not the object of the behavior.

Once you understand their behavior, you can provide a better value proposition that will actually suit their needs, whether that be by giving out listings, home buying/selling guides, seminars, or open house invitations. It is about providing service and making your audience feel like you are there to help, not just to make money off of them.

Changing the conversation

Over the years, Google PPC has changed. Before, it used to be a trade: in exchange for personal information (name, contact number, and email), we would show you this shiny new house listing that you wanted to look at.

Now, it is all about having a conversation. People appreciate the concierge experience of having a professional available who can answer their questions, provide feedback, and bounce ideas off of, especially when they are still unsure of what they want. Capitalize on the value proposition of a discussion—when you ask people questions they don’t often hear like, “What sparked your interest in searching for a home, even though you might not be ready right now?” they are more than willing to give you valuable information.

Ask questions and focus on the conversation. At the end of the day, this business is a relationship business, and it depends on the quality of our communication.

Watch the video replay if you missed it! Barry shares his input on what’s hot and what’s not in lead generation. You can also grab a copy of his book, Too Nice for Sales, on Amazon. And if you are looking for deeper coaching on marketing for real estate, we have one-on-one and group coaching available for you.