Things WILL go back to normal, and you want to be in position to collect the benefits when they do.
As the Coronavirus or COVID-19 makes its way around the world, causing major disruptions to practically every facet of human life, many real estate agents wonder what to do next. If you're a real estate agent feeling the stress of this crisis, you might be thinking that, until you can get out of the house and start attracting buyers and sellers again, you should put your marketing efforts on hold. The fact is, however, that the opposite is true; marketing your real estate business more during the pandemic is the smartest move you can make.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at why that's true, what you should be doing to keep marketing your business, and the benefits you'll collect down the road if you do. So stay safe at home, wash your hands frequently, don't touch your face, and keep reading on to know the smartest move you can make for your business.
What Are the Advantages Of Maintaining, or Increasing, Your Advertising and Marketing Budget During the Economic Downturn?
Here's the thing; in many, many businesses right now, including restaurants, bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, coffee shops and more, now is a very bad time to increase marketing and advertising budgets. The reason; no customers can come out to visit them and purchase their goods and services. There's simply no sense advertising, say, the Friday Night Special at a local nightclub if nobody can come to the club on Friday because of the pandemic. It would be a waste of good advertising money that, frankly, most club owners are going to need in the very near future.
But real estate is different, and marketing your real estate listings and services is different as well. That's because, after the economic downturn, people will start returning to their normal lives. When they do, if they had plans to sell their home or purchase a new one before the crisis those plans will likely be reignited. Yes, some plans may change and some people with them, but the majority of people who were interested in selling before will still want to sell after the crisis finally gets resolved. If you've been reaching out to these folks throughout the crisis, keeping in touch, sending new listings, talking about the market changes and so forth, the chance will be much higher they remember you, sell their home through you and/or purchase one of your listings over another realtor.
...the majority of people who were interested in selling before will still want to sell after the crisis finally gets resolved.
Another benefit you'll get from maintaining or increasing your marketing budget during the COVID-19 crisis is that, since many of your competitors will either slow or stop their marketing spend altogether, you'll be one of the only real estate agents doing any marketing, and so the only voice for sellers and buyers to hear.
For example, during the global financial crisis of 2008, those businesses that kept on marketing and even increased their marketing saw a large increase in their market share, both during the crisis and then for years afterward. Real estate agents who kept their cool and kept on reaching out to their pool of contacts reaped the benefit of their calm thinking. Both sellers and buyers remembered them more because they had seen, heard, read and watched more about them than other agents, a potent combination of getting more info from one source when most other sources were giving less.
Potential Buyers and Sellers Don't Need to Leave Home To See What you Have to Offer
The best thing about advertising and marketing your real estate services right now is that, unlike a bar, bowling alley or flower shop, those interested in selling their home don't have to come to your physical location to get your services and your guidance. Have advice you want to share? Great, go right ahead and share it on Facebook, your blog, or even on a video you upload to YouTube. Have a new listing? Put pictures, videos and descriptions online or on your website and potential buyers can see everything from the comfort and safety of their own home.
Even better, keep in contact with potential sellers via an email newsletter, an email flyer or simply an email message of support and hope that they get through the crisis unscathed. eCampaignPro, the email experts, have all the tools and templates you need to successfully keep in touch with everyone in your funnel and sphere of influence, assuring them, informing them and advising them now so that you reap the benefits later.
As the Backbone of Business, Your Marketing and Advertising Efforts Should Go On
No matter what industry you're in, what type of business you own, or what services and products you sell, one thing is certain; marketing and advertising are the backbones of your business. Not just any old, sporadic, once-in-a-while efforts either, but steady, consistent marketing and advertising, the kind where you're constantly letting potential sellers, clients, customers and/or patients know that, when they need a product or service, you're there and waiting to help them.
This would be true in good times and bad, bear markets and bull, during a crisis or when everything is just peachy. The thing about advertising and marketing is that is has a cumulative effect. What that means is that, over time, more and more people will come into contact with your marketing and advertising efforts and, the more they do, the better the chance that they eventually use your services. It's the same in any business and especially in the real estate business where customers don't make a decision quickly. The extra time that a potential buyer takes to make their decision to sell their home or property is actually a godsend because it means that, if your first effort doesn't reach them, your 2nd, 3rd, or 15th effort might. Use this time wisely by getting as many marketing messages in front of their eyes as you can.
...if your first effort doesn't reach them, your 2nd, 3rd, or 15th effort might.
When Your Competitors Cut Back Their Outreach While You Maintain It, You Win
Imagine for just a moment that a potential buyer was seeing marketing emails from, say, 15 different real estate agents and agencies. Every day. Every week. After a while, they would become 'deaf' to those messages, tuning them out because there were just too many to keep track of. Then, imagine that all of those emails, all of those newsletters and all of those email flyers stopped arriving in their inbox except yours. What do you think would happen?
When the Noise Level Drops, Your Voice is the One Potential Clients Will Hear
The answer to that question is simple; yours would become the only voice they hear, and the only source of information, advice, news and so forth about the local real estate situation. You would be the only one telling them about changes in listing prices, for example, or what the newest trend was in home staging. If they needed advice, guess where they would turn? If they had a question, guess who they would ask? And, when they finally made the decision to sell, guess who they would use as their real estate agent.
If you guessed that it would be you, the lone (or one of the few) voices they were hearing, you guessed correctly. Your voice would be the loudest, one of the few who stayed in contact with people during the crisis, a valuable source of information when many others went silent. The affinity that this could produce for you and your real estate services would be huge, simply because you kept on reaching out, staying in touch and informing your prospects
In short, the advantage you would gain over your competition would be significant, as would the inevitable extra closings that you would make. That's one of the main reasons to increase your outreach now because that outreach will deliver more results in the future when things get back to normal.
Your voice would be the loudest, one of the few who stayed in contact with people during the crisis...
Increasing Your Marketing and Advertising Now Can Allow you to Rebrand or Introduce a New Service
So we've talked about how maintaining or increasing your outreach during the crisis is a very good idea because it will increase your 'voice', so to speak, and help you reach more folks while other real estate agents are reaching less. The same goes for your marketing and advertising, and it also comes with a bonus because, while there are fewer ads going out and yours are being seen more, you can take this downtime to rebrand yourself, or to introduce one of your new services.
Lager companies and businesses use this strategy all the time, increasing their ad spend when the competition pulls back and introducing new products or services while they are the only (or one of the few) that customers are seeing. They reposition themselves in the marketplace also, altering their marketing and advertising mix, changing their strategies, offering better or different price mixes and creating new promotional campaigns.
Repositioning yourself to keep up with the wants and needs of your potential client base would be a fantastic idea right now because, while you do it, your competitors will all be taking a nap and waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to pass. Start an email newsletter if you don't have one, or start sending out email flyers about sales trends, staging ideas, etc. Try something new now and test it out while the water's lukewarm so that, when it gets hot again, you are already ahead of the curve.
...while you do it, your competitors will all be taking a nap and waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to pass.
Announcing a new service right now is a great idea as well, like a staging service to help clients sell their home faster, or a new email marketing plan to get the word out about their property for sale. The thing is, now is a great time to do all of these things because, if you're like the rest of the US, you're working from home, have a lot of extra time on your hands, and your potential clients do too. With millions of people scrambling to find something to do while they wait for the crisis to pass, make yours the content, marketing and ads they see when they're surfing the internet, looking at Facebook or checking their email 20 times a day.
Now is the Time to Create, Market or Upgrade Your Website
If you have a website (and you really should if you want to be a highly successful real estate agent), now is the time to start aggressively marketing that website and getting the word out to the world that it exists. A busy website with loads of visitors is one of the best tools a real estate agent can have in their toolbox, allowing potential customers to see your listings, 'meet' you virtually and get to know you and see some of the properties you've already sold around the area.
If your website needs some upgrading now is a great time to do it since, as we've already discussed, you have a bit more time on your hands due to sheltering in place orders around the country. And, of course, if you don't have a website, now would definitely be the time to start one and get a jump on it before the crisis passes and you're back to the normal pace of daily life.
Advertising Rates Drop During a Depression
Last but certainly not least is one fact that might be the most important to know from this entire article; during a recession (or a crisis like the one we are experiencing now) advertising rates drop. That opens up a buyers market that you should be taking advantage of as much as possible to get your marketing messages out to the public. The fact is, studies have shown that direct mail advertising like email actually increases during a depression or crisis, so you need to strike while the iron is hot.
...during a recession (or a crisis like the one we are experiencing now) advertising rates drop.
The COVID-19 crisis is affecting us all in many ways but, on the bright side, it's a very good time to increase your marketing, advertising and outreach so that, when it does finally come to an end, you're ready to get back out there with a full head of steam.
Here at eCampaignPro, we want to wish all the best to our clients, potential clients and everyone who is being affected by this worldwide crisis. Please stay safe, protect yourself and your family, listen to what health authorities are telling us, and together we will all get through this.