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You need leads. The Glenngary leads. Who doesn’t? Fortunately, you don’t have to browbeat people, or lie to them, to get in the door. You also don’t have to lower your standards. Here’s how to market yourself and keep your self-respect.

Comb Your Database

Cold-calling does still work, even though most agents hate doing it. The trick to making it work is to tap into your existing database with a pre-approach letter. Your database is full of people who have done business with you in the past, or are prospects for the future. Keep in touch with them because, even if it doesn’t result in a sale today, it may eventually. But, people only buy from people they know and trust. So, stay in front of them.

After each phone call, send the person a “thank you” note, and offer to answer any questions they have about real estate. You can also use your database to hold referral contests or client appreciation nights.

Invite your clients to dinner or to an informational seminar once per quarter and invite them to bring a friend or family member who is shopping for a home or who is looking to sell their home. This is a great way to build a relationship with your current clients and expand your database. Even if the friends and family members don’t become clients, they can, in turn, invite other people to future dinners and seminars.

Get On Facebook

Can you believe Facebook is a marketing force to be reckoned with? Start friending people and keep posting relevant updates about real estate, the real estate business, taxes, the law, and anything else that’s relevant to your industry.

Engage with people, write on their wall, send updates and helpful information when you notice that it’s needed. This is how you make friends and, eventually, get clients. For example, let’s say you notice someone asking about how to fix a lawnmower or suggestions for hiring a painter.

This is you “in.” You can be a helpful voice in that conversation, and get yourself noticed. If you do this often enough, and you provide thoughtful and helpful advice, you will become their friend. They’ll seek you out.

Use Good Contact Management Software

A good real estate contact management software program is hard to beat for staying on top of your clients, appointments, and meetings. Unbelievably, a lot of real estate agents don’t use a program or, if they do, they don’t use one with a long list of features. Big mistake. Get a robust program, like Blitz Lead Manager. It’s worth the investment.

Use Direct Mail and Direct Response

Direct mail and direct response is, well, direct. It’s one of the few ways to quantify your marketing results. You send out mailers or buy a media ad, and you get an immediate response that’s trackable and measurable. You know whether the marketing works or not, and thus you know whether you should be putting more, or less, money into your campaign.

Create Virtual Tours

Create a virtual tour and post it on YouTube. Virtual tours are becoming more popular, but a lot of agents are skimping on the quality. Don’t do this. Spend the time, and the money, to shoot professional video. If you have an iOS device, consider buying the Filmic Pro app - it shoots video that’s comparable to a $10,000+ DSLR camera.

Spend some time annotating it, putting up a nice description, edit the video so that it has a professional into and outro, and use background music. Consider adding a voiceover. If you don’t like your own voice, you can hire someone else to do it on Fiverr for under $50.

Create Whitepapers

A whitepaper is a longish document that explains a concept or process. Most real estate agents don’t use them. They’re actually popular in the IT industry, but they can be used by you to explain the complicated process of buying a home. Here’s the thing: A whitepaper isn’t an advertisement.

It’s more of a special report. But, it has to simplify the topic for the reader and make him or her want to call you for more information. If you do a good job with it, you can hand out your whitepaper at networking events and your seminars and it will pre-sell prospects for you.

Alice Gibbons once worked as a real estate broker. Now retired, she likes to keep one foot in the industry by writing about it. Look for her informative posts on many business and real estate websites and blog sites.

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