By Yazir Phelps
Summertime is nearly here, and with it comes a new quarter and a chance to execute on your real estate marketing plan. How do you make sure your real estate marketing plan moves you forward this quarter and brings your business to the next level? It starts with being strategic, setting goals and holding yourself accountable for executing those goals.
Here are three important elements to remember as you create your marketing plan this summer:
1. Set goals to accomplish by the end of the summer.
The third quarter runs from July 1 to Sept. 30, which will take you right through the dog days of summer. How are your goals for this time period going to be different from your goals in quarter one? Here are some summer-specific questions to ask as you determine your focus:
- Will you be taking any summer vacations that will impact your productivity or change your focus this quarter?
- Is there any summer seasonality in your market? Do you have parents looking to move before school starts again? Is it harder to find new clients because so many people are taking vacations?
- Do you need to plan any marketing around summer? Do you need to make a plan for Labor Day? Are there any local summer festivals or events in your area that you could sponsor?
2. Create a detailed marketing budget.
Not setting aside some money for marketing will doom your plan before you get started. Even marketing strategies that are sometimes considered free, such as social media marketing and search engine optimization marketing, have costs. Take some time to set a budget for your summer marketing endeavors and what costs you might incur. Here are some costs you might consider:
- New photos for your listings if they were originally taken in the winter and the exterior has dramatically changed—this can help enhance your listing descriptions.
- Sponsoring summer festivals, parades or community events—this could include providing raffle prizes or having a booth set up at local events
- Publishing ads on social media
- Hiring a college student or summer intern to help you create blog content to drive traffic to your website
3. Think about your target audience.
Instead of thinking about generic ways to make the most of the summer for your real estate marketing plan, think of ways that your specific demographic needs help this summer. Do you mostly work in an outdoorsy area? If so, become the local expert on trails, parks and outdoor summer fun. Is your target demographic families? Think of ways to help parents on summer road trips or become a resource hub for summer camp and child-friendly activities. Whatever your demographic is, spend time thinking about how you're going to help them this summer.
In order to know how impactful your efforts are over the summer, you'll have to commit to measuring them throughout the summer and at the end of the quarter. You won't want to continue the same strategies in the fourth quarter if they didn't work in the third quarter. Measure how much money you spent on each specific strategy. Ask new clients how they found you so you can determine how much each client cost.
Analyze your social media and website analytics. You'll want to look at pageviews, time spent on a page, engagement on social media and, most importantly, how many clients you were able to convert from these efforts. Lead generation is your ultimate metric. If you're spending money on social media but not getting any conversions, it might be time to develop a more targeted approach by taking a continuing education course.
Create a Plan and Stick to It
The best way to gauge your success is to stick with your plan while adjusting along the way. Following through with your real estate marketing plan will give you something to build on toward the end of the year. You'll never know if your ideas are worth repeating (or mistakes you don't want to try again) unless you get started now and follow through with your goals.
Yazir Phelps is the chief marketing officer at Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Phelps has over 18 years of experience in marketing, fueling growth at Fortune 500 organizations, and over five years of experience working directly with real estate professionals. Her extensive background in generating demand for products and services encompasses crucial strategies for a successful career in the field. To learn more, please visit www.RealEstateExpress.com.