1) Acquire email addresses from all prospects and clients.
Constantly work on building your network and acquiring email addresses. Ask for email addresses! Email marketing is incredibly cost efficient and effective when done correctly. Don’t send email solicitations more than every two weeks and follow all regulatory guidelines outlined in the CAN-SPAM Act.
The main aspects of the law include:
a) Don’t use false or misleading header information – you must have a valid From: address.
b) Don’t use deceptive subject lines – the subject of your email should be related to the content of the email.
c) Provide your recipients with an option to opt-out – provide your clients with an email address or link allowing them to no longer receive email messages from you. Honor their requests.
d) Identify your email as an advertisement.
2) Develop and distribute monthly e-newsletter.
E-newsletters allow you to deliver valuable information to your clients about market conditions, area news, subdivision updates, industry trends, active listings, etc. Your e-newsletter should allow you to build a long term relationship with your client by continuously delivering value added information. You should stick with approximately 80% value added information and 20% advertising. Content is King!
NOTE: If you distributing a large number of email through your companies email server or through your internet service providers email server you have limited distribution capabilities.
If you send out large quantities of email your email service provider may shut down your internet access because they believe you are spamming. You can get around this limitation by scheduling the delivery of your e-newsletter in 15 minute increments. SmartSerialMail allows you schedule your email distribution based on a predefined schedule and send out large quantities of email over an extended period of time.
3) Customize, customize, customize.
As I mentioned before, content is king! However, content alone won’t win the day. Your content must be customized based on the interests of your clients. Breakdown your clients in your database based on their area of interest.
For example, you may deal primarily with real estate investors. Some investors may prefer investing in single family homes while others may prefer investing in multifamily properties.
You should develop two separate e-newsletters with customized content for each group. You will create more value for your clients, increase your promotional effectiveness and become better educated about the various product types within your real estate market.
4) Use Software to stay organized.
Everyday we try to get more accomplished in less and less time. Most people attempt to get more accomplished each day by working harder. You should not be working harder. You should be working smarter to increase your productivity by taking advantage of new technology.
This is called leverage (do more with less effort). Specifically, you can use the calendar and contact management capabilities within Microsoft Outlook or purchase a Customer Relationship Management program like ACT or Goldmine. All of these applications work very well. The key is to learn one and fully utilize it. You will become more productive and successful.
5) Know your market – Research and Analysis.
Good market research and analysis can make you and your client very wealthy. The role of market research includes: financial feasibility, location/site analysis and market analysis. You should be able to identify the supply and demand by product type (single family, multifamily, office, industrial, warehouse) within your market. This will enable you unlock the hidden investment opportunities for your clients.
There are many firms that provide market research and analysis. You can also purchase market research reports online.
6) Automate Your Business.
Automation is the mechanism you should try to achieve throughout your business. Ask yourself “What are the routine tasks that I perform each day?” Then ask yourself, “How can I automate these routine tasks to become more productive?” The answers to these questions can change the scope of your entire business!
You can use new technology to automatically send emails based on a predefined schedule, execute and distribute reports throughout your organization and remind yourself, your team and your clients about scheduled meetings.
7) Utilize a virtual office.
A virtual office allows you to work as effectively from a remote location as you can from your office. Virtual office technologies provide you access to all computer files, software, and resources through a secure internet connection. You can literally work effectively from any location in the world that has access to an internet connection.
If you have a small business (fewer than 75 employees) I recommend Microsoft Small Business Server. This server provides your organization with an all in one solution for file/print sharing, email, firewall and remote access. The cost is very affordable and it can grow as your organization grows.
8) Go Global.
Today we are living in a global economy. The condition of our economy impacts the condition of other countries economies and vice versa. Globalization can present tremendous opportunities for real estate professionals.
For example, the US Dollar has declined substantially relative to many other currencies around the globe. This allows foreign investors to purchase real estate in the United States at a substantial discount. In addition, the median cost of a single family home in the United States is much lower than the median cost of a single family home in many other developed countries.
You can utilize the internet to reach these global markets through search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and virtual meeting software. Search engine optimization allows your prospects from around the globe to find your website.
Your prospects enter keywords (Myrtle Beach Real Estate) into a search engine like Google and your website appears on their screen. Pay per click advertising is a form of advertising on the internet where you pay each time a prospect clicks on your ad. The best provider of this service is Google AdWords. Virtual meeting software allows you to give a presentation to a prospect living anywhere in the world.
9) Measure Promotional Effectiveness.
Remember the old saying “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” This holds true today more than ever. You should leverage technology to measure promotional effectiveness.
You can use your database management system to track promotional effectiveness. For example, most Customer Relationship Management software allows you to enter your lead source for your contacts and then run reports on the number of leads generated from each lead source.
You can also utilize call accounting phone systems to measure promotional effectiveness by tracking the number of phone calls received for specified numbers. You can purchase a unique phone number for each of your marketing campaigns and setup the phone number in your phone system for tracking purposes.
When your prospect responds to the marketing campaign and calls the unique number, the call accounting system tracks the number of calls received and gives you an accurate report of leads generated. You can then track the prospect through the remaining sales cycle to determine your cost per lead, cost per sale and overall return on your marketing campaign investment.
10) Integrate Technologies.
The technologies I described are very powerful individually, but when integrated they can revolutionize your life and your business. For example, you can simply learn to utilize a Customer Relationship Management system and you may grow your contact database, but you have very little leverage.
The real leverage occurs when you integrate your customer relationship management database with monthly e-newsletter campaigns, search engine optimization, pay per click advertising, live website chat, and virtual meeting software.
The combination of these technologies will dramatically increase the number of leads generated, reduced the amount of time required to take the prospect through the sales cycle and provided you with a mechanism to identify the most effective marketing campaigns. Market research and analysis will allow you to better serve your prospects when you analyze their needs. I recommend you learn more about these technologies and implement them immediately.
By Julian Bush