One of the strengths to great marketing for ALL Real Estate Agents and Brokers is the essentials to have a balanced approach to both their online and offline marketing efforts.
Certainly, an online marketing platform is essential however, this is still a B2B business and will be for the foreseeable future! Employing proven systems, real estate tools and time honored models for your offline marketing is equally important to compliment a powerful, broad reaching marketing platform!
Offline Marketing Real Estate Tools
Buyer Consultation Packet
I was taught very early in my career…well before the consumer internet or websites like we have today…always have at least 5 buyer consultation packets in my briefcase at all times.
This was advice well received as I often met with prospective buyers on the fly or at open houses and it was an easy close when these folks left with a nicely bound packet loaded with great info AND…branding on every single page!
What should your Buyer Consultation Packet have in it?
- Value Proposition – What sets you apart as a buyers representative
- The Buying Process – Step by step instructions from shopping to negotiation, inspection, appraisal, financing and closing
- Exclusive Buyer Agreement – In the State of Washington, having such an agreement is not required but in my view, certainly necessary
- Law of Agency Pamphlet – This list of responsibilities owed to your clients should be prominently displayed
- A Few Necessary P&S Forms for Reference – These should be watermarked but can be a good reference of how the forms appear
- Preferred Vendors List – Local and area utility info as well as your favorite landscapers and handy(persons)men
- Ancillary Marketing – Nice graphics on how buying makes sense and what it generally looks like (financially) to close escrow for example
- Contact Information – This may go without saying but you should litter this packet with any way and every way someone can contact you and/or learn more about you…that includes all your social media accounts these days!
Other ideas I incorporated in my Buyer Packet…
- Local coupons and maps to eateries and restaurants in the area
- In the market/On the market graphics, Buying vs Renting graphics and My preferred lenders contact info
- School, Church and Community Center addresses and phone numbers…remember, this was before most folks had websites but you should add those now too.
Most importantly, I had a solid offline marketing piece that delivered exactly what I wanted, all in one impressive package.
Seller Pre-Listing Packet
Much in the same intent as the Buyer Consultation Packet, you should always have at least 5 of these well crafted and nicely bound pieces with you at all times.
I can’t tell you how many times I met a neighbor at an open house or even during a showing. Being able to ask for an appointment right then and there and be able to offer my pre-listing packet was invaluable.
Even if they weren’t able or willing to allow me in to their homes at that moment, they still left with a packet and I left with the confidence I had a very good chance of being their Listing Agent once they decided to sell their home!
What should your Seller Pre-Listing Packet have in it?
- Value Proposition – What sets you apart as a Listing Agent
- The Selling Process – Step by step instructions from showings/tours/open houses to negotiation, inspection, appraisal, buyer expectations and closing
- Mock Listing Agreement – Watermarked and filled out so they could visualize what goes where (for informational purposes)
- Form 17 & Lead Based Paint Form – Again, watermarked and filled out to simulate a real form (for informational purposes)
- Law of Agency Pamphlet – Outlining your list of Statutory responsibilities as well as those of the buyers agent
- Net Proceed Sheet – An example of what general costs and fees the seller can expect AND what they can expect to net (for informational purposes)
- Mock P&S Agreement – Watermarked and filled out to simulate many (if not all) the forms that go into a general agreement
Other ideas I incorporated in my Pre-Listing Packet…
- Pricing your home in or out of the market graphic as well as a graphic of how buyers determine your homes value
- Market Trends…since I only carried 5 or so of these at any given time (AND I HANDED THEM OUT AS OFTEN AS I COULD), the market trends where updated every time I ran a new batch of packets
- Full list of preferred vendors I call on to get their home ready to market. I would even use these folks as reference for the sellers to call
Making sure your Pre-Listing Packet, offering prospective sellers both information and resources, will help them understand the ‘unknowns’ about the selling process is key to your real estate success.
Secondly, if you are the first packet they get, you are very likely the first agent they think of when the time comes to interview for the job!
With some agents and/or some markets, a professional looking, high quality monthly newsletter is the most kick ass piece of offline marketing you can have for your real estate business! The issue often times is the high cost of such a offline marketing campaign.
That said, I recall my newsletters always being a nice return for the investment when I farmed the neighborhood I lived in. It wasn’t a super big neighborhood so I could budget for a fairly hyper targeted market reach and boy, did it pay for itself time and time again!
Services that create, print and send these to your preferred clients are a God send and a wonderful way to leverage your time.
I wrote a post some months back about farming and one thing I mentioned was the lost art of direct mail from the real estate community. I can’t recall the last time I received a post card or some kind of direct marketing in my mailbox.
If I had half a mind to get back into real estate, I could mine this neighborhood I live in with direct mailers and have the Lion’s share of the market in no time!
As with the drop off of direct mail has come the scarcity of local places that still offer to create and mail these pieces. However, there are still some online stores that do a terrific job.
Other Offline Marketing Real Estate Tools
Monthly Lunch and Learns
Outstanding means to meet and greet with potential clients and vendors. Hold these in areas you normally don’t do business and invite other agents…great way to create a referral network.
Monthly Homebuyer classes
You may need to do a bit of work to get credentials to teach these but they are well worth it when you have an audience of eager home buyers coming to you.
Become a Certified Real Estate Instructor
When I got certified to teach clock hours 10 years ago, I thought it would look good on my marketing. I later found out I liked teaching…BUT, it still looked good on my marketing and business card and got me a fair bit of business too. If your State doesn’t offer something like this, look into other credentials and accreditation’s that give you and your business instant value to the buyer and sellers you meet.
As a 20 year veteran of the industry…from greenhorn to Designated Broker, I’ve really seen most everything. One thing I see all too often is agents and brokers coming up short with their offline marketing efforts. Keeping in mind that marketing you and your brand is a campaign that is best ran on an online as well as an offline front.
Getting your target market to find you with a managed offline effort will, no doubt, increase your online traffic and adding some of these offline pieces like your buyer and seller packets as an ebook to your online platform will give you and your business the legitimacy and authority you need to become the resource they’re looking for when it comes time to buy, sell or invest in real estate!