Are you looking for that “one thing” to set your agency apart from the others? Seeking a way to differentiate yourself? Want to position yourself as the agent to work with?
Of course you do, and you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post we’ll look at how our go-to market plan—the strategy behind Garry Wise’s successful brokerage, GoodLife Luxury–and how you can use it to rise above your competition.
Essentially, a go-to market plan is a checklist of all the things that you will do to help your client market and sell their home.
You may be thinking that you already have a list (albeit perhaps an unintentional or unspoken one) of things you do, but it’s important to get that into the open with your potential clients, right from the get-go.
Because it sets you apart.
According to the National Association of Realtors, what sellers want most of all from their agent is help marketing their home to potential buyers:
Why is a go-to market plan is so important? It explains how you are going give your client what they want most of all.
Your customers don’t simply want you to help market their home – they expect you to market their home. When you take a listing, you are promising your clients you will do just that.
So if the following sounds like your current marketing strategy…
- Put a sign in their yard;
- List on MLS;
- Pray that it sells!
…Then you are breaking that promise right out of the gate!
Look at it this way: if the number one expectation of your potential seller is to market their home, then that’s what they expect you are going to do.
Where is the best place to market your clients’ properties to potential buyers (in other words, how do you find your next buyer or seller)?
Exactly where they already are; of course.
And where is that, you ask?
According to the National Association of Realtors, almost half of all home owners found their new home online.
Do you really want to set yourself apart from other realtors?
Then give your customers exactly what they want (market their property), and let your seller know, step-by-step, how you are going to achieve that goal.
Let’s look at how you can actually work this into a conversation with your potential customers:
“Well a while back we could sell your home in the old way”
(Your customer may ask you what that looked like…)
“Well. Back then we would put a sign up in the yard, list your home on MLS, and, frankly, pray that it sold! And truth be told, most realtors still operate in that outdated method! But what we need to do is to be sure we operate in the new way of selling real estate.”
(Your customer will probably ask what is different about your system. This is where you set yourself apart…)
“My team and I connect with potential buyers where they already are; did you know that more than 95% of home buyers start their search online?”
Throw the old system to the wind, and hang on to your hats because we are using the ‘new’ 3 P approach!
The ‘new’ 3 P’s:
- Home Preparation (this is the packaging; you want to make sure that the property you represent is at least as good, if not better, than the others on the market).
- Pricing Strategy: a conversation about what
- Promotion: making sure the right message is put in front of the right people at the right time, where they are.
Boom. There’s your winning formula.
Right now, you might be thinking: “But can’t you sell a house with less… effort?” Just put the listing on MLS, do a quick ‘drive-by’ photo of the front of the property (you know what we mean: not even bothering to get out of the car to take it!).
The answer is yes, sometimes you can get away with minimal effort.
But here’s the thing: you have a fiduciary responsibility to your customers. You have a responsibility to do everything you can to get the highest price for their home that you can.
If you don’t, you will leave money on the table and you will lose future business.
Here’s the thing: only 22% of sellers use the same agent the next time they sell.
That means 78% are using somebody else the next time they think of selling (or buying).
Ok, so you know that a Go-To-Market Plan is a much needed strategy that needs to be shared with your sellers; and that it includes marketing the homes (your clients #1 wish), and that you need to share that info with those clients upfront. But what are the actually tools and tactics that you can use to promote a home, in a new way, that helps you stand out from the crowd?
Marketing Listings online and using Facebook
This is what we use, tried and tested, and constantly evolving, so we can attest that the overall strategies are very effective but your individual tactics may vary.
A Coming-Soon or Just-Listed campaign
We always kick off a new listing with a coming-soon or just-listed campaign; think of it as your listing’s ‘coming out party’ (you know, if your property was a debutante).
The concept isn’t new, just-listed campaigns have been around for a long time, and they’ve been around for a long time because they are effective.
If one of the steps in your marketing plan was to, say, run a newspaper campaign, well, ahem, that’s probably not going to be effective.
That’s where the buyers…were. That’s not where your buyers…are now.
Sure a decade or more ago a newspaper ad may have gotten you a few solid leads but you are wasting your resources – time, money, and effort – by hanging out where your customers are not.
So what should you be doing instead?
We already discovered that half of your potential buyers are online, so that’s exactly where you need to be, too.
Property Landing Pages
It’s essential that you have a property landing page set up for your listings; literally a webpage with photos, details of your listings, and even video can be added.
This is a corner of the internet world that you can call your own and that you can have interested buyers and sellers visit.
This isn’t a page that is on someone else’s site, this isn’t a page on a listing site; this is a dedicated page on your own business website.
(If you don’t already have a website set up, don’t worry: it is all part of our offering at the Paperless Agent Coaching Club.)
Here’s a real example of one of Garry’s actual listing pages:
If you scroll down on the same landing page, you will see call-to-action buttons (for example to schedule a tour or to view information about the next open house) and details about the property.
You’ll also see the variety of social media sites that Garry is on, again, going back to being where your customers and potential buyers are.
EXTRA TIP: Please make sure that your landing page is mobile-optimized, that it loads and reads easily on a cell phone! Your buyers may very well be searching using a hand held device!
(We go into a lot more depth on landing pages in our post, Page Features Your Website NEEDS If You Want to Generate Leads.)
Alright so now you know that you need a Property Landing Page for your potential buyers to land on, but how do you get your ideal buyers to visit your website in the first place?
There are a lot of ways to drive traffic to your site, in other words, to get people to your site, but we like to stick to what works and what we control. One of the best ways we’ve found, time and time again, is through the use of Facebook ads.
For as little as $20-40 you can place an ad right in front of the audience you want to engage with.
Carousel ads (which allow for several photos) work well because it’s a visual experience; buyers want to see the homes, inside and outside. You sell the lifestyle not just the property.
Here’s an actual ad that we ran, which got this particular property (the same one as on the landing page above, by the way), which got in front of more than 2500 people (specifically targeted home buyers in the location), for a bargain price of only $40.
How else could you possibly spend that kind of money and get those kinds of results? This is literally something you can do for yourself in less than a half an hour.
(To learn how to set up your own Facebook ad in just a few minutes, read our step-by-step post Page Features Your Website NEEDS If You Want to Generate Leads.)
A great Facebook feature is that you can stop an ad running at any point you feel it’s not doing as well as it should, and tweak it until it gets the deserved response.
If you consistently follow these tips: have a Go-To Market plan, tell your potential clients about that plan, and share the (online) steps that you are going to take to market and sell their home (be sure to use the dialogue we gave you above or change it up to fit your needs), you are sure to stand out and become an in-demand real estate agent.