9 Steps to an Unbeatable Real Estate Marketing Strategy

To be successful at marketing real estate (specifically commercial real estate), there is no “one size fits all” solution or “magic program” to help individuals or teams grow their businesses and/or sell their properties faster or better. Rather, one must look at the whole picture and understand that “marketing” is not a single act or a strategy in and of itself but rather a complementary force to sales efforts and a key addition that both builds upon and enhances the core strengths of a sales team.

Most of the commercial leasing and sales teams within my company—which includes over 300 offices in more than 50 countries—are structured whereby a marketing person typically supports a commercial real estate broker or a team of brokers who then conceptualizes, carries out, and services both business development and property marketing strategies in order to assist with growing the business unit.

As a marketing professional whose worked alongside some of Northern Nevada’s most successful commercial real estate brokers for the past nine years at a company that has been a leader in U.S. investment sales for the past six years, here are my nine steps to formulating an unbeatable “holistic” real estate marketing strategy. (Steps 1-3 cover the need for building a strong platform, steps 4-6 touch on ways you can cultivate successful habits that lead to measurable business results, and steps 7-9 cover marketing’s specific role in the process.)

  1. Possess or develop core abilities – In an era of unprecedented lack of trust in financial institutions and financial services, it is important that a real estate salesperson possess certain core abilities as a prerequisite to doing business in that they understand not just the products and services they are selling, but the environment in which they are conducting business, as well as the needs and wants of their customers. A real estate salesperson must, at the very least, have the financial wherewithal, business acumen, and understanding of the legal landscape in order to handle a variety of multi-faceted, complex, and multi-party interactions both efficiently and effectively.
  2. Promote the perception of ability – A salesperson’s perception of ability is only as strong as their worst critic’s opinion of them. According to Kyle Lacy, there are no shortcuts to establishing a good reputation. “Focus on providing something awesome, gently ask the clients who love you the most to get the word out for you, and wait. Your awesomeness will sell itself, in time.” In addition to working hard and establishing a solid reputation, you can leverage your perception through public relations efforts, whether it be speaking at an industry event, writing a column for a local business journal, or sharing a case study that is relevant to the community’s economic development efforts.
  3. Be consistent – According to John Jantsch, veteran marketing coach, award winning blogger, and author of Duct Tape Marketing, “consistency builds trust.” Whether it be producing a monthly newsletter, a quarterly report, a reoccurring event in your market, or always returning calls within a certain amount of time, establishing consistency in your approach to business will build trust over time: the foundation for solid relationships.
  4. Create S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) – From a recent article entitled “12 Things Successful People Do Differently,” the authors suggest that successful people tend to create S.M.A.R.T. goals. This surely holds true for real estate professionals. By formulating goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant to the business, and timely, S.M.A.R.T. goals are more fastidiously realized and achieved.
  5. Cultivate the right relationships – This one speaks for itself. Whether your goal as a real estate professional is to sell more properties, represent more buyers, gain additional market share, or be a resource to the community at large – make sure you’re spending time formulating the types of relationships that lend themselves to accomplishing such objectives.
  6. Focus on being productive, not busy – There are brokers who talk about doing things and then there are brokers who get things done. Spend your time accomplishing goals and objectives, resolving issues, and being proactive as opposed to filling in extra time with distractions, unnecessary meetings that do not affect your bottom line, or activities in general that do not tie in with your overall strategy.
  7. Find ways to efficiently match buyers and sellers – These days there are countless technologies, both proprietary and subscription-based, that strive to quickly and efficiently match buyers with sales opportunities. While purchasing mailing lists and email lists is generally frowned upon, there are still certain individuals who will subscribe to such marketing practices; fortunately this type of “annoying marketing” is not sustainable. In fact, it is quickly dying because consumers are fast becoming immune to this type of messaging. A better (and more authentic) strategy focuses on leveraging opt-in communication, nurturing leads, and being a present, integrated force in your local market who is well-versed in the needs of its respective buyers and sellers.
  8. Leverage platforms to promote product and service offerings – There are a variety of platforms (most notably Loopnet.com, Costar.com and your company web site) that work to promote your product and service offerings. By continuously monitoring the effectiveness of such platforms, you can adjust your usage of each service to meet the level that most effectively matches your business goals.
  9. Create an inbound marketing plan – For brokers who rely on cold calling, direct mail, and newspaper advertising, the audience for such messaging is quickly dwindling. Much more effective than an outbound marketing strategy is an inbound marketing plan where business flows in to you based on the information and resources you put out to the world so that people can find you, whether it be through establishing a blog or Twitter account, joining a specific LinkedIn group, or formulating a social media strategy in general. Click here for an overview of how one individual is managing his personal inbound marketing effort.

In short, to be successful at marketing real estate there are no shortcuts. Building a successful strategy requires taking a look at the whole picture; building a strong business requires hard work, critical thinking, and strong execution skills. You must not only have the know-how, the strategic approach, and the appropriate team in place to actualize goals, but the alignment of sales and marketing efforts in order for the business to grow.

Above all, satisfying customer needs through a systematic approach to uncovering opportunity and effectively servicing requirements through a foundation of strong relationships is not only the most straightforward, but sustainable approach to growing your business. When understood and leveraged properly, marketing can work to amplify and increase the reach of such messaging to result in a simply unbeatable approach.

46 comments

  1. Hi Tiffany,

    “Marketing” is a long process… you can not change everything overnight. These great tips (steps) are really useful to make this long process easy.

    Unbeatable! one way to describe this article. Kudos!

  2. I was seriously at a loss at finding out why the real estate that I am promoting was not doing well in terms of sale. Your amazingly written article has provided me an insight about where I might be lacking. Will try to fine tune my efforts and see if it does any good. And by the way you look as bright as your article.

  3. Thank u. I am into the business of Realestate Consulting in Nigeria. My question: can i apply this principles in Nigeria Realestate markets knowing the fact that their economy is not stable. Thank u again

    • As a strategical analyst of the industry I would like to tell you that the economy plays a vital role in capturing the markets of the country’s real estate … it can be understood that the stable economy leads to no change in the dynamically changing world markets. The growth of the economy depends on the infra growth as it gives immense contribution to the domestic income of the economy. However, you can use the theories which have been provided.

  4. Hi, the above published article is quite descriptive and useful to the individuals involved in real estate industry. The technological and the financial Changes in the interim policies of the government also plays a major role in signifying the average budgeted demands of the industry. The strategical involvements of the small players registered through the DIC are also playing a minor role in maintaining the changes in the demands of the industry. As a strategical analyst of the industry I would like to tell you that the economy plays a vital role in capturing the markets of the country’s real estate … it can be understood that the stable economy leads to no change in the dynamically changing world markets. The growth of the economy depends on the infra growth as it gives immense contribution to the domestic income of the economy. However, you can use the theories which have been provided.

  5. Emmaugo…these are fundamental rules of real estate marketing in digital age. Whether your country’s situation is stable or unstable, these are equally applicable. Pick and tailor these according to your local environment.

  6. This is nice and as a starter in the real estate industry its indeed helpful. Hope to get other post from you.

  7. Great tips thanks for sharing these kind of good……i would hope it will be more then enough for everyone…..once again thank u vry much

  8. Great tips thanks for sharing these kind of good things……i would hope it will be more then enough for everyone…..once again thank u vry much

  9. well, Its quite an interesting and relevant kinda article for the real estate sellers and marketers. It bears quite some stuff which would help managing good real estate selling strategies.

  10. Great tips! An amazing article about real estate marketing strategy to succeed in real estate business. Keep sharing useful information!

  11. Great share…

    Pretty impressive…..Real estate is one of the most effective money making field.

    One needs to be aware of the flow of the market and where the investment will be fruitful enough.

    Your post is certainly like a small guide for newbie who are interested in real estate investment.

    I even consulted http://onethirdave.com/ agents and they suggested me the same tips that you have mentioned above.

    Thanks a lot for making our job easier.

  12. Enjoyed reading your post. A comprehensive real estate marketing strategy is largely dependent on the demographic, competition, visibility and outreach.

    If you are in residential real estate, then get to know your locale i.e. type of people, income range, renters VS owners, home values and focus mostly on one zip code. Define what your value proposition is and how you would be a better fit than your competition.

    Create a realistic marketing plan and an underlying budget. Use a combination of print and digital marketing techniques. Its a good thing to be visible on LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media avenues.

    Use a judicious mix of print marketing. Your business cards are an inexpensive way of marketing your self. Different print marketing avenues are available, like postcard marketing, EDDM, Door Hangers etc. Building a brand takes time and persistence, so focus on building your brand identity as well.

  13. I have been in real estate for many years (commercial leasing), and as the head of unit, your article truly encapsulated the gist! Look forward to reading more of your articles.

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