The real estate market is not hot. It’s sizzling. This year, home prices are predicted to increase by 8%, and with new buyers entering the market at a rapid pace along with not enough homes for sale to meet the demand, home prices are rocketing. It is a sellers’ market.
Real estate agencies and agents are in a prime spot – but this also means that the market is highly competitive. Purchasers or renters are online, as they turn to the internet first to begin their home scouting, and there are more than 2 million agents competing for their attention (both licensed National Association of Realtors-NAR REALTORS® and the real estate agents outside of the association), according to Homelight. Facebook is a hotbed of marketing for real estate agents, as 76% are active on this social media powerhouse, according to NAR. In addition, more than half of realtors (60%) covered in NAR’s research use LinkedIn to promote their work, while 70% have their own website.
Typically, a little more than 40% of home buyers will choose their real estate professional based on a recommendation from friends, relatives, co-workers, and even neighbors. NAR stats show that only 12% will return to their prior agent. Meanwhile, approximately 75% of buyers will choose to work with the first agent they interview, and only 15% will interview a second agent. According to the NAR, “A bit of clever marketing can go a long way.” NAR also notes that real estate agents’ median business expenses in 2019 were nearly $6,300 with the largest business expense is for vehicle fuel and maintenance.
Additionally, more than half of home buyers perceive that the main purpose of a real estate agent is to find the perfect or most suitable home/property. Only 12% rely on the agent’s professional expertise to negotiate sales terms and obtain the best price through complex negotiations.
Real estate agents like to use USPS to let neighbors know what a nearby home has recently been sold for to pique curiosity about their own home’s value. And they also like to use “heavy mail” such as pens, magnets, or recipe calendars simply to create awareness that they are nearby, ready, and willing to help residents should their needs or desires for a new home arise (which also means listing their current domiciles). These tactics and the promo items used remain popular and viable.
There are other ways for local agencies and agents to “make noise” in their market to attract clients, especially in highly competitive times. This is where promotional products kick in – everyone loves free, useful objects. Agents leave their cards after taking clients through a home for sale. Instead of just leaving a card for the homeowners, why not leave a house shape magnet clip, pocket size 12-month calendar, or a house shaped jar opener? Listing agents hosting open houses can also give these away for interested visitors.
When clients stop by the office for paperwork or to meet with the agent, ensure they leave with something handy. For example: House-shaped plastic memo clip holder with a magnet, house-shaped keyrings, or one of several seed paper handouts.
When a home closes, agents enjoy sizable paychecks and it is customary to provide the new homeowners with a gift. Gourmet chocolate and food baskets are appreciated as treats to celebrate the new home. For example, Basket of Sweets, or 3-dozen home-style cookie baskets. Another nice gift idea is something useful for the house, such as a deluxe toolset.
Case Study: Real Estate Agency Uses Advertising Mint Box for Prospective Buyers
As competition heated up in a local market that saw new agencies opening up, a longstanding Realtor, Coldwell Banker, worked to regain business and re-establish itself as a longtime local real estate expert. They chose advertising mint box. The eco-friendly mint box (containing about 25 peppermints) allows for fully customizable artwork to be printed on all 5 sides of the box. These were given out at every open house the agency held.
When questioned by the agents at the open houses, the prospective clients remarked that the mint boxes were much more effective and memorable than a business card or a toy giveaway item. In turn, the agency started to reclaim the real estate business in the areas where they had recently struggled to gain a foothold in the market.