This is my first post so i apologize in advance for any errors . I recently passed my exam in california and just signed with a small brokerage. My broker has generously offered me 10k to market myself and advertise however I would like. I would like to get feedback from my fellow realtors with more experience and knowledge on the best way to use these funds. (I'm in the bay area and all I have as of now is a website and social media.) I've looked into advertising on zillow/realtor, Facebook and other sites but with no experience I'm not sure on which one or if any is most beneficial for a new realtor at a relatively unknown brokerage. I have also looked into SEO and SEM but again I'm not sure the best starting place. I know this is a very broad question so thank you for your advice and insight!
@Derek Bartel I'd ask your broker! That said, I wouldn't spend it on Zillow, Trulia or Realtor. All three of them invest crazy amounts of SEO money to get in between you and your prospective client.
Once they intercept the client, they sell the lead to MULTIPLE agents. At that point, it's a race to see who calls the client first.
You might consider setting up a farm area and then using one of the mailing companies to do regular mailings to start building up a presence in the neighborhood.
By the way, your broker is being VERY generous!
Congrats on passing your exam and making the leap into what can be a very prosperous and fun career!
I wouldn't focus the money on SEO or paying for leads. Purchasing things like Google Adwords to help drive traffic to your website is extremely costly and doesn't pan out very often. Likewise, SEO is a thing of the past. Unless you are on the cutting edge of something new and you are able to streamline and market your website to keywords that are up-and-coming, or there are no competitors (not likely) for the words you're optimizing, it's a waste. Too many big companies like Redfin, Realtor.com, Zillow, control the marketplace of advertising because they quite frankly have much, much, much, much larger budgets than the rest of us.
That said, I would spend the money sparingly and try to get the most bang for my buck. Perhaps I'd print marketing materials, send mailers, attend events, network, etc. Those are the typical things you're always going to end up doing if you want to thrive in this business.
Run some Facebook Ads to targeted audiences -- don't overspend here, but don't underspend. Facebook can be a good tool in the long-term, so I always have something running on there. The key is to give their algorithms time to adjust your ads. I will start a campaign, put a small/normal budget on it, and give it a week before I touch it again. If it appears to be doing well, generating activity, I up the budget. If not, I adjust the ads and give it another week.
The key to advertising, and none of us are experts at it, is finding who you want to a provide service to, and what value you're going to give them. Get in front of people as often as you can, through as many advertising channels as you can. Find a "farm" area, a place you want to focus your attention on, and send mailers, target Facebook ads, do some phone calls and host an event in that area -- for that area. Showing people you are part of their community by having your face everywhere, will help tremendously, especially if you're new.
That would be my plan -- hope it helps!
Best of luck! Feel free to reach out :)
Is your broker also giving you seller listings? Or is this exclusively to advertise for buyer leads?
I agree that FB ads may be a good idea and Jake nailed it with the wait and see approach. It does take a while to optimize your target audience.
If you do go that route—Do you already have a business FB page? FB runs better with ads if you’ve got a good amount of organic posting and likes on your page. So you may want to work on that first.
Secondly, seller listings are cheaper to run to get good results. Buyer leads take more money (maybe 4 times as much sometimes more) and in general, require more social trust. If your broker will give you a listings/houses for sale to post that’s the best way to start. If you have to go buyer leads—expect it to cost more and you’ll want to create a couple “lead magnets” like free “how to sell in 5 easy steps your house guide” or “Inexpensive upgrades for a huge ROI on house sale price” or something like that to incentive people to fork over they’re information or like your page.
Best of luck to you and congrats on the free advertising money!
If in residencial, pay Vulcan and cold call for minimum 3 hours /day. I think that is like $300/month. Buy 20 open house signs and do 4 per week ( Friday Thursday 3p-5 and on weekends), so that's like another $500.
Look into a CRM like Apto or something like that, I think that's like $30/month, not sure I use bitrix24.
As you can see it doesn't take 10k but it does take grit. Good luck, let us know how you spend it.
I’m mainly in digital marketing so my answer will be geared towards that. As someone who has built a social media following of over 17,000 followers with 100,000 impressions weekly (not to boast, but it matters). I also Have an extensive understanding of SEO. I have Spent minimal in paid ads and PPPC. It helps but make sure you exhaust ALL of your organic options first for the best results in authentic potential clients.
1. Start your social media pages and post consistently. Educate your potential clients don’t bombard them with properties.
2. Build your own website. YOUR OWN. Not the crappy preñare one brokers give you. That hurts your SEO. Get to know your area and become the go to resource for everything happening in your community. This will make you a household name, literally! Lol
3. Set up a lead generating system for INBOUND marketing. This means offer your followers something of value for free like a home buyers checklist. This will help you attract people that are in the market to need your services. Make this location specific for the best results. The download should be set up in exchange for their email. This will build your potential client database.
4. NURTURE THE HELL OUT OF THOSE LEADS
Consistency is key with this strategy and yes it may take a week or two to start seeing results but committ to the process and it will not steer you wrong.
Good luck! Hopefully this helps.