With the emergence of real estate marketing as a resource for real estate agents and brokers, there comes this question: How do you use the industry to your advantage?
Now more than ever, agents can see real progress through their investment into real estate marketing. Many have even launched successful careers with the help of their online portfolios. Not to mention, through online advertisements and social media networking, you can go far beyond local clientele and reach prospects around the world.
If you are struggling to make your mark online as a real estate agent, then it is in your best benefit to hire a real estate marketing agency to help you with growth, as well as try the following DIY marketing efforts.
Create an Effective Strategy for Developing Connections
Every great international presence begins with better connections. In fact, some agents argue they would not have a career if it weren’t for their extensive network of clients, vendors, and other agents.
Building your connections should be your first priority when trying to take hold of a global market. To do so, you will need to take some time to define your ideal customer, learn that customer’s culture and language, and understand the local vendors and activities that could be advantageous to that customer.
Define Your Ideal Customer
When you attempt to market yourself on a global level, it is critical to define who you want to market yourself toward. While you may think keeping your demographic “general” will lead to a greater pool of prospects, too generalized targeting can often lead to no pool - period.
By targeting your marketing toward a specific type of individual or business, you give yourself more room to make a personable connection. Plus, those who take hold of your hook will more likely be your ideal customer, meeting most - if not all - of the requirements you need them to meet to sell to them.
You can define your ideal customer by looking at your pre-existing pool of clients. However, if you want to do business with global clients that are, for example, looking for luxury real estate and you usually sell industrial retail spaces, then you will need to do some research on the market.
The Balance defined these smart questions to ask yourself when trying to identify your ideal customer:
- What brings them joy?
- What are they worried about?
- What challenges do they face?
- What do they hope to gain from us?
- What goals are they striving to attain?
- What experience thrills them?
- Where do they get their information?
- Who do they trust most?
Sometimes, the best way to find your ideal customer is to study the customers of your competitors. Who do your competitors sell to globally? How did they get their foot into the luxury real estate market? What are they doing right?
Despite the resistance you may have to give your competitors website or social media traffic, it is important to remember they are your competitors for a reason. They do their job(s) effectively. By analyzing what they do great, you can do it better.
Make Acquaintances With Local Vendors
There is a lot of power in who you know. If you live in the U.S. but have international clients, then you should make a genuine effort to establish connections with their local vendors. This is especially helpful when selling to an international prospect because you can offer local connections possibly at a discounted rate.
Many vendors will be happy to work with you, especially if you can show them you can bring them additional business. It also helps to have local people who can work with your international client. It will allow your client to have a more personable experience, despite you being thousands of miles away.
Show Up When It Matters Most
While many clients won’t have a problem with communicating through technology, there is a certain aspect of customer service that will always remain: human connection. When you are trying to sell a property to an international client, one of the best things you can do is talk to them in person.
If you can’t swing a trip to wherever your client is located, then at least make an effort to chat via video conference. Sometimes, even picking up the phone can make all the difference. The most sure-fire way to lose a prospect or lead is to never actually speak with them. Emails and text messages can only go so far.
Be Open to Learning New Languages
Being that you are going after global clients, it is to your benefit to learn their language. This extends past being bilingual. Simply knowing their terminology and slang can help you make a connection when you otherwise might not.
Many agents have found that knowing more than one language can break the barrier between cultures. Henry Duong of Hanna Commercial Real Estate, when asked how being bilingual has helped his real estate career, noted, “...having a background in different cultures and languages gives me the opportunity to connect and resonate with those who have a similar upbringing and environment to my own so I can better understand them and their needs. Using these tools opens up new perspectives and points of view I can share with my clients to give them an edge over their competition.”
Fortunately, technology has made it easier for you to pursue an additional language. There are many applications you can download straight to your phone. You can also enroll in a more traditional class by visiting your local university or enrolling in an online course.
Know the Places to Be
Outside of understanding the language and culture of a region you are selling within, you should also become an expert on what the area provides to locals.
A great selling point for any property is the neighborhood it resides. Knowing the nightlife, the businesses, and everything the area has to offer to locals can help you sell a property that may be lacking in features your client wants. For example, if your client is looking for a luxury apartment with a gym, but the apartment you’re selling doesn’t have a gym, then it helps to know there is a gym within walking distance.
Knowing your local areas can also help you pinpoint a property for a client who isn’t sure what they are searching for. While you get to know them and their needs, you can match them to an area you know will make them happy - and therefore the property perfect.
Make Your Brand Known on a Global Scale
Beyond the personal education you may need to do on your international market(s), the real work begins with establishing your presence online.
As we mentioned in the introduction of this article, marketing yourself will be no easy feat. You can put yourself into a better light by doing the few things we outlined, such as learning the local language and partnering with local vendors. That legwork you will need to do on your own. However, making yourself more well-known online doesn’t need to be 100% on your plate.
In fact, there are real estate marketing agencies dedicated to helping agents like you. GrowthSuite uses a mixture of innovative and industry-proven marketing strategies to help real estate agencies generate fresh weekly leads. These leads are generated by providing top solutions, such as SEO and social media marketing, digital marketing, website design, content creation, directory listing sync, and reputation management. We outlined some ways to improve your social media marketing in this article -- in case you still want to try the DIY approach.