Real estate agents know there’s no such thing as a slow season for them. During the winter months when most markets are quieter, agents need to be ramping up their marketing and prospecting efforts so they have a deep well of leads going into the busy spring season.
While the season is slow for your clients, move fast to hit the ground running in 2020 with these five real estate tips:
1.) Make a plan for prospecting to find seller leads before busy season.
If you wait until busy season to start looking for seller leads, then you’re waiting far too long.
The few months leading into the spring are crucial times to get on a prospect’s radar as they think about selling their home.
You can start building your plan by reading our prospecting guide, which has tips and resources for how to find those seller leads.
Decide how much of your marketing budget should be devoted to prospecting — things like postcards and flyers, and other collateral you might want to leave with a prospect after chatting.
You’ll also want to identify neighborhoods, especially specific homes, that seem primed to sell soon. You could drive through neighborhoods and look for signs of a distressed home, or you could make a point to touch base with past clients.
Remember that couple who said they were looking for a “starter home” a few years back? Reach out and see if they’re ready to find a bigger place in 2020.
2.) Set up a Google business profile to rank higher on Google.
Buyers and sellers rely on Google, whether they are looking for an agent or a new home. So if you aren’t at the top of the first page of search results, then prospects simply won’t see you. Dominate that prime real estate by getting a Google business profile.
With Homesnap Pro+, we’ll help you verify and manage your profile so it maintains a strong spot at the top of search results. With Google, you can’t just set it and forget it — the key to keeping that #1 ranking is getting Google reviews and posting regularly.
It takes a little bit of time to build trust with Google, which is why starting now will put you in a much better spot come springtime when more buyers and sellers are searching.
3.) Advertise in the winter to get a better ROI and more exposure.
Though winter is a slower season, it’s actually a great time to run advertising campaigns. Even if they are simply brand awareness campaigns, you’ll be dealing with less competition. That means every advertising dollar will go farther than it would during the busy season, which will improve your overall ROI.
Read the HomeSnap winter real estate advertising guide to get the full download on the benefits of running ads in the slower months.
4.) Improve your online reputation by asking clients, colleagues, and family for Google reviews
The benefit here is three-fold:
1. You get seen by more buyers and sellers on Google.
Earlier this year, we did a study on the thousands of Homesnap Pro+ members who have Google business profiles managed by our team. The results were clear: When agents had at least one review, they saw significant boosts across the board. More profile views (+71%); more calls, texts, and website visits (+122%); and they showed up in twice as many Google searches.
2. You create a compelling reason to reach out to former clients, which is a great touchpoint for prospecting and continuing to foster that relationship.
What if you reach out for a Google review, and that seller from five years ago tells you they’re thinking about selling again? What if your outreach jogs their memory, and they remember that a friend is looking to sell very soon and needs an agent?
At the very least, you can get a five-star review that’s going to get you more attention on Google. At most, you might get a referral or two. All of these outcomes are ideal as you’re picking up steam at the beginning of 2020.
And remember: A word-of-mouth referral is great and can reach a handful of people. But a Google review is a supercharged referral that can reach hundreds — or thousands — of people.
3. You can update the contact information for your sphere.
As you’re reaching out for Google reviews, you’ll undoubtedly learn if your sphere’s contact info has changed. If you reach that contact, great! You know their email or phone number is still active. You could even confirm it’s the best way to reach them as part of your conversation.
If you can’t reach them, you can note that the phone number or email didn’t get a response — or note if you got clear confirmation that the contact info is now wrong. Cleaning up contact information will be a big help as you start the new year.
5.) Evaluate the tools you’re using — and the ones you should be using.
Take a look at all the tools you’re using — apps, software, everything — and ask yourself the following:
When was the last time I used this? Even if you haven’t used a tool in a while, still take the time to revisit and evaluate it. Are there new features that appeal to you that make this tool a keeper? Is it simply one more thing to worry about that isn’t going to add more value? Take action accordingly to streamline your tools.
Is it duplicative? Do you already have other apps or software that accomplishes the exact same goal? Assess whether some of your tools are redundant and unnecessary, so you can clear out the clutter (and possibly save some money).
Am I paying too much for this? Especially on the apps and software you’re paying for each month or year, assess whether the price is simply too high. Is there a way to accomplish the same goals for free? Do you even need the pricey tool anymore? It’s important to assess your budget as the year begins so you can allocate funds accordingly.