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We talk a lot about marketing in the real estate industry, but what exactly is it? Isn’t marketing just advertising your product or service?

Not really. That’s rather like saying that cooking is just putting food on a plate. Sure, advertising is part of any good marketing strategy, but minimal effort gets minimal results. If you just purchase a few ads and sit back to wait for clients, you’re not likely to succeed.

Advertising Is Just One Piece of the Marketing Puzzle

A strong marketing strategy involves a multi-faceted approach. Advertising has its place, but it only delivers good results as part of a broader marketing campaign. What’s more, many people confuse the term “marketing” with promoting a business. In fact, promotion—the goal of advertising—is just one piece of the bigger picture.

The Basics of Real Estate Marketing

Many people have heard of the four Ps of marketing:

  1. Product
  2. Price
  3. Place
  4. Promotion

A good marketing strategy will find you standing out from your competitors in one or more of the four Ps. If you’re not sure where to begin, check out the examples below.

Product – Can you provide better service than your competitors? If so, that’s excellent marketing. Try:

  • Honing your negotiating skills to get your clients the best possible price
  • Having a solid bank of qualified industry professionals to refer your clients to (this includes loan brokers, home inspectors and title insurers)
  • Writing strong listing descriptions that sell

Price – It’s a widely held belief that no agent should work for less than the standard 6 percent split, and for good reason. You provide a specialized and valuable service to both buyers and sellers. Still, you can beat other agents on price if you can get the highest possible price for your selling clients and negotiate lower prices for your buyers. Both are excellent real estate marketing skills.

Place – Location is difficult to adjust; most of us prefer to work near home. That said, a bit of local research can tell you whether it might be worthwhile to branch into neighboring markets that may be underserved by qualified agents.

Promotion – Although it’s just one piece of the puzzle, this is what most people actually mean when they use the term “marketing.” It’s also important to remember that advertising isn’t the only form of promotion. Anything you do to generate leads, make your name known and develop your brand can be considered promotion. This includes:

  • Business cards
  • Mailers
  • Print, radio or television ads
  • Promotional giveaways
  • Developing your internet and social media presence

Promote Your Way, but Don’t Forget Marketing Basics

Promotion, including advertising, is more flexible than the other pieces of the marketing puzzle. Get the first three marketing basics in order before you begin experimenting with the type of business promotion that delivers the best results for you.

John Bunker is marketing director at RealEstateCalendars.com.

For more information, please visit www.realestatecalendars.com.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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