RISMEDIA, July 25, 2009-In today’s tough economy, real estate agents are doing everything they can to be successful and stay ahead of their competition. While many agents have reverted back to the basics to get them through these trying times, thinking outside the box may be more important now than ever before. Here, Scott Dixon, president of the real estate division, Network Communications discusses the seven habits that real estate agents should possess.
Successful real estate agents share a lot of attributes. By looking closely at their habits, we can learn a lot about how to be more successful ourselves. During this dramatic change in the housing market, we commissioned a study through OSR Research of more than 1,000 top agents to learn how they create and sustain success.
The Real Estate Agent Marketing Study for 2009 provides an easy-to-follow blueprint of what it takes to achieve. The lessons are simple. In fact, they can be boiled down to seven smart habits:
HABIT #1: Invest in Marketing. Top agents know that to build business and attract a high amount of activity, they must invest in their own business.
The average agent spends about $7,500 a year on marketing and earns around $88,750. That’s about 8.4% of their income spent on all marketing: advertising, Internet promotion, direct mail, e-mail and personal websites.
Top agents making more than $200,000 yearly spend nearly $20,000 on marketing-roughly 10% of their income. They make it a habit to get their name in front of consumers frequently and professionally.
HABIT #2: Spread the Wealth. Smart agents don’t put all their marketing eggs in one basket or take shortcuts. When asked how they spent their money, three key marketing channels rose to the top. They spend about one-quarter of their budget on real estate magazines and related websites, one-quarter on their website and one-quarter on all Internet marketing.
They know when a home shopper starts searching; they look everywhere for information. Making a strong impression from the start creates a bond of trust and confidence and turns into a profitable relationship. They make sure their personal brand is everywhere-in print, online and all around town.
HABIT #3: Track Your Results. Why spend unless you know what works? Eighty-five percent say they measure the effectiveness of their marketing. The more they spend, the more they focus on measurable results. They monitor phone numbers, measure leads to closed sales and ask about all sources used to search for homes. They make no assumptions.
HABIT #4: Set Clear Marketing Goals. Seventy-six percent consider marketing essential to getting and maintaining listings. They clearly strive to show sellers exactly how they attract buyers, gain more good prospects and sell more homes. That’s key to their business-and why they believe strongly in their marketing investment.
HABIT #5: Experiment with New Technology. As more communication channels emerge, 25% are testing new tools like blogs and social media. However, they don’t abandon tried-and-true sources of activity. What’s new comes after their base advertising decisions.
HABITS #6 & #7: Stand Out from the Crowd and Work with Market Leaders. When asked which brands were most recognized, over 85% cited long-term players like The Real Estate Book and Realtor.com. Agents know, in uncertain times, consumers interact with brands they trust, and they align themselves with the strongest in the industry.
Those are the key habits-ones with a proven impact. In challenging times like these, knowing you can adopt simple and proven techniques to succeed is strong and reassuring.