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There’s an old saying, “to catch a fish, you must think like a fish,” and I’ve used it over and over again to describe effective marketing strategies to real estate agents.

If you were to think like a homebuyer, what would you be doing? Searching and searching and searching for just the right home. As a home seller, you’d be researching and researching to learn how you could get the best price and sell quickly.

Where are today’s buyers and sellers searching and researching? Everywhere and in every way. They drive neighborhoods, download apps, scour free magazines, watch videos, text codes for more photos, and go on Google missions for hours. When making a major financial decision, every piece of relevant information that crosses their realm of consciousness is pertinent and valuable.

So, how can you be everywhere? More bait. More bites.

Some agents rely solely on their listings as bait. They place them on as many sites as possible and then sit, wait and wish for a nibble, while competing with thousands and thousands of other listings. There are a lot of fish on the Web, and as listings sell, there are fewer lines in the water, and eventually, there are fewer bites.

And, sifting through online search results can be like drowning in a sea of online data.

As a real estate agent or broker, you have one absolute and distinct advantage. You know your local market and niche—like where your target audience lives, works, shops and plays. You know the terms most relevant to them on a Google mission. You know the most important things your buyers and sellers are searching for and researching—on a local level.

You know the kind of bait to use to catch your fish.

How do you best use this? Advertising. Place your brand and your message in front of those with the ability and likelihood to do business with you. Don’t wait for them to find you. Find them. Not just online, but offline as well.

Interrupt their day with your magazine ad for your own website, a text code with a strong call to action on a yard sign that drives them to your mobile site, or a postcard in their mailbox with a lead generation code that captures their phone number.

Advertise that you know more about your targeted geographic or demographic niche. You are the Lakewood Ranch expert or know the best deals on the coast.

Be in the places they are with the information they want and offer something of value with a strong call to action.

What if you could reach absolutely every buyer or seller in your target market? What if you could engage them in ways that would drive them back to you and your brand over and over and over again? Would that be valuable? Go fishing.

Rebecca Chandler is vice president of marketing, NewPoint Media Group.

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