We can all get into a funk sometimes with our everyday lives – but nothing is worse than being in a funk with your real estate marketing. It can feel uninspired, repetitive and worst of all – produce a very weak ROI. We all need some creative energy in our lives, and sometimes to do that, it means shaking up what’s become the norm and thinking outside the box.
Getting Out of a Funk
Being in a funk or a rut means that our routines have become mundane, with predetermined patterns and behavior pushing us along. Sometimes we seek the comfort of patterns and repetition, but we all know that creativity thrives outside of those walls. Shattering those moulds and going against the grain can revolutionize the way we view our lives.
Conventional wisdom might suggest to simply wait it out, and you’ll get back, but being in a funk can be as simple as mind over matter. The best way to break out of any rut is with making a change. Where it’s related to your day-to-day lives or your marketing strategy, there has to be action. Action over everything.
Diagnose the Reason Why Your Marketing is in a Funk
Marketing as a real estate agent can sometimes be easy to fall into a “set it and forget it” pattern. And the mindset of, “that’s the way we’ve always done it” can override any outside of the box thinking. The root of the problem might be that your marketing material has too much telling and not enough back and forth conversation going on with your audience.
Have you tried listening to them to find out what they might find valuable? People want to be educated and entertained – they’re tired of being sold to. There also might not be a strong enough beacon pulling you to creating compelling content.
Are your marketing objectives directly linked to your business objectives? What is the driving force behind your marketing or is it just being done for the sake of being done? These are the types of introspective questions you need to ask to start building out your “why.” (Learn how to build out your social media manifesto here.)
View Yourself as a Publisher
It can be a bit of a new mindset to acquire, but brands have flipped the lens and are now content creators. And as a real estate brand, you can be involved in conversations that matter by viewing yourself as a publisher.
How to Get Your Marketing Groove Back – in 10 steps
- What Are Other Brands Doing?
This doesn’t even have to do with anything real estate related. It’s estimated that we are exposed to over 5,000 marketing messages per day. So when you see an exciting copy from a billboard, jot down right away what you liked about it, what stood out to you, why it was so powerful. What do you like about the way they creatively told their story? Did they use a mash-up of colors that stood out to you? Did they use humor to tell a tale? This world boasts some incredible minds of marketing that you can use as a springboard to ignite your story.
Sometimes we can be so stuck in our lanes that we forget there is a world of inspiration all around us. And getting out of our own personal and professional ruts can be as simple as slowing life down, and breathing in all the creativity around us.
Try: Keeping a notepad with you at all times, or having it ready to go on your smartphone, so when inspiration strikes, you can jump right into it while it’s still fresh.
- Ask Your Audience About the Type of Content They Like
Very similar to financial advisors, real estate agents work like independent operators. And the smart ones know that providing educational content to their growing audience is a phenomenal way to build trust and highlight their expertise in their field.
Try: Launching a social media and e-mail poll asking about certain topics your audience might want you to cover. Then create a dedicated e-mail newsletter series going out weekly, biweekly or monthly that covers market trends, tips for around the home, 5 questions to ask yourself before listing your home or ideas for sprucing up your place to add to its market value.
- Express Gratitude
Hand written notes are a great-personalized touch that sometimes can get overlooked in this digital age, but cut right to the heart of someone because of the time it took to create.
Try: Instead of sending out 1,000 postcards, narrow down your list to 150 people or so, and use that as your group to personally connect with. Set aside sometime every week and shortlist a handful of contacts you want to send a note to. It could be following up with your last meeting, finding out what’s new with the family, inviting them for a round of golf – or just saying hello.
- Use Rich Media to Spice Things Up
Are you aware that video is projected to claim more than 80% of all web traffic by 2019? Or how about that adding a video to your real estate marketing emails can boost click-through rates by 200-300%? And if you needed just one more statistic to put it all over the top – 80% of customers remember a video they’ve watched in the last month.
So the long and short of this is – start using video to tell your story!
This highly visual and auditory style of content is so intimate that it helps create a bond with your audience. Plus you can easily record video and insert them within your e-mails, (remember the 300% click-through rate?)
Try: Modern smartphones make it easy to snap videos on the go – and you can have so much fun with it. Hilarious things your children and pets do, walk-throughs during an open house or maybe snap a quick video on a Saturday afternoon during your bike ride – or maybe wait until you’ve taken a break on your bike ride first.
- Hold a Contest
Holding a contest on Instagram or Facebook is a great way to rejuvenate your following and increase your audience growth. The key to this is to make your prizes something of value to your target audience.
Try: Creating a photo sharing Instagram contest where users submit a picture of the before and after of their home, or of their favorite spot in their place, or what their backyard in the summer looks like. Then have them a) submit a photo to enter b) tag two people c) follow this page – it can really ignite the responses.
- Connect with people
“Who we are and how we experience ourselves often has more to do with who surrounds us than anything else,” says Psychology Today. You want to stay in their lives on a personal level and it feels unbelievable to connect with people that bring the positive energy out of you.
Try: Writing down a list of people in your life that make you feel good. Write down their names and write down why they make you feel so positive – there’s obviously a reason behind it. Pretty soon you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear thinking of classic stories. Now take it one step further and make a plan to reach out to these people and connect with them. It can do wonders to getting yourself out of a personal funk. And if you’ve started to get cramps in your wrist from sending handwritten notes – your CRM can take it from here.
- Resurrect Old Content to Repurpose
The principal idea of content marketing is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here – because there is a sea of raw content everywhere you look. An infographic can be turned into a series of blogs, an eBook, smaller graphics for social media or ever spur a mini video.
Try: Going over past emails, mining your CRM for content ideas, looking back at your old blogs or social media posts. You’d be surprised at what older pieces of content you might want to revisit, enhance or expand on.
- Give Back to Your Community
According to a recent survey, 91% of respondents said they wanted to hear about a company’s social responsibility and progress, and want to hear about this in their marketing. So why not host an event to give back to your community? Position yourself as a socially progressive brand that genuinely gets behind a charity or fundraiser in your neighbourhood. Or even launch your own!
Try: Taking it one step further and send out handwritten notes to everyone that attended or donated.
- Keep a Journal
Keeping a daily journal might have a “Harriet The Spy” type connotation to it, but it has been well documented throughout history to the creative benefits it holds – not to mention the mental and emotional benefits as well. Regular writing can help you learn to process and communicate complex ideas effectively which can kick start your marketing if it’s stuck in molasses.
Try: Using a daily journal as your personal confidant to jot down anything and everything. If you find yourself in a personal or marketing rut, use this to springboard ideas and thoughts and then go back and revisit them.
- Have Fun with Your Marketing
Nobody likes bland copy and boring marketing. And in this fast-paced marketing sphere where content is pumped out at an alarming rate, boring marketing won’t cut it. Have fun with your e-mail copy, have fun with the content you put on Instagram, have fun with your open houses – let your personality come through. People are so used to being sold to that it’s like background noise to them now.
Try: Putting yourself in your audiences’ shoes and think what they would like. Take it one step further and interview your clientele for feedback and ask what inspires them. Without customer feedback you are literally flying blind, so dig into that gold mine!
Getting out a funk in life or in your marketing practices takes a very similar approach – you need to try something new. Predetermined patterns will only keep you on the same track that you’ve been going, and at some point, you need to work outside of those parameters. And if your ROI on your marketing has run stale, it might be time to partner with a better solution to set you up for success.