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How to Use Experiential Marketing In Real Estate

Experiential Marketing

Maybe you’ve heard of it and maybe you haven’t, but one of the latest buzz phrases in marketing is “experiential marketing”.  As the name suggests, experiential marketing is all about taking that face-to-face approach to the next level. This is done through the transformation of common events into standout experiences, which are then shareable on social media. So how can real estate brokers and agents use this to grow and market their business to a new generation of customers?

We’re all familiar with traditional marketing approaches like open houses or door knocking. These approaches are indeed personal and generate contact directly between you and potential prospects. Experiential marketing, however, takes that further by establishing more shareable experiences and more personal connections around your brokerage and your agents. In this way, people have an opportunity to get to know you and your brand in a less-salesy, more personal way. In the words of our founder Jim Weichert, “people buy you, before your products or services.”

For brokers and agents committed to a long-term career, experiential marketing can deliver both short and long-term results. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

Creating Experiences for Your Clients & Partners

Almost any event you have sponsored in the past, such as an open house or seminar, can be upgraded to an experiential marketing event with a little extra work and thought. The experience you provide will vary, but the key is to make it fun, memorable, and shareable. Some events may not be tied to a specific home sale, but bringing visibility to your brand creates the opportunity for outreach in the future.

Educational Events

Most brokers have hosted educational events that allow you to showcase your real estate expertise in a more personal way than a blog post or postcard. Common events include first-time homebuyer classes, staging classes, and real estate investing classes. One way to make these events more experiential is to host them in more interesting places, like a local wine bar, or microbrewery, at an art gallery, or even inside a home you have listed. The key is to present a complete experience around the training, that is compelling enough to merit posting and sharing on social media. When creating these events, cost and creativity are your only limitations, but three words that help set the tone are: fun, food, and photo ops.

Events with Hyperlocal Focus

Events that allow you to mingle with local prospects and clients while indulging in local business are powerful for networking and making a positive impression. Some examples of hyperlocal events could include historic walking tours of your area, wine tasting tours, and “best of” restaurant tours. Organize a cleanup day at a local park and invite parents and kids. Rent an ice cream or food truck to coincide with a group door knocking event. Choose something you’re passionate about and that you feel your community will enjoy. Encourage people to take pictures and share their experiences on social media to get the maximum value out of your efforts.

Partner with Other Local Influencers

A way to host more compelling events and keep costs down is to partner with other local influencers or businesses. Host an event at the local animal shelter or pet adoption agency. If you’re marketing a 3 bedroom ranch in a family area, consider throwing a barbecue or partner with a local restaurant to cater an event for a local charity. An event catered by a beloved local hot dog shack will have just as much pull (maybe more) as a 4-star restaurant and give a sense of fun to the entire gathering. Or turn the tables and let your office be the host for a wine tasting, exhibit for local artists or holiday event like a pumpkin giveaway or trunk or treat.

Document the Journey as well as the Event

Don’t view the planning, brainstorming, and even the headaches of setting up your experience as things to hide. Instead use these as opportunities for photo ops to create content that will give you more mileage out of your event, such as pictures of the team setting up or your planning meetings. This way you can get a dozen or more pieces of content to publish across multiple channels for weeks, instead of just a single Instagram story published on the day of the event.

Remember that one of the key goals of experiential marketing is its ability to leverage the connections of all those involved by getting them to share on social media. Encourage all manner of photographs and selfies at your event and encourage attendees to post.

Staying Connected Online, Compliments the Experience

While these experiences and events are an opportunity for you to connect more deeply with your network offline, your social media strategy can enhance these connections even further. Post consistently in the lead-up to the event to build anticipation and use the phone and email to increase touch points as much as possible. At the event, have someone create content like live feeds and video that can be used later as well. Make sure your team will respond promptly to every comment and interaction on their social profiles.

It turns out that experiential marketing leverages some of the things that real estate professionals do best: being friendly and being organized.

Experiential marketing ties directly into the Weichert philosophy of the personal connection in real estate as first practiced by founder Jim Weichert, handing out business cards twice a day in a Chatham, NJ train station.

But the experience we most often create at Weichert, is one of success.

For more information on becoming a Weichert franchise, visit www.weichertfranchise.com.

Your Real Estate Team is Doing Great!  What’s Next?

You became a successful agent. Then you went on to build a successful team within your brokerage. The trend toward the growth of real estate teams within a brokerage is growing. In a 2018 survey, NAR found that a full 26 percent of respondents were members of a real estate team inside a brokerage. Of those who were not, a full 39% have considered joining or starting one. While teams can vary in size, the NAR study found that a typical team is 4 people and most members (80%) are licensed agents. Do you wonder what the next level of success is for you and your team? Perhaps you are ready to open a brokerage of your own?

It turns out that experienced, and successful team leaders have been developing many of the same skills and overcoming many of the same challenges that are required to be a successful brokerage owner.

Some of these include:

  1. Attracting and motivating agents and other team members.
  2. Designing roles and responsibilities within the team based on the strengths and weaknesses of team members.
  3. Delegation of work, and management touch points.
  4. Setting a vision for the teams activities
  5. Creating a positive work environment
  6. Deciding what technology and marketing tools the team will use.
  7. Designing processes for efficient and fair distribution of work in the team.
  8. Creating training programs for new team members
  9. Negotiation of fair commission splits with the broker of record and your team.
  10. Creation of an overwhelmingly positive experience for buyers and sellers.

In many cases, strong team leaders can apply the skills they have learned in team development, to form their own brokerage. With so much overlap between creating a successful team and being a broker, the transition may be less painful than many team leaders imagine. And on the other side of that transition, truly lies unlimited growth potential for you, your team and your business.

What is Involved in Becoming My Own Broker?

Broker requirements do vary from state to state and there are many online resources for getting specific requirements in your state. In addition to obtaining appropriate licensing, there are a number of things a new broker will need to navigate.

  1. Select a physical location for your new office.
  2. Decide whether you will be independent or affiliate with a national real estate franchise.
  3. Develop a business plan, with a heavy emphasis on your recruiting plan.
  4. Decide on the tools you will use and the marketing approach.
  5. Work out a budget for expenses and obtain financing if necessary.
  6. Develop your own digital home online with a website, branded social profiles, etc.

An affiliation can offer a lot of support in making the transition, including a full roadmap of proven processes and tools that can be plug and play for the new broker. But perhaps even more valuable will be the personal coaching and guidance that brokers receive as part of the Weichert system. Our team consists of genuinely experienced real estate professionals who guide you through proven processes that have helped hundreds of Weichert franchisees be successful. Through one-on-one coaching sessions, well established training programs, regional coaches, management conferences, and a network of supportive peers, we can help team leaders bypass the pitfalls of starting a brokerage and help you continue your path to growth.

From Team Leader to Brokerage Owner with Weichert

Not every team situation is a good fit for the transition to a broker, but if you are focused on even more success for you and your team, Weichert may be the solution you are looking for.

For more information please visit https://weichertfranchise.com

5 Ways To Leverage Your Network

One could argue that as a real estate broker, you are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. That being said, it is not only important that you build a strong brokerage filled with talented and motivated agents, but you need to cultivate a larger network filled with respected professionals with a wide variety of knowledge in diverse business areas. While most brokers have accumulated a good set of contacts over the years, it is important that you know how to leverage that network to get the most out of it in terms of leads, referrals, and insight. With some careful planning and a well-rounded strategy in place, you can easily squeeze a remarkable amount of value out of the network you have already built. Here are some proven methods of doing just that from the experts at Weichert.

Collaborate to Create Content

Everyone knows that in the digital era of real estate, content remains king. Rather than making all of your content completely about your brokerage, you can expand your reach by including appropriate network partners in your content. Partner with other local professionals, charities, small business owners, and complementary real estate professionals (ie. Lawyers, title companies, home inspection, etc.) to create hyperlocal infotainment style content that helps both businesses to grow, showcase expertise and capitalize on one another’s following. For example, you could partner with your preferred home inspection company to create a blog post about the top 3 things to look for in a home inspection. Or create a post on the best local restaurants for “date night” and partner with the owners or managers of those restaurants to build the content. Typically, those businesses that you partner with will be more than happy to promote your content on their own websites and social media, resulting in greater brand reach, and awareness.

Pay It Forward

Being generous with referrals helps to grow your own referral business exponentially. Have you ever had someone do a favor for you or send you a referral without being prompted to? Didn’t you notice how compelled you felt to pay back that favor? If you take the lead by sending referrals to people in your network that you trust and believe in, you can bet that they will be likely to return the favor. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled on social media platforms like Facebook which will make it easy for you to tag and refer the other business owners in your network. This rule of reciprocity is powerful and will help you to stand out in any networking group you belong to.

Attend Events With A Purpose

It’s easy to attend networking events and stick to people you may already know. While it is good to further develop the connections that you have already made, you should also push yourself to form new connections and look for opportunities to make additional connections within your existing network. Develop a good “elevator speech” about what you do that doesn’t make you sound like every other real estate professional in your market, clearly communicates who you target, and defines the value you provide. Also, make sure to ask the new people that you meet what type of referrals they are looking for so you can keep them in mind when looking for ways to pay it forward.

Look Outside Your Market

Social media is an excellent source of other real estate professionals and entrepreneurs that you can connect with to exchange ideas and solve challenges that arise as you grow. One easy way to connect with other like-minded professionals is to look for groups on Facebook and LinkedIn that focus around topics that can help you to grow, as well as, offer you the opportunity to share your own expertise. Additionally, there are plenty of real estate groups out there that can offer referrals and relocation business which can be profitable if you’re able to act quickly.

Leverage a Brand’s Internal Network

One of the best ways to take your networking options to the next level is to consider affiliation with a national brand like Weichert. While networking may not be the first thing you think of when considering joining a franchise, it can quickly become one of the major benefits of affiliation. A brand like Weichert for instance, brings with it the family-like camaraderie of other experienced brokers, trainers, and a huge infrastructure of coaching and lead generation that is part of the power of our internal network and our many real estate divisions. Our internal network can translate directly into sales opportunities through our international relocation company, our national lead generation network, our network of Referral Associates, online chat boards, as well as the relationships you develop directly with other Weichert brokers across the country through some of the many management conferences and events that Weichert facilitates.

At Weichert, we understand the power of networking because we’ve always taken a people-first approach to supporting every member of the team. To learn more about how Weichert brokers are empowered to develop and leverage our network go to www.weichertfranchise.com.

Build Your Business, Let Your Agents Sell Listings

Running a real estate brokerage is a rewarding business. You can do things your way from choosing a name and a location, training and mentoring a team, and driving your marketing.  You know you’ll never forget the excitement you felt when your sign was hung outside your brokerage for the first time. You made the transition from motivated sales associate to independent business owner and with that, comes a necessary shift in your thinking, and your actions.

The Salesperson Within

Most of the independent brokers we talk to were excellent sales associates. It’s why they made the move to being a broker. But a few years in, too many of them are still actively selling their own listings on a day to day basis. If this describes you, you have to know that you’re limiting your brokerage growth by continuing to actively sell. Before you hung your sign, the inner manager in you should have begun to change your focus from selling, to the process of managing. This means recruiting both experienced and promising new agents, and figuring out how to make them successful. Sure, it’s hard to break away from selling homes. After all, your sales prowess paid your bills all these years, but now it’s time to use your expertise to help other agents succeed and increase your bottom line. Salaried or contracted specialized administrative employees can help ease your work load and move you away from directly working with buyers and sellers to focusing on increasing agent transactions.

The Case for Letting Go

Many brokers mistakenly believe that they can’t stop selling or they won’t have the revenue to continue their operations or sustain their own income level. Inevitably this feeling is really due to another issue: you don’t believe your staff is able to do it as successfully as you. While this may even be true, if you want your brokerage to continue to succeed and grow, you need to invest in addressing that issue, not out meeting sellers to get listings. Train your agents to sell like you do, recruit new agents, and resist the temptation to slide back to old ways. Do that and everyone will reap the benefits and financial reward.

In fact, non-selling brokers typically earn more than those that continue to sell after opening their own brokerage. National Association of Realtors member profile for 2015 showed that managing brokers who solely took charge of their brokerage earned a median annual salary of $102,200 as opposed to $86,400 for brokers who also were in the field listing homes and/or working with buyers.

Handle Business Details

Think back to when you were working for another brokerage as a salesperson. How do you think everything ran so smoothly? Through the broker’s hard work on the various day-to-day activities of running the brokerage as a business. Or maybe it didn’t run smoothly, because the broker was too focused on their own selling or not invested in developing their agents.

Similarly, your mindset should only be on overseeing business details, such as continuing to foster your business and your brand to help agents get a leg up on the competition and your brokerage keep its integrity and sorecuieputation, among a slew of other operational tasks. If you are overwhelmed with the sheer number of tasks involved in managing your own brokerage and need a roadmap, you can consider an affiliation with a national real estate brand like Weichert. Our affiliates have the advantage of a blueprint for running a successful real estate brokerage, complemented with many broker tools to help handle business operations, marketing, recruiting and training that points you to the activities you should be working on for success.

Build A Better Life

When your entire brokerage is run seamlessly as a business, you are making a better life, not just for you and your family, but for all your agents. A successful brokerage means you can confidently take the family on vacation, knowing that the systems and people you’ve put in place will handle affairs while you are away.

Weichert has helped hundreds of brokers build the business of their dreams, contact us today at 877-567-3350 or online at http://weichertfranchise.com.