You’re late for office. Again.
Sweaty, irritable, and stuck still in a deadly traffic.
The driver is intently reading his newspaper, the conductor is humming along with the radio, and most passengers are gladly catching up on their morning sleep.
Yawning, you look out to your left, and spot this :
“These advertisements are such a curse”, you think to yourself, “poking your face each step of the way!”
Then you look out to your right, and see this:
Woah! Now you’re shaken out of your slumber, trying to catch every bit of text on this brilliant billboard.
This is the power of creative marketing – and it’s an especially critical nut to crack in real estate, where choice is abundant and developing a distinctive competitive advantage is tough.
To help you get started, here are 16 super fresh and creative real estate marketing ideas that you can try, and draw inspiration from:
1. Make every home tell a story
Weave a brand around every property you want to sell/rent. Identify the kind of person a particular house would most appeal to, and then create ads, videos or descriptions that speak directly to him. Use spell-binding images and write copy that sounds like your intended market. Such targeting will help highlight the best features of your property to the people most likely to buy it.
For example – is it a sunlit, airy, sea-facing house, sprinkled with tasteful paintings, with an ancient wooden bookshelf right in the centre? Sounds like the heaven any creative soul would crave for! Position it that way using a caption like, ‘Now, you’ll never lack inspiration’, along with a tempting shot of your property.
2. Use videos
Create a teaser video that shows them what’s it like to live in a particular property. Focus on highlighting different areas of the house, how a family can use them, as well as the neighborhood and the local hotspots. This will help your prospects see it as their home, and not just as another house.
Make sure it’s a story-driven, heartfelt video that strikes the right chords with your prospects. Since that will take a professional agency and lots of resources, this strategy can be used for the most ripe leads – the ones that are almost on the verge of closing the deal, but are experiencing last minute jitters, or taking too much time to give an answer, and so on.
In fact, you needn’t fret over the expense at all, because 1) there are lots of simple tools to help you make videos yourself, and 2) there is a lot you can get out of a well-made film. You can use it as a YouTube ad, as a testimonial on your website, as a part of the welcome email you send out to leads, and anywhere you need to demonstrate your professional edge.
Bonus: Here are 8 Trends Will Dominate Real Estate Marketing and Lead Gen in future.
3. Highlight property features
Buying a home is as much of an emotional decision as it is a financial one. Sometimes, the smallest of things can make a prospect fall for a property immediately!
Identify and highlight a ‘speciality’ about the home, based on your target audience. For example, if your property has a sprawling garden, highlight that as a key feature to a family looking to avoid clutter in a big city. Tell them how it brings nature right to their doorstep, and how it can be the perfect playground for their young kids. In conversations, refer to it as ‘the garden house’ to cement that association.
If the property does not have any extraordinary feature, you can try adding distinctive items that will catch the eye and win the heart. It can even be something as simple and delightful as a swing!
4. Advertise near beautiful homes
Have you ever seen a house so gorgeous you wished you lived there?
This is a very common feeling and particularly heightened when you’re looking for a place of your own.
You can distribute flyers or put up posters near the best (or even famous) houses in your city. A simple line like ‘Want a house like that?’, provided with your phone number, can be a strong call to action for a prospect passing by a beautiful house and marveling at it. Remember – guerilla real estate marketing is popular because it pays off. Explore it!
5. Attend or sponsor your client’s housewarming
It’s the one occasion where your calibre as a real estate agent/developer is on full-display, with a living example to prove it – and that’s why you must attend it.
Your client will likely show guests around the new home and receive generous compliments. If any of the guests are looking for a place themselves, he (your client) might personally recommend and introduce them to you. They’ll certainly remember you as the person behind ‘that great deal’.
If you aren’t on terms personal enough to be invited to the party, offer to sponsor it as a part of your services. As a sponsor, you’d get the chance to attend the party and make the most out of the incoming praise. You could also arrange for a small promotion at the party – for example, a box full of your business cards, covered with a poster that says, ‘want a house like this one?’; or distributing a branded welcome gift, etc.
6. Associate with a charitable organization
Partner with a local NGO or charity to donate a certain amount of money, every time you close a deal. This can be an incentive for prospects to buy from you and not others (lots of numbers show CSR directly improves sales) – particularly if they’re nearing the end of their buying cycle, and are confused between a couple of equivalent-seeming options.
For example, you can strike a strong chord with your prospects by partnering with an institute that works for the homeless – at this stage, they realize more than ever the value of having a home, and could empathize deeply with people so deprived.
7. Personalize every showing
A person looking for a house will probably see many, many properties in a single day. They’ll reject some at first sight, forget a few the moment they exit, and ponder over the remaining for weeks until they take a final decision.
To ensure faster decisions and better recall, make your showing memorable for the prospect and add a personal touch to the property. Scatter handwritten messages (on post-its) and candid pictures throughout the house, illustrating how it is to actually live in the house. It will help them envision their life in that home and spark an attachment with it.
8. Sponsor events for relevant private clubs
Identify the kind of social clubs your prospects are most likely to be a part of, and sponsor events for them. For example, if you’re selling luxury real estate, you can target a club with wealthy CXOs as members. On the other hand, if you’re selling budget apartments on an EMI basis, you can target a local couple’s club.
9. Partner with hotels to target city newcomers
Hotel occupants can be divided into two main types – those who’ve come to the city for a one-time purpose, such as tourism, a business conference, or the like; and those who’re new to the city but looking to settle in it.
This second category of people represents a critical opportunity for real estate agents, because they’re likely to be house hunting while temporarily putting up at a hotel. However, this group is a relevant target only if you have properties to rent – as most people will buy a property only in a city they’ve been in for a while.
You can partner with the hotel for mutual promotion. For example, the hotel can place your posters, fliers and business cards at prominent places, while you hand out their card/coupons to each client (because people can come to a broker before booking a hotel, as well).
Alternatively, you can collaborate with the hotel to organize a tour of the city, or an informational event to help newcomers settle in with ease, targeted towards people who’re new to the city. Such tours/events can be advertised (through hand-outs, vehicle marketing on cabs, billboards etc.) near airports or railway stations.
10. Handout summary cards after showings
After each showing, give your prospect a neat card containing all the important details about the property (add a few high-quality pictures if your budget allows). This will not only be immensely useful to a person scouting through a number of houses daily, but will also make sure they don’t forget your property amidst all the other choices.
This is particularly useful if you are a real estate agent showing the prospect multiple properties in a day. By giving them these hand-outs, you’re helping them organize their house-hunt for free, so they’ll definitely appreciate your service more because of it.
11. Advertise near railway stations and airports
If your budget does not allow for hosting such events or tours, you can reach out to city newcomers independently, without partnering with hotels. This can be done by advertising your services near airports or railway stations. Apart for the ideas mentioned previously, you can also strike a commission-based arrangement with the cab drivers near such spots, in which they personally recommend your service to each passenger.
12. Address common pain-points in your ads
Typically, real estate advertisements tend to focus on all the good things about the property. A reverse approach can help you deliver a sharper impact, and reach out to passive prospects. These are the people who are unhappy with their current houses, or planning to switch sooner or later, but haven’t decisively started looking yet.
Create ads that speak right to their pain points and offer a feasible solution. Restricted lifestyle at a PG, pollution, too far from office, strict society rules, unsafe locality, etc. are the kind of problems you can target. For example, ‘You know you hate being a paying guest. Feel at home in XYZ.’ is a caption that will appeal to any person suffocated in a PG and wondering if they should switch. Be sure to provide them a quick way to contact you, in the ad itself.
13. Distribute your contact details offline
No, your prospects are not simply staring at a billboard, scouting the internet or sitting in your office. They could be asking the watchmen of a society they really liked, if they knew of some vacancies there. They could be asking the shopkeeper that looks trustworthy about reliable brokers in the area. They could be asking around their office/college for such contacts.
Getting yourself listed is not a job that ends on the internet. Identify the people who are likely to be in touch with your prospects before you, and try to partner with as many of them as possible. In fact, reaching out to facilities teams at large offices, administrative teams in schools, and security or management teams in prominent societies need not be complicated, as they will not expect anything in return. You can just ask them to keep your cards and give them out to people who inquire.
14. Give your prospects the whole new deal
House-hunters are stressed souls. They might be smiling with you in your office – but their mind is wearily thinking of the next steps – paperwork, relocation, furnishing, interior decoration, repairs, house-warming, what not!
Now, suppose you offer to help them with any or all of these things, for free or for a tiny fee. Can you imagine how much faster you would close that deal?
Strike mutual partnerships with businesses catering to the same market as you. If that sounds too time-taking, just maintain a database of all such service providers; and give your prospects a list of contacts, customized to their requirements, once they seem fairly inclined to buy from you.
15. Take care of your prospect’s commute
If you’re a real estate agent, take full responsibility for the prospect’s commute as they hop from one property to another. Quite often, agents rely on public transport or simply walk along with the prospect if they’re showing properties in an area.
While this can be okay if the distances are short and the number of properties to see, small – it can be a very bothersome experience when such is not the case. Therefore, make sure you have your own car or arrange for a cab for home-show days. Position this as a complimentary service you provide to all your clients, and you will see deals closing faster and recommendations rolling in!
16. Host an informational session for city newcomers
Home buying is a very complex process, and most people do not have the time or interest to pour over the detailed resources on the internet. Any home-buyer would naturally prefer a physical session any day, which will not only make things easier to understand, but also help them get their queries resolved instantly.
Organize an event to educate them about the home-buying process and the things they need to consider at every stage. You can split your costs by partnering with other businesses catering to the same audience – for example, furniture providers, interior decorators, loan financiers, etc.
I hope you enjoyed pouring over these creative real estate marketing ideas, and will try them and twist them to come up with juicy ones of your own!
Which one did you think has most potential for your business and why ? Do let me know in the comments :)