Many agents make the wrong moves during an economic downturn, and it costs many of them their business. In this article, learn what wise Realtors and small businesses have done to not only thrive during a market slow down but thrive on the other side.
Are we going into an economic slowdown? I can't answer that, but I can give you some guidance and data on what you should do during one.
This infographic below gives you a quick summary of what you need to know. Keep reading below it for more information.
Marketing based on or in spite of your feelings
As I write this, we are several weeks into the COVID-19 outbreak. I've spoken with about two dozen agents in the past few days, interacted with hundreds of Realtors in some of our private groups online, and spoken to half a dozen of our Certified Partners.
Many of them have gone through regional and domestic slowdowns/crashes in the past. For others, it's their first time while marketing/selling in real estate.
What I love about these conversations is this tribe's willingness to share their past experiences and share strategies with each other.
Whether it's a global pandemic (e.g. Coronavirus, H1N1, etc.), a domestic recession, or a regional pull-back in your housing market, it's scary. At the beginning, we often do not know how long the slow down will take to turn around.
The good news is that things always turn around, hopefully with as little loss of life as possible. I am encouraged by many of the work-from-home initiatives so many businesses have taken in the past few days. Only time will tell how these measures help.
I've been a marketer for many years and given some of my roles in the industry, I've been able to work directly with dozens of companies across industries and coach thousands of business owners and marketers. This gives me solid insights into what has worked well and what to avoid. Plus, I believe that we all become better with wise council.
In the past few days, as worked on this infographic and list, I've reached out to some of my friends in real estate marketing and the wider marketing landscape. They all agree.
Use your concerns of a potential slow down to take inventory of your business and make wise decisions for you how spend your time. This is the time to focus on your real estate website, adding a modern IDX plugin, the content you know will help your clients, and ways to automate your business in the future.
Rand Fishkin's quote from the 2009 bust holds true today and has been backed up by the data.
"Sales might drop, conversion rates might falter a bit but raw search traffic isn't going anywhere. A recession doesn't mean that people stop searching the web, and with broadband adoption rates, Internet penetration and searches per users consistently rising, search is no fad - it's here for the long haul." - Rand Fishkin
So what should you do? Keep reading to learn the action to take in the coming weeks and (perhaps) months.
What could an effective digital marketing strategy do during an economic crisis?
- increasing the visibility of your personal brand;
- increasing the number of visitors to your site;
- increasing your credibility and market share;
- increasing the number of returning clients;
- increasing sales;
- generate profit growth.
You should remember that your marketing budget is an investment, not an expense!
The 7 steps you can take:
- Work smart to retain your existing client base
- Get even more visible in front of your target niche(s)
- Invest time in improving your real estate website and making it the hub of your marketing
- Focus on driving conversions
- Set aside time to write 1 -2 valuable hyperlocal articles per week and schedule for future release
- Build meaningful hyperlocal community pages with 400 - 1500 words of content on each
- Measure, test, learn, test
The importance of marketing during an economic slowdown
Organic traffic and content marketing outperform other channels and get more powerful over time.
Plus, wise marketers know that sitting around during downturns does not help grow your business, today or next year.
You may not be showing or listing as many houses, and open houses may have fewer than normal visitors. The great news is that you have more time during a downturn to reshape your marketing strategy and do the work that will grow your business.
Over the previous year, I've helped analyze over 100,000 real estate websites and have seen hundreds of individual agents do the work to grow their businesses, and the data backs up why online marketing is so important.
49% of real estate agents feel their top marketing challenge is generating enough high-quality leads
The Made in America Movement, 2020 Real Estate Report
79% of sellers are more likely to list their home with an agent who has their own website with MLS property search
The Made in America Movement, 2020 Real Estate Report
95% of home buyers visit real estate agents' websites during their home search
The National Association of REALTORS®, 2018 Report.
Think about that. That means if you do not have a website, you are fighting for only 5% of home buyers.
This investment is critical to SEO (organic traffic from Google) and re-engaging past clients. The good news is that you can do this yourself. Yes, a Certified Partner can help you go faster, but you are capable of doing this yourself.
Digital Marketing keeps your personal brand awareness high in the community. Customers are more likely to turn to the brands they readily remember.
Our conclusion: Keep investing in marketing during a recession!
A good marketing strategy and focus on implementation is always the best response to an economic crisis situation!
You’ll be ahead of your competition. You’ll be able to continue to run your real estate business at a rate that will ensure profitability during the economic recession. You’ll survive the recession like no other!
When times are good you should be selling not doing SEO. But when things are slow, don’t just complain and goof off — use this time to invest in your future!
What advice do you have for agents to focus on during a downturn in their market? Leave a comment below.
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