One of the most common mistakes agents make when marketing to home buyers is marketing only to the “aware”. The problem is this: anyone who knows they want to buy a house and is serious enough to go to a home-buyer’s seminar probably already has an agent. Let’s face it, everyone in the united states has a dog’s-former-owner’s roommate’s neighbor who practices real estate on the side. Avante Home Buyers offers excellent info on this. By marketing to the unaware, people who have not yet taken any steps toward actually buy a home you stand to gather a far larger pool. While these leads take longer to incubate into closings, this can be tracked in your CRM program (Top Producer, ACT, etc.). Pre-sale leads who are sold on working with you should be “milked for referrals” simply by keeping in touch once every 21 days (three week contacts statistically produced the highest number of referral leads).
A more appealing seminar title to “fish upstream” in your marketing to home buyers by marketing a “Credit Score Seminar”. As a professional marketer, we’ve done several tests for marketing to home buyers. When offering a “First time home buyer seminar” or even just a “Home buyer seminar”, we had about 15 attendees, out of which only 2-3 leads on average were produced. When we ran the same advertising for a “Credit Score Seminar” we had over 20 attendees, out of which, on average sixteen people took the next step to get preapproved for a mortgage or start looking at property.
This is, of course, an excellent reason to partner with a car dealer, who may represent a great source of referrals. Another common problem we see with agents or brokers marketing to home buyers is delivery of the message. All marketing comes down to message, media, and call to action. Generally, direct mail is too expensive to realize a positive ROI, while small classifieds in the rental section (tip: the rental section reaches the “unaware” with headlines like “$2k/mo 2bed foreclosure to own”). Another great option is flyers posted in apartment buildings.
The simple fact is almost everyone wants a new home, smaller home, or larger home than what they have. Our job as professionals in a less active market is to make these people realize how affordable it can be, or in the case of moving down, how much they can save.