Before I explain the marketing mix that has worked for me in the last few years of a disaster market, you must understand that the fundamentals of real estate sales are still the best marketing: price and location.
If the property is in a place people really want to live, work, and play – and it’s priced right, then this marketing mix will work right now.
First you have to find the customer types (profile them) that fit that location, price, and situation. Who has bought recently? What are their demographics and psychographics? What type of person was the best customer?
This info will help target your mix.
Events drive this success. That’s the key to getting traffic and sales. Instead of having a “Grand Opening of Sales,” “Grand Opening of Models,” or an “Open House” — have a “Family Fun Day,” “Meet the Local Community,” or “Join us for a Taste of the Town.”
I don’t mean spending lavishly. For Family Fun Day we’re talking about a bounce house, face painter, a few games, and an iPod with speakers. For the other events, cooperate with charities, local schools, and local restaurants to get them to participate and share the cost and effort.
Then promote the event with this mix:
– News Releases (not necessarily to the press – go to your email list and websites)
– Web Promotion (news, community, and real estate sites)
– Radio Advertising (stations that match your demographics – Don’t bother with a remote. I’ve never had them work for real estate.)
– E-blast Newsletters
– Direct Mail Newsletter Postcards – a special kind of direct mail that works better than all others (target demographics)
– Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
– Social Networking (Social Media Marketing, SMM)
All must be highly targeted at your top purchasing demographics and done as a campaign – not a series of unconnected media activity. It works right now!
There is no magic bullet. You have to promote for weeks ahead of your event and for weeks or months following it. When traffic starts to drop, have another event. It’s a marathon, not a sprint!
For new home sales, in the last couple of years, I’ve had over 1,700, 1,800, and 1,900 attend for 3 different communities and events. That’s a lot of people during a recession. Sales were strong considering the market with over $91 million in revenue.
For re-sales, get a group of sellers and agents to cooperate in a master planned community or neighborhood to promote the inventory together with these low-cost events and the marketing mix outlined. You will all benefit together.
What has worked for you? Your thoughts?