The fall season is typically a slow season for real estate investors. However, with the way the summer is expected to conclude, experts are predicting a more active end to the year than we have come to expect. Mortgage rates are still relatively low and there is still a large margin for profits to be made. By all means, the market should remain conducive to the bottom line of real estate investors. However, it is never a bad idea to hedge your bets. Give yourself the best odds for a successful fall. Here are five tips to help you through the fall selling season:
1.) Get Ready For October 23rd
A significant change is on the horizon, and real estate investors need to be aware of the ramifications it will have. In less than two months, on October 23rd, investors will be permitted to take advantage of an extraordinary opportunity. It is on this day that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will begin taking sign-ups for online .Realtor extensions, as opposed to those of the .com variety. While the transition may sound simple, it is without a doubt a great opportunity to increase website traffic. The majority of sign-ups will gravitate towards their name, followed by .Realtor. However, investors and Realtors alike are advised to purchase more than one domain. Secure any name that may have relevance to your company, as the new .Realtor domain names are essentially online real estate. The right name could have huge implications for your company.
The announcement will give anyone who is interested the opportunity to sure up additional domains that incorporate a ZIP code, provided they follow the guidelines. The ZIP code domains have extraordinary potential, as the average consumer tends to search by street, city and ZIP code. Take advantage of the upcoming sing-up period to place your company in the best position to succeed.
2.) Implement A Proven Business Plan
As a real estate investor, you should already have a good idea of what your business plan will look like for the foreseeable future. However, coming up with a proven business plan can serve as an obstacle. Nonetheless, it is an integral piece to any company hoping to realize any amount of success. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to duplicate the success of others. If you don’t have a business plan in place, here is an easy way to get started:
First, obtain a printout of all of your 2014 closed transactions. Next to each address, note as much information about each closed transaction as possible, preferably on an Excel spreadsheet. (You can use columns on a sheet of paper if you prefer.)
The columns should address where each transaction originated (referral, Web, paid lead, open house, etc.); the price; area/subdivision; approximate age of your clients; marital status; kids or no kids; your clients’ job or profession; listing or buyer, as well as any data you have about their lifestyle and recreational activities. Leave nothing out. The goal is to be as detailed as possible. Even insignificant data has the potential to lead to more business in the future.
Next, look for patterns. In what price range do you find the majority of your properties falling? How did you find each of your clients, or how did they find you? What do your clients have in common with each other? More important, what do they have in common with you? While you may not find commonalities in each category, pay special attention to those areas where you do.
Once you have organized your notes in such a manner, you will have a better idea of how you should allocate your time and focus. In particular, if you have had success in the past, devote the majority of your time to prospecting for more clients like the ones you have already attracted, paying special attention to the activities that generated those leads. However, simply trying to find new leads is not enough. It is equally important to maintain and nurture said leads. Staying in contact with a lead is necessary to realizing success in this business.
3.) Evergreen Marketing
While more abstract than most are accustomed to, the implementation of evergreen marketing can benefit those who do it well. But what is evergreen marketing? Whether it’s a beautiful maple tree in the front yard or a majestic mountain panorama, these types of photos and videos are “evergreen” in that they can be used for many years in your print, online and social media marketing campaigns. Take advantage of the picturesque atmosphere this time of the season offers. At this time of the year, it is not out of the question to capture three unique seasons in a period of 90 days.
Take pictures and videos of the unique activities your property can host. This can include water skiing, cookouts, sitting poolside, hiking, biking, etc. Capture the best of each season in your area. The great shots you take now can form the foundation for your marketing throughout the year. Good real estate photography cannot only help a house look better, but it can also increase its selling price.
4.) Take Advantage Of Every Holiday
This time of the year is almost entirely at the mercy of the holiday season. From October to December, there are several major holidays that the majority of America partakes in. As such, investors are advised to use each individual holiday to their advantage. There are seemingly limitless strategies you can glean from this time of the year. If you are holding open houses, use these holidays as a theme. You can also use the pictures and videos in both your online and offline marketing campaigns. Halloween, in particular, serves as a unique opportunity to hand out printed media about any properties you may have up for sale. Be creative, and get in the holiday spirit.
5.) Make A Point To Give Back
Again, this time of the year provides several opportunities for savvy investors. Of particular interest, however, is the influx of philanthropic initiatives that make themselves known. While it is always a good time to give back to the community, the holidays make it that much easier. There are a number of charitable events that warrant your attention. But how does donating benefit your business you may ask?
It is entirely acceptable to view charitable donations as a means of perpetual marketing. In making a commitment to the community you work in, you are essentially increasing visibility – in a good way. Your company will become the recipient of more business. It is a great marketing tool if you know how to network yourself at each respective event.