Use Calendar Postcards For Long Term Marketing Strategy
Begin marketing for the new year today.
What is the long-term marketing strategy?
A long-term marketing strategy focuses on the big picture of piecing together your monthly marketing practices into an overall annual plan. For example, you may have specific marketing goals to reach X number of new clients annually, receive X number of new leads, and close X number of deals.
To help you achieve those goals, you need to curate marketing practices that feed the momentum of each piece. For instance, sending this Calendar Postcard is just the first step. The second step includes a follow-up email or direct-mail marketing piece.
In a follow-up email or direct-mail piece, be sure to ask your recipients how they liked their new calendar postcard. And remember to encourage them to circle special dates for birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions on the calendar postcard as an easy way to reinforce their repeated use of your marketing piece!
How do you create a year-long marketing plan?
Here's a story about three real estate agents, Jason, Paul, and Monica, and their long-term marketing plans.
Jason just passed his real estate exam and is excited to hit the ground running in his long-time home of Pleasanton, California. He has a tiny budget but has some extra time to build his client list and grow his farm. He wouldn't call himself popular, but he could quickly put a list of 100 people together. When speaking with his team leader, she advised him to think about people from two different perspectives.
First, who does he know who has been in their home for at least five years and may need to move due to a growing or shrinking household with kids moving away or grandparents moving in? Second, who does he know that is well connected in the community and could refer people to him once he earned their trust?
Once he has created his first list, which he will continue adding to as his business grows, it is time to contact them regularly. Jason's team leader shared her basic business plan with him as a way for him to guide his business decisions and encouraged him to update it as his goals changed. She also shared her marketing budget template with him to show how much it would cost to support the marketing plan he wanted to use.
Jason is really excited to finally have a solid business plan in place and understand how far his current marketing budget could go. It is time to decide which marketing pieces he will use in his current year-long marketing plan. He chose to use a marketing calendar to track how many leads each of his marketing pieces brought in each month. This way, he would know which marketing piece he would use again next year and which one to replace.
With his small marketing budget, Jason decided to send an Agent Announcement postcard to let everyone know that they could start reaching out to him with all of their real estate questions. And in January, he decided to order Calendar postcards and hand-deliver them to his entire list at community events, networking meetings, and walking through his first neighborhood farm. To follow up with people who had reached out to him and shared referrals with him, he purchased 100 Gift Tags as a thank-you gift. He also wanted to support a local business, so he bought a few $5 coffee gift cards and included them in the Gift Tags with his business cards.
To also consistently connect with his friends, family, and clients on social media Jason signed up for Social Share to access hundreds of unlimited fresh real estate designs & captions ready to pick, save and post. He wanted to stay top-of-mind with his social media followers and he was excited about the 14-day free trial!
Paul recently received his 20-year pin from his real estate agency, and he wants residents to see him as an expert in his community. With his kids growing up in this community, he has volunteered for many at-home football games, sponsored several youth soccer seasons, and even shared his list of trusted local business professionals with local families displaced during fires and floods. Community is really important to Paul, and he decided this was his year to give back to his past clients and grow his team to continue serving his growing town.
Paul's newest team member, Amy, introduced the idea of reaching their clients through several different methods. These methods included direct mail, email, social media, sponsoring community events, and hand-delivering gifts. By casting this wide net, they were confident that everyone in their farm, online, and on their email lists would feel well-informed and continue sending their business and referrals to Paul's team.
By now, Paul understood the value of investing in his business, and his assistant updated their annual marketing budget to reflect their new marketing plan. His assistant also updated their yearly marketing calendar to include all the items they would need to purchase and schedule delivery. The team decided to share the load of delivering gifts in person, so each person was assigned three months a year.
To ensure their team stood out from the competition, they systematically selected various products for each listing appointment. Once the listing was secured, they also had a list of marketing materials they would use that varied by the property location and price. The newest marketing piece they added to their listing presentations is an 8-page Agent Brochure those showcases their entire team and the benefits they bring to their client's successful real estate experience.
Monica has been trying many different marketing strategies since she re-started her real estate career in a new community. However, she has decided now is the time to think long-term while rebuilding her client list.
After her years of experience, she is eager to learn as much as she can about her new area. She starts by investigating a variety of neighborhoods based on property values, diversity of property architecture, and proximity to area attractions. She also gets to know area title companies and attorneys to find out which areas have the highest turnover rates, which may increase her odds of securing homebuyers and sellers quicker.
She is most interested in finding areas with a high variety of property types, such as condos, townhomes, and single-family homes. She remembers that this encourages people to move up and down based on changes in their lifestyle. So she decides to start with a list of three locations that encompass an excellent range in property values, offer multiple housing style options, and are near shopping, area parks, and schools.
She secures the mailing addresses for her three farms and begins thinking about how she can strategically reach them consistently with the information they will find valuable. As she is restarting her business here, she has a decent budget but limited time. So, she decides to automate her direct mail campaign with a 12-month Elite program. Next, she works with her Elite Concierge to select the marketing pieces that best reflect her brand and help her engage with both homeowners and homebuyers.
Now that she has figured out her plan for direct mail, she focuses her attention on reaching and engaging with people online. Unfortunately, she doesn't have time to be creating graphics and content each week. Still, she remembers hearing her manager mention that real estate agents need to remain active on social media. This helps to increase their chances of people remembering to contact them about changes in local taxes, understanding the home buying process, and why listing with an agent benefits homeowners. So she decides to sign-up for a monthly subscription to Corefact's Social Share platform. Now, she can pick from various graphics and pre-written captions about market updates, seasonal messages, and real estate tips and post them regularly.
Okay, she has decided on her direct mail and online marketing. Now, she needs to focus on the personal touches that create the long-term relationships she knows she needs to fill her funnel of referrals. To help the people in her three farms get to know her more quickly, she decides to start walking her farms with Door Hangers - rotating them quarterly. Now she will get her steps while growing her business! During the first quarter, she stops by each door with a Door Hanger introducing herself and sharing a bit about her experience. During the second quarter, she stops by with a fun recipe, and she asks what their favorite recipe is when speaking with them. During the third quarter, she inquires if they consider selling in each of the farm areas. Finally, during the fourth quarter, she plans on sharing a current market update that directly relates to each farm.
While that took her a few days to plan out and organize, she is now ready to tackle her first year in her new community. She is confident that she will be celebrating a closing with a new client soon. That reminds her that she wants to plan ahead with some fun closing gift ideas. She also wants to have some Note Cards and Gift Tags on hand to thank people as they share referrals with her.
What makes a good postcard?
A good postcard includes information your recipient will find interesting or valuable. So get a head start on next year's marketing and send a great postcard! A Calendar Postcard conveniently places you in front of your neighborhood all year long. So make sure you're sending out this long-lasting marketing piece before your competition.
Remember to include your picture, name, and contact information. Each time your recipient looks at this calendar, seeing your face reinforces who you are and that you are just an email or phone call away.
For an extra special touch, you can include information about 5-7 local community events with dates and locations on the back of your postcard! Including a variety of events that occur throughout the year will give your recipient a great reason to keep it as a reference throughout the year.
What are calendar magnets?
Gain a competitive edge in your farm and stick your brand where clients see your face most. A magnet is one of the best ways to promote brand awareness. Homeowners will glance at your branding daily, reinforcing the message that you are the agent they can count on for a successful real estate experience.
Calendar Magnets are a great addition to the gifts you give to clients when leaving from listing appointment presentations, after your closing celebration, and as part of a drop-by gift. These are great as Thank you gifts for referrals for clients, friends, family, and business associates. Think outside the box about how you can get your name and face in front of as many people as possible.
What is a long-term branding strategy?
Let's start by understanding what a brand is. Think of Coca-Cola, Nike, or Starbucks, and you may immediately see an image, colors, words - or even better - you may have an emotional reaction! An emotional response to just thinking about a brand could include wanting to sip a nice cool coke or close your eyes and breathe in a deep satisfying waft of your favorite latte.
So, close your eyes and think about your brand. How is it unique? What are your colors? Do you have an image for you or your company that is clear and recognizable? Do you have a slogan or motto that is easy to repeat and relates to you and your business? All of these come together to create your unique brand.
Now we can dive into creating a long-term branding strategy with our article about creating a brand identity for real estate agents! We are excited to explain why creating a brand identity is important, how to create it, and use it to expand your business.
How do you create a long-term marketing goal?
Marketing goals are the specific numbers or metrics you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy. For instance, how many new leads do you want from a particular activity or marketing piece?
Think about the total number of leads and referrals you need to create the number of closings you want to accomplish a specific financial goal for the year. For example, let's say you want to bring in $100,000 in commissions this year. Figure out your average property listing price and your piece of the earned commission. Then divide that number by $100,000, and you should have the number of closings you need. Now, if you have been in the industry for a while, you should have a rough idea of how many leads/referrals you receive compared to your closings. If you are new, ask your team leader or manager what a good number is for agents in your office.
After all this math and reflection on the past, you now have the number of leads and referrals you need. Next, you should aim for how many closings you need to reach your annual objective. Take these numbers and divide them by twelve. Use our Business Plan Template to write down your monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals. Your business plan will help you keep track of your progress.
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