You are an expert at helping your clients learn the importance of staging their homes and building an image for prospective buyers. But how often do you give the same consideration to building your own brand image?
It's true that your knowledge, professionalism and reliability are all important traits in helping to establish a positive reputation as a real estate agent in the minds of potential customers. But custom marketing materials that reinforce your brand--whether a brochure, presentation folders, an accordion folder or other marketing piece--can be nearly as valuable in establishing yourself in the marketplace.
There is a lot of information and advice in the media today about the importance of online marketing. Digital advertising and public relations certainly has its place in real estate and few would argue that online advertising isn't absolutely necessary in today's home buying and selling arena. But relying only on online advertising and marketing is selling your brand short. Web-based marketing forces potential clients to proactively search for you in order to find your presence online. Problem is that they are also going to find all of your competitors along the way.
By contrast, customized print marketing is a more direct means of communicating with potential clients and therefore deserves a significant place in your overall marketing strategy. With customized print marketing, you can place your brand directly into the hands of clients in person, without the distraction of competitors.
Your business card is perhaps the simplest form of print advertising and certainly shouldn't be overlooked. Beyond your business card, however, there are a number of ways to build your brand. Because there are often several pieces of information you want to leave with a prospective client, one of the most useful options is custom real estate folders.
While most people think first of customized pocket folders--which can be very useful for presenting information as well as your business card--there are a number of other types of real estate folders as well that lend themselves to successful marketing. For example, customized expanding folders or accordion folders are often used to create a Home Document organizer or Home Records Organizer which is given to the client as a closing gift. Not only is this custom folder something they need and will use to store all the important paperwork, it's also a great way to promote your brand and generate repeat and referral business.
Another advantage of print marketing in general and real estate folders in particular, is the potential staying power. With your online presence, a client clicks a few pages on your site and are then on to something or someone else. By presenting a professional real estate marketing folder to a prospect or client, you'll have a better opportunity for a longer shelf life for that marketing material.
In the end, there is no one perfect way to market your brand. Because online marketing is relatively new compared to print marketing, it is natural to hear more about it in the media. However, it is a mistake to think that online advertising should replace customized real estate folders in your marketing plan. Marketing is all about impressions and keeping your brand in front of clients and prospects for as long as possible. A real estate folder that contains all the important documents related to the property a client invests in will be seen and referred to over and over, cementing your brand in the client's mind well after the transaction is complete.
Both customized print and online marketing methods are essential for successful reach with prospective customers and existing clients.