Real Estate Marketing Budget Hacks
From the very inception of our Custom Publications, many decades ago, we here at Discover have championed the importance of farming “on budget.” In fact, it is hard-wired throughout our business model, sales process, and rate structures.
Although we see glimmers of hope across the country – some businesses re-opening and unemployment dropping – real estate agents in many markets were hit hard and are still recovering from a Spring selling season that never happened. If that describes you (or if you just love saving money), we put together a list of all the ways our real estate agents have gotten the most bank for their Custom Farming buck over the years.
Marketing is essential – especially now
Before getting into the information assembled in the list below, it is incumbent on us to first stress that real estate marketing (as well as communication in general) is very important and very effective right now, as homeowners grapple with uncertainty and look for answers. The principle of frequency and consistency has never been more relevant and necessary.
In regard to the Coronavirus, economic uncertainty, a heated election year, and now, racial inequality brought to the forefront, it is a comfort to remember – and important to have faith in – our history of overcoming adversity. As Warren Buffet recently said, “never bet against America.” This, too, really shall pass, and we may be the better for it.
But what to do in the meantime? Is there any opportunity in this mess?
There are things agents need to do, and there is real opportunity for agents too. For a real estate agent, maintained marketing (or lack thereof) during this period will have drastic effects. Effects that will undoubtedly impact the times after the virus fades from the front page, and eventually relents its vicegrip on our pocketbooks. To put it simply, maintaining marketing now will have dramatic positive effects in the very near future.
When COVID quarantines first began, many of our clients quickly realized right away that their print marketing would reach people more than it ever had. This is still true. While some folks have returned to the office, many homeowners are still working remote and remain a “captive audience” of sorts; super-tuned-in, and hyper receptive to articles about the housing market. The takeaway: ensure that your marketing messages are relevant, informative, realistic, and everywhere.
7 Ways to Pay Less
for your Custom Real Estate Publication
1. Consolidate Editions
If you’re mailing more than one edition of your Custom Paper, consider (perhaps temporarily) sending out just a single edition instead – while adjusting, consolidating and thereby, expanding the content, so you cover all of the markets previously receiving multiple editions. This will save you $245 per edition.
2. Rotate a Route
Instead of hitting your entire farm area with each and every mailing, have your representative at Discover remove just one or two routes from the list. The following mailing, those routes can easily be placed back on the list, with a new and different route or two to then be removed (creating a cyclical pattern). This way, every single homeowner will get most mailings – and only once or twice a year all routes will be excluded. The savings can really add up, amounting to several hundred dollars or more per mailing, without any tangible sacrifice to lead generation.
3. Refer an Agent
Discover doesn’t advertise its Referral Credit program; it’s more like a “thank you” gift after a referral is sent. But when every penny counts, it’s good to know where to find more pennies. Discover gives clients a $250 credit for every single agent they refer, once the referred agent mails out his or her first paper. In a field where you have so much contact with coaches, brokers, mentors, and vendors (who can aid in the referring process) and where you yourself have contact with other agents regularly at attended seminars and masterminds, it’s easy to spread your love of Discover. Explain the benefits of custom farming by showing off samples of your favorite issues, and talking about how well it has worked for you. Just remember to let Discover know who you refer so you can start to stack up those $250 bonuses. By referring just 2 or 3 well qualified agents per month, you can shave $500 or more off your bill each cycle.
4. Add 7-10 Days of Spacing Between Issues
But be careful not to space your mailings apart too far; experience has shown us that the more frequently you mail, the better the results. But if you currently farm monthly and your budget is being stretched too thin, one great option is to move from monthly mailings to mailing every five weeks. Over a period of four to five months, you will save the cost of one entire mailing without a heavy impact on visibility.
If you’re already mailing Discover’s Standard Edition, you can quickly and easily save money and time by sending out a “Fast Track Edition” instead. With as much as a $450 lower cost than our Standard Edition and a much faster, more streamlined process, the benefits of the Fast Track make sense for many agents. An added bonus of the Fast Track program is that the minimum mailing quantity drops to as few as 2,000 homes (compared to 2,500 with the Standard edition). See More Details about Discover’s Fast Track Edition Here
6. Lean on Vendors
Now is definitely an appropriate time to rely on vendors for a little additional support. Often, they will want to help where they can. For example, if they are paying $300 for an ad in your custom publication, you can ask them to pay $400 for the next six months, and in exchange offer to include a full article about their company in two of the next six publications. Keep these requests limited to large companies or lenders, however. “Mom and pop” businesses are unlikely to be in any sort of a position to pay more, and might actually need a temporary discount or hiatus on advertising. So for those you do approach, explain that it’s truly a win-win situation and how you are doing everything possible to go the extra mile right now in order to scoop up the spike of listings coming soon. Explain exactly how you both will benefit from these efforts, and how their added support over the next few months will make it possible.
7. Brainstorm with your Rep at Discover – We’re here to Help!
We’re helping agents find creative ways to save money during this unprecedented time, and we’re also offering tons of free resources and support! For example, Discover has been providing branded COVID Guides for Sellers, Facebook Stories content, and complimentary custom emails, Digital Libraries, and content to patch agents through if they need to skip an issue or two. We’ve also provided a few freezes on price increases, and some one-time credits to our long-time clients. No matter what happens in the world around us, here at Discover our mission will always remain the same: helping our clients grow their businesses.
More about Discover’s customized
direct mail publications
Not a client of Discover? Learn more about our turnkey custom publications here. Or, check to see if your Zip Code is available (territories are exclusive) and a representative will reach out.