Why my career in real estate?
I have been resisting for over 10 years, the temptation to start a career in real estate, despite successive invitations. Firstly, because in Portugal this professional activity has always been more connected with the activity of salesperson and I understood that my professional skills and my accumulated knowledge would allow me to go further. But for that, I needed a brand with values , based on personal respect between me, colleagues and customers, that would allow me to grow based on my personal initiative and stimulate the entrepreneurial streak that has always existed in me.
KW was and is the right brand that responded to these requirements: because in addition to the above, its business model has as one of the pillars the highest remuneration policy in the real estate industry . And without this philosophy, it becomes more difficult for a consultant to have sufficient means for a serious investment in its Marketing strategy and in the promotion of its clients' properties.
Why my bet on Marketing?
Whether due to my training or professional experience accumulated over another 20 years, from the first moment I thought about a career in the real estate area, Marketing was immediately the main pillar of my strategy:
- Because of me, because I thought that anyone who starts a new career and has not yet built a web of relationships, marketing is the quickest way to cut short the way and skip steps.
- For my clients, because what moves me is to promote the sale of their properties, the faster I do it, the more satisfied they will be.
Tactic 1 - Marketing Strategy
The Importance of a Marketing Strategy
- Marketing is too important and expensive to be left to specific initiatives, without previously thinking about a plan that rationalizes and defines the objectives, the target audience, the means and the values to be invested.
- There are no bad marketing strategies , all strategies are good as long as they produce results . And for me, these are the results: selling at the best price, the highest number / value of properties, in the shortest possible period . There is no single strategy and each consultant must adapt his to his personal style and personality.
- Be original and creative. Above all, try not to copy what others have done, as it will look fake and misfits. Mylena Sales once said: “ when trying to imitate others doesn't work anymore, try to be yourself ... and you'll realize that that's all you needed to do all the time. ”.
- Generic Marketing versus Personal Marketing . This is a decision that is up to each one and that depends a lot on how each one wants to be exposed. Some feel comfortable when their media exposure intersects their personal sphere and others do not.It is up to each one to define the boundary between the marketing of their brand / professional activity and the dissemination of their personal and family life, taking into account that Personal Branding brings advantages and disadvantages in this area of activity:
- Personal Branding allows positive differentiation from competitors and accelerates the establishment of relationships of trust with previous and potential customers.
- The real estate business is a people-to-people business, nobody likes to entrust visits to your home, your home, to anyone . The successful consultant often uses social media, so that on the other side the perception is created that even before contacting you, that customer who follows you, already "knows" you and is ready to trust you. Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon once said: " Your Personal Brand is what others say about you, when you are not in the room ".
- Personal Branding also implies added caution, since the way we present ourselves to the world: who we are and what we want, has an impact that can be positive or negative and that also lasts over time. A vulgar exhibition based on marketing clichés, without imagination and creativity, or too artificial and that does not reflect our personal identity, can bring the reverse of the medal , that is, generate withdrawal and mistrust instead of empathy and so, there goes the intended link of trust!
- The bet on Personal Marketing also brings increased risks. If we do a bad job, or when customers feel unhappy with the evolution of the sale of their property, they may post negative comments or criticisms on the Social Network page , which are immediately visible to everyone. Or else share a post of ours, comment it negatively, without us having control over it.
- Your professional and personal reputation will always be at risk, but as long as your merit and good effort prevails and is well promoted, in view of the inevitable failures, the balance will always be positive : if the number of people who criticize you positively is much higher than those who do the opposite, should not be afraid.
A Marketing strategy does not need to be complicated, for example, in short, my personal strategy was defined in the early moments of my career as follows:
- Define Digital Marketing as a priority, with a medium / long term strategy, channeling the largest part of my budget to this aspect, without neglecting traditional marketing.
- Bet on the target of the medium / medium high segment of the market , with an average value of 500k per property.
- To privilege the promotion, quality and presentation of the properties and the individual investment in each one, to the detriment of focusing my marketing on the fundraising side. On average, I only have a portfolio of between 20 and 30 properties.
Tactic 2 - Setting goals
The objectives are the “drive” that helps us to measure the effort and measure the success or failure of our work. Without goals, we behave like that cyclist who takes the first time on a road with no sign of any kind. We feel lost, we are not aware of what we have already gone through or what we still need to go through, we become discouraged and the temptation to give up appears. The objectives need not be ambitious, but in addition to being realistic, we must strive to achieve them , eg:
- Define the number, frequency and type of posts to be posted weekly on social networks;
- Plan the number of properties to collect in a given marketing channel;
- The traffic of visits to a website, or organic visibility of our posts on social networks; number of likes, number of followers, etc. etc.
Tactic 3 - Define the target you want to reach
The target influences the type of Marketing you want to develop. It may be a target more located in the vicinity where the consultant lives, it may be a certain type of professional class (sportsmen, lawyers, doctors, students, etc.), it may be a target audience of a given age group (eg young people who are planning their wedding, etc.).
When defining a target, you can create personalized marketing campaigns, you can think about specific events linked to that target and above all it will improve networking because the specialization in that target induces confidence and strengthens cross relationships.
On the other hand, it facilitates the production and realization of marketing campaigns, because when reaching associations or groups associated with this target, success may involve establishing protocols, distributing targeted marketing to that target audience, etc. etc.
Tactic 4 - Thinking "out of the box"
Herein lies a large part of Marketing's secret. Don't just follow the advice of other professionals. Be original and think differently ! Surprise instead of repeating what others have already done!
I often say that:
“If we follow the same path that others have already done and repeat the same tasks, how much we aspire to have the same results, or worse. But if we do it differently, with resilience and hard work, success will one day knock on our door! ”.
One of the golden rules of Marketing is the ability to surprise your customers. Be creative or turn to those who have these skills. If you have no one, ask your Market Center for help as they will have someone to help you.
But above all, the strategy and objectives must start from you, your production and the ideas to materialize them can be delegated.
Tactic 5 - Create a marketing task schedule
Persistence is the secret of successful Marketing!
The best way to guarantee the desired results in the medium term is to create goals over time. Use an agenda and plan your Marketing tasks in advance, so that nothing will be forgotten.
You can use Google Calendar which is simple, free and integrated with KW Portugal's gmail.
Create, for example, an agenda for the posts you intend to post on social networks and define the respective frequency. Create an agenda of Marketing events, local, national and international where you intend to participate, commemorative days, etc. etc..
Planning ahead allows you to better manage your financial resources and create a commitment that keeps you from forgetting your Marketing tasks and maintaining your strategy “on the rails”.
Tactic 6 - Measure the results
This is the part that is usually overlooked, but it is a fundamental task, as Marketing without metrics is blind Marketing.
If you do not monitor and analyze the results of your campaigns, instead of investing you run the risk of spending money badly spent.
Whenever you start a marketing campaign, budget the cost involved, measure the results and possible profits. I have already bet on many types of Marketing that have proved to be unproductive after a period long enough not to be in doubt. Being resilient when betting on a given Marketing channel or platform is good, not measuring the results is bad. I use Google Analytics statistics, statistics from real estate advertising portals, statistics from social networks, etc.
Tactic 7 - Betting on Digital Marketing
There is no lack of Marketing channels, quite the opposite. But what many ask is: where is it worth investing in? The answer to this question is not easy, but 4 years of experience in this field, allow me to give you some clues that I have already successfully followed:
The bet on Digital Marketing attracts more and more professionals, to the detriment of Marketing and advertising promoted through traditional channels. For me this has been, and will continue to be, the strongest bet since the first moment I joined KW. The entire Digital Marketing strategy was based on organic traffic, but also on paid digital promotion . In short, these have been my bets.
Social Networks - Regarding social networks, although this medium is not currently the most important source in terms of attracting leads, the consultant cannot fail to promote himself in them, being that, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Linkedin are those that I would advise. This is another channel to advertise your properties and promote your marketing, and Facebook remains the social network with the greatest impact on the target that buys and sells properties . On the one hand the cost is low, on the other hand its use is simple and the ease of promoting your posts using paid ads is also an option to consider, as it has some effectiveness.
But above all, social networks allow to reinforce the remaining marketing channels, multiplying the efficiency as a whole . However, there is something I never give up: using quality images and well-written texts.
On Facebook I have a personal account and 5 more pages, which together total 90,000, on Instagram 1,500, plus 10,000 on Linkedin, making a total of more than 100,000 fans . The advice thatI could give and that are also valid for Instagram, are:
- Do not exaggerate in publications about future fundraising (without mentioning details), give preference to fundraising when formalized;
- Try not to fall into the exaggeration of putting an excessive number of posts , but do proof of life at least once a week;
- Take advantage of commemorative dates, Market Center prizes , etc .;
- Try to get testimonials from your customers (it is the best way to generate credibility);
- If you don't have real estate, try to promote, with permission, those of your colleagues, etc .;
- To increase the audience of accounts on social networks, invite all friends or contacts you have in your gmail . Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram have features to help with this task.
- Linkedin is also a network worth betting on , because nowadays all professionals use it and it is a good space to promote yourself and at the same time raise money.On the other hand, it is the ideal space to divulge your professional career and generate confidence in your clients and colleagues. Avoid using social posts better suited to other networks, birthdays, motivational posts, “states of mind”, etc. Try to write articles with professional interest, as this is the right space for that. Report the events of your career, KW and your Market Center
Websites - I have this website https://ana-macao-kw.pt/ , plus another 4 and 2 more under development. To achieve the desired results, which involve achieving more than 100.000 monthly visits (organic and paid), work has been done that lasts for 3 years, already with 800 pages with original content (translated into Portuguese, English and French), and which aim to attract traffic from Google through advanced techniques of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Studies already carried out in the USA discourage putting too much expectation on the sites, as it was estimated that it cost more than 5 million dollars for a site to obtain leads in a sustained way! My challenge is to get there, not least because my site is already one of, if not the site, with the greatest visibility in Portugal promoted by a consultant or team of consultants.
So, contrary to what many think, betting on a website that generates leads is not an investment accessible to anyone, and in most cases will generate frustration if the consultant invests a lot of time and resources in this marketing channel. So my advice is to limit the production of the website to the minimum necessary, that is, create a website that works as a digital presentation card for the consultant or team, but do not waste too much time launching the properties because the traffic will be low and the likelihood of leads, even lower.
Tactic 8 - Betting on Traditional Marketing
In terms of Traditional Marketing, I've done a little bit of everything: ads in paper newspapers, mass mails, muppies, large billboards, hand-held flyers, placard advertising on sports equipment , etc. etc. The balance I make is not extraordinary, but it fulfills the proposed objectives: capturing referrals and reinforcing digital marketing. Some of the advice I would give are:
- Paper-based newspapers are a type of media that will disappear in the short / medium term, even newspapers with large circulation and free distribution have poor results in terms of lead capture. It is obvious that in addition to direct lead generation there is always the reinforcement of branding, although I do not advise this means unless we speak of teams with some dimension and where the financial effort is diluted in the rest of the marketing.
- The distribution of flyers in mailboxes is one of the most common bets and also the one with the lowest return.I have already distributed hundreds of thousands of flyers and I notice that the effectiveness is increasingly low. I would advise you not to bet on large circulation formats and generalist communication and to opt for more personalized mail , restricting the area, emphasizing personal communication and the results of the activity already carried out in that area. Better little mail, but with a more personalized communication, and distinguished by the presentation and format.
- Outoors are marketing options that work , but because of the very high costs that are involved, and in my opinion are justified in one of two situations:
- When there is a strong portfolio of properties to sell in a given area and the billboard promotes the respective Call to Action. Via an undertaking, eg
- When there is a very strong consultant activity in a given area or location and the billboard complements and reinforces that visibility.
- Regarding muppies, I have not had good results and I would not advise them for personal marketing.
- Advertising in sporting events with great local penetration , are also a good means of penetration both in the local population and on TV if the event has promotion at that level. Right now I have such an experience taking place, successfully, in a sports hall that also broadcasts to channel 11, in my preferred area.
- Mass mail using Mailchimp or others, do not use. These types of tools are normally understood by servers like Google's, as being advertising, they don't go to the inbox and are forwarded to sub-mailboxes, or even to Spam, where they join dozens or hundreds of other messages similar. Again, as in the case of flyers, it will be preferable to opt for messages sent from KW Portugal's GMail, personalized, using the "door-to-door" concept.On the other hand, if sending to a more limited group of mail addresses, with which you exchange or have already exchanged regular mail messages (eg ex-customers), the effectiveness and the probability of going to the box input is higher.
Tactic 9 - Set a budget
The budget must be checked and monitored depending on the results.
Don't be "forreta" when it comes time to invest. Don't think you are going to spend, think before you are going to invest.
What does it matter if you spend a few thousand euros on a billboard if there is enough return to pay for the respective investment.
But this is a vital area, as it is very important to monitor the return on investment in a given Marketing channel, when the investment turns into an unprofitable expense, it is time and money lost.
How much should you invest? There is no magic formula, but anything less than 10% of your annual return is weak.
Try to invest in marketing channels whose cost / benefit ratio is higher.
As a rule, digital channels have this characteristic, but do not neglect the effectiveness of traditional local marketing. Being known in your area is the first step to growing.
Tactic 10 - What you should and shouldn't do
Mistakes to avoid
I have compiled a list with 8 tips that come from my experience in Marketing and that I would not advise you to do:
- Don't spend all your money on one Marketing channel or one social network. Diversify marketing and multiply it by more than one channel, this is a golden rule. If the potential customer sees you in more than one channel, the effectiveness of each one increases. However, you should put the importance of Social Networks in perspective, no matter how tempting it may be to have many followers. More and more networks, such as Facebook and Instagram, restrict the organic visibility of posts, highlighting paid publications first. That is, if your page has 1000 followers, if you are lucky, an unpaid post can achieve visibility in the order of 10% of the number of followers.The greater the number of fans, the lower this percentage.
- Do not abuse flyers, especially those that many people put on car windows. Instead of generating empathy, they almost always bore people who have to get out of the car to get them out and drive. The more aggressive and massive your mass mailing or flyer distribution strategy, the less attention you will have.
- Do not produce Newsletters with articles of no interest , with advertising, or with too repetitive frequency. If there is not enough news or content, it is better that the frequency is bimonthly.
- Do not bet on Billboards or Muppies outside your nearest geographic area of influence. If nobody knows you, or your name is not visible, nobody will call you.
- On social media, don't be tempted to post or comment with a “negative aura”. Be polite and friendly, if criticized, try to forward communication to private messages.
- Do not be "forreta" in the Marketing budget , even if the results are not immediate, persistence and consistency will produce results, even if it is in the medium term.
- Be real, don't use “made phrases” in your marketing and advertising, like: “I have clients in my portfolio looking for a home in your area”. That is, if you are not honest in your communication, marketing will not work.
- Do not try to do all the marketing , the success of a consultant is linked to the way you can focus on your business activities, if you spend too much time with Marketing, your commercial production will suffer. Seek help, using specialized agencies that can complement your personal provision in Marketing, or use freelancers. There are many young people and students with strong design and computer skills who will be available to help you, at a lower cost.
Tips and Advice to Follow
I've compiled a list with 7 tips that come from my experience in Marketing and that can help you:
- Advertise your awards and professional achievements - On the other side is someone who doesn't know you. There are 50,000 consultants in Portugal, marketing serves to convey the message that you are credible, nothing like the distinctions and career awards to do so.
- Bet on quality images and videos. Whether it is promoting your properties, on social media, or producing your marketing campaigns, this is a golden rule.
- On social networks, bet on videos. If you work with a freelancer or marketing agency, increase the posts in this format, because the visibility and attractiveness will be greater. If this is not the case, buy a good mobile phone and bet on video communication: making reports about the presentation of your properties, testimonials, etc.
- Invest strongly in Local Marketing . Whether through social media, the press, sponsoring local events, static advertising or flyers, it is very important to be known locally to reinforce local networking.
- Pamper your customers: Plan each moment of contact with your customers and always be accompanied by specific Marketing material for that moment. A presentation, a Market Study, a Gift, etc.
- Create your own visual identity . Go to an agency or professional and create a corporate image that distinguishes you. Using your image, a logo, a color palette that gives visual coherence to all Marketing, etc.
- Bet on plates and tarpaulins . This was, is and will be one of the main sources of attracting buyers. Produce your own material, respecting the brand's imagery, but with a personalized look.
Lastly, I just wanted to demonstrate with this session break that if you do a good job as a consultant in raising, monitoring and promoting your properties, the bet on Marketing will be the complement and boost you need to stand out .My example in terms of Marketing is not an unquestionable reference, it is just one more. Be innovative, try to follow a path that highlights your character and personality, do not try to copy, because when you have managed to copy someone's Marketing, that person will already be a step further. Be consistent, persistent and creative, you will see that you will be rewarded!
In summary: When done well, MARKETING is a KEY element to build: