Getting visibility on your listings is the age-old struggle for realtors. Of course, it’s vital to use the bread and butter real estate advertising methods like open houses, MLS and newspaper listings, referrals, email, and social media. These methods are highly effective, but maybe it’s time to take your real estate advertising to the next level. So if you’re ready to think outside the box to make a sale, then try out some of these unorthodox real estate advertising methods before they hit the mainstream.
1. Make yourself, and your listings, the life of the party
Open houses are standard fare, but what about renting out premier properties for events or corporate gatherings? Whether you want to sell a listing now or need brand awareness, you can bring referrals and potential buyers to you without the looming pretense of a sale. Your local familiarity and credibility will soar when you’re visible at enough of these events that you’ve facilitated. Plus, you could just sell a listing! Look at EventUp or MeetUp to get started.
2. Take pictures and videos from above
Professional photography is a given, but what about drone footage? This may only be possible for certain locations, but when possible, the wow factor is off the charts. A sweeping overhead shot is sure to impress potential buyers and shows hesitant sellers that you’re serious about moving properties. If you specialize in rural locations, there is no better way to capture the wide open spaces than with aerial footage. If you’re on a budget, look for local drone hobbyists or amateur drone photographers. For specialized, on demand service, check out Go For Drones.
3. Host an MTV (or) music video
If you’re near even a medium-sized city, chances are good that there’s an active music scene. Get some publicity for your listings and brand by opening up properties (with owner permission) for music video filming. Get in touch with local music producers, promoters, or artists and show them some of your locations that are available for film shoots. If the video makes a splash, then you get massive exposure – if not, then you’ve at least expanded your personal network.
4. Let potential buyers spend a night in the home
You wouldn’t buy a car without driving it, so why would you buy a home without spending some real time in it? Have your homeowners create Airbnb accounts to help qualified prospects get a better feel for a place. It’s impossible to truly give prospective buyers a feel for the kitchen or a sense of just how nice the jet tub is by description alone. Test-runs enforce an emotional connection through experience that could pay off big time.
5. Sponsor local activities to promote your brand and grow your community
Whether you sponsor a race, the local arts, a high school team or a youth sports team, your name should be present in the community. But large-scale sponsorships can be expensive, so try going small-scale but big impact. Since t-shirts are cheap, sponsor a few runners or cyclists in a local race. Even better, have a few less serious participants dress up in costume while racing.
Of course, sponsorships can just mean being involved. Buy snacks for your local book club or dinner for the fire station. Many people might categorize this under “networking”, and these small displays of support are appreciated and remembered. Others notice you when involvement is genuine and goes beyond what’s required. Plus, it looks good to prospective buyers to see that their realtor is invested in the community.
6. Reach out to popular social media influencers
We know that social media is a great way to advertise and get leads, but local niche influencers are often especially cheap and reliable ways to get your brand out. Instagram and Twitter influencers with large followings in niches like fashion, architecture, lifestyle, family, and pets, will find creative ways to integrate a listing or your brand with their content.
You can do this yourself, or use a service like Upfluence to boost your social footprint (without hiring a social media manager).
7. Become the “most wanted” on local bulletin boards
Post your business cards or brochures on local bulletin boards. People actually look at these boards, and yet it’s surprising how few realtors view bulletin boards as quality lead generators. So carry fliers and cards at all times to leave at restaurants, salons, college campuses, schools, and coffee shops.
8. Start a selfie frenzy with a photo contest
Social media contests are a great way to generate a buzz. Start a contest with a compelling grand prize (it’s ideal if you can get the prize for free as a sponsorship item). Simply set your parameters and hashtag, e.g.#123Mulholland, and watch the entries roll in. The picture with the most likes or shares is the winner.
Remember, it’s important to interact with each photo – so comment on every entry and provide a link to your listing with the home’s details. Be sure to include your contact information in your comment.
9. Become the go-to person for first-time home buyers
Who are guaranteed non-homeowners? Renters, of course! Find rental communities and offer a free first-time home buyer class at their community clubhouse. You get your name out there, but more importantly, you demonstrate your usefulness to a large segment of the existing community. There are few better ways to establish rapport than to be helpful. So get your educational materials ready, and start teaching!
10. Get people to advertise for you – on their t-shirts
People love free things – especially if they’re cool and useful. Design trendy t-shirts that integrate your logo and pass them out to past clients, referral partners, and friends. You can get walking billboards more quickly than you think. Look to sites like CafePress – or, better yet, your local screen print shop – to get started.
11. (optional, you’ll understand why) Write unforgettable ads for your business and your listings
When your livelihood depends on your ability to get attention for your listings, why not go out on a limb? Think outside of the box and take your real estate advertising efforts from predictable to extraordinary! What are some of the advertising methods that have worked well for you?