Strategy

Software and Strategy

Your Best Year Yet!

5 Tips for Boosting Your Business in 2018

There are a few essential elements of any real estate business and a thousand different takes on how to implement them. This often creates what we like to call, “paralysis by analysis.” In order to help you avoid this “paralysis,” let’s take a look at five fundamental components of your business plan, along with some simple steps that will help you get started on the path to your best year yet.

TIP #1: CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) should be the brain of your business.

A good CRM is the backbone of your business, and will be a tool that you use daily. It should provide fast and easy access to your current clients, leads and past clients.

A few examples to consider: FollowUpBoss, Contactually, Realvolve, Top Producer, Hubspot, Streak

What to do TODAY to get started:

Select a CRM platform and find a strategy for importing or otherwise adding people consistently – past clients are a great starting point. Get in the habit of making notes in your CRM as you contact people. The power of a CRM is having what you need, when you need it and a clear history of contact and conversations.

 

TIP #2: Email marketing is the heart of your business. It helps you build a brand, stay top of mind, and be interesting.

A good email marketing program helps you consistently communicate with your database and also helps you identify who opens and clicks your emails for fast, effective follow up by you. Ideally, find an email marketing program that connects to your CRM so you have one database.

A few examples to consider: MailChimp, Happy Grasshopper, BombBomb (specific to video), Constant Contact, (NOTE: some of the CRMs listed in Tip #1 let you send mass emails to limited quantities, but usually aren’t as graphically appealing as these programs if that’s what you need.)

What to do TODAY to get started:

Define a strategy, draft a schedule, and select a template layout so that you aren’t reinventing the wheel every time you send an email. An example might be to send every month on the 15th, with a listing in the sidebar and a market update with a list of things to do in your area as a main article that changes every month. Most of these program have stock templates and you can alway upgrade your template – just don’t get lost in design and never send an email.

 

TIP #3: Video is here to stay, but you’ve got to break through the noise online. A video strategy is a key element in your marketing plan.

There’s good news and bad news in regards to video marketing. The good news is that you walk around everyday with a video recorder in your pocket. Creating video is as easy as a few swipes – anytime, anyplace. However, this is also bad news because everyone can publish videos and you must be interesting enough to cut through. Pro tip: you just have to start and then you get better at it.

What to do TODAY to get started:

Use your phone to shoot a video of something short and interesting and send to a friend or family member – a thank you, a quick hello, something informative. You just have to go for it and then you’ll get better and find the right tools as you go. If you’ve never shot a video, don’t buy a camera or a microphone or software – just shoot some videos with what you have.

 

TIP #4: Devise a Social Media Strategy on one or all of the following: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat.

Social media is generally a necessary evil in our business. A social media presence helps you stay top of mind, but you need to be consistent and interesting.

What to do TODAY to get started:

Pick a platform or two to focus on and plan out a month of articles or posts that you can publish.

Another pro tip would be to find a digital native to help you with this – a family member, a colleague, or even a college intern.

  I would caution against hiring a company to do this for you. The whole point of social media is engagement with people, so “outsourcing” your social media isn’t really a thing. You can get help with content and actually posting, but you need to be present and authentic. You’ll get more connections by liking and commenting on other people’s posts and announcement and pictures than you will by posting,  though you need a balance of both.

 

TIP #5: Set goals for success.

As a business owner, it is imperative that you have a plan and goals. The less complex the better. You should be able to state your goals off the top of your head. Also, be sure they are measurable. For example, “getting into shape” isn’t a measurable goal. However, “going to the gym three days a week,” or “losing 15 pounds by May 1,” are measurable goals.

What to do TODAY to get started:

Write down 3-5 things you want to achieve in 2018 and then add details – including deadlines – on how you can proceed in achieving them. Consider putting “check up” dates in your calendar to review these goals and assess your progress.

 

Pulling This all Together

Even this simplified list can seem overwhelming, but remember that you just need a plan – it doesn’t even have to be a good plan. YOU decide what you want your year to look like and then make a simple plan to achieve it – you’ll likely be pleasantly surprised by the results (see “Goal Sheet” on the next page).

  One last tip: Consider using a site like Capterra or AgentArmory to evaluate software. Don’t overthink it; pick one and go for it. As you learn to use it, you’ll get a better idea of what you need and it’s not that crazy to switch software programs if you really need to once you learn more about what you need.

 

As published in Georgia Realtor Magazine Spring 2018