The Real Estate market is changing. Prices are declining for the first time in years. Here in California, the prices are coming down from the stratosphere. Houses are still selling, but are taking months instead of days. In my Toastmasters club we have quite a few people that are involved in the Real Estate business. For some this is the first decline they have ever seen. For the more experienced agents, they have seen this cycle before.
I have asked a few of them how they are coping with the market changes. Many are sharpening their marketing tools to help match potential buyers with sellers. Others are having open houses on the weekend to bring in buyers. Others have moved online with personal websites and internet search tools.
My wife and I have spent some time over the past few weeks looking at open houses in our area. We have seen everything from an agent on the phone the whole time we visited to an agent that took the time to ask our needs, personally show us around the house, and the offer to show us other properties that might meet our needs better.
I noticed the marketing materials offered. They ranged from mass duplicated Xeroxes of the MLS listing to full color, glossy brochures. One agent even had a glossy brochure and a DVD available. When we got home I put on my marketing hat and thought to myself- how would I market Real Estate in this market?
I asked myself this question… What would I look for in a home?
Here are some things that came to mind…
3 or 4 Bedrooms
Bright & Airy
What bonus features would be good…
3 Car Garage
What features might detract…
Pool with Maintenance Costs
Tile or Wallpaper the Wrong Color
Busy Street or Airport Nearby
I sat down at my computer and started working on some ideas for my Realtor friends. Since I’m not a Real Estate agent I had to look at this as a potential buyer. I came up with some business card sized marketing tools that I think will be helpful to Real Estate agents and others. The basic set is Microsoft Word template of 10 cards printed out on standard Avery Business card stock. The cards are simple and can be printed front and back.
The idea is to get information to the prospective buyer in a quick and easy format. The nice thing with business cards is they fit easily in your pocket or purse. Where a brochure or flyer might be discarded, a business card may be referred to over and over. Hopefully these will be a useful addition to a standard marketing strategy.
Real Estate Marketing Solutions
The Open House Card: This is a great little tool for prospective buyers to take with them. They cost only a few cents apiece and are customized to the individual property. The front side of the card has the basic information along with the agents name and phone number. The back of the card can be printed with additional data, such as room sizes, area amenities, or loan numbers.
The Lookie Loo Card: Many people that come to an open house are looking for something different than the property for sale. You might be offering a single story and they need a two story with more room. The house you are selling might be out of their price range. This is where the Lookie Loo cards come in. Create some of these cards for other properties for sale in your area. Take out the word Lookie Loo and replace it with a descriptive title of other properties.
When you hold an open house, ask your visitors their needs in a home. Offer these cards as an alternative to the property that is open. This will broaden your reach with prospective buyers. Popular options would be a less expensive property, a larger property, and possibly a location with a view or pool. Print the back side with additional information that matches the property. Example: For less expensive homes, offer loan information, for deluxe homes offer a list of amenities.
The Investor Card: With declining prices, properties are starting to look good to investors again. Here in California, the prices are still out of whack, but other areas of the country there are homes and condominiums that make sense to investors. Here is a simple card where you do the math. You show your prospective clients the payment and additional costs along with the bottom line. You answer the question… What will it take to make a profit on this property? Printing loan information on the back is a great way to complete this card.
The Move In Special Card: This is a card that can help differentiate you from the competition. Offer your prospective clients a reason to do business with you. This card is especially helpful at open houses where the neighbors drop in to see what homes are selling for. Some of these people may be interested in buying and selling in the future. This card will give them a reason to call you back.
Back of Card: Room Sizes. This is a great template that prospective buyers will refer to over and over. This can be especially helpful when comparing different properties. Just lay out the room size cards of multiple properties on the table. This quick reference tool will give your buyers the data they need at a quick glance.
Loan Payment Card: Run the numbers for your clients and show them how affordable your property is. Offer multiple cards with different loans on them. If your open house property is expensive, offer cards with more affordable properties on them, with this template on the back. This is a great way to match prospective buyers with a home they can truly afford.
With this Word template it’s easy to copy and paste the card designs that you want.
Download the Real Estate Marketing Solutions Template
Open in Microsoft Word
Fill in the blanks with your property data
Cut & Paste cards as necessary
Print out on Avery Business Card Stock (10 Card)
Break cards apart and display for clients
A blank template is included for easy data entry
1. Have different cards available in Business Card Holders throughout your open house. The amenity cards work well in areas with a view.
2. Replace clip art with your own pictures (90 x 90 pixels or less).
3. Use these cards in conjunction with Online Marketing for greater effectiveness.
Other Cards Sets Available: