This article was written by Leanne Goff, a current REALTOR® University Masters of Real Estate student, and is Part 2 of a 12 Part Series.
Many people get into real estate because they love the activity of looking at houses as well as the rewards associated with selling them. However, agents who want to succeed by turning this hobby into a career should also have a passion for marketing. The ability to conduct market research including pricing strategies of other agencies as well as promotion placement are critical for the success of today’s REALTOR®. These were are some of the topics covered in RE550, Real Estate Marketing with Margo Weinstein which all cumulated in a final project of evaluating a new office in an unknown location.
Understanding how data is collected and evaluated is the foundation of market research. REALTORS® need to be able to understand the viability of a target market, which cultivated in Professor Weinstein’s course at REALTOR® U. This skill of data analysis will help agents evaluate the revenue potential of a farm area. Office managers use the data to determine where the best location for a new office might be.
Once the viability of the target market is determined, REALTORS® who are experts in marketing techniques can use market research to determine what marketing techniques will connect with the audience they are targeting. Understanding the audience’s hierarchy of needs based on data collected will help illuminate what the audience’s trigger points are that could create a positive reaction. Maybe the people are just crawling out of a depression and find safety as their focus in life. Conversely, the audience might be working at high level professional jobs, or ready to retire from them, creating a sense of esteem or self-actualization. Understanding these levels and the potential emotional responses is one of the many ways we learned to target marketing messages in the RE550 class.
Once the trigger points are successfully determined for a target audience, the next step is to evaluate the other agencies in the marketplace. This includes understanding the competition on an intimate level. Digging into the pricing strategies of other offices can help an individual agent or agency evaluate new levels of service that command higher prices. This understanding might also show an agency how they can cut service and provide value at a more competitive price.
After understanding the emotional stages of the target audience, and how they might respond to marketing messages, the next step is to determine where add placement will be the most effective. Evaluating how to promote listings, as well as the office, using various marketing channels and determining their effectiveness is an art that is discussed in detail by Professor Weinstein.
These evaluations are not strictly focused on listings and agent promotion, but are extended to include recruiting techniques for offices. This information can be used to attract agents to the office based on how the agent perceives the office in the marketplace. Creating an image that helps illuminate the prestige and offering of a real estate office for its agents is another topic that is evaluated in Dr. Weinstein’s class.
The final project for the Real Estate Marketing course was to create a new business by diving into an unfamiliar market as if the students were going to build an office from scratch. This was a very rewarding and challenging project because we executed it on a team with other students. The activity of working on a team deepened my relationship with fellow students, which was one surprise that I didn’t realize would be an outcome of an online education.
The final project itself was extremely challenging because we had to gather data from a state that we were not familiar with. This required us to evaluate income, demographic reports, homeownership patterns and job trends. The paper didn’t stop at just a written evaluation but required that we present the information as if we were in a sales meeting. This presentation requirement created a rounded class that went farther than just evaluating data to determining the best format for presentation as well.
Leanne Goff is a managing broker with TrailRidge Realty, an independent real estate agency in Boulder, Colo. She has been licensed since 2008, and is active with the Boulder Area REALTOR® Association. Her work with BARA’s YPN led to achieving NAR’s Small Network of the Year Award in 2014. Connect with Leanne on Twitter: @leannegoff, or on LinkedIn.