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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Establishing Trust In Real Estate Marketing

Advertising has long been thought of as something to be wary of. “Don’t trust what you see in an ad” and “you can’t believe the claims from a commercial” were seen as sage advice. Because if someone is selling to you, they obviously weren’t out for your best interest.

Selling, sales, and advertising could be seen as dirty words meant to manipulate you into a decision you didn’t want to make. Yet over time, advertising and marketing have evolved, and this is especially true in real estate.

It’s possible to build a successful business without annoying sales strategies that push people away. Instead, let’s flip the script on your marketing and use it as an opportunity to create and build trust.

You might not know this about me, but I graduated from Florida State University‘s College of Business with my degree in Marketing (way back in 2010). When I learned professional marketing in those big lecture halls, it was more traditional advertising. 

We talked about how to influence people’s buying decisions, and we looked at case studies for major brands. While we talked about why somebody may purchase a name-brand product over a generic alternative, we never once talked about using marketing to create trust. 

We definitely talked about brand reputation, but never once how to create a pathway to a trusted relationship. And that was my formal marketing education.

But over the years, I’ve never stopped learning about and perfecting marketing strategies. I always knew that marketing was an opportunity, and there was a better way to do it that empowered the customer and still benefited the brand. 

So, when I came across the concept of content marketing about a decade ago, I knew this was the answer. (Content Marketing is essentially creating original content that helps a customer on their journey, answers their questions, and guides them with valuable information. Throughout the process, they not only trust you, but they’re excited to work with you.)

Over the years, I’ve taken the principles of content marketing and applied the best practices across real estate marketing. I’ve experimented and innovated so that you can benefit from my experience.

In my experience, it is quite possible to build trust with your real estate marketing. And by proactively leveraging your real estate marketing to build trust, you’re promoting and growing your business in a way that makes more people want to work with you. You’re not convincing people to work with you – they trust you and want to work with you.

But you need a plan to follow. So, here’s your jumpstart to building trust through your marketing:

AIHS 2022

Create & Share Content People Care About 

Let’s start with content. Content can be anything from a social media post, an Instagram Reel, a video, or even a blog post.

To be honest, the pressure to create and share content has become a burden for many agents. You might feel like you’re stuck in a cycle of constantly having to post and create, or that the entire concept of “valuable content” is a buzzword that you can’t seem to get results from. 

So, before we talk about content as an opportunity to create trust, let’s take a step back and recognize content for what it is.

Content is a form of marketing that works because it’s not meant to be salesy. Beneficial content speaks directly to your ideal home buyers and sellers and provides them with info that they genuinely “care about.”

You’ll waste a lot of time filming videos or creating posts if you don’t first take the approach of creating content people will care about. It’s that simple. So, you have to get into the mind of your customer and ask yourself, “What is something that I’m knowledgeable about that my dream homebuyer or seller isn’t? And how can I easily share this info with them in the form of content?”

When you position yourself not just as the expert but as a caring expert, people will take notice. They’ll see you’re not just experienced in what they need help with, but you care enough to help them. You’re not there to be annoying and “sell” to them. You’re there to guide them throughout their real estate journey.

So content shouldn’t be seen as another chore in your business – I encourage you to view it as a launchpad to a relationship built on trust.

Need help determining purposeful content that will connect you with more home buyers and sellers? Then, join IG Unlocked, the leading Instagram Marketing course for agents. Inside, you’ll learn exactly what to share and why to build trust and generate more business.

Promote Strategically 

Just because we’re working on building trust through your marketing doesn’t mean that you can’t be promotional – when it makes sense.

If every single day you share on social, “Work with me. I’m a Realtor. Buy or sell with me…” people are going to start to tune you out. There needs to be a balance of when you are being actively promotional and asking for business and when you’re not. 

If you’re not sure about creating a balance, consider this podcast. I created the Ideas for Real Estate podcast to share my passion for real estate marketing, but it’s also a form of marketing for my business. So the vast majority of content on the show is content that will help you with your real estate business, but there are also a few episodes that are meant to highlight a promotion that I’m having or a product or service I’m launching.

The entire podcast can’t be a commercial, or you wouldn’t be listening to it now, but it’s ok if I mention related services when it makes sense. That’s what I mean by balance. So, when you’re not directly “asking for business” as frequently, you need to be more strategic. I use a technique I like to call “the logical next step.” If your services are the “logical next step” for the person interacting with your marketing, then include a clear call-to-action to work with you.

For example, if you’re sharing your latest listing, the logical next step might be for somebody to schedule a showing with you. However, if you’re sharing content about getting started on buying your first home, the logical next step might not be to reach out to you. The buyers might not be that far in the process, so contacting you directly could be a turn-off. Instead, the logical next step might be to attend your first-time buyer seminar or download your first-time buyers guide.

When you ask for business when it makes sense AND provide a logical next step, both of these strategies work toward building trust. The first strategy works because you’re not overwhelming people by being constantly salesy. The second strategy works because you’re not just selling to them – you’re continuing to provide value in a way that further empowers the customer on their journey.

Promotion can be part of a marketing strategy that builds trust when you do it right!

AIHS 2022

Show Off Your Personality

If you want people to trust you, they need to get to know you as a person. People don’t form emotional connections with faceless entities. So, whether you are a solo agent, a team, or even a brokerage, people are the center of your branding. Learn more about agent branding here.

Leverage this fact by proactively sharing who you are and giving people opportunities to get to know you.

Of course, I’m going to start by recommending video marketing. Whether you film a casual selfie-style video, work with a professional videographer, or make your own Reel, video content allows people to see you in a way that’s genuine and relatable. People will feel like they already know you before they even work with you, and that goes a long way to building trust.

You can also show off who you are through personal branding images. These are purposeful photos of you taken with the intention of being used in your marketing. And once you have high-quality images of yourself, you can interject who you are easily into your social media and across your real estate marketing. Because the more people see you, the more they’ll get to know you.

To learn how to strategically use personal branding images to form connections, join IG Unlocked for Real Estate. Inside, you’ll learn how to leverage branding images, tips for working with a pro, how to DIY images yourself, and more.

But your personality doesn’t have to be in photos or videos alone. A lot of marketing is written. From social media captions to content on your website to your email marketing, your written words are another opportunity for connection. 

Now, while writing might seem intimating, here’s a tip that makes it accessible for everyone – write like you talk. That’s it! 

When there’s an opportunity for written communication, easily show off your tone of voice and style by writing like you talk. And when you do that, overtime, people will notice that it sounds like you. And when it “sounds like you,” you’re building trust with what you’re sharing.

It all starts by not being shy about sharing your personality, whether that’s on video, social, your website, or even in written communication. Everywhere in your real estate marketing is an opportunity to highlight who you are and build trust along the way.

Be Genuine in Your Marketing 

Lastly, the foundation to creating trust with your marketing is to be genuine.

People know when you’re being fake and don’t care about them. That’s why traditional advertising is such a turn-off for most people. Homebuyers and sellers want you to truly care about them, their challenges, and their real estate goals.

You’re not there to trick people into working with you. You’re not there to take advantage of them. You’re there to help them.

So, if you come from a place of service with your marketing, people will be able to tell how genuine you are. The reputation you create for yourself in your business and in your marketing can serve you for years to come.

Take the passion you have for helping others and realize that this is an asset in your marketing. Because when you focus on building trust with your marketing, you’re also focused on growing lasting relationships, building a brand that people enjoy working with, and creating a business you can be proud of.

If you do all of those things, you won’t have to worry about being seen as trustworthy. You’ll already be demonstrating just how much people can trust in you for their real estate needs.

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