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Innovative Marketing
Buyer Representatives
A Program brought to you by
The Real Estate BUYER’S AGENT Council
The National Association of REALTORS®
Innovative Marketing Techniques
• Housekeeping – Before we begin…
Language & Anti-trust
Top Ideas:
• Use the space provided to list the top marketing
ideas that come to you throughout the course.
Course Objectives
• This course addresses marketing for the buyer rep
keeping the buyer’s interest in mind.
• The course is broken down into an introduction,
three modules and generous resource section
including two optional modules.
Innovative Marketing for Buyer
• The introduction will establish an understanding of
innovation and describe rules to follow in establishing
and implementing a marketing plan.
• Module One will provide resources and an
understanding of how to analyze your market and the
market trends.
• Module Two will provide a focused approach on how
to utilize horizontal and vertical marketing strategies.
• Module Three will help determine the best way to
uniquely position yourselves in the buyer
representation business.
Class Brainstorm
• What is marketing ?
What is marketing ?
• Marketing defined:
– Attracting prospects through the implementation of a
systematic plan that uses a mix of activities.
• Marketing requires:
Commitment in writing
What is marketing ?
• The Marketing Action Plan
Budget amount
Proposed marketing activities
Price plan for activities
Tracking System
What is innovative?
• Innovative is defined as:
– Creating value out of ideas, products, services or different
ways of doing things
What is innovative?
• Creativity requires:
– An open mind
– Free of preliminary
– Consideration of all
ideas and possibilities
The Rules
• Change Perceptions to See
Things Differently
• Ask Questions and Test
• Tap Into Other’s for Ideas
The Rules
• Tap Into Other’s for Ideas -
Two Heads Are Better Than One
– Art Fry and Spencer Silver worked for 3M.
Art needed a way to mark his place in a
hymnbook. Art used a piece of scrap
paper that he continually lost. Spencer
recommended that Art try a “failed” glue on
the paper to hold his scrap paper in place
in the book.
– Post It® notes was created…
Two heads were better than one.
The Rules
• Change Perceptions to See
Things Differently
• Ask Questions and Test
• Tap Into Other’s for Ideas
• Eliminate Negative Thinking
and Self Sabotage
• Take (Calculated) Risk
• Measure Your Success
The Big Picture
What are you trying to achieve?
Is it working?
Are you successful?
Do you need to reevaluate your priorities and goals?
What do you want to ‘walk away with’ from this course
to help you achieve your ultimate goals?
Module One:
Today’s Home Buyer
It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most
intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.
Charles Darwin
Today’s Home Buyer
• Save time and $$$
– Identify your market!
– Trying to serve
everyone is impossible.
– Who are today’s
– What do they think is
– What are some basic
Brainstorm Activity
• What’s different about today’s home buyer vs. 10
years ago?
Marketing vs. Sales
• “Selling” is defined by Wikepedia as “a practical
implementation of marketing”
• Marketing is the foundation of sales.
• Effective marketing approaches should mirror
sales approaches
– Buyers were different 10 years ago so effective
marketing should also be different.
– Should the approach to sales be the same as 10 years
Old Sales Model vs. New Sales Model
• Old Sales Model
• Included tips, tricks, gadgets
or techniques to “get the
attention” of the consumer.
• New Sales Model:
• Build rapport and trust in the
beginning and throughout.
Out With The Old, In With The New
Old Sales Model
New Sales Model
During the consultation phase,
focus on the needs of the buyer.
Identifying the needs and
desires of the buyer will lay the
foundation for discussing the
1. Trust 40%
1. Approach
10% of signing a buyer-rep
2. Consultation 30%
2. Qualification
3. Presentation 30%
3. Presentation 20%
4. Closing 40%
4. Commitment 10%
Note: This information was inspired by Brian Tracey at
Attracting Potential Buyer Clients
• Identify:
– Who are they?
– Where are they?
– How do you make contact?
– What do they want?
• Who Is Today’s Home Buyer?
– Home Buyers Are Seeking Buyer’s
– Home Searching Facts
Home Searching Facts
• Buyer’s Representatives are in demand.
• Many buyers signed a buyer’s representative
– The majority were repeat buyers who used an agent in
a prior transaction.
– Buyers who signed an agency agreement had a high
rate of satisfaction because the agent’s performance
matched their expectations.
TIP: For on-going
research visit
and review the
field guides.
Home Searching Facts
• Snapshot of the typical home buyer who used a
buyer representative.
General Buyer Information
The buyer wants the agent to find them a home.
The buyer first learned about their home from their agent.
Many buyers surf the Web for homes before contacting an
– Buyers want an Internet savvy agent.
– Buyers expect to use the Internet in future home searches.
– Many buyers said they planned to use real estate agents
as an information source in future transactions.
Buyers’ Information Sources
90% Real estate agent
77% Internet
71% Yard sign
Home book/magazine
Open house
Relocation company
Buyers’ Information Sources
36% Real estate agent
24% Internet
15% Yard sign
7% or less 5 other categories
Purchase Factors
(reasons for buying)
Work accessibility
Buyers’ Primary Motivating Factors
• Reasons for making a housing
– Job relocation
– Want to own
– More space
– Investment/Tax deduction
California Association of Realtors®
buyer research
• Market Related Factors Influencing the
Home Purchase (CAR)
Interest rates (high or low)
Anticipation of future benefits
Economic improvement
Repeat buyers want to use equity gains to
trade up
Individual Activity
What Today’s Home Buyers Want
• Quick survey. Write down what you perceive as
the one, most important service you perform
for buyers.
Buyers want help with…
– Finding the right house
– Negotiations
– Paperwork
– Comparables
– Affordability decisions
– Financing
Make Services Tangible!
• Reduce your service to writing, e.g. email, follow
up letters or text messages.
• This will give the buyer something they can see or
Communicate often and convey value!
Understanding Today’s Home Buyer
• Clients are stressed due to
problems in various areas of
their lives.
• Buyer’s rep must identify and
understand the problems in
order to offer the right solutions.
Understanding Today’s Home Buyer
Live in a fast paced world
Build relationships.
Recognize Consumers as
human beings first.
Are under high stress in their
jobs and personal lives
Reduce consumer stress.
Communicate regularly
Have time pressures and
Save the consumer time.
Show why they should use
only one buyer rep.
Have low service
Overwhelm buyers with
Proactively communicate
Where Are The Buyers?
• How Are Buyers Finding Their Buyer
– Most buyers use the first agent they interview
– Most home buyers with buyer representative
agreements stayed with one licensee throughout the
home purchase transaction
Most home buyers…
– Most home buyers with buyer representatives
were satisfied with their real estate
– Most home buyers who signed a buyer
representative agreement were satisfied with
the services.
Where Are The Buyers?
Referral and repeat business is at the core
of the real estate business. The two most
popular reasons for choosing a real estate
1. Referral from friend, family member or neighbor
2. Knowledge of the agent from a prior transaction
Where Are The Buyers?
44% Referred by (or is) a friend, neighbor, relative
11% Used agent previously to buy/sell a house
7% Internet
7% Open House
6% Yard sign
Agent on floor duty (buyer called or walked in)
Newspaper/print ad
Direct mail
Where Are The Buyers?
• Fact: Buyers usually stay with the first agent they
• Conclusion: The general public does not see a
difference between real estate professionals
– Use your innovative marketing techniques to become
“top of mind” and be the first person they think of, meet
and call.
Most home buyers…
– 85% of buyers are satisfied with their agent
and are likely to use the same agent again
But only a small percentage did!
Class Brainstorm
Only 11% returned to the
same agent used in a
previous transaction
Identifying Your Market:
• Niche Marketing: Who / What
Is (Are) Your TARGET
• What is your current buyer
market base? Do they come
from a specific profession,
geographic area or do they
have another common factor?
Where Is Your Market?
Individual Activity:
–  First Time Buyers
–  Luxury Home Buyers
– Vacation Home Buyers
–  Retirees
–  Condo Buyers
–  Investors
–  Relo Buyers
–  Golfers, Boaters, Equestrians
–  Other:
Markets should
be specialized
and lawfully
Reaching Potential Buyers
• Where Is Your Market?
• Where do they live, work and play?
• What are they reading? Where do they go for
– Do you have a presence in these information
• On whom do they rely? With whom do they conduct
– Do you have a presence or connection with
these people?
Reaching Potential Buyers
• Do you understand your target market and the
characteristics? Needs, desires, culture,
• Why have you chosen these markets?
• Have you determined there is a need? Have you
analyzed the market?
• What are your market’s trends?
Use the Marketing Action Plan Outline
to assist in analyzing
Why Have You Chosen These
• What information do you need to
determine if your niche or target
markets are right for you?
Attracting Inbound Buyers
• What is their point of origin?
• Are you marketing to those buyers in that market?
• Develop your marketing efforts to position yourself
in your market.
Class Brainstorm
• What are your market’s trends? Consider markets that
are growing or have growth potential.
• Is your market renewable and expandable?
• Do not put all your eggs in one basket
– If you rely on a single source such as referrals from
one corporation, it could spell disaster if the
company folds or changes its affiliation.
Class Brainstorm
• How are you
tracking your
marketing efforts?
Some measuring tools include:
• Numeric or color-coded marketing pieces
• Unique telephone numbers or extensions
• Unique email addresses
• Do you know which of your advertising dollars
and marketing pieces is making your phone
• It is unlawful, under the Fair Housing Laws,
to target market based on race, color,
religion, sex, handicap, familial status or
national origin.
• Advertising should be inclusive and not
exclude or target specific groups.
• For more information visit: or
Module Two:
Determining Your Market Strategy: Methods,
Media And Materials
They can’t and/or won’t use you if they don’t know
you exist.
Module Two:
Determining Your Market Strategy:
Methods, Media And Materials
• Two large target markets:
1. Those you already know (directly or indirectly).
2. Those you do not yet know.
Horizontal Marketing:
Horizontal marketing is defined as: any marketing efforts
made by the individual licensee designed to attract new /
un-referred prospects (tapping into the unknown).
Horizontal Marketing:
• Purpose:
– Make the phone ring today
– Develop leads
– Initiate relationships
• Heavily used by new agents –
– Equally important to experienced licensees because
database and demographic aging demand client
Horizontal Marketing:
• Examples:
Newspaper ads
Home magazines
Open houses
Floor time
Home buyer seminars (REBAC’s home-buyer
seminar kit)
Direct response ads
Cold calls
Sources of prospects!
For sale signs
Top Media Sources – Yard signs
After closing, with the buyer’s permission, place your
sign on the property. The sign could say:
Acquired through
The Buyer was
represented by
ABC Realty
Represented the
Buyer of this
Home. Let us
represent you,
Purchased with
the assistance of
Verify with your local ordinance-as most will only allow for one
“for sale” sign.
Top Media Sources
Direct Response Marketing
• Choose your target market and your
• Make certain you have a good quality
mailing list
• Implement an activity plan for marketing
that is
– consistent and persistent
– Measurable, easy to track
Top Media Sources
Direct Response Marketing
Your (targeted) marketing piece must:
• include a message that
– reflects the interests of the group
– Includes information that gives some benefit
or solution
• Include a call to action
– within a specified timeframe or
– with a limited supply
Marketing Team Activity
Direct Response Marketing
• Designed for a target
market and includes a
message that reflects the
interests of the group.
• With your marketing
team, design a direct
response marketing
piece targeting a specific
Top Media Sources
Open houses
Remember: A successful open house will result in
a sale to one prospect. All other visitors are
potential buyer-clients looking for properties.
This is a great opportunity to present your buyer
representation skills to interested buyers.
Property Selection
– Suited to your lawfully targeted market
– Good access and visibility
– Curb appeal
Brainstorm Activity
Open House
• Make a list of creative,
innovative things an agent
can do at an Open House to
market and differentiate
Top Media Sources
Advertising Media
home magazines, newspapers,
announcements, MLS remarks…
• Review creative marketing approaches and
advertising from other industries
• Use AIDA when creating any advertisement
Marketing Team Activity
Advertising Media
home magazines,
• Marketing solutions
Top Media Sources
Pre-sell yourself
Conduct mini-interviews to
analyze needs and desires
Conduct home buyer
seminars using REBAC’s
home buyer seminar and
home buyer kits
Create presentations for
distribution on CD and email
Marketing Team Activity
Pre-sell yourself
• Buyer Marketing
• Buyer Relocation
• Marketing Tips
and Ideas
• Innovative
advertising piece
Horizontal Marketing:
Horizontal marketing is successful when new, unknown
prospects are attracted and initial contact is made.
Goal: to set an appointment for a counseling session.
Vertical Marketing:
Vertical marketing is defined as:
marketing to build on
relationships that already exist
(like a family tree).
It is working up and down your
Sphere of Influence
We build on the foundation of
relationship, generating and
increasing referral business.
Vertical Marketing:
Generate repeat business,
Generate referrals,
Keep you “top of mind
Keep clients raving about you,
Nurture relationships for life and
Vertical Marketing:
Sphere of Influence (SOI),
past clients,
agent to agent referrals,
professional referrals,
company orphans
Vertical Marketing:
Class Brainstorm
• List some ways you can contact your SOI.
Snail Mail
Vertical Marketing:
• Vertical Marketing Tips and
• Class Brainstorm
– What are some other examples of
Vertical Marketing techniques that
you or others have used?
Agent to Agent Referrals
• Buyers you may want to refer
– Interested in area outside your
geographic market
– Interested in property type outside
your area of expertise
• Example: commercial
building/residential agent
Business To Business Referral
Class Brainstorm
• Take advantage of and
build relationships with
other professional
service providers and
affiliates in your
– Who?
– How?
Business To Business Referral
Class Brainstorm
• Take advantage of and build relationships
with other professional service providers
and affiliates in your community
– Who? attorneys, accountants, lenders,
financial advisers, insurance agents,
builders, bankers, apartment managers…
– How? clubs, community projects, face-toface visits, mail, speaking at events,
partnering for seminars…
Company Orphans
Another form of vertical
Every real estate company
has extensive transaction files
that contain the names of
former clients. These files can
be a great source of business.
Immediate Post-Transaction
1. Change of address materials
2. Lunch or dinner on moving
3. Gift certificates
4. Moving truck
5. Closing/housewarming gifts
6. Other creative ideas?
Transaction Phase Marketing
Transaction Phase Marketing is defined as marketing
which is designed to generate leads from the licensee’s
current client(s).
Simply put: While the transaction is maturing, the buyer
(and seller) are more cognizant of real estate in their
Excitement causes conversations you want to be
included as a topic of those conversations.
Staying In Touch
• Goal: To keep the phone ringing.
– Requires a system
– Requires consistency
• Goal: To stay “top of mind”
Staying In Touch
• Develop A Great Database
– Use a good contact management
software product or system
– Update regularly and back-up data
• Maintain it to foster referrals
– Divide data into groups and niches
– Include personal information in the client
record for future conversations
– Track referrals (set up referral trees)
– Track all efforts – keep records
Marketing Team Activity
Map out a marketing strategy
• For a target group assigned to your team.
Identify methods, media and materials
you will use to contact your target group
at least once a month.
Staying In Touch
Do Not Call Registry
It is unlawful to call any residential telephone number
on the national list with a “telephone solicitation.
Two exceptions that apply to a real estate professionals
it is okay to call if the caller has received the express written
permission of the consumer,
if an “established business relationships” (EBR) exists between the
$11,000 possible fine per unlawful call
Managed at broker level, not at salesperson level
Businesses must purge numbers on the Registry from
their call lists every 31 days
Staying In Touch
Do Not Fax
A fax can be sent to anyone with
whom the sender has an EBR, so
long as the sender received the fax
number voluntarily or had received
the fax number prior to the
enactment of the Act.
The sender must include an opt-out
Staying In Touch
CAN-SPAM Act of 2003
The Act does not ban commercial emails, but rather
outlines a series of practices that must be followed when
sending commercial emails.
A legitimate return email and physical postal address
Clear and conspicuous notice of the recipient's
opportunity to “opt out,” that is, to decline to receive any
future messages
A mechanism that may be used or an email address
(active for at least 30 days after message transmission)
to which a recipient may send a message requesting not
to receive any future email messages from the sender
Clear and conspicuous notice that the message is an
advertisement or solicitation
Staying In Touch
Rewards Group…A Great Idea
VIP Program
On-going services and communications continuing
long-term after the closing.
Allows continued EBR
Staying In Touch
Rewards Group…A Great Idea
Marketing Team Activity
With your marketing team, list things
that could be promised to past clients in
a rewards group.
Staying In Touch
Rewards Group…A Great Idea
Marketing Team Activity
With your marketing team, list things that
could be promised to past clients in a
rewards group.
Housewarming party
Yearly Home Value Report
Notary services
Yearly client appreciation party
Informative seminars on current
issues and topics
– Faxing/copying service up to ___
pages per year
– Other ideas?
Positioning, by Al Ries & Jack Trout,
“ You must “position” your product, service or yourself in
the mind of the prospect.”
Differentiating your product, service, or yourself from your
competition is the key!
What Differentiates You?
Begin with identifying the needs of the client
Individual Activity
“If I were buying a home, what would I need and want
to know? What would concern me? What would I
want from an agent?”
Differentiate Yourself And Your
• Individual Activity
1. On what attributes do you and your company and/or
your personal practice dominate? Differentiate?
2. Do your competitors dominate or differentiate on any
3. On what attributes could you dominate or
4. Why should a buyer choose you rather than another
Image Building and Branding
Name branding and
logo recognition are the
tools of the mighty.
A brand is more than a
logo. It conveys a
Image Building and Branding
Image Building and Branding
What’s in a name?
Can you use your name
Can your name be
associated with a picture,
song, words, etc?
Do you have a memorable
Differentiate Yourself And Your
A Picture Is Worth A Thousand
• Class Brainstorm - Ideas
– How can you use a unique personal photo to
your marketing advantage? What are some
unique ways you have used photos or you
have seen other people incorporate photos in
their marketing campaigns?
Uniqueness Counts
Slogans can be based on:
tempo, rhythm, rhyme
property type (condo, new homes)
consumer type (i.e. relocation, new home buyers)
Uniqueness can be based on:
professional designations (ABR)
property type
consumer type
your services
Uniqueness Counts
• Business cards with unique pictures and slogans
Mile 23 of the
Boston Marathon
• Combine business cards with give-aways…
Internet Marketing
What are buyers looking for?
Properties – not real estate agents.
Information – not entertainment or flashy presentations
Free information - includes anonymity
Internet Marketing
• How can you use the Internet to your
marketing advantage?
– Personal website
– Page on company site
The advantage of a company site – less cost and less
work in creating
– Useful, updated information will bring clients to your
– Your opportunity to make a connection
– Addresses general consumer needs
– May also address needs of a specific niche/target
group on certain pages within website OR may have
a separate website for the niche market
Marketing Team Activity
Map out a website
marketing strategy
• For a target group
assigned to your team.
Identify items and
information that would
be included to service
the needs of the
consumers in that
Opportunities For “Differentiation”
REBAC membership benefits include:
Home Buyer Seminar
Post cards and other marketing tools
Template to assist in the development and delivery
of home Buying Seminars in the local community
Themed postcards in a .pdf format
Press releases
Templates to announce significant milestones I the
buyer reps career
Home Buyer Kits
Available to REBAC members at
Opportunities For “Differentiation”
Tools for Building Loyalty
Searchable Websites that Search via Neighborhood-specific
Interior decorators
Custom builders
Neighborhood Walk-through
Buyer Consultation & Buyer Packet
Services for “New on the Market” Properties
Professional consultations – direct buyers to, or provide free
consultations with:
Buyer journal
Including “Questions To Ask Before Choosing A REALTOR®”
Opportunities For “Differentiation”
Marketing Team Activity
With your marketing team, list your 5 favorite
marketing ideas you have seen or heard today. Vote
on the best, second best, etc.
Innovative Marketing
Buyer Representatives
Thank you for your participation