March 9, 2016 by SmartZip in Articles
When Tracy Southerland moved across state lines to Lake Oconee, Georgia, she had serious reservations about restarting her real estate career in a new market. “I had an established brand and business but when I got married, we moved to a new town where I knew no one -- and no one knew me,” says Tracy. “My new community was full of Realtors with long-term friendships and family connections. I loved how tight-knit it was, but I also recognized that I’d have to work hard as the new agent in town.”
A new tool in a new market
Tracy knew she needed a smart system that would help her gain footing in her new hometown. She chose SmartTargeting, a platform that uses predictive analytics to identify top seller prospects, and automated marketing campaigns and intelligent follow-up to build seller leads and relationships. The goal is to land more listings by focusing on the right people at the right time.
“Being new to the area, I didn’t have a lot of reference into the areas where there was a lot of turnover -- or the types of homeowners who were likely to sell in Lake Oconee and the surrounding area. It was really helpful to have a narrowed list of targets that I could focus on,” says Tracy.
Building a brand with a new demographic
Unlike her previous market, many homeowners in Tracy’s new town are older. She wanted to engage them in multi-dimensional marketing campaigns but understood they would be unlikely to respond online. In addition to leveraging SmartTargeting’s automated postcards, mailers and brand-building online ads, Tracy occasionally purchases local advertisements. But when it comes to following up with potential real estate seller leads, her approach is personal and engaging.
If a homeowner responds to her marketing or gets in touch, Tracy follows up with a handwritten note on branded, bright orange stationery. By always using the same color in her correspondence, she hopes her seller leads will start to recognize her as a local resource who is also interested in getting to know them.
To pique their interest after her initial letter, she also emails information about market activity on their block, as well as local sales numbers and trends.
“I never send a mass generic email. Because I know that my respondents are genuinely interested in their local market values, I will email them to say, ‘Your neighbor’s house just went under contract. I’ll be sure to let you know what it sells for.’”
Adding local flair online
While she wasn’t expecting her online response to be very high, Tracy did decide to customize the imagery used in her online marketing. Her office is located in a historic downtown building, and she used a photo of the building’s facade as her main online ad image. She immediately saw her click-through rate explode, proving once again that her community really does value a local approach.
A year of success + an unexpected referral
Tracy worked hard to engage her top seller targets in her first year using SmartTargeting, and her dedication paid off in spades. She closed seven SmartTargeting listings in year one and began dialogues with countless other homeowners who are considering selling soon. Now that she’s a proven market leader who knows how to produce and engage real estate seller leads, she’s excited to see what comes next.
“I moved states, and SmartTargeting has been critical to establishing my brand in my new community. I can’t wait to see what my second year using the platform does for my business.”
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