As a new decade approaches, many of us are getting a head start on goal setting and real estate marketing planning for 2020. Real estate attorneys are doing all of that while gearing up for the busiest season of the year — the spring real estate market.
If one of your goals for 2020 involves growing your business, adding new names to your client roster, or increasing your profitability, then now is the time to roll up your sleeves and try a few new tactics to increase your bottom line and prepare to hit the ground running this spring.
Use Social Media Marketing (and start with LinkedIn!)
Real estate agents are taking to social media in droves, so it is more important than ever before to have a strong online presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Even though real estate law on social might not be the most visually engaging profession, your clients are there, so you should be too. Whether or not you are present on social media, real estate conversations are happening across platforms and there could be considerable business benefits if you participate.
If you are new to social media, we suggest starting with LinkedIn, the largest business to business social network. Before you post anything, you can build a stellar profile that sells your experience, expertise and knowledge with anyone who happens to stop by your page. Here are a few of our top tips:
- Be sure you have a clear, up-to-date profile photo and header image. If you do not have a professional headshot (or if your headshot was taken in a year that had a “19” in front of it), don’t sweat hiring a professional photographer – you can take great professional-looking photograph on Portrait Mode on your iPhone.
- Write a great headline. Your headline on LinkedIn can say “Real Estate Attorney at Smith & Smith” or it can be a descriptive, engaging line of copy that tells the world who you are and what you’re about – choose the latter.
- Use the words “your city + real estate” in your profile. LinkedIn works like a search engine — people can type in the keywords that they are looking for. On the chance that someone is searching for “Chicago Real Estate Lawyer,” wouldn’t it be great if your profile popped up at the top of the searches? So incorporate keywords into your profile as you would optimize a website for Google.
- Fill in your relevant work history. If you have been practicing law for 30 years but the only line that you filled out in your work history is the recent job you have had for five year, searchers will not see the breadth of your experience. So be sure to fill that out as completely as possible.
Once your LinkedIn profile is looking flawless, move on to Facebook and Instagram. Real estate agents are spending a lot of time on these platforms and some are even using the channels to attract new clients and generate real, qualified leads. It’s important though that before you spread your social self too thin, you have a strong LinkedIn presence.
Once your profiles are setup, start engaging with agent or industry posts that interest you. Even noting “interesting read” or “congratulations on your closing” will start creating brand awareness for you.
Leverage real estate networking events to your benefit
As we have said before, real estate agents are a social bunch. In our industry, having a broad network of colleagues and peers is everything, When you practice some of our real estate networking tips, you’ll be able to grow your network, generate more referrals, and have a steady pipeline full of warm, qualified real estate agent leads.
Build your email list
Be honest: do you still have a paper Rolodex in your office? What was once a status symbol of connectedness and success, is now a relic of the pre-digital era. It’s time to start building your contact list in an email management system that will allow you to communicate with your network regularly.
Even if you’re not ready to jump into the world of email marketing, it’s safe to say that you will be someday and collecting those addresses is a great way to get a head start. Your future self will thank you!
If you already have an email list (we are cheering you on!), make sure that you have a way to collect new email addresses on your website or social media sites, and keep it up to date when someone moves on to a new brokerage and changes their contact information.
When leveraged properly, an email list can be a real revenue-driver, and something we will definitely talk more about here in the future.
Publish articles on LinkedIn or Medium
As a real estate attorney, you have a lot of hard earned technical expertise that your real estate agent colleagues may not.
Sharing some of your stories and knowledge with your online community is a great way to position yourself as an educated, informed and go-to resource for local real estate agents and their clients.
LinkedIn and Medium are both great, long-form publishing channels because, as third-party platforms, you do not need to invest any resources into creating special blog sites, hire graphic designers or learn how to code. Simply set up an account and start sharing some thoughts and ideas! Here are a few to get you started:
- Legal Documents You Can Expect to Sign at Closing
- Real Estate Contracts: What Home Buyers Should Expect
- 5 Issues that May Come Up During Title Search
- Closing 101: A Step-by-Step Guide for First Time Home Sellers
- 5 Things to Look for in a Home Inspection
- Stories of unique circumstances may be more common than you think as well. Sometimes those very specific transactions like divorce real estate nuances, land issues or surprise closing experiences (like “can I bring the urn to closing instead of getting docs?” may be exactly what a prospective client might be searching for when they stumble across your blog.
Some professional service providers feel reluctant to share their knowledge online. After all, people hire you for your knowledge, so why would you give it away for free?
The answer is simple: having your knowledge out there does not make you replaceable, it makes you more marketable. Clients want to work with a knowledgeable and well-equipped partner.
As an added bonus? You’ll create a more informed and educated customer who will understand and appreciate the intricacies that go into your job.
Build a presence on Avvo
There are a lot of free marketing platforms that have good SEO clout. One of these options is a site called Avvo, where you can create a detailed profile and accept ratings and reviews from your happy clients.
Think of it as Zillow, but for attorneys. You may not think it has a lot of value, but clients do. When working with end consumers, an Avvo rating may make or break them choosing you over another attorney.
It can be a great place to build your referral network with attorneys in other states, too!
Don’t forget the “old fashioned” tactics
Even though there are a plethora of real estate marketing opportunities right at your fingertips, don’t completely stop anything you are doing that is currently generating you clients and revenue.
Whether you host in-person lunches at real estate offices, use direct mail, or advertise in a local real estate trade publication, the saying goes “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”
That said, with social media and digital marketing quickly changing real estate marketing, it is an excellent time to start adding new tools to your marketing toolbox. If your cup is already full, scale back on one thing for a few months to make room to try something new.
If you try even one of these tips, you’ll set yourself up for another decade of success. But tell us, what are we missing? Tell us if there are any real estate marketing tactics that you have tried and loved this year!