Cheap and Effective Marketing

By: Calum MacKenzie

Most successful real estate agents are well known in the area they service. Their pictures are in the papers every week, they've spent time networking with local business owners, and they have a long list of satisfied customers who provide word-of-mouth advertising. This type of notoriety is not an easy feat for an agent just starting out, especially with a limited budget.

Advertising doesn't have to be expensive; it just has to get the word out. Here are some ideas for some free or cheap forms of advertising to let people know you're open and ready for business!

Free Advertising

Believe it or not, you can advertise for free, it just takes a little creativity. A couple friends recently opened a gallery and received a full page color ad in the local paper, absolutely free of charge. How is that possible? They contacted the editor of the paper and explained they were a new business and requested one of the reporters to do an article on them. It's great if you can come up with a bit of a twist to your story to catch their attention. Have a small press release available to send in with your request.

Local university radio stations or cable networks are usually starving for news and happy to publicize free of charge.

Public Speaking

Most service clubs such as Lions, Rotary and Kiwanis need speakers for their regular meetings. Don't stop there, check out local women's groups, libraries or community centers for other speaking opportunities.

All you need is a 15 minute talk about something you feel passionate about, such as "The Importance of Staging a Home" or "Buying a Vacation Residence". Have plenty of business cards on hand to pass out later and you'll have boosted your word-of-mouth marketing in one evening.

Email Newsletters

You're missing out on future sales opportunities by not keeping in touch with your customers. Especially with email being so inexpensive, spend a few hours a month, whip up a newsletter with some real estate related content, and send them out. Make certain that you have useful content, with some helpful hints or business tips; it shouldn't be another source of useless spam.

Paper Marketing

Brochures are a little more costly, but placed in strategic places can definitely get your name out there. Placing your business cards in specific neighborhoods with hand written notes may inspire homeowners to list their houses.

Networking & Referrals

Networking isn't just about talking to lots of people, it requires you to make the first step and provide others with referrals as well.

Don't wait for your satisfied customers to recommend you, ask them for a referral or a letter of recommendation.

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