I'm writing this article in view of my experience I had when I was working as a Sales Manager in one of the real estate companies here.
As it is today, most real estate agents go by the traditional marketing method of booth manning and flyering at different high people traffic sites. And when asked to provide an alternative marketing plan, they most suggest with a different locations for flyering and booth manning again and again. This is ok since this has been effective for many sales team for quite sometime considering that most local real estate companies consider the numbers game wherein they field in a large number of real estates agents and capture sales according to their ratio meaning lets say for every 10 agents in the field they would expect a sale of 3-4 per month. Considering the policy that if one doesn't make a sale within 3 months he or she would be dropped from the roster, hence, many opt to leave and look for other opportunities. As for the real estate company, continuous hiring and training is a must to survive with this method and a lot of cost goes into this as well.
I view this method as a brick and mortar approach who's days are probably numbered with the advent of internet marketing. For those real estate agents and sales team who are reading this article and already know their way around marketing real estates over the internet, I congratulate you for many are still left in the dark. For those who have yet to discover the potential of this, I hope this article would help you.
Probably one of the biggest disadvantage of direct flyering and booth manning is that most of your handouts and sales effort are directed at the wrong person and end up being thrown into the waste basket. Though there are persons who you present to that would say "naghahanap kami ng bahay nasa abroad kasi ang mister ko, or OFW ang misis ko" sadly your just going to have to wait and rely on that person on how he or she would present what you just said, to their relative abroad who is really going to be the decision maker.
In comes the internet so it is necessary for one to at least have basic knowledge of the internet. I know most are saying "but our company already has a website" or "that my business card already has my email, what difference will this make". True, a particular real estate agent may already have some connection in terms of internet marketing is concerned but the question is "is it enough?". Your company may already have a corporate website up and running but who cashes in on the sale from those who inquire thru it? Generally the guys at the head office or for those whose contact details appear at the site. So the question is how to use the internet to your advantage. Consider this, there are about 11 million OFWs most of who are internet users and eager to buy a property back home. Thats where you want to be. So how do you do this? Well you don't actually have to invest money to make your presence felt on the internet, just by a mere trip to any internet shop for 20 pesos an hour will do the trick. I know there are many real estate agents with their own savvy looking websites out there. Don't get spooked. You can probably do the same or maybe even better. Remember it doesn't matter how fancy one's website might look at the end of the day its the sales that matters most. So where do we start. Ask yourself whats the most popular sites most people use to get in touch with others. There are many, you can start by using Facebook or Twitter, 2 of the most popular internet socializing sites being used today by practically all internet users. Another way is to through blogging. Create a blog at any free to use blog sites such as blogspot, wordpress, bloggers etc. and fill it with related and important contents. Keep your site focused on the subject only and always update it with latest information such as updated pricing, updated lot inventory, road maps etc. and pictures. Filling your sites with updated pictures will be important as this is what most buyers will look for. If you don't have any digicam, your camera from your celfone would suffice. As for content, you can use the corporate website of your company to get the latest information of whats happening in and around your projects. But remember not to direct any of your network or list of friends to any site that sell the same projects as you are. Otherwise you will have competition.
Now as you already have this in place, use it to create a network of friends. The key here is to
establish rapport and trust which you will use to your marketing advantage. Remember to communicate with your friends in a way that your showing concern for them in their efforts to find a property back home. You might ask "pano ko siya ma tri-tripping eh nasa abroad naman siya" Don't be limited by this, they can assign any relative or friend who is actually here to look at the property for them, or better yet schedule them to visit the site once they return home.
It is important to always communicate with your friends from the internet most especially if they have a questions relevant to your purpose. Always give them a quick and accurate response. Having all this in mind and following these tips, you are more likely to close a sale, not just for those small model units you have but for the high end projects that's in your inventory. And when you make your first sale, chances are there will be another.
So does this make sense so far? Wait there's more. This is where it gets more interesting. Remember when I told you to create a network of friends through the use of your established blogsites and socializing sites? Chances are your friends are also looking for ways to earn. This is where you will begin to offer them to work as your sub agent. This requires you to be a licensed real estate broker. Assuming that you already are a licensed broker, you can now enlist your friend (who has a better vantage point considering he or she is based abroad). List down and formalize all the arrangements such as commission they will be receiving and their scope of work. If possible, have them sign the agreement thru email or snail mail. This would make it more credible and professional. It will be up to you to determine the arrangements. Nevertheless its a perfect opportunity to expand your network abroad. Keep in mind this will just be passive work for them as they already have full time jobs. Imagine having sub-agents working for you globally. Remember the market is so huge considering the number of OFWs wanting to invest back home.
So you think I'm already done with my ideas, not just yet. Let me show you more. Here is another way to earn. This time through the other side of the coin. This will have nothing to do on your real estate ventures except for what you already have established on your blogsites by now..
Did you know can earn while blogging. The most basic way to make money online is to create a site or blog and monetize it by having advertising networks serve ads to the site. Learn how to start a blog then pepper it with content. The more content, the better, but optimize your site well to attract more visitors who use search engines. Once you have a decent number of posts, join any of the popular advertising networks such as Google Adsense , AdBrite and Infolinks. They will give you snippets of codes that you have to add to your sites in order to show ads. When visitors click on the ads, you get paid. Believe it or not its that simple. .
Remember no one claims guaranteed success in internet marketing. The amount of success largely depends on how much effort you put into your endeavor.
Good luck and may the force be with you..
Here are other recommended books you may you may read and gather ideas :
Online Marketing Techniques for Real Estate Agents and Brokers: Insider Secrets You Need to Know to Take Your Business to the Next Level
Social Networking And Internet Marketing For Real Estate Investors
Philippines Property Primer (StreetWise Philippines)