Are you looking to hone or develop your real estate marketing plan?For those looking for marketing tools for realtors (R) and real estate agents, the “best practices” of multi-million dollar agents includes several “pillars”, or sources of leads, and refinement to the three key points of client contact. These three key points of client contact are initial real estate lead production, point of sale (listing presentations and buyer representation processing), and post-sale referral generation.One common mistake agents make is choosing either a “consumer direct marketing” approach, or a “referral only” approach. This is a mistake simply because to achieve top performance, you’ll need both. Fortunately, when done well, this does not need to be expensive. A referral-only real estate marketing plan is based around actively cultivating (farming) a group (farm) of referral sources. For most systems, this is based around systems of consistent contact to ensure presence of mind and respect by potential referrers, usually via handwritten low-tech stamped notes, monthly phone calls to people who have agreed to refer you when they hear of people who want to buy or sell, occasional client parties, and occasional pop-by’s to see someone in person a few times per year. These systems are carefully designed to look casual, but when combined with real estate newsletters and tools, will cause your farm to both like you personally and respect you professionally. Imagine getting 2-3 referrals per month from a financial planner, another 2-3 from a tax professional, another 1-2 from your grandmother, etc. and you really have a solid base of business. Closing ratios on referrals are always much higher from referral marketing, and the cost-per-lead is lower.So why not use just that?Because you may not have 1,800 people who like you and will refer you, and even if you did, there are surely some people buying or selling in your area who would like to work with you.But they don’t know you.It’s up to your consumer direct marketing to change that. While bus stop ads can help neighborhood visibility, who honestly calls a realtor because they saw a bus stop ad? Print ads and bus stop ads these days should be used only after you have completely dominated the real estate internet marketing in your area.How do you dominate an area? Message and delivery. These days, delivery happens via internet for over 90% of buyers, and virtually all sellers who research agents online before selecting which agent to sign with. While the internet is a large space, you can dominate page 1 of Google using our free report on search engine optimization (SEO), and dominate other areas through pay-per-click (PPC), social media marketing (facebook, myspace, twitter, etc.) and trafficked verticals like craigslist. Our company focuses on creation of incredible, compelling offers so you don’t have to, though you can certainly create your own.Here are a few suggested pillars to consider:- Expired Listings & Withdrawn Listings. These are the easiest “cold leads” you’ll find. If you decide not to purchase ours, you can certainly create your own. The #1 mistake people make in expired listing marketing is expecting immediate conversion. Usually sellers get flooded with offers immediately, but relisting activity peaks at 6 to 8 weeks after expiration or withdrawal. Pair up with a mortgage lender to reduce the cost, as this can produce refinances and loan modifications.- FSBO’s. A strong FSBO pillar alone can get you 1-3 listings per month in an average area. For this you’ll need a real estate postcard marketing system or fsbo postcard system. Click through to our site below for some free templates and help on this.- Homebuyers. The #1 most common mistake in real estate marketing for homebuyers is offering a home-buyer’s seminar. Try “fishing upstream” by instead offering a “credit seminar” or at least adding that to your marketing. We have an online system for this, that if you choose not to buy you can certainly model on. Be sure to “market to the unaware”, i.e. people who haven’t yet decided to buy a house, because chances are if they know for sure they want to buy a house, they probably know an agent. Be the agent (or broker) to plant this seed and most likely you’ll get the business, instead of their “dog’s former owner’s cousin who practices real estate on the side”.- Investors. A lot of agents ignore this market, but a single good investor client can get you numerous deals per year, both buying and selling. If you’re just out of real estate school starting out, don’t start here – they’ll eat you for lunch and suck up your time, but if you have the other pillars down cold, this can put you into the big leagues, with millions of dollars in commissions.- Relocation. This can be a tough market to crack, but that barrier to entry can work for you once you do. This is not for the rookies, but for experienced agents with top-notch customer service and the first pillars down, this should be on your real estate marketing plan. Maximize your real estate internet marketing to start working on this business, and use a lot of online video such (again, see our site for examples to model on or purchase).- HR Benefits. Human Resources real estate marketing for Realtors and lenders can be an excellent source of business. This is a perfect agenda for a mid-career agent.If all of this sounds good, first, see what you can swipe and implement. Don’t re-invent the wheel, because everything you need for all of the above pillars have been produced. Focus your time and budget, and setup the systems starting with the pillars above. As you get them stabilized, within a month, you should not spend any time whatsoever on production of these leads. Just setup the system, then leave your pay-per-click budget alone and just keep an eye on profitability, and hire offshore e-assistants for other tasks like craigslist marketing. Roll the pillars out, and within six months, there is absolutely no reason why you won’t be the #1 agent in your area, with the #1 paycheck. The tools are built and ready to work for you.What wasn’t covered in this article is listing presentation, and post-sale upsell and cross-sell and referral generation tactics. To learn more about any of this, see our stealth site, http://www.RealEstateMarketing.ME for tips, tricks, and real estate marketing resources.