There will be around  4-4.2 million real estate transactions in 2023. Yet real estate agents buy somewhere in the range of 170 million leads each year. So, the odds of a lead becoming an actual client is about 1 in 40. Not exactly great odds. 

It’s likely you already know this, and you’ve probably already started your business plan for 2024. This means you’ve captured your goals, along with the weekly and daily activities you must complete to reach those goals. 

But have you thought about how your business plan aligns with your PR efforts? Do you aim to increase your client base, boost sales, or enhance your online presence? Once you define your objectives, you can tailor your approach accordingly—and in turn, reach the key publics you need to connect with. 

In this article, we’ll explore how you can adapt to the changing real estate market by embracing a start-up mentality, doubling your efforts, and making data-driven decisions while maintaining a strong PR strategy. 

First, let’s talk about your publics. 

Identify Your Key Publics

The key word in public relations is public. Identifying your key publics is a fundamental step in ensuring your efforts align effectively with your business plan. To tailor your approach and maximize the impact of your PR strategy, you must first recognize and understand the diverse needs and preferences of the various publics associated with your real estate business. 

These key publics encompass different groups, each playing a distinct role in your professional life:

  • Family and friends
  • Clients
  • Prospects
  • Social media followers
  • Investors
  • People you are recruiting for your team

Once you are fully in tune with each of your publics, you can determine what to spend the majority of your time doing in your business.

Now, let’s talk about what you need to do to reach those publics. 

Double Your Efforts

We know that the odds of turning a lead into a client is about 1 in 40. What worked in 2020-2022 won’t be effective in an increasingly competitive market. In order to connect with prospects and leads, you must double your efforts.

Think back to your start-up days when you put in long hours, made countless calls, and created extensive content. Embrace that same work ethic in 2024 and be prepared for 12-hour workdays. This means you need to double the number of daily calls you make, double your professional development efforts, and double the number of times you get face-to-face with consumers in your market. 

That last one is important—don’t underestimate the value of in-person meetings. Attend more events, network with industry peers, and engage with your publics face-to-face. This personal touch can make a significant difference in building trust and fostering strong relationships.

Rather than spreading yourself too thin, focus on the actions that have the most significant impact. Concentrate your efforts on what truly moves the needle for your business, and block out the rest. 

Focus on Your Knowns

A lot of entrepreneurs make the mistake of cutting back on lead-generation strategies in order to minimize their budget. But this can be a costly mistake—Gartner released a report that shows how playing it safe through a recession can hurt your business long term. 

An example of this is back in 2008-2010, when a top real estate agent in Malibu knew a driving force for his business was his ad spend for print publications. He also knew that in order to continue doing this, he’d have to dip into his retirement savings. He could have played it safe and stopped the spending. Instead, he went all in, even though it meant making sacrifices in the short term. In the end, he ended up gaining more market share and expanding his business. As of 2022, that agent ranked in the top 5 in Real Trends. 

Harvard Business Review showcased recession psychology in this article, reminding marketers “When sales start to decline, companies shouldn’t panic and alter a brand’s fundamental proposition or positioning.”

As a real estate agent, you shouldn’t panic, either. Instead, review everything you did in 2023. Determine the following:

  • Where your leads came from
  • What efforts paid off
  • What resulted in the least amount of conversion

Everyone’s knee-jerk reaction is to cut everything that costs money. But you shouldn’t cut the things that have gotten you to this point. If direct mail works for you, keep it in the budget. If it’s Google PPC, keep that spend. It’s a better option to cut discretionary spending or some travel rather than your business drivers.

The Significance of Past Clients and Sphere

Of course, your doubling effort should be within the context of creating new, full leads. A full contact for real estate goes beyond their name, phone number, and email address—it also includes where they live. After all, knowing where your lead lives allows you to tailor your market data to them. 

Where do you get the majority of your full leads? Statistics show that a significant portion (about 70%) of real estate business comes from past clients and your sphere of influence. This is a great place to start your doubling down efforts. Reach out to the people who are already in your database, have conversations about the current market, and clearly communicate your value as an agent.

An easy way to get started with this is by expressing gratitude to these individuals. Now that the holiday season is approaching, it is the perfect time to do this! Sharing your appreciation will strengthen your bond with individuals in your database, lead to valuable conversations, and keep you top of mind for a strong start in Q1.

Data-Driven Decision Making

Your database is a goldmine of information. Utilize software like Revaluate to clean up your existing database and reveal likely movers. Revaluate will even show you which leads have closed on a transaction with another agent. Seeing just how many people in your database opted for another agent is eye-opening information! 

By analyzing your database, you can determine who has fallen by the wayside, how many full leads you have, and where you need to expand your efforts. This data-driven approach helps you gain a deeper understanding of your clients and their needs.

Conclusion

In a competitive real estate market, success requires a combination of dedication, strategic focus, and data-driven insights. By aligning your PR efforts with your business plan and making informed decisions, you can position yourself for growth and prosperity in 2024.