Do Real Estate Agents Need to Hire a Marketing Agency?

Do Real Estate Agents Need to Hire a Marketing Agency?

This guide will empower real estate agents to make a clear and informed decision about hiring the right marketing agency for their real estate business - or not at all.

Marketing Tips Realtor Success Tips

Danielle Taffe
Content Creator
Table Of Contents

If you’d like a professional real estate social media marketing strategy as soon as possible, you might consider working with a digital marketing agency. The right agency that is experienced and educated, will be able to build killer marketing campaigns and refine your brand voice with a level of professionalism that you couldn’t have completed on your own.

However, choosing the right marketing agency for your real estate business can be a difficult decision. If you’re ready to hire a marketing firm to handle your marketing, there are some major time and money-saving factors you should consider. After all, this firm will be in major control of your public image and can help your brand sink or swim. It’s important that the firm you are working with knows your brand through and through and is very familiar with your audience.

Why Work with a Marketing Agency

  1. Proficiency and experience: One of the best benefits of working with a marketing agency is the level of knowledge that brings to the table. Marketing agencies give you direct access to a wealth of marketing information and diverse skills without having to commit the time to learn it yourself. Most agencies also have access to a full range of marketing tools that internal marketing may not be able to afford.
  2. A bird’s eye view: Marketing agencies have typically worked on many different types of campaigns for a variety of different companies. This broad view can lead to more imaginative and creative marketing strategies.
  3. Keeping a close eye on marketing results: Needless to say, your agency will be strictly focused on creating great results with marketing. Unlike in-house marketing, they have one single focus on goal and are not distracted by others on the team or in the office who have completely different aims.
  4. An established industry network: Marketing agencies have a wide network of connections and neighbourhoods in the city. This professional network can lead to unique opportunities and resources.
  5. Your lack of skill: Marketing is a global and powerful industry of its own. If you’ve never been educated about marketing, you may not understand all of the important parts of an outbound marketing campaign. This learning curve could cost you some time, which essentially is also costing you money. By delegating tasks you can dedicate your limited time to the crucial and beneficial parts of your business.
  6. Your small team: Agencies will have a few people focusing intensely on your campaigns or tasks related to them. If you were to handle marketing on your own, you may have trouble divvying up your time and staying on top of all of your marketing-related tasks.
  7. Your ready to take your business to the next level: Although you may be a marketing whiz in your own right, your primary focus is real estate. A marketing team can take the great marketing framework that you’ve already built and elevate it to the next level.
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Potential Challenges of Working With a Marketing Agency

Lack of Familiarity with Your Brand

If the agency you are working with is unclear about who your business is, where your target audience is, what services you offer, or what your marketing goals are, the results will reflect that. You could be risking your healthy social media presence and access to potential clients and connections, among other risks if you are working with the wrong marketing professionals.

Misunderstandings and Poor Communication

When working with a business outside of yours, communication can be a taxing task. The agency may still be trying to learn about your industry, brand, business, and staff, so ideas that seem obvious to you may take them a while to grasp. Alternatively, your agency is full of marketing experts who may not always know how to clearly communicate complex industry terms or advanced marketing strategies. This can lead to confusion and discouragement on the way to achieving your goals.

Additionally, the long chain of communication might mean that it takes longer for small changes (however shorter for big steps).

Fees and Cost

No matter how successful, each real estate business and/or real estate agent has a limit on how much money they are willing to put towards marketing. Hiring an agency may cost you a hefty chunk of your overall marketing budget, or you may have to choose a marketing agency that charges less and subsequently provides fewer services. Marketing is arguably the most powerful tool outside of performance to grown your business, however you still should be reasonable and work within your financial limits.

when to hire a marketing agency

Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Marketing Agency

1. Do You Have a Clear Idea of What Your Brand is?

Make sure that your foundational brand materials are in order. AgentFire clients have access to our Logo and Branding package for a killer price. Our talented designers will work with you to find the perfect visual representation of your brand that can be used across marketing materials, branding, merchandise and more.

2. Are You Clear on What you Want to Accomplish?

When it comes to digital marketing, many clients, including agents are unclear on exactly what results they want from their marketing efforts. Saying that you just want to “market” your business, is not enough to build a measurable and effective marketing plan. Your marketing agency will need to be clear on the tangible results you want to see in your business, to build the best plan for you.

Be prepared to enter your initial meeting with clear goals and a vision for what you want to see.

2. Does the Marketing Agency Specialize in a Specific Type of Marketing?

In the marketing field there are many different type of agencies. Are you interested in a general one-stop-shop or do you need a firm that only specializes in a few services like PPC or social media management? Some services require an incomparable amount of expertise and often come with a premium price.

If a marketing firm doesn’t have experts to handle the services you need, they may be able to refer you to someone they recommend with whom they have a professional relationship.

3. What Do You Think About Their Previous Work?

Your real estate social media manager should have a full portfolio of successful social media campaigns. Your real estate marketing agency as a whole, should have a list of successful real estate agents they’ve worked with. All to say that the marketing agency you choose should have experience with businesses similar to yours in goals, size, and industry.

4. How Much Control Do You Want Your Marketing Company to Have?

Each agency works differently. With some, it’s as simple as introducing them to your company and handing over the necessary data, while others prefer to have your approval every step of the way. Get clear about the level of involvement you want to have, with an understanding that the end results are always your responsibility, no matter how much you initially trust in your real estate marketing agency.

5. What Are Your Instincts Telling You?

Your relationship with marketing agencies throughout your career will rarely be one-offs. You will likely have to check in with them on a regular basis be it monthly, weekly, or even daily. Make sure that you are familiar with everyone who will be working on your account and they make you feel comfortable and confident in your choice to work with them.

If you don’t mesh well with your collaborators from the beginning, you can expect to butt heads again down the road. To be extra safe, put together some casual mindset and personality questions together that you can ask any agency you consider working with.

6. How Do You Structure Contracts?

The ways that marketing agencies bill clients vary greatly between each agency and even each project. Make sure that you are clear on how you will be billed for their services. Do they work on a retainer? Charge per project? It’s important to get clear on not only how much you will be getting charged, but whether or not you are locked into a contract for a particular time.

Some agencies charge a la carte, meaning that when work is completed you pay for the project as a whole or you are charged based on the necessary hours and costs required.

The other option is to pay a retainer and identify what should be covered in those hours.

Below is a breakdown of some of the services typically included in a marketing campaign. This will give you an idea of what could potentially be included in a marketing plan. Of course, if you choose to sign with an agency, you can expect them to go into more detail about these services or introduce some new ones to you.

  • Buyer Persona Buildout
  • Content Idea Development
  • Blog articles
  • PPC
  • Email nurturing
  • Ebooks
  • Case studies
  • Video
  • Social media management
  • Digital PR
  • Online advertising
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7. Do They Outsource Their Work?

It’s already quite a step to trust your marketing to an outside business, if the agency you choose then sends your campaigns to another company to handle, that’s a big red flag. It’s important to have direct contact with the people who are handling your campaign. This will make sure that everyone who touches your campaign has a robust idea of your identity as a business and that each person has had the opportunity to meet you and capture your essence in your campaigns.

8. Will You Get to Preview Content?

Most real estate agents want to keep an eye on every area of their business, but may become intimidated by marketing if they don’t know much about it. Even if you’re not a marketing expert, it’s important to trust your instincts and opinions and keep an eye on your marketing, no matter what.

Your real estate marketing agency should have a process in place to keep you up to date with regular updates and content before it gets put out into the world.

9. When Will You See Results From Your Campaign?

The real estate industry is unique in the fact that the journey from initial lead acquisition to property purchase is long, complex, and expensive. You may not be able to exactly trace the each step fo how your digital marketing lead to a new client’s final decision to work with you. Although they may have been drawn in by your social media platforms, they may have to love your website and client reviews before reaching out to you and ultimately finding a property.

We suggest choosing some key metrics that will help you and your agency manage expectations for your marketing campaign and even help you spot where your leads could be falling off. For example, you may after careful research realize that polls and questionnaires increase interest and conversation, while inspirational posts generate leads by guiding them to your website. With this knowledge at hand, you can measure engagement for polls and likes for inspo posts to understand how well they are performing and what tangible results you can expect to see in your business.

10. What Was a Recent Failure of Theirs and How Did They Handle It?

The best way to learn more about a possible partner is to not only measure successes but also to acknowledge failures. You need to know that if anything unplanned happens, that they can handle it.

marketing agency contract

Make the Most of Your Agency Investment

Check Reviews and Testimonials

The best way to learn about a business’ work is from their past clients. Take a look at testimonials to get an idea of what your experience will belike working with the company.

Don’t Ignore the Red Flags

Reflect with your team about whether they agree that the agency’s promises are realistic and the group you’ll be working with appears intelligent and committed. If something gives you a bad feeling, there’s no pressure to choose that particular agency. There are tons of other agencies that could be a better fit.

Try Before You Buy

Your marketing campaigns with an agency do not necessarily need to run forever. While most agencies will get you to sign a contract, you should have the option of a short contract first in order to see if you’d like to continue working with them in the future. Sign up for the lowest time frame possible, likely 3 months.

Be Specific and Quantitative About Your Goals

For example, instead of saying, “we want to grow our follower list”, say, “we want to increase our follower count by 40%. We think that having more follower leads to more new clients at our open houses.”

Your goals should be attainable and take your budget and time into account. Ensure that these milestones always connect back to your larger business goals.

Wrapping Up…

By following these practices, you can help make sure that your partnership with a marketing agency is successful and fruitful. As much as your marketing team is there to uplift your brand and create results, your business is ultimately your responsibility.

Take the time to get to know each agency you consider and make sure they have a clear understanding of who you are as a business.

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