They say that, when you’re a property agent, selling a house is as simple as breathing. If you don’t do it, you’ll die. But all those viewings and marketing gets expensive; so here are some money hacks if you’re a property agent:
1. Know when to pay for an ad, when to pay for an advertorial
The most common reason that agents waste money is failing to understand, or distinguish, between these two forms of outreach. It can result in some expensive mistakes.
Here’s the difference:
An advertisement is repeatable. An advertorial is something that you pay for only once. There are some serious money considerations behind this.
For example, if you pay someone to write an advertorial about “Why Clementi is the new Orchard“, that’s a one-off; the publication (be it a magazine or website) wouldn’t repeat that article again and again, even if you wanted them to.
A flat-out ad is much simpler, and relies on things like one-liners or jingles (go ahead: sing Clementi, it’s the pace to be!) This is how companies sell shampoo, or burgers.
Between the two, an ad campaign tends to cost more; because it only has an impact if you buy the media space to play the ad over, and over, and over again. An advertorial usually just means paying once.
The downside, of course, is that the advertorial is also just one use – but a single good advertorial can draw in more qualified leads, than paying to repeat an ad campaign for the next six months. Think about it, the next time you pay to market a development. In general, advertorials are better for new properties, whereas flat out advertising is better for properties that everyone has already heard about (it enforces recall).
2. Don’t buy a car
Understandably, given the nature of your profession, you might be required to drive clients around. But who says you have to buy a car for that? Options like Car Club allow 99.co agents to ferry clients to and fro viewings as if it were your own car. The obvious plus point is, you don’t have to pay for COE, petrol and other miscellaneous costs that could bleed your wallet dry.
Aside from providing a budget-friendly alternative to meet your ad hoc transportation needs, our agents will also gain access to a fleet of over 230 cars located at over 120 stations island-wide.
What this means is that you can have the flexibility to choose from different vehicle types for different occasions, whether it is for a showflat viewing in a prime district or a casual home-viewing in an HDB estate.
It is also friendly on your wallet and lets you pay depending on your car usage, with hourly or daily rates.
Given the costs you’re facing – especially as a new agent – a seven-year loan compounding at 2.3 per cent is the last thing you need. The best part is, Car Club’s services are available 24/7, so you don’t have to worry about transportation after a late-night viewing.
3. Learn to use Pinterest, Instagram, and other zero-dollar forms of advertising
These social media tools are not “free” – there is a time cost to them. But when you’re just starting out, it matters that you don’t need to fork over precious dollars.
A disturbing number of property agents, in our experience, don’t like to take a lot of pictures. But trust us, taking pictures is much less time consuming than trying to write good listings without them. It’s also much cheaper – in terms of hours spent – than trying to write long essays and analysis pieces on LinkedIn or Facebook (those definitely help; we’re just saying they’re much harder than having lots of nice pictures).
While it can take a while, such as a year or two to build a following, visual social media sites / apps are the cheapest way to get good advertising.
Alternatively, you can use 99.co’s PowerPusher to jump start your social media campaign. It’s much cheaper than paying someone to code a site, and then spending hours every day creating content. You’re supposed to be a property agent, not the next Jake Paul or Jenna Marbles.
(If you don’t know who those are, then you definitely need to up your social media marketing and awareness).
4. Don’t buy all your tools at once
If you’re new, don’t take out a big loan, and then pay for a $5,000 web page, name cards, animated videos, analytical tools, and so forth. Don’t buy all your tools at once.
Slowly invest in your tools, because some of those expensive ideas may not work for you. When you don’t even know if your site will do much selling for you, there’s no point insisting on custom work (just get a WordPress site). Likewise, there’s no need to hire a production company to start making $5,000-a-pop videos for you yet; not until you’re sure you have the personality to sell that way – some people sell more units with Facebook posts than they would appearing in 100+ YouTube videos.
Learn what works, and learn the acquisition costs (i.e. how much do you spend on a video or post to generate one qualified lead)? But don’t go on a marketing spree before you do that.
On a related note:
5. Don’t pay for marketing efforts that aren’t targeted, or quantifiable
There’s no point paying for ads that go everywhere, with no traceable response. You can pay $50 to a website to have 500 people follow you on Twitter right now (I’m not telling you the site because it’s a stupid idea); but that would be flushing your money down the drain.
Who cares if someone in Slovenia retweets about your property in Jurong? What’s the point of sending flyers for Jurong property to east-enders (they think anywhere beyond Paya Lebar is a foreign country)?
When you do decide to pay for marketing, you should be getting quantifiable results. How many leads do you get for $X spent? And is the amount increasing, or decreasing, each quarter as you use that form of marketing? If these questions can’t be answered, then you’re probably wasting hundreds, or thousands, every month on useless marketing spend.
Also remember that you want to pay for marketing that works, not marketing that’s cheap. It’s better to spend $5,000 on marketing that closes four or five deals, than $200 on marketing that just fills recycling bins with flyers.
Find out more about Car Club’s services, which are exclusive to 99.co’s agents here!
Want to connect with qualified leads? List your property on Singapore’s fastest growing property portal 99.co! Your clients can also access a wide range of tools to calculate your down payments and loan repayments, to help with your presentations.