06 Aug 2012

Do Business On A Shoestring Budget

Its summertime and the “getting'” has been pretty good! But what happens when school starts and things start to wind down? Are you funneling enough business your direction in the down time?

I was led through an amazing activity by a Real Estate guru a few years ago. He put a picture of a gorgeous cruise liner up on the screen and said, “This is now your boat. How are you going to market and book travel so you can make a living with this new gift?”

Immediately, a million ideas floated through my head! He told me to brainstorm for 30 minutes and think of ways to market my new cruise liner. I named my ship, decided where it would sail to, what type of clientele I would market to and created dozens of ideas of how to get my ship seaworthy and full of paying clients in no time! Of course this activity had a purpose…now I must use these same skills to boost my real estate career.

Just like owning a cruise liner, we all own our own unique, little company. I was told to treat my real estate business as though it was my own and create marketing plans for myself that were unique, eye catching and “out-of-the-box.” So why is that when we pretend we have been given an amazing gift, we can come up with ideas all day long and when it’s actually our own real estate career, sometimes we flounder in the water a little? Or rely too heavily on outside factors that are beyond our control?

The biggest part of your business should be self-generated. Self generated means that you are in control of your destiny and using your own skills to bring in business. I’d rather be in control than sitting around waiting for a random fish to swim my way! Sometimes we get stagnant and need a little boost or some creative energy. If you’re looking for a little boost, here it is!

Take on a couple of these at a time and create a plan for yourself and you’ll start taking control of your own future, your own career and you’ll take pride in having the finest cruise liner on the seas!

Non-internet or online ideas

  1. Make sure your social sites are on your business card
  2. Sponsor a local event or fundraiser
  3. Create some swag like t-shirts, pens, notepads, etc
  4. Host and/or attend local meet-ups, committees, events
  5. Get a vanity license plate
  6. Get a door magnet for your car
  7. Proudly wear your nametag everywhere!
  8. Put a major focus on word of mouth- grocery store, nail salon, hair salon, bingo, carry your business cards and hand out everywhere you can
  9. Create and/or sponsor a local business resource guide

Email marketing

  1. Create a drip email campaign that focuses on your niche in the business and offer tips and advice.
  2. Send a weekly or monthly newsletter that everyone begins to expect and look forward to reading
  3. Send animated birthday greeting to clients, friends and realtors you want a good relationship with
  4. Work with a local business to co-brand an offer
  5. Invite your sphere of influence to a local event
  6. Provide a guide to what’s happening in your community. Events, appearances, shows, etc.
  7. Update people with rates, gardening tips, weather tips, energy saving tips, etc. Always keep it positive!

Blog and/or website

  1. Create an e-book that requires log-in
  2. Create a video or podcast on specific topics that you are considered an expert in!
  3. Offer a Q and A form that’s via a contact information form
  4. Offer a free search
  5. Add your facebook to your site
  6. Host a local contest with prizes donated from local businesses


  1. Make sure that you have a separate business account and a separate personal account. This is imperative!
  2. Send daily birthday wishes
  3. Comment or “like” at least 5 posts per day
  4. Update your status once a day with fun and value. Nothing personal on your business account!
  5. Create a page for your business.
  6. Post helpful and relevant resources.
  7. Leave friendly comments on your local business pages. Never leave negative comments.
  8. With written permission only from your clients, create a past client photo album with testimonials. Remember, you cannot put anything about your clients online without their written permission!!!
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