Services To Look For From Your New Start Real Estate Marketing Partner

Services To Look For From Your New Start Real Estate Marketing Partner

Setting a new start community up for success is among the most complex projects you can undertake as a real estate developer or property manager. From branding and positioning to floor plan creation and event planning, the sheer number of marketing projects necessary to attract new residents and turn great construction into a successful community can quickly become overwhelming. That complexity is multiplied when you take into account the various touch points you’ll need along the way to translate a central brand identity across every digital and print asset, from websites to brochures to signage.

That’s why new start developers and asset managers often turn to full-service marketing agencies to help them navigate all the moving parts. A full-service agency is a marketing partner that covers the full array of digital, print, and strategic services that feed into a successful marketing plan for you property. Because new start developments are working from scratch to stand out among the competition and reach an untapped audience, working with a full-service partner is key. Spreading your marketing needs across multiple partners and vendors can compromise your strategic vision and dilute your brand identity, leading to less effective real estate marketing.

So what services should you look for in a real estate marketing partner? For new starts, here are the key services your marketing partner should be able to cover.

Research & Discovery

Any good real estate marketing plan begins with research and discovery. Skipping this step can be tempting if you are already familiar with your market (especially if you live locally yourself), but that’s never a good idea. Every new start enters a unique market defined by its precise location, existing competition, and ever-changing audience demographics and interests. That’s why we always recommend working with a marketing partner that will do their own research and discovery before launching into the branding process.

Although savvy developers usually conduct their own internal market research in order to design communities that will meet market demand, a marketing partner will cover additional nuances that help you activate a specific target audience and ensure your vision comes through loud and clear. While a developer might pay attention to rental rates, amenities, floor plan availability, and housing density in the area, a marketing partner might pay extra attention to competing brands, audience demographics, local history and culture, and other details that complete the picture of how your community can connect with new residents.

Naming & Branding

Without a cohesive naming and branding strategy, all marketing collateral suffers. You need a brand identity that is unique and recognizable so that potential renters have something to latch onto when comparing you to a sea of competitors. After all, details like amenities and floor plans matter when selecting a home, but what matters even more is how you tell the story of those advantages so that your audience takes the time to engage and learn more.

brand guidelines document for apartment brand

Telling this story begins with a suite of branding decisions that can be consistently applied across all collateral in order to amplify brand recognition and brand loyalty. That means naming, logo design, colors and patterns, typography, voice guidelines, and lifestyle imagery guidelines should all be established with your marketing partner, then codified into a comprehensive brand guidelines document so that future collateral builds upon the central brand identity.

Web Design & Development

In many cases, a landing page or full website is the first place your brand will come to life and get the chance to connect with your audience. Working with the same marketing partner on web design and development that you worked with for research, naming, and branding helps ensure that this crucial milestone fully realizes the brand identity you worked so hard to create. Few things can compromise an otherwise solid marketing plan more easily than a poorly executed website that is out of step with your larger marketing strategy.

real estate website design

Along the way, it’s also essential that your web designers and developers understand UX and SEO best practices so that your website isn’t just pretty and on-brand, but also pleasurable to use and easy to find so that your audience of potential renters can actually connect and take action. Make sure your marketing partner is well-versed in UX and SEO so that your websites and landing pages continue to pull their weight long after they’ve been launched. In fact, we recommend working with a real estate marketing partner that offers long-term hosting, management, optimizations, and periodic design refreshes on your site so that as trends change, you can stay ahead of the curve.

Print & Digital Asset Creation

In addition to website design and development, there is a wide array of digital and print assets that contribute to your brand efficacy and help your audience make their housing decision. Included in this category are assets like floor plans and site plans, virtual tours, photography and videography, brochures, flyers, business cards, and letterhead. Each of these separate touch points is a chance to amplify your brand identity and engage your audience. If executed poorly, they can have the opposite effect—diluting your brand identity and failing to connect with potential renters.

apartment brochure design

Once again, consistency is key when it comes to asset creation. Every asset should be an extension of your larger branding and marketing strategy in order to maximize ROI. Details like these can often go unnoticed unless they clash with your brand or otherwise fail to meet expectations, so they can sometimes become an afterthought for developers and property managers. A great marketing partner knows how important it is to get these details right so that everything fits seamlessly together.

Environmental Graphics

The real estate marketing funnel is increasingly digital, but environmental graphics still play a key roll in raising awareness, driving foot traffic, and creating great tour experiences. From construction banners and billboard graphics to temporary lease space design decked out with floor plan graphics, rendering graphics, and targeted messaging that speaks to your unique differentiators, your marketing partner should be able to help with it all. Meanwhile, permanent signage should also be carefully crafted to amplify your brand identity so that you’re never at risk of blending in among your local competitors.

student apartment leasing office design

Digital Marketing

As you work hard to complete your new development project, your digital marketing should be working just as hard to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and nurture those leads so that your efforts pay off with a swift lease-up. When it comes to digital marketing, you’ll benefit from having the same partner involved in your ad campaigns and email tactics that was present for the research & discovery, branding, and design projects along the way. This digital marketing partner is then better equipped to target your unique audience with the right message at the right time in the right place.

Promo & Swag

As you prepare for open houses, housing fairs, grand opening events, and move-ins, branded promotional items can go a long way in keeping your new community top of mind with prospects and delivering a great move-in experience that turns residents into brand advocates. Welcome kits, giveaway items, and event promo should be more than an afterthought; the right item outfitted with a unique design can be the difference between a memorable brand experience and a throwaway object that people quickly forget about.

promotional item for real estate brand

If you’re still looking for a new start marketing partner who covers all these bases from discovery to promo, we’d love to chat! Threshold covers all this and more in order to deliver cohesive marketing strategies that build on one another to accelerate lease-ups and drive high ROI. Keep us in mind for your next new start project or use our chatbot, Trent, to schedule a no-strings consultation to learn more about what we do.

How To Do Keyword Research for Your Real Estate Website

How To Do Keyword Research for Your Real Estate Website

If you read our Quick and Dirty SEO Tips for Apartment Marketing, then you know that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search results. That means it’s incredibly important to rank on the first page of Google results if you want to earn any organic website traffic. But in our increasingly digital world, that fact probably doesn’t surprise you. These days, apartment marketers, owners, and managers all know that SEO is important, but not everyone knows where to start.

We’ve discussed SEO Tips before, but today we want to zero in on Keyword Research—how to do it and why it matters. Not only is Keyword Research an essential step when creating a real estate website, but keyword research can also help you create more effective search ads and understand your target audience better.

So if you’re not sure how to conduct keyword research (or whether you really need to), this is the post for you! Let’s start by exploring some of the reasons why keyword research is absolutely essential to your digital apartment marketing strategy (and how it can help other areas of your real estate marketing plan too).

Why Keyword Research is a Must

Most of the time, keyword research is discussed as the first step of your SEO strategy. After all, optimizing your rank in Google search results requires knowing the keywords your audience searches for so that you can use those keywords in on-page SEO efforts (such as incorporating those keywords into your website headers, meta descriptions, and page titles). Trying to improve your SEO without first performing keyword research could result in a lot of wasted time and effort without much payoff in the form of website traffic or conversions. That’s because you’re just guessing at what keywords people actually use when searching for housing like yours, and your best guess only goes so far. It’s much more effective to take a data-based approach.

person at laptop performing a Google search

But keyword research doesn’t just help SEO efforts. It also leads to more effective messaging, ad targeting, UX design, and so much more. That’s because it helps you understand your audience more effectively. Seeing what search terms are most popular when searching for apartments like yours can reveal what’s most important to your audience. It can show you what floor plans they prefer, which local hotspots they care about being close to, or how important it is to be pet-friendly. Knowing about your audience’s priorities helps you bridge the gap between your prospects and your property by enabling you to emphasize the features they are looking for.

One of the specific and direct ways in which this improved audience understanding can help you is when it comes to paid search ad strategy. Knowing how your audience searches empowers you to build more effective search ads that are relevant to your audience’s priorities and are a genuinely strong match based on their search query. That way your search ad headlines, descriptions, and snippets present a user with information that doesn’t appear out-of-place for their search query.

How To Identify The Best Keywords To Target

To identify the best keywords to target in your digital apartment marketing strategies like on-page SEO and paid search ads, you first need to access a keyword research tool. This is a tool that will help you see the search volume and competitiveness of different keyword variations, helping you find the most relevant and most advantageous keywords being used.

There are many keyword research tools available online, but today we’ll touch on just two of them: Google Keyword Planner and SEMRush. Google Keyword Planner has the distinct advantage of being free when you create a Google business account. SEMRush, on the other hand, is the most popular paid keyword research tool available today and offers some additional functionality. Both these tools allow you to type in a keyword (for example, “apartments in Toronto”) and output a list of related keywords alongside their search volumes and competitiveness. Both also allow you to search for keyword ideas based on a website URL (for example, the website of a competitor).

The main difference between Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush is that those who pay for SEMrush enjoy the option of getting a deeper dive into the keyword strategies of your competitors and where you can most easily beat them at their own game. SEMrush also offers more nuanced representations of the competitiveness of a certain keyword; rather than telling you whether the competition is low, medium, or high, it provides a numerical “competitive density” value as well as a “keyword difficulty” rating. This helps you see both how difficult it would be to rank for a given keyword as well as how many of your competitors are actually trying to rank for it, which is a sometimes subtle, but important distinction.

Google Keyword Planner vs SEMrush for apartment marketing research

Regardless of what tool you choose, the basic strategy in selecting your target keywords is simple: find the relevant keywords with the highest search volume and the lowest keyword difficulty possible. This is the sweet spot where ranking for these keywords will actually help you earn added site traffic (because many people are searching for these terms) and there’s not so much competition for the keyword already that your efforts are unlikely to get you within the first page of Google results for those keywords.

Every keyword research journey starts with a query into your tool of choice, but where do you start exploring? Below, we discuss how to get started once you’ve selected your keyword research tool.

Start With Common Sense

When it comes to keyword research, your intuition is a great place to start. Think: if I were a potential resident for this apartment community and others like it, what would I search for? Start relatively broad, with terms like “apartments in Austin” or “Birmingham student apartments” and see what comes up. If your search is broad enough and common enough, a tool like SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner will then pull in an entire list of related keywords, allowing you to compare and contrast among the results. Remember, you’re after the variations with the best balance of high search volume and low difficulty or competitiveness, without straying beyond what’s relevant to your product.

As you see additional variations, you can repeat the process by using one of these variations as your new query to generate a new list of keywords that are related to that keyword. For example, say you search “apartments in Austin” and “2-bedroom apartments in Austin” comes up in the related keywords. You might then search “2-bedroom apartments in Austin” and see more options like “2-bedroom apartments in East Austin,” “2-bedroom apartments in downtown Austin,” etc. As you explore, be sure to keep track of the metrics of the promising keywords you find so that you can make a list of relevant keywords you want to target, organized by priority. Both Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush have useful “save” or “add to plan” options that can help you collect your list without having to write it all down manually.

See What Competitors Are Doing

Don’t forget that keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush allow you to explore keywords that a specific URL is ranking for! You can use this to check in on your competitors and see what they’re up to. This not only helps you see what you’re up against, but it can also be a useful shortcut to identifying keywords that may be relevant to your product too. Type in some of your competitors’ websites to see where their traffic is coming from and identify areas where you might be able to rank for the same keywords (SEMrush is a great tool for this, but Google Keyword Planner works decently as well).

However, keep in mind that you are not your competitor, so the keywords that drive traffic and conversions for them may not always work for you. For example, if you are a C-Class property and there’s an A-Class property nearby ranking for keywords that include the word “luxury,” that may not apply to your property. Even if you manage to drive traffic by incorporating “luxury”-related keywords, you’re unlikely to see conversions from users who arrive at your site after looking specifically for a luxury apartment. Once they arrive, they’ll realize your property isn’t what they were looking for and usually bounce quickly, which can actually hurt your SEO rankings in the long run.

How To Apply Your Findings

Now that you’ve completed your keyword research, how do you apply your findings to start ranking in Google, launch great search ads, and connect with your audience? There are lots of ways you can apply your new knowledge to your digital real estate marketing strategy! See our post below to keep exploring.

Quick and Dirty SEO Tips for Apartment Marketing in 2021

Pros & Cons of Relying on Property Management Software for Real Estate Marketing

Pros & Cons of Relying on Property Management Software for Real Estate Marketing

Property Management Software like Yardi, RealPage, and Entrata are an essential part of many property managers’ day-to-day operations. For some management teams, they are an indispensable part of customer relationship management, lead flow, digital marketing, and more. With so much functionality centralized on one platform, property management teams may find it tempting to rely solely on their chosen PMS for all their digital marketing needs. But does that mean missing out on your maximum ROI?

Today, we’re covering some of the pros and cons of Property Management SaaS products like Yardi, RealPage, and others in order to assess the gaps in their service offerings. Along the way, we’ll compare the strengths of these SaaS products to the strengths of a relationship-oriented real estate marketing partner offering a People-as-a-Service approach to digital marketing needs. In the end, we’ll recommend a hybrid approach to apartment marketing strategies and explore how PMS and marketing agencies should work together to maximize ROI for the Property Management teams they serve.

Pros and Cons of PMS Websites

Let’s start by reviewing the website offerings of some of the leading PMS. While Property Management Software like Entrata and RentCafe offer streamlined website templates, there are pros and cons to using them. The largest advantage to this strategy is that the website you create integrates with the other products in their suites (including their CRM products) with minimal effort. This helps facilitate lead flow so that your leasing staff can easily follow up on leads and turn them into leases.

leasing staff using real estate marketing tools

However, there are limitations to RentCafe, Entrata, and other PMS’s website templates. For one thing, while these websites tend to focus on lead flow, this doesn’t necessarily translate into exceptional UX. In other words, while it’s easy for leasing staff to act on the leads that come through a PMS website, it’s not necessarily maximizing the number of users who actually convert after arriving to your site. When a user finds their way to your site, their experience there can quickly make or break their likelihood of filling out a contact form, scheduling a tour, or starting an application. They need to be able to get a strong sense of your brand, easily navigate to the information that’s relevant to them, and be guided to the action you want them to take without feeling pressed. A website that puts the User Experience first, rather than lead flow, can generate more leads and conversions. Plus, a savvy web developer can help ensure your website integrates into your PMS suite even if you don’t use a template provided by the PMS itself.

Not only that, but these PMS websites don’t provide easy ways to perform a website refresh as trends change, nor do they facilitate SEO updates to help ensure you’re incorporating the most effective keywords to maximize your qualified traffic. Working with an agency partner on your property website can give you the flexibility to update these elements as needed so you don’t get stuck with an out of date site.

Finally, using a template provided by popular PMS like Entrata and RentCafe means your website ends up looking like many other websites on the market. With limited options to choose from, it can be hard to find a template that reinforces your unique branding and stands out from your competitors. This means your site and your brand can become forgettable and fewer prospects keep you in mind as they move from the awareness phase to the consideration phase of their renter’s journey.

person using a PMS website template for apartment marketing

Pros and Cons of PMS Digital Marketing

Major Property Management Software like Yardi and Entrata offer an array of PPC advertising and SEM services, often supported by Google and Facebook Partnerships. While these PMS cover some of the most popular digital real estate marketing strategies like Google Search Ads, Google display ads, Remarketing ads, and Facebook ads, there are certain services they don’t cover. This typically includes emergent strategies like OTT & CTV ads and Addressable Marketing campaigns.

And that’s just in the digital marketing bucket; there are also many traditional marketing tactics that could supplement these digital strategies, which PMS do not assist with. For brochure design, exterior signage, flyers, leasing office design, and more, you’ll get more help from a full-service real estate marketing agency partner.

Additionally, while their CRM platforms make it easier to automate lead nurturing efforts and renewal campaigns over email, they don’t always assist with the creative process of copywriting and designing beautiful emails that earn opens, clicks, and conversions. A real estate marketing agency is typically better equipped provide email marketing options that coordinate with your unique branding and utilize best practices that result in increased brand awareness, loyalty, and conversion actions.

Pros and Cons of PMS Customer Service

Your mileage may vary when it comes to the PMS customer experience. While some PMS platforms assign account managers (sometimes at a premium) and have experts available to work with you to optimize and implement your real estate marketing strategy, there are others that follow the more bare-bones SaaS model that emphasizes the ability to do it yourself. For example, G5 promotes its “Knowledge Base” as a Customer Care strategy, but isn’t focused on providing individualized customer service that is responsive to your input and unique needs. In general, Software as a Service products focus on making it easy for the average user to get what they need without hands-on attention, which is what allows them to cut down costs and serve more clients at once.

The downside of the SaaS model is that the end user has less flexibility and less assistance when they need it. Software aren’t flexible to feedback from a leasing agent and they don’t automatically adjust to changes in your audience or in your marketing goals. While some Property Management Software companies offer calls to review strategy and discuss optimizations with expert consultants, you’ll typically get more communication and hands-on campaign management from a real estate marketing agency where you have a dedicated account manager and regular reporting calls.

real estate agency customer service rep

The Best Real Estate Marketing Solution

So, taking all these pros and cons into account, should you use a PMS or rely on a real estate marketing agency instead?

Ultimately, the answer is that you don’t necessarily have to choose one or the other. For many, a hybrid approach is the best option. Leading Property Management Software offer excellent CRM, budgeting tools, resident portals, and other solutions. But adding a real estate marketing agency to the mix helps you leverage better website design, more diverse advertising mixes, and more consistent branding while also enjoying the benefits of hands-on customer service, which ultimately enhances results.

For those with the budget to do so, even a modest one, we recommend combining PMS with a marketing agency relationship.

How Data Regulations Will Affect Apartment Marketing in 2021 and Beyond

How Data Regulations Will Affect Apartment Marketing in 2021 and Beyond

People around the world are becoming more aware that their data is being leveraged, and not everyone is comfortable with that. Although data aggregation has been part of the internet experience since the genesis of Web 2.0, it hasn’t always been clear to users what info is being gathered and why. As more users have become aware of the prevalence of data aggregation, some have pushed for increased oversight governing how a person’s data can be used. As we anticipate the possibility of federal legislation to address these concerns as well as the likelihood of further platform changes like the various ad targeting changes implemented by Facebook and Google in 2019-2021, we can expect those changes to impact apartment marketing in 2021 and beyond.

Any website that offers a personalized experience leverages your data in some way, whether that data is your current browsing behavior, demographic information, or credit history. When sites gather your data through cookies or 3rd party data exchanges, the ultimate goal is typically to gain a holistic representation of who you are so that the site can improve the user experience, show you content you’re more likely to engage with, and ultimately profit off your attention in some way (consider, for example, retargeting ads for items you recently viewed on an ecommerce website).

Let’s pause to briefly lay out some definitions: Cookies are small files saved to your computer that record what websites you’ve been on, what you’ve clicked or viewed, and sometimes what passwords you’ve saved. Cookies allow a website to see where else you visited before you arrived at your current digital destination. Third party data exchanges are when one platform obtains your data from another platform in order to combine multiple sets of data to get a fuller picture of who you are and how you behave online. For example, Equifax might sell your data to Google so that Google knows how much money you make in addition to the information they already have about your search history.

How Rising Concerns Around Data Misuse Have Changed the Advertising Landscape

data aggregation for apartment marketing strategies

Although data aggregation is often relatively innocuous, there are ways in which it’s vulnerable to misuse. The Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which Cambridge Analytica purchased the data of millions of Facebook users without the users’ consent and used it to inform political campaigns, was for many the catalyzing event that set off a surge of concerns over data aggregation. “Who has my data, how much do they have, and why?” Many users wondered. “Who is protecting my data from misuse? And who is held responsible when misuse occurs?”

In the wake of this expanding concern, legislators have been pressed to address this situation with clear legislation restricting how data aggregation tactics like cookies and 3rd party data exchanges can be used. The CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) was the first example of a state legislating around data use. If you’re constantly being prompted to accept the use of cookies by sites you visit, that’s because of the CCPA, which has spotlighted cookie tracking in particular. Not only does the CCPA affect specifically Californian websites, it also has the potential to affect any website getting traffic from users in California, so more and more websites have rushed to cover their bases by adding these opt-in prompts.

The CCPA isn’t the only legal follow-up to the rise in data privacy concerns. Facebook also came under fire in 2019 because it allowed advertisers to use Facebook’s data aggregation to target ads in ways that violated the Fair Housing Act, leading the platform to establish restrictions on ad targeting capabilities specifically for housing, loan, and finance ads. Google soon followed suit, introducing new housing, loan, and finance categories in Google Ads and restricting the targeting capabilities of those ads.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was also implemented by the EU in May 2018 with the aim of giving individuals more control over their personal data. It applies to any enterprise that is processing the data of a person inside the EU.

Apple was the next major platform to launch changes to its data use policy, implementing new requirements for apps in the App Store on devices running iOS 14. Apps that engage in data tracking through tools like the Facebook pixel or cookies must now prompt users to opt in to this data tracking. Only after a user has opted in may that app collect their data.

Additionally, Google announced in March 2021 that it would be phasing out 3rd party data tracking entirely for users browsing the internet on Chrome. Their new strategy is called FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), which adds users to various audience “cohorts” based on their browsing behaviors. Advertisers can then target their ads to cohorts, but cannot further refine their targeting on a user-by-user basis. We expect Google’s strategy to direct the rest of the industry, as many platforms will be taking their cues from this media giant. We can likely expect additional platforms to implement similar changes.

How Data Regulation Will Affect Apartment Marketing

the current landscape of data regulation and apartment marketing

Since the housing industry has already been the focus of certain early data use regulations, prompting the changes made by Facebook and Google in 2019 and 2020, apartment marketers are ahead of the curve somewhat when it comes to data regulation changes. However, more changes are likely coming, and it’s not entirely clear what they might be. Right now, it’s a waiting game to see how data regulations will be legislated and what further changes individual platforms like Facebook and Google may implement either in response to or independently of new regulations. It’s worth noting, however, that congressional committees have held hearings on data privacy, so a federal regulation of some kind is likely, we just don’t know what the specifics will be.

We also don’t yet know how 3rd party data or cookie tracking limitations will be reflected in advertising platforms if regulations are created to restrict them. It’s unknown whether these platforms will update their internal algorithms for ad targeting to reflect or counteract the new data restrictions, and if so, how they would do it. While Google and Facebook have already updated their policies around 3rd party data tracking, a federal regulation could require further updates from these platforms.

Still, there are preparations that can be made in anticipation of these potential outcomes. Many vendors are now planning ahead for the potential that cookie use will become restricted. Since cookies track your browsing behaviors across multiple websites, eliminating this element means the focus has to be on 1st party behavioral cues—what you’re doing right now on their website, including in-site searches. Vendors are also looking to rely more on 1st party data and less on 3rd party data.

Cookie removal would affect the platforms where many real estate marketing agencies conduct their advertising. Long-tail tracking will be more challenging, as will multi-session lead attribution. Single-session lead attribution, however, could still be tracked effectively.

lead tracking for apartments

Retargeting campaigns relying on 3rd party data tracking (e.g. targeting users who visited a property website) may become a thing of the past, depending on how data use is regulated in the future. Paid Search campaigns, however, will likely be unaffected, since they rely on current, 1st-party user search behavior, not on behaviors that have been tracked using a cookie.

Real estate marketers using advanced chatbots that use cookies to predict user needs (like what floor plans someone might be interested in, for example) should be aware that upcoming regulations may necessitate a downgrade to a less sophisticated chatbot. More immediately, you should ensure that your website prompts a user to accept the use of cookies, if you haven’t done so already. Otherwise you risk being sued by the state of California.

Rest assured that once we know more, we’ll cover it on ThreshNews. Check back for the latest in data regulation and how it’s impacting apartment marketing in 2021 and beyond.

5 Ways To Cultivate Strong Agency/Client Relationships

5 Ways To Cultivate Strong Agency/Client Relationships

Updated June 22, 2021

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, after asset management companies rushed to implement quick digital marketing solutions, Property Management Software have become more ubiquitous than ever, but so has the demand for strong agency/client marketing partnerships. With this surge in demand for digital real estate marketing, knowing the recipe for a great agency partnership is more important than ever. As real estate marketing agencies work to prove their worth, knowing these strategies for excellent partnerships is essential. Likewise, as asset management teams seek out ways to stand out from the crowd of competitors using the same PMS marketing tools they are, an agency partnership that honors their unique needs and goals can be particularly rewarding. For a timely comparison between Property Management Software marketing solutions and the advantages of a strong marketing agency partnership, check out the Pros and Cons of Relying on Property Management Software for Real Estate Marketing.

If you’ve read our blog post on How a Strong Agency/Client Relationship Can Make or Break Your Real Estate Marketing Plan, then you know just how important a healthy agency/client relationship is. Not only is a bad relationship unpleasant to deal with, it also impacts your bottom line (for both clients and agencies). But it’s easier to identify a bad relationship once it exists than to build a good relationship from the word go. What strategies can clients and agencies use to develop relationships that work for them?

Whether you’re a client looking for cost-effective marketing results or an agency looking to wow clients and encourage loyalty, today’s blog post will help you craft relationships that are mutually beneficial. So let’s get into it, shall we?

Emphasize Mutual Success

Your relationship isn’t just about contracting services and exchanging deliverables; it’s about partnership. As you make plans, launch campaigns, and review performance together, bear in mind that each party is made stronger by the other, and each party’s success is intertwined with the other’s. When you emphasize mutual success, you foster an attitude of working together (rather than simply performing transactions) that not only creates a better experience for everyone, but also creates better marketing results.

Acknowledge Uniqueness

a-frame sign emphasizing uniqueness

Each client and each agency is unique—they are made up of unique individuals, have unique needs and areas of expertise, and experience unique challenges. A partnership works best when each party understands the other fully, and neither has a one-size-fits-all attitude toward working together. Cookie cutter strategies not only underperform due to their imperfect fit, they also communicate a lack of investment in the partner you’re working with.

Set Clear Expectations

When you don’t set clear expectations, needs go unmet and frustrations are inevitable. In order for work to get done together smoothly, everyone needs to know what is and is not expected of them, and when. Be honest and upfront about the limitations of what you can provide, and ask for clarification on what others need from you. Don’t wait until things are going wrong to have these conversations.

With clear expectations set, your projects will suffer from less scope creep, fewer disappointments, and a consistent plan that helps work get done on time and on budget.

Respect (And Take Advantage Of) Expertise

Neither the client nor the agency knows everything they need to know to create excellent marketing results—and that’s okay. In fact, it’s crucial to recognize where skills and access to information differ so that everyone can come together to inform your big-picture real estate marketing plan. That said, it’s not enough to ask for the input you think you need, you have to also put some trust in the expertise of the other party. Neither the client nor the agency should be—or even can be—dictating every single detail of the work you create together. Take advantage of your partner’s expertise and trust them to inform the areas where that expertise is relevant.

Establish Regular Communication

office video call between agency and client team

You’ve heard before that good communication is crucial to a healthy relationship, and that’s true for agency/client relationships as well. Calls and emails should happen on a regular cadence, not just when questions or issues arise (though they should happen then too). This ensures that all teams stay on the same page, issues are caught early, and a healthy rapport is maintained. All this translates to the marketing results you achieve together by encouraging steady progress through all your projects together, with fewer missteps along the way.

With these tips under your belt, you should be able to cultivate strong agency/client relationships that create mutual success as well as mutual happiness. If you’d like to learn more about agency/client relationships, or you’d like to start building a relationship with our team at Threshold, contact a Threshold team member today! We’d love to chat with you.

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