It’s been a while since we’ve posted (you know the old saying, the carpenter’s house is the last to be fixed!) – but we’ve been absolutely swamped with client work over the past 6 months, launched over a dozen new agent websites, and are proud to offer our templated solution for agents looking for a website on a budget. While we typically try to stay away from articles outlining things agents should stop doing simply because it’s always easier to tear things down than provide actionable constructive ideas, we feel we’re in a unique position having worked with agents and brokerages across the country in both large and small markets. With that said, here is our list of things we recommend agents stop doing IMMEDIATELY in 2019.
STOP PUTTING YOUR HEADSHOT ON EVERYTHING
This might sound strange coming from an agency that offers professional headshots in Chicago, but here’s the truth: your headshot DOES NOT belong on everything. While including your headshots on marketing collateral such as ads, postcards, and brochures comes down to personal preference – there is absolutely NO REASON to put your headshot on your business card in 2019. Perhaps it made sense in the days before social media where your business card might have served as your main source of advertising, but today it simply comes across as tacky and cluttered. Now don’t get us wrong: your headshot is pivotal in the establishment of your brand. A great headshot WILL produce leads if you market yourself the right way (just as much as a BAD HEADSHOT will lose you leads), but think of it this way: is there any other industry that puts their headshot on everything the way real estate agents have been conditioned to? The only thing that comes to mind is personal injury / bankruptcy attorneys.
STOP SKIMPING ON PROFESSIONAL LISTING PHOTOS
It literally boggles our mind that clients chose to work with agents who have a clear history of NOT getting professional photos of their listings. Agents who chose not to get professional photos done for their listings are not only hurting their clients (better photos leads to more eyeballs which leads to more buyers), they’re hurting themselves. Professional photos – and better yet, before/after photos – of listings are VERY POWERFUL assets to use in your marketing efforts and help establish WHY clients should list with you. By ignoring this crucial marketing piece, agents are telling the world that they’re only committed to doing the bare minimum. Not a good look.
STOP USING BLACK AND WHITE AS YOUR COLOR SCHEME
Ok we get it. Black and white is cool. Elegant. Slick. Safe. But here’s the thing: it’s being overused. Every Tom, Dick, and Harry is trying to brand themselves as the next Chanel or Prada of real estate. But unless you have a bigger advertising budget – or exclusively AND successfully target higher end clients – it’s exceedingly easy to get lost in the crowd. This is a very controversial opinion – and admittedly many of our clients use this color scheme (many of whom are leaders in the market they represent) – but we feel the need to tell agents (especially ones just coming into the market): it’s okay to have a unique color scheme. Imagine the nice, elegant marketing materials you could produce with something more vibrant:
So maybe we should rephrase: we’re not encouraging agents to STOP using black and white, but rather STOP being afraid of choosing unique color palettes as a base for your branding and marketing materials. As they say, fortune favors the bold.