Page 8 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- September 2018
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PAGE 8 UPPER PENINSULA BUSINESS TODAY SEPTEMBER 2018
Market Your Business In The Most Cost Efficient Ways
You’ve taken the plunge and decided to become a real estate agent. You’ve already taken all the courses; gotten the correct licensing and you’re ready to advance your business. Whether you work for a company or are a free agent, the most important part of your job is marketing yourself and your listings.
“Once you’ve become a real estate agent, it’s important to have the mindset that you are now your own business, said Melanie Duquesnel, BBB President and CEO. “The best thing you can do for your business is get in front of the most people in the most effective ways. That’s why it’s important to try a plethora of marketing avenues.”
Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula offer these tips to help you market your business in the most cost efficient ways.
Make a Budget – Marketing yourself and your business is ultimately an investment in you. Knowing how much, when to spend and the intended impact of your marketing requires strategic thinking and a lot of planning. If you don’t do this homework first, you may find that
you’ve spent too little or too much and not got- ten the results you’re striving for. It is all about making your business standout from the crowd.
Business Websites - There are an array of real estate marketing tools available through web- sites such as Zillow, Trulia, even realestate.com, to name a few. Create accounts on all major real estate, social media and networking platforms. The more visible your listings are the better trac- tion you will receive.
Social Media - As a realtor, your clients are everyday people. Where are everyday people? They’re on social media. There are 214 million Facebook viewers in the United States alone. With the share option on Facebook, you can encourage interaction with your followers. By interacting with your followers and getting them to share your post, your listing will likely reach audiences you have never touched before. On Instagram and Twitter, you can share photos of the properties you are listing. Get people interested in your listing with beautiful tagged photos of the interior, landscaping, views, etc. You can tailor your narrative to fit the commu- nity you are selling to. You can also use hashtags
to reach people who may not be following your account. You can also do social media advertis- ing. You can choose what demographic, geolo- cation and cost you want to spend all when you go to upload your advertisement. You can also “boost” posts you’ve already posted to help reach more people.
Targeted Emails - Email marketing is a direct link to your customers. Whether it is a newslet- ter or promoting a specific listing, utilizing email is a great platform to do it. You can easily keep in touch with former clients, promote testimo- nials and share home owning tips. The point is to keep yourself relevant to the buyer as you never know when you may be needed again in the future.
Blogs - Exhibit your knowledge and expertise of the real estate business in a professional blog. This is how you show your clients and potential clients that you are experienced and they can trust your judgement. Choose topics that not only relate to real estate but to homeowners. Make sure to share the blog to your social media pages and encourage others to do the same.
Referrals and Review - In any market, referrals
and reviews go a long way. Encourage your clients to review your work and refer you to oth- ers, but do so in a tactful manner. Sometimes the best marketing is word of mouth. Highlight specific details you pride yourself on that you or your company does exceptionally well. Don’t forget to thank your clients for their referrals. Gratitude lingers for a long time and might gen- erate another referral.
Better Business Bureau offers an online review service that clients can use to review your busi- ness. Also, BBB Accredited Businesses have the option of using a Customer Review Button, which sends customers directly to the review link once a transaction has been made.
Targeted promotion of you and your business can bring great reward if leveraged just right. If you decide that you would like to utilize outside marketing assistance, BBB has great Accredited Businesses that can help you drive traffic to your door.
To learn more about Better Business Bureau’s review process or to learn more about BBB Accreditation, visit bbb.org/Detroit or call 248.223.9400.
By Marc Mogan
It can be personally and financially rewarding to earn extra cash doing something you enjoy. If you are one of the many Americans supple- menting your paycheck by running a small busi- ness, here are some tips to help you profitably manage your side gig:
Make your business official: Consider running your side job like a real business, even if you have no intention of turning it into something big. Open a separate checking account. Get an Employer Identification Number, or EIN, a fed- eral identifier, for tax purposes. Apply for a state tax ID, if your state requires one. And, consider working with a tax professional who specializes in helping small business owners.
Track your earnings and expenses: Store your receipts and use a spreadsheet or app to keep tabs on how much you earn and spend. If expenses
are high and income is low, you may want to scale back your efforts or look for ways to reduce costs. As your earnings grow, eligible expenses can help offset a potential tax bill.
Find your sweet spot: Look for ways to effi- ciently increase revenues. Set prices to ensure your costs are covered and focus on your most profitable products or services. Target your best customers and build a repeat business. Market your side business through social media to grow a following.
Be realistic: As your business grows, you may be tempted to quit your day job. Before you turn your efforts into a full-blown career, ask your- self:
— Is it scalable? It will likely take additional resources to turn your hobby into a full-time moneymaker. Will you need to invest more of your money in the business? If so, how much?
Also, evaluate your ability to obtain more sup- plies and whether you’ll need to hire an employ- ee or two.
— Is it sustainable? Consider the size of your market and demand for your product or service. Who is your competition, and where do you fit into the mix? Will your offering still be relevant in five years? Ten? Trust the numbers over your instincts.
— Can you afford to give up the benefits that come with your regular job? Going solo often means purchasing health and disability insur- ance on the open market. You’ll also be respon- sible for establishing your own retirement sav- ings, federal tax withholding (called FICA) and estimated quarterly taxes.
–Are you ready to become an entrepreneur? Think carefully about whether you’ll earn enough income to support yourself. Going out on your own is exciting, yet it can also mean a change in lifestyle. You will need to be ready to put in the time and effort to grow the business, while being mindful of how the career change could affect your personal finances.
Get professional help: Tap someone with financial acumen to help you assess your busi- ness. And consider consulting a financial advisor to discuss the financial implications of running and potentially expanding your business ven- ture.
Better Business Bureau
How To Make The Most Of A Side Business
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