With the exponential growth of data available on the internet — there are 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created every day — it’s easier than ever to find new information and learn something new online. After all, there were 5.2 billion Google searches in 2017.
But if you ask successful business people the one thing they do to stay on top, most will tell you that reading books is the key. Successful business people read to learn more about the world, their industry, and their audience. Regular reading has been shown to improve mental health, lower stress, improve memory, and more.
As a real estate agent, it’s just as important for you to keep learning — especially as the market shifts and customers’ needs evolve.
To get you started, we’ve found three real estate marketing books that cover a wide range of topics to help you grow your business. Let’s dig in.
1. The HyperLocal HyperFast Real Estate Agent by Daniel James Lesniak
Buying homes and commercial real estate are large, planned purchases. 95% of customers look online to research their options and surrounding areas to gauge whether a property is a good fit. As a result, leads have to be nurtured because it can take up to 10 weeks for them to decide to buy. Learning how to sell more properties is a big part of what you do as an agent.
In his book, Daniel Lesniak explains how he, in his first year as an agent, sold 36 homes worth over $22 million. This book is both inspirational and tactical because it helps new and seasoned agents find their stride and sell more properties.
Lesniak explains how he tailored the STP Framework, a popular marketing strategy, for real estate and how other real estate agents can do the same.
In real estate, one of your goals is to sell as many properties as possible. Your ability to do this is based on finding your ideal customers and marketing to them — otherwise you’re marketing to everyone without a plan and selling very few homes. The STP Framework is important for real estate because it explains in-depth how to find and attract your ideal customers. With this book, you’re sure to become a top-performing agent.
Specifically, the STP Framework helps you do three things:
- Segment your market. This is where you zero in on the types of properties you want to sell, which areas you want to specialize in, and what services you want to offer. The benefit of segmentation is it helps you deliver personalized and targeted messages to your audience.
- Target audiences within each segment. Once you know who you want to service, you can tailor your marketing to speak to these groups. The goal here is to find the segments with the best opportunities and focus on them.
- Position your message and product offering. This helps you refine your messaging, so it caters to audience needs and also influences where you advertise your message. For example, more house hunters are turning to social media and using hashtags to find their dream home. If you’re targeting first-time millennial buyers, positioning will help you determine which social media platforms to use and how to communicate with your audience.
This is a great book to help to define your goals and create a process to meet them.
2. Real Estate Marketing Playbook by Brandon Doyle
Brandon Doyle is an experienced real estate agent specializing in the Maple Grove, MN, area. Not afraid to embrace new technology to grow his business, he was one of the first real estate agents to use digital marketing to attract new leads. In fact, over 90% of real estate agents use technology in their marketing today, but the challenge is keeping up with the constant changes.
Here’s Doyle talking about the importance of technology in real estate:
He continues to push the limits of technology; for example, he and his team hosted the first-ever VR open house for brokers.
His book Real Estate Marketing Playbook is more than just marketing advice and general insights. It’s made up of concepts — like how to identify and use your Sphere of Influence and how to build referrals for your network — that offer actionable tips that you can implement immediately. Plus, contributors like Joseph Magsaysay from Keller Williams and Linda Stoeckicht, COO at Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS with several years of experience in real estate, share snapshots of what they’ve learned over the years.
Doyle recognizes that strategies that work for some real estate agents might not work for others. That’s why the book breaks down different aspects of marketing — like email, lead generation, and social media management — to introduce you to more comprehensive tactics and best practices. This approach allows you to read the book in any order and pick and choose which tactics you think will resonate most with your audience. For example, read about referral marketing one day and then skip to advertising tactics the next.
The book’s a short read, but it’s a practical guide that covers every aspect of real estate to help you get noticed and succeed in your niche.
Link to purchase: Real Estate Marketing Playbook
3. Instagram Marketing for Realtors: Vol. 4 of Real Estate Marketing in the 21st Century by Michael Smythe
Instagram is a growing platform where more people spend time engaging with content. It offers a tremendous opportunity for you to increase your exposure to your target audience and grow your business. There are 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, but only 14% of real estate agents use Instagram to promote homes for sale.
Instagram Marketing for Realtors explores how to use Instagram to create content, stand out from the competition, and get more followers quickly. It takes you from the very beginning with how to download the app, set up an account, and write a captivating profile bio to more advanced topics like how to use Instagram Stories, create ads, and run contests. This is the only book you’ll need in order to learn everything there is to know about using Instagram — especially in relation to real estate.
Author Michael Smythe walks you through how to use simple engagement, for example, likes and shares, and turn them into revenue. You’ll learn how to create a marketing funnel that transforms your followers from casual observers to interested leads — all while also learning how to save time.
You’ll also get the answers to the Instagram questions you’ve always wanted to ask — like why you can’t use it on desktop — and learn how to create a constant stream of engaging content for your page.
This book is an extremely helpful resource since people spend over two hours a day on social media.
To help you successfully navigate your social media experience, Smythe also offers three more books on the topic:
- Twitter Marketing for Realtors: Real Estate Marketing in the 21st Century Vol.1
- Facebook Marketing for Realtors: Real Estate Marketing in the 21st Century Vol.2
- Video Marketing for Realtors: Real Estate Marketing in the 21st Century Vol.3
Read the series to get a comprehensive look into how each of these popular platforms works and how you as an agent can use them to improve your business.
Real estate marketing bonus books:
We’ve looked at three of the best real estate marketing books available, but there are some marketing-specific books worth reading regardless of what industry you’re in. Here are two marketing books that we think will help you create a business that stands out.
4. Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
This book is a must-read for anyone in business. In fact, it’s must-read material in most business schools. So far, it’s sold over 3.6 million copies worldwide and was recently expanded to include new case studies and chapters on how to periodically renew blue oceans and how to identify and avoid red ocean traps.
In the Blue Ocean Strategy, you’ll learn how to define market boundaries, how to focus on big-picture tactics, how to go beyond the current demand, and much more to create a market where you come out on top every time.
Authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne also explain how to differentiate yourself from your competition so that you offer value no one else does. Your services are so unique and in-tune with customers’ needs that you have few competitors.
In addition to the book, the authors also offer a free worksheet — How to Create a Strategy Canvas — that helps identify what you have in common with your current competitors and where you can find opportunities to stand out.
For example, most real estate agents host regular open houses. You can stand out by going one step further and sharing walk-throughs live on Facebook or Instagram. Another option is to add a blog to your website. 90% of real estate agents have a website, but only 11% of agents have a blog attached to their site.
This book will help you find opportunities like these and figure out ways to capitalize on them to benefit your business and offer your audience a unique experience.
5. The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Generating Leads Online by Rich Brooks
In this book, author Rich Brooks explores digital marketing using the BARE Essentials of digital marketing. The BARE Essentials framework is divided into four parts:
- Build. The first step is to build a website that will consistently turn leads into customers.
- Attract. The next step focuses on the tactics to use to draw these leads to your website.
- Retain. The third step is to find ways to engage with leads so that when they’re ready to buy, they choose you.
- Evaluate. The last step is to analyze your efforts to see what worked and what didn’t and make changes to your approach.
In The Lead Machine, Brooks dives deeper into how to use the BARE Essentials to generate more leads, build a website that converts, implement tactics that help you stand out from the competition, and much more.
Whatever questions you have about digital marketing, this book has the answers — from how to rank on the first page of Google to how to use email marketing to grow your business.
For more insight into how the BARE Essentials work, here is Brooks explaining it in more depth:
6. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek
Since this book was published in 2009, it’s inspired countless leaders to reflect and change how they get their teams to think more creatively and talk to customers. In fact, Sinek’s TED Talk on How Leaders Inspire Action is the third most popular Ted Talk ever. Plus the video has been viewed over 42 million times on Ted.com and transcribed into 48 languages.
If you want your real estate business to stand out from the others, attract more leads, and influence the people around you, this book is for you.
In his book, Sinek looks at leaders like Steve Jobs and Martin Luther King, Jr. and highlights what made them all so influential. The difference is they started with why.
This book focuses on what Sinek calls “The Golden Circle.” It’s a guide to help leaders get to the root of why they’re in business. As Sinek explains in his TED Talk, why you’re in business is less about making a profit and more about uncovering your purpose. Here’s how The Golden Circle works:
As a real estate agent, it’s easy to explain what you do. You help customers buy or sell a home. Your how might be your ability to share market research information few other agents offer. Your why will be different from another agent’s, but this relates to the cause or belief that motivates you to do what you do.
The idea is that most leaders think from the outside of the circle inwards. Meaning, companies know what they do and how they do it. This approach works for some, but it’s missing something. As Sinek points out “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.”
Sinek makes the case that leaders should start from the inside of the circle with why, and then explain how you intend to follow-through and what you do. With this approach, your customers are more likely to choose you over the competition because they can understand and relate to your purpose.
What’s great about this book is that it isn’t just about marketing to your audience. It’s actually a starting point to guide your messaging and marketing approach. So instead of jumping into your next Facebook ad campaign, read Start With Why and think about why you sell homes and why people should care about what you offer. Incorporate your answers into your messaging for a more powerful, compelling, and relevant marketing campaign.
Link to purchase: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Making time for real estate marketing books
Together, these real estate marketing books will give you a well-rounded perspective on how to market your business. As we head into the new year and 2019 planning gets underway, set aside time to read these books and find the tactics that align with your goals. This way, you head into the new year with a clear plan of what to work towards.