Clients and consumers who live by a green philosophy search for real estate professionals who are prepared, knowledgeable and walk the talk in their green practices. Going GREEN must become a lifestyle, a standard of practice, a way of means for a real estate professional to engage socially responsible behaviors in their marketing which limit their impact on the environment. Agents who adapt and implement green practices as habit build trust, loyalty, and more referrals within the green community than those who have only a factual knowledge base.
In marketing alone, nonrenewable resources such as ink, paper, cardstock, production time, and extra energy to replicate can be eliminated by incorporating free technologies to serve your clientele. Here are 7 ways to GREEN your real estate marketing:
- Begin blogging. Inventory levels change regularly, new legislation passes frequently and local economy factors evolve on a regular basis. Instead of printing out letters, affixing postage, and mailing out press releases start a blog. Think of your blog as your online real estate newspaper that rotate articles as often as you write to it. Blogs, contain pictures, audio, video, multimedia and are stores forever whereas the half life of a mailing is 10 seconds at best. Each entry is its own website. Conserve energy retyping long answers to questions that you have already posted to your blog. Copy and paste the hyperlink of the blog entry into an email piece. This will save time, the most important nonrenewable resource.
- Email newsletters. Printed post cards consume non renewable energy by designing, printing cutting, affixing postage, sorting, labeling and mailing out each batch. Instead of gathering mail addresses, collect email addresses. Use blog articles, new listings, and client services in an email marketing piece. My favorite email marketing software is www.iContact.com which tracks conversion from most opened, most clicked link, click by dates, and by recipients. No need to print out reports when lists can be exported, imported, and results optimized to increase email conversion rates.
- PDF presentation packets. Take every piece of your listing presentation or buyer presentation and convert it to a PDF document. Use free software from http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ to create PDF documents for free. The software is installed as a printer on your computer and can print PDF documents from any program. The Adobe version is $299 but has more editing and publishing options and can merge multiple PDFs into one. Create an online profile at www.Box.net to store all of your PDF documents online. Box.net will give you a hyperlink for each PDF document and a widget to insert onto your website to store all of your documents within small section of the screen.
- Shared PowerPoint presentations. Sales presentations to position yourself or company as expert can easily be shared online using www.SlideShare.net. This website will host your PowerPoint presentations online and share via email, Facebook, Twitter, or embed into a website or blog. This will save printing costs on the document and travel time meeting the client face to face in order to deliver your value proposition. Also, voice over PowerPoint (Slidecast) presentations are available for maximum effect.
- Video tours. Save time, gas money and printing costs by giving video tours. Invest in the new Flip Video Mino (www.FlipVideo.com) to record video tours of listing inventory, neighborhoods, or your office. Now potential prospects can not only see what you have to offer but they can listen to your expertise while you explain the features and benefits of a property, the history of neighborhood or why your company is the best to work with in town. Upload them to YouTube for free and then share them by email, or embed into website or blog. This way they can get to know you better rather than just looking at a static photo or reading a resume online.
- Virtual flyers. www.vFlyer.com and www.Postlets.com are great websites to create virtual flyers for pennies on the dollar. These are far more effective than paper copies since multiple pictures are displayed, unlimited descriptions highlight key features, and they can be distributed to multiple listing sites using RSS (real simple syndication) with one click of the button. Three dimensional flyers are much more visual and environmentally friendly than a piece of paper. Companies like www.Obeo.com allow customers to view room sizes, material changes, and what upgrades would look like before even stepping foot into the home.
- Virtual home buyer seminars. Live seminars take extensive planning, insist printing of multiple documents, and physical location where everyone must drive to attend. Room rentals and logistics alone will suck the life out of presentation. Instead, host the entire event online using a free service at www.StickAm.com. Hook up a webcam (www.Logitech.com) to your laptop and stream your entire presentation live where they can see, hear, and watch you present how to get financing, steps to buying a home, and how to get your keys on the day of closing. Send out an email announcement of the date, time, and website URL of your streaming session and prospective home buyers can ask you questions by instant messaging.