Updated: May 18, 2020
With a whopping 73% of buyers using cell phones or tablets to search for homes, it’s safe to say that the old paper circulars have become a relic of the past.
Today’s real estate brokerages are using digital media to stay current and relevant. And it’s not just about social media, blogging, and giant home search sites. Savvy brokers are using digital catalogs to recreate the fun of flipping through those old local circulars!
Digital catalogs have become an integral part of many brokers’ marketing plans, generating client leads and giving the brokers’ agents a competitive advantage.
Not sure if digital catalogs are right for your brokerage? Let’s take a look at the benefits of digital catalogs. Then you can decide for yourself if they’re worth the investment.
Here are seven reasons real estate brokers need digital catalogs.
1. To Generate Referrals
In a recent buyers and seller’s profile, the NAR reported that 90% of buyers were so happy with their agent that they would use their agent again or recommend them to others. But the NAR also reported that only 17% of the typical Realtor’s® business comes from referrals.
Frankly, your agents’ clients will simply forget to recommend you. They’re busy, going about their day-to-day lives, and if your agent’s name doesn’t come up regularly, your clients won’t remember to mention them to friends and family (despite their best intentions!). Digital catalogs are a brilliant way to make sure your agents remain top of mind with their former clients. When the clients receive your custom digital catalog each month, they’ll suddenly remember that their friend was just talking about buying their first home, and they’ll forward contact information to that friend.
Referrals are all about staying top of mind, and digital catalogs are a perfect tool for that!
2. To Earn Repeat Business
Similar to referrals, repeat business is critical to the long-term success of real estate brokers. Your agents have already proven themselves to their former buyers and sellers. Those clients already know, trust, and like your firm. So it’s naturally easier to earn a listing from a past client than to convince a new prospect to list with your firm.
However, the NAR found that only 13% of the typical Realtor’s® business comes from repeat clients. You’ve probably guessed the reason why. That’s right; agents simply failed to stay in touch, so their past clients found someone new. Sadly, real estate agents lose an estimated 20% of their clients every year due to this type of attrition.
Again, digital catalogs are automatically delivered to your past clients every month, reminding them regularly of the exceptional service they received from your agents. And making them much more likely, not just to recommend your agents, but to use them again when they’re ready for their next deal.
3. To Provide Ongoing Value to Your Clients
We’ve discussed the referral and repeat business benefits of digital catalogs, but what about the simple benefit of providing ongoing value to your clients?
In the highly competitive world of real estate, buyers and sellers sometimes feel like their agents just see them as a paycheck. They may not think their agents care what happens after the sale closes. But with digital catalogs, your clients receive free, but valuable, information every month. These catalogs include useful market updates through the featured listings, but they also include helpful articles of local interest.
Your clients will appreciate the free, no-obligation monthly subscription to your digital catalog. It shows that your brokerage cares about providing ongoing value, not just closing the deal and moving on.
4. To Alleviate Website Fatigue
For most buyers, house hunting starts as a fun and exciting process. But then it quickly devolves into work as buyers spend countless hours scrolling website after website. Before long, they all look the same.
Having a digital catalog on your website cuts through the noise, alleviating website fatigue, and bringing a bit of fun back into the house-hunting process.
Your buyers will enjoy the break of leisurely flipping through a digital catalog for a few minutes. They’ll appreciate the polished images and the articles of local interest. And they’ll remember your website long after they’ve forgotten a dozen others.
5. To Gain a Competitive Advantage in the Listing Presentation
What competitive advantage does your brokerage currently have when it comes to listing presentations? Educated sellers know that any agent can list their home on the MLS, hold an open house, and handle the paperwork. Most agents also offer to promote the listing on social media.
But how many other agents are promoting the listing in a professional digital catalog?
Sellers are impressed by the polished look of digital real estate catalogs. They naturally want to see their home presented in this type of professional publication.
Your digital catalogs can also create a sense of urgency around the listing. Let your sellers know that you still have time to get their home in the next issue of your digital catalog as long as they list by a certain date.
6. To Get Immediate Market Data Insights
Do you want to get in the heads of your target market? Digital catalogs provide immediate market data insights. With the built-in analytics, you’ll be able to see how many people opened your catalog each month, which links in your catalog were the most popular, and whether subscribers took action to contact your firm after viewing each issue.
You can use these insights to improve your marketing efficiency. For example, you’ll be able to see which listings are in greatest demand among your subscribers so you can seek out similar listings. Or you can test call-to-action lines to maximize lead conversions.
7. To Boost Credibility with Prospects
Let’s be real: it’s hard to set yourself apart in real estate. Especially when it comes to new prospects who don’t yet know or trust you. But your digital catalogs can give you instant credibility with these prospects!
When following up on a new lead, offer to send them your digital catalog. The production quality of the catalog boosts the perceived impression of your new prospect. It demonstrates that your brokerage is established, well-managed, and highly successful.
What better way to stand out in a crowded marketplace?
But What About the Cost?
You can see that digital catalogs come with substantial advantages in the real estate industry. But you need to confirm that digital catalogs are worth the investment. And that’s where things get really interesting...
With just a little strategy, you can offset the entire cost of your digital catalog campaign!
See, digital catalogs (just like print catalogs) contain a few ads. All you need to do is sell this ad space to local businesses. Your preferred mortgage brokers, title companies, and home insurance firms would be very interested to know that you have an audience of subscribers open to their services. With just a handful of advertising partners, you can have your entiwwwre digital catalog investment covered each month!
The benefits of more leads, higher listing presentation conversions, and immediate market data insights are well worth the investment in digital catalogs. But when you can offset the cost of this investment through advertising partnerships, it’s a no-brainer!