Marketing Strategy April 7, 2020 5 min read

The Importance of Marketing in a Downturned Real Estate Market

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We all know and respect that downturns in the market are temporary. Especially given the context, at some point the market will be back in full swing and momentum will grow quickly. We just don’t know when that will happen, but we do know it will happen.

And, when that time comes, the marketing efforts you put in place today are going to be key in how your business rebounds.

Even during an economic downturn, you still need to continue to market your business; in fact, I’d say you need to double-down on your efforts.

If not, then when you come out on the other end, and the market ramps up, you’ll be scrambling to get your marketing plan together. You’ll be doing this while other agents who pushed on with their marketing plans will be on top collecting those much-needed contacts, leads, and business.

It’s key that you don’t stop your marketing efforts during a downturn, but rather, double-down on them.

Things are changing, and no one knows what will be on the other side, but the fact remains that real estate will bounce back. People will be buying and selling properties again, whether because they have to or because life has gone back to normal.

The State Of Your Database

Your marketing plan is key to make sure that when that happens, and it will, potential leads continue to think about you, your brand, and your business.

Right now, there’s something that’s really easy to get that just a few weeks ago you were probably really fighting to get: your target audience’s attention.

If you send an email to your database right now, you’ll likely have higher open and clickthrough rates; if you run an ad campaign on Facebook, you’ll get more interaction; if you post a story on Instagram, more people will watch it.

That’s essentially based on a collection of factors, including:

  • More time at home
  • Overall increased “screen time”
  • Accelerated news consumption

The point is, right now is a great time to market yourself because you’ll be able to get your marketing in front of more people with less effort, and really, that’s a dream for marketers.

So, What Do You Do?

The first step is to ensure that you have a marketing plan in place. If not, and you have some downtime right now, then it’s the perfect time to sit down and put one together.

If you don’t have a marketing plan, and you want to know how to get started building one, check out this blog post right here. Even if you did have a marketing plan in place, given the change in the market, it’s a good time to revisit it and ensure your goals are still in line with current realities.

The second step is to ensure your CRM is up to date. I wrote a blog post last month, which you can check out right here, that outlines why I think a database is one of the most important tools an agent has right now.

Ideally, you should have a modern, organized CRM with all of the contacts you’ve interacted with as part of your business.

From there, you have everything you need to get started. As mentioned, right now there is a ton of opportunity to connect with your audience because they’re more likely to listen.

Remember, when this is all over, and the market returns to normal, a lot of people are going to have some real estate decisions to make. When they do, you want them to think of you first.

Concentrating Your Marketing During A Downturn

Based on your marketing plan, you need to decide where you’ll concentrate your marketing efforts.

For some agents, it makes sense to focus on building their content strategy. For others, it may make sense to double-down on social media.

Even just picking up the phone and calling the contacts in your database can be considered marketing.

The essential element here is that you need to understand the people you’re interacting with, and how they behave when they are:

  • Doing research
  • Asking questions
  • Sharing information.

That’s because marketing is a one-way street and it doesn’t really abide by any rules — if you concentrate your efforts on social media, without understanding how a user on social interacts versus a user on your site or a user who reads a blog, the concentration of your efforts starts to lose sense.

Instead, you need to understand both your channels of acquisition and how they tie back to your marketing efforts. You need to understand which users bring you the most return-on-investment by digging into the data and qualitatively assessing them.

In a downturned market, it is hard for your marketing to turn into immediate, tangible business. Rather, you need to know focus on how certain trends of behavior can correlate to business down the road. It’s a bit more conceptual, but it is just as valuable. Full stop.

Outsourcing Your Marketing Efforts

By that same token, you should look at what you need to outsource and what you can take on yourself or within your team.

For example, in a stronger market, perhaps you were outsourcing all of your marketing efforts. Now, you’re concerned you won’t be able to do that in the immediate future; if that’s the case, then it makes sense to look at what you can take on yourself, and still keep your marketing professional and in line with your goals.

Obviously won’t be able to do everything (or at least not well). For example, you should be able to update your own social media content, create simple graphics, or update your site with basic announcements.

On the other hand, managing your day-to-day search rankings and strategy around how your website shows up in search is a specialty item that should be left outsourced.

Timing is everything, though. Right now, instead of slowing down, your site and your online presence should be ramping up to capitalize on momentum going into the future.

After all, the market will come back and it will come back strong. How are your current marketing efforts going to leave a market when clients are back in the market? Ultimately, if you’re sitting on the sidelines then the opportunity cost is massive.

Starting today, focusing on your marketing during this particular downturn is essential.


With up to date marketing trends relevant to today’s market, our report is a selection of curated content, information, and data that will give you an outline of what’s working right now in real estate marketing.
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