Your real estate school has high-quality instructors and coaches, you’ve got all the right materials, and your success rate is high. Now the challenge is recruiting more students and beating your competitors without breaking the bank. In a word: marketing. In this article, we share 5 tips from the Dearborn Launchpad Resource Guide for Successfully Promoting Your Real Estate School, which is available as part of our RECampus online learning platform.
1. Fine-Tune Your Marketing Plan
Most marketing plans cover the activities that are planned to attract new students. However, as you seek to differentiate your school, gain a competitive edge, and get new employees up to speed on your overall strategy you should fine tune it with:
- One or two sentences of what makes your business compelling to your potential students. What benefit do you provide that no one else can? This is your unique selling proposition.
- A description of the types of students you want to attend, including demographics, to be sure you’re considering the ways you can meet their needs. This is your target audience.
- A marketing budget for the year with a focus on the activities you’ve determined have the highest ROI. This will ensure efficient use of funds for the right reasons.
- A marketing calendar so everyone can see what’s on tap for the year and to guide planning for activities like email blasts, social media, trade shows, print mailers, and paid search.
2. Expand Awareness With Online Advertising
Your potential students are on their mobile phones, visiting websites, and connecting on social media. You can reach them easily with these online advertising tactics:
- Banner ads—These clickable ads appear on third-party websites using graphics with a strong call to action. Many associations or professional organizations accept banner ads on their sites.
- Link exchange program—These are usually free programs. Vendors, service providers, or professional associations with whom you have a business relationship will often let you put a link on their sites if you agree to put their link on yours. Having your link on their websites increases awareness of your school and might bring you visitors (and even students) who have not heard of your school.
- Social media—Stay active in social media forums, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and numerous others to increase your exposure to your desired audience. Consider having a blog on your website (or a free blogging platform) with relevant content and link to it from social media.
- Search engine advertising—These clickable text ads appear on the right or at the top of the page after you’ve done a search. You pay for the clicks, controlling how much you spend with a budget. When you reach your budget, the ad stops running.
- Remarketing advertising—Remarketing shows ads to users who have previously visited your website as they browse the web, keeping you engaged with your audience by presenting highly relevant ads and offers across the web.
3. Let Potential Students Know You’ve Helped Past Students
Post-class surveys and third-party review sites enable you to gather information that you can use to improve your instruction and offerings. But what you might not know is that they are a great way to advertise. You can use good reviews to let prospects know how much you helped students in their licensing and post-licensing careers. Post-class surveys for the live classroom can be distributed and collected near the end of the course, and online surveys can be sent via email or as part of the online experience. Third-party reviews on sites like Yelp add weight to your school. Use these positive messages on your website, in print mailers, in your online advertising, and in emails to send a powerful message.
4. Use This Checklist for Effective Email Marketing
Of all the tools you can use to market your school, email is one of the most affordable and can be one of the most effective if you tailor its frequency to your audience, purge and update your list frequently, and use opt-in lists. Follow this content checklist for the best email marketing results:
- Create a visual email brand, using templates and graphics, that aligns with your school’s overall brand.
- Use short, easy-to-understand copy and simple graphics. Many email recipients use their mobile phones to read email.
- Make sure the information you are sending is timely and useful to the recipients.
- Use links or buttons rather than text to offer details.
- Put the most important information and links at the beginning of the email.
- Always include a direct link to a contact person for questions.
- Subject lines affect open rates, so track that information and test your subjects frequently.
- Follow these FTC guidelines so your emails aren’t blocked or sent to spam folders.
5. Provide an Unforgettable, Amazing Experience for Students
The day a prospect signs up for classes at your school, that individual becomes not only your student, but also one of the most powerful marketing channels you have available. If you provide that student and the majority of others who attend you school with an excellent experience that includes passing the real estate sales and broker licensing exams, it’ll be on social media in no time. Many will also recommend your school by word of mouth. And, they will comment on your social media pages as well. This kind of word-of-mouth advocacy is hard to beat and can really help increase enrollment.
Want to Learn More?
The Dearborn Launchpad has in-depth information about all the ways you can successfully market your real estate school—from naming and building a website for startup real estate schools to marketing your established school in a crowded market. Learn more about how you can get it here.