There are some really good online groups who help the members. Beware of the groups which are simply promotion. Linked in has few different groups, try some out and learn which can help you.
One good group is on Reddit.com Some of the discussion is very US market-oriented but there are also useful contributions for Canadian real estate agents.
Here are some short excerpts from Reddit
There’s no way to spend money to grow a real estate business. (advertising and promotions budget discussion)
Anecdotal evidence, but my GF has become a successful Realtor over the last 10 years by just showing up. She’s active in the community. She makes friends with her clients and follows up with them on FB, with cards, etc. She knows who’s in the hospital or who’s having a baby. She’s someone people go to when they’re looking for a donation, to sit on a board, or to invite out with friends.
Here’s her trick: she never mentions Real Estate, but she always wears her name pin with company logo. No she doesn’t get every listing. But after seeing her half a dozen times around town in a positive light – and remembering her name – she’s on everyone’s short list of Realtors to call.
I’ll admit this isn’t for everyone. It takes a special kind of personality to be “on” 24/7. She never gets buzzed in public or does anything stupid because everyone around is a potential client. But expanding her sphere has made her a nice 6-figure income selling 60+ family homes a year.
So what if you’re not that kind of person? I’ve also seen 6-figure Realtors who don’t work their sphere, but make it because they are relentless and hyper-detail oriented. Emails dumped into CRMs worked religiously with well-tested scripts. Hyper-local blogging into target neighborhoods with followup FB and postcards around their listings and sales. $10K/mo. spent on Zillow and print marketing.
I’m rambling, but the point I’m trying to make is that you can spend nothing or you can spend a lot, but in the end it’s about creating a plan and working it for the long haul. If everything you do feels like it’s wasted effort, you won’t stick with it. It’s not the 1st postcard that generates the call – it’s the 4th, 5th or 6th.
As my old boss used to say, “plan your work and work your plan.”
What would you throw your marketing dollars into?
Buy 150$ worth of door hangers and go door knocking.
It works amazingly well when I go door knocking I generate a lead per hour on weekends.
What are some of the best prospecting/marketing ideas I should be doing right now?
I’m a huge proponent of exploring your own interests for lead generation and prospecting. Find 3 groups on MeetUp.com that you are seriously interested and join them and become a regular member. For me its Hiking, Off roading, and the local Bonsai society. Make yourself a presence and known throughout the organization, but don’t push real estate too hard. Become friends with everyone and naturally your career will come up and then everyone will know that you are their friend who has similar interests who also happens to be a broker. Its a long term strategy but it works well! Not only will you grow your business, but you get to grown yourself and explore other curiosities, while generating leads!