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    Residential real estate is very demanding work. You’re juggling multiple clients, contracts, and closings all at different points in the home buying or selling process, networking to engage new clients and other potential referral partners, and marketing — all things that require time. And as you well know, time is something that most real estate agents don’t have.

    Developing, implementing, and maintaining a marketing strategy is challenging even when you have all the necessary skills. But what if you don’t have those skills?

    What are the benefits of outsourcing?

    1. Expertise. Outsourcing can bring a whole new perspective to your marketing efforts. Professional marketers have the time and resources to focus on your marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking for graphic design, content creation, or search engine optimization, there are both companies and individuals with the know-how to help.
    2. New ideas. Creatives bring new ideas and a fresh approach to old problems. They have the time to research the industry and your competition to find new ways to make your marketing more competitive. They bring with them marketing best practices and have insight into the metrics you should monitor to measure success.
    3. Speed. Maintaining an ongoing campaign or introducing a new one takes time. Outsourcing can deliver work when you need it.
    4. Offload work. For many, the big win with outsourcing is the ability to take work off your plate. Knowing that your marketing resource is on the job not only frees up your time, it also provides peace of mind that the marketing work you know is important is going to get done right and delivered on time.

    If these are the reasons to consider outsourcing, what are the reasons not to? The primary reason is cost. There are a couple of different ways to address this problem.

    • Full service marketing. While not a real option for individual agents, hiring a professional marketing and PR firm is ideal for small to medium brokerages that are unable to afford the full time in-house marketing expertise. Agencies either have an hourly rate or will provide a cost estimate of a given project.
    • Hire specialists. Instead of hiring an ad agency or large PR and marketing firm, identify the specific areas and find professional specialists who have particular expertise in those areas. These could include: web design, copywriting, blogging, social media, SEO, etc.
    • Hire a freelancer. A variation on the specialist is the freelancer. There is no shortage of marketing freelancers available. A quick web search will help you locate capable freelancers who are generally willing to take on individual projects. This approach can be cost effective, while still getting you the marketing you need.

    The Bottom Line

    It’s true — outsourcing selectively for a particular skill set is still going to cost you something. But if that’s your primary concern, you are underestimating the true value of hiring outside resources. Fresh ideas, time savings, on-time delivery, and tactical marketing expertise should not only get results — they should pay for themselves in new clients and referrals. If the big agency approach is not for you, take an a la carte approach. This gives you a chance to test new resources without committing to a contract.

    If you lack certain marketing skills or find that marketing continuously drops to the bottom of your to do list, it may be time to consider outsourcing seriously.

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