Chairman’s Club member Sarah Justason whipped up a marketing recipe for success.
By Heather Shoning
It’s hard enough keeping your career on track when you move. But what about when you move from a large market to a much smaller one? You have to get creative with your marketing to rise above the existing crowd and forge a path of your own. That’s just what Sarah Justason did when she moved from Ontario to New Brunswick.
Faced with challenges such as “model town” restrictions on signage and a province where nearly one-third of the population speaks French, Justason rose to the challenge and stepped out of her comfort zone time after time, and it’s paid off big for her clients and for Justason with a sales volume of more than $30 million and 134 completed transaction sides.
Here are four quick steps to building a marketing strategy that works.
1. Create Your Celebrity
What do you want to be known for in your market? What will make people remember you? For Justason, it’s her recipe cards – “Your Recipe for Success in Real Estate.” For her most successful marketing campaign, she sends more than 10,000 postcards on special holiday occasions using an unaddressed ad mail program. Each postcard is a real recipe from someone in her family, with custom photos of the actual food.
“The postcards develop a relationship between myself and prospective clients before we even meet. When they contact me, they feel they already know me,” Justason says. “It’s my soft call to action. The recipe cards bring me positive reactions and responses, whether it’s a text, a phone call or a social media connection.”
2. Take an Alternate Route
Moving to a small “model town” community, Justason found herself facing signage challenges. For instance, no billboards are allowed. To overcome the obstacle, she wrapped the tailgate of her husband’s truck with her photo, an image of the RE/MAX Balloon and the tagline “My Favourite Real Estate Agent.” Her husband marketed her everywhere he drove.
“On the very first day I had the tailgate wrapped, I received a referral call for someone who was being relocated from here to Ontario,” she says. “The impact continued from there.”
3. Meet Your Leads Where They Are
New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada. And although Justason had studied French, she didn’t speak it while living in Ontario. So, to reach and serve more clients, she advertises that she offers services in both official languages.
“When I moved back to New Brunswick, I made it a priority and part of my business plan to become fluent again in French,” she says. Her efforts paid dividends, and the humility she demonstrates helps her forge strong bonds and partnerships within the Francophone community. “Now, almost 60 percent of my clients are French first language.”
4. Jump at New Opportunities
After Justason first heard about text riders at a webinar, she was the first agent in her area to implement the marketing tactic. Text riders are sign riders that provide a simple code and number to text for more information about a property. Justason’s desire to provide top-notch services made embracing that technology an easy decision. In 2014, she felt privileged that her text rider signage was highlighted at a RE/MAX KickStart training event in Halifax.
The approach opens channels of communication with an audience she might not otherwise reach. It’s a great way to get information to prospective buyers 24/7 and links passersby directly to Justason, who follows up via text.
“How people contact me is how I respond,” Justason says. “It’s the client’s preference. Agents have to realize how important this is.”
Justason was a local trailblazer once again by showcasing every property she lists with professional photography – no matter the property value – and videography, all of which are shared on her social media outlets.