As the average age of home sellers in Canada continues to increase, more realtors are attempting to establish a niche for themselves serving seniors. Many recognize that one of the best ways to get more seniors in their database is to offer them helpful, free information about downsizing.
If you’re a realtor skilled at serving seniors, you may highlight your expertise by offering something like a free seminar, e-book, or tip sheet. Developing educational material specific to downsizing can be a bit of an investment, but it can pay off by getting you more high-quality leads among seniors than the one-size-fits-all marketing materials you use to attract other clients.
Downsizing-focused material is also more likely to catch the attention of seniors who don’t yet feel ready to list their homes. Once they’re in your database, you can start earning their trust by following up with further downsizing tips. That way, when they are ready to talk with a realtor, there’s a greater chance they’ll contact you instead of simply going to an agent who was recommended to them by a friend, family member or someone in the grocery store.
What makes a good freebie?
The free downsizing information you offer needs to be valuable enough that people are willing to surrender their contact information in order to get it. In other words, it needs to answer pressing questions they have about downsizing. Chat with people who are contemplating downsizing or think about questions past downsizing clients have asked you.
You can choose a specific topic (e.g. “When downsizing, should you buy or rent your next home?” or “Moving closer to family: things to consider”), or you can offer broader advice on downsizing.
Let’s say you decide to go broad and offer a short e-book that’s designed to attract seniors who have decided to downsize but may not yet fully understand everything that’s involved. It could start with a list of different possible reasons for downsizing, followed by an explanation of how downsizing is different from other moves. It could then go on to provide quick insights into
- Getting your home ready for sale
- Using the sale of your home to support your future living expenses
- Finding a new home that’s right for you
- Thinning out your belongings
- Planning everything that needs to happen before you can move
It might then talk about how a real estate agent who specializes in downsizing can help. The final page would include your bio and contact information.
Note that the main intent is to educate. That’s because until your reader better understands what’s involved in downsizing, they’ll have a difficult time appreciating why they should turn to a downsizing specialist like you for help.
Developing free educational material on downsizing
There are three basic options for developing a downloadable resource like this.
- Do it yourself. You can write your own material and do your own design with an app like Canva. This saves money but can take a lot of your time. The quality of the results will depend on your writing and design skills. It’s best to keep your first project simple.
- Pay someone to do it for you. Find a freelance writer and/or graphic designer to make one for you. This saves you time but can cost a lot of money. If the freelance writer isn’t familiar with real estate or downsizing, you’ll have to be specific about what you want. Ask around to find a freelancer that fits your needs and budget.
- Find ready-to-use material. Ready-to-use educational materials about downsizing can be purchased for a small fraction of what you’d pay a freelancer. It’s comparable to using stock images for a small fee instead of paying a professional photographer considerably more to take pictures for you. You can usually brand these “white-label” educational materials as your own.
Promoting your freebie
Once you have a freebie, you’ll need to let people know about it. You can promote it through social media (free or paid), at public events, through direct mail postcards, and on your website — the possibilities are almost endless.
A couple of pointers:
- Simply telling people you have a free download (“Hey, I have a new e-book”) may not generate much interest. Try highlighting a pressing question your freebie answers. This will help potential readers understand why it’s worth their while to give it a look.
- Consider providing a link to a landing page where people can automatically download your freebie. This can get you more leads than making people send you an email to receive a copy. If you can’t create a dedicated landing page for your free download on your website, you can set one up yourself on an email marketing app like Mailchimp.