Cross Marketing in Real Estate can be another beneficial marketing method if done right.
It takes advantage of synergy effects when various partners work together for a common marketing goal, which can reduce your overall marketing and advertising costs.
But how can you do cross marketing in real estate?
You can do external cross marketing with partners that are operating in a non-competing real estate niche, but also internal cross marketing that applies marketing data from winning campaigns to other marketing channels.
So, in this article, I will discuss first what cross marketing is, give you 5 examples of external cross marketing in real estate, the challenges involved and how to do internal cross marketing in real estate.
What is Cross Marketing?
In a sense, cross marketing or cross promotion is a type of joint endeavor and sometimes even a joint venture.
It happens when two or more businesses in the same or similar industries or niches work together to achieve a common marketing or promotional goal.
In these cases, you share your audience, leads or clients with another business and vice versa, and promote another business’s products and services to your audience and vice versa.
5 Examples of External Cross Marketing in Real Estate
1) Cross Marketing with Contractors
No matter whether you are a real estate agent, a real estate investor or another type of real estate professional, working together with contractors can be beneficial in terms of cross marketing.
Because contractors usually know earlier than others when a home gets on the market.
They are the first ones called to upgrade it so it can hit the market.
So, if you build a good relationship with a contractor, he can provide you with information about homes getting on the market soon, and you, in turn, could provide him with potential clients for further contractor work.
2) Cross Marketing with Home Insurance Agents
A kind of a counterpart to cross marketing with contractors is doing cross marketing with an insurance agent.
I call it counterpart because this time it’s not about potential home sellers, but potential first-time homebuyers.
If you put yourself in the shoes of first-time homebuyers, one of the first things they will do is research and look for different home insurances.
This means that insurance agents will be in the know about potential homebuyers entering the real estate market.
A situation like this can be beneficial for you if you want access to more homebuyer leads.
What could you offer in exchange to the insurance agent?
You could also provide him or with leads from your database, because you might have current homeowners that would like to switch their home insurance or you have other potential homebuyers that are or will require new home insurance.
3) Cross Marketing with Mortgage Lenders
Doing cross marketing with mortgage lenders has similar benefits as that with home insurance agents.
You will be able to target potential homebuyers, but also potential homesellers.
Another first thing potential homebuyers do before going on a shopping tour is meeting and consulting with a mortgage lender.
On the other hand, mortgage lenders also speak with potential home sellers, because they need to find out their home’s value.
So, they can become a valuable source of potential homebuyer and home seller leads for you as a real estate professional.
The mortgage lender could even promote your business on his website.
Vice versa, you could, in turn, refer customers and leads you have in your database to mortgage lenders and also promote their business on your website.
Other methods could include you having business cards of the respective mortgage lender in your office and vice versa, and doing digital marketing campaigns together, which leads me to the next example.
4) Joint Advertising Campaigns
You could reduce your ad spend significantly by doing joint advertising campaigns with other compatible and non-competing real estate businesses and professionals.
Another option is also doing and promoting different events together, such as “open houses”.
A method which is not in the field of paid traffic, but within content marketing could be writing a guest post on your partner’s website and vice versa, and sharing content on social media.
5) Cross Marketing with Realtors
This type of cross marketing can be both interesting for wholesale real estate investors and also realtors.
For wholesale real estate investors, it can be beneficial to work together with realtors that are more focused on homes in the lower price ranges to get access to potentially distressed property owners.
If the deal is structured the right way, the investor gets a source for sellers and the realtor still can make money on a deal, even if the property is already an expired listing.
The other cross marketing approach is the classic co-brokering between real estate agencies and brokerages either in the same state or in different states.
Here, seller and buyer clients can be referred to each other and a potential commission is shared.
If the relationship is good between the two, even joint marketing campaigns could be carried out.
To summarize briefly the tactics in a list, these are the types of cross marketing you may want to consider:
- Co-op Advertising (Paid Advertising and Content Marketing)
- Joint Promotions
- Joint Events
- Collaboratively produced marketing material
- Sharing Email Lists
- Sharing Business Cards
- Classic Customer Referrals
- Bundled Offerings
Challenges of External Cross Marketing
While all the above sounds great, there are also some challenges to take into consideration.
It can be a long and difficult process to find the right partners.
First, the partner needs to target a similar audience or demographic, and second, at the same time, shouldn’t be your direct competitor.
The next challenge is to make sure that it’s a trustworthy business.
This will be much easier if you already have businesses in your contacts with whom you have already built a reliable relationship in the past and don’t need to start from scratch.
Questions you might want to ask yourself before progressing with external cross marketing:
- In the case of joint advertising campaigns, how to determine the advertising costs, and how will the billing be handled?
- In the case of joint advertising campaigns, how long will the respective campaign last?
- Who receives what share of the profits?
- Who is the main contact person for each business?
- Will you have a follow-up system in place and if yes, how will it be handled? (read also my article on follow-ups here)
- In case of promoting your partner’s business on your website, how will leads coming from you be tracked (e.g. Affiliate Link Tracking Software)?
- What is your exit plan, should things go south?
- What are your guidelines in terms of content, what to do and what not to do with your audience and vice versa?
There Is Also Another Type of Cross Marketing
Up to now, I only discussed cross marketing between different real estate businesses of complementary real estate niches, hence external cross marketing in real estate.
But there is also the possibility of doing cross marketing internally. I will call it “internal cross marketing”.
Here, the “cross” part refers to advertising your product, service, or brand across several different marketing channels.
Here, you rather focus on marketing data you gain from your advertising campaigns, and take advantage of this gained data to then apply it to other marketing channels.
In other words, you first create a winning advertising campaign, and once you have a winner, you will have valuable data about your target audience including email addresses and/or phone numbers.
You will also know what ad copy, landing page copy, and what offers work with which of your audience segments.
With this knowledge, you can branch out and optimize campaigns faster on other marketing channels so you can get up to speed faster and improve your conversion rates.
One classic example of using contact information from one campaign in another one on a different marketing channel is using a list of email addresses you generated through a successful Google Ads campaign or another campaign and use these emails to create a remarketing or custom audience campaign in Facebook Ads.
You see, the ways of how you can go about internal cross marketing are basically endless, because you can combine a lot.
Another example would be to use the phone numbers you collected during a prospecting campaign and use them in another Facebook Ads Campaign to market to a custom audience.
Important Success Factors for Both External and Internal Cross Marketing in Real Estate
1) Tracking and Analyzing Marketing Data
The whole effort for internal, but also external cross marketing in real estate and also other industries could be for nothing if you can’t track and analyze the data generated by your campaigns.
Therefore, you might want to use at least some sort of analytics software, such as Google Analytics (read about Google Analytics for Real Estate in this article of mine).
2) Recording Data & Lead Information
The next important thing to do is also record the data you generate, which are leads most of the time.
This can be done with customer relationship management software that sometimes can be directly connected to analytics software, such as Google Analytics.
By using a CRM, you can track which lead or potential customer came from which campaign. This will help you to find out what works and what doesn’t.
By the way, this will also help you to know if a lead came from a partner with whom you do external cross marketing.
In this context, you may want to also read my article about customer relationship management software in real estate.
3) Testing, Testing, and Testing
Also quite often mentioned in my blog articles is the importance of constant testing and optimizing advertising campaigns.
Only with enough testing it will be possible to create a winning advertising campaign in time.
Sure, you can get lucky in the beginning and have a winner from the get-go, but most of the time you will start with a loser campaign, and will need to optimize from there.
This can be discouraging at times, especially in the beginning but unfortunately, it’s necessary and needs some patience and perseverance.
But if you have the first two success factors implemented, this process will be a lot easier and your chances of success increase.