I’ve been slow in updating our blog with current information. I’ll try to do better in the future. We have loads of great marketing ideas but I have a hard time compiling it for this blog!
I recently read an article in the September/October issue of Texas Realtor magazine that really drove home some important points on marketing for Realtors. The article is by Greg Herder (who I was able to hear in person at last year’s NAR convention) – he runs an advertising/marketing firm that specializes in marketing techniques for Realtors.
He recounts four primary truths about marketing that you should consider when planning a marketing campaign:
- Celebrate your individuality and carve your niche
- Facts don’t sell
- Look at the big picture
- Stick with it
Here’s what he means.
In all successful marketing campaigns he has been involved in over 20 years “each one focused on a real point of differentiation that was consistent with the agent’s (or firm’s) personal core values”. He doesn’t really describe specifically what he means here but I think you want your marketing to reflect who you are and what you hold valuable. You can’t, nor should you try to be, all things to all potential clients. As he says “you will succeed faster by starting with a highly focused, differentiating message that establishes your position in the minds of your clients, and then expanding from there, rather than trying to start with a broad, general appeal.” You may have established a position without even realizing it. Maybe potential clients perceive you as a new home specialist; an investment specialist or maybe you’ve targeted buyers and sellers of high priced homes. His point is: draw your specialty from who you are, what interests you and what you believe, focus on that and expand from there.
His second point is “facts don’t sell”. I know that’s hard to comprehend in your advertising when most Realtors primarily list facts about the listing. But we really all ultimately make our purchase decisions emotionally. We may want or need some facts to arrive at the emotional decision. Greg says “every successful campaign must touch the prospect at an emotional level” and that “every great campaign has just enough facts so that a customer can justify an emotional decision”. If you give thought to your last purchase of any kind, I think you’ll agree with this. If you want to write more compelling fact based and emotion driven advertising, give us a call. We can give you free access to an online ad writing system that will help in this area.
Third, is to look at the big picture. In other words, a campaign is more than one ad, one flyer, one mailing. Greg says “…if you start with only one piece your chances of success are only 5-10%”. I would argue that they are actually lower than this. All successful marketing efforts are successful because of a series of efforts that rely on the fourth idea – STICK WITH IT!
This, in my opinion, can be the hardest and truly what separates the winners from the rest of the pack. If you can stick with your effort over time or you quit before it has a chance to work for you than you’re wasting hard earned money. We try something a few times, it doesn’t provide the results we expected, so we quit or try something “new” hoping that will work. The most successful marketing efforts in history have never changed – like the Marlboro Man or the Pillsbury Doughboy. Greg says “the reality is that it takes time for a marketing campaign to take root and grow.” Consistency in all these areas is what really works and will help your business grow.
As Greg says in his closing, “The hard part is mental. Making the tough choices about how to differentiate yourself, investing money that you can’t afford to lose and then waiting for it to take root and grow during that first critical year of launching your marketing campaign – these are the hard parts.” The challenge – “it is easier to do nothing and hope that it will work out.”