Marketing and sales are the two biggest challenges facing real estate agents.
Most do not know how to get the phone to ring and get face-to face with a buyer or seller. And often, when they do, they can’t close the sale.
At the end of the day, a sale is a sale, and if you are going to be in sales in the real estate industry, you need to know how to lead people to make the right decision.
Want to get more confidence on how to market your real estate business? Want to succeed at real estate? Then blog post is for you. Keep reading!
Why Marketing And Sales Are Fundamental Skills That Agents Need To Have
I consider marketing and sales the most important because they are income generators. Even if the inside of your business is a totally confusing, discombobulated mess with no organization and no system, if you can market and sell, you are making money.
Every Business Has Its Share Of Problems, But Most Don’t Have Any That Lots Of Money Can’t Solve
Not being able to generate a constant stream of leads and convert them into sales that add income to the company coffers will drive most from the business in frustration.
Most agents that come to our class want to know the following:
- “How do I get the phone to ring?” … “I’ve run ads on my listings, I am in the local homes magazine, I have a Web site, and I am spending lots of money on direct mail, but it doesn’t seem to be working.”
- “I am paying a marketing company thousands each month to generate leads for me, and that’s not working, either.”
- “I’m using search engine optimization but I still don’t have listings from it.”
- “The leads I’m getting are not qualified. I need high quality leads.”
Does this seem familiar? Then ask yourself “What business am I in?”
Are you clear about what business are you in?
Perhaps you say “The service business.” “The real estate business.” “The referral business.” “The dreams business.” “The finance business.”
While all of the above are correct, you are in the lead-generation and education business.
Marketing Is An Area Where Almost Every Company Flounders
Open any Yellow Pages directory and read the ads. Often, they all sound the same, look the same, read the same, and make the same promises. “We’re number one,” “We have the most,” “We sell the most,” “We’re the biggest,” “No one has more,” “We do it all,” “Best service,” “Best quality and price— guaranteed!” “We do it right,” “Honest and dependable,” “Convenient location,” “Easy to find,” and on and on.
First of all, these ads are not believed by consumers. Second, the consumer can’t distinguish between them because they all look alike, sound alike, and do the same thing.
And third, all of them may be important to the company or the ad or marketing department, but they do nothing to answer the consumer’s number-one question: “What’s in it for me?”
Marketing Is All About The WIIFM
Consumers hear so many of these generalities that after a while they tend to not believe any of them. Therefore, when you use them, you create doubt and disbelief.
Claude Hopkins, one of the best marketers/advertisers of the twentieth century, said, “Platitudes and generalities roll off the human understanding like water off of a duck’s back. They make no impression whatsoever.”
Until you can and do answer the “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?) question, you and your company will continue to be seen as the same as your competition (not similar—same).
I was buying ceiling fans for some investment properties I was remodeling. There were 110 models suspended from the ceiling at the hardware store. 110! How in the world was I going to decide which one to buy? Other than a few strange designs, they all looked alike. Since I could not distinguish one from the other and they were going into rental houses, I did what most people who can’t tell the difference do: I defaulted to price. I bought the cheapest ones.
I dropped my phone in the pool and went to the local nationwide electronics chain for a replacement. Same problem. Fifty-five cordless models. There were another fifty or so cord models. Since they all seemed the same to me, except for the number of buttons (which only confused me more), I asked the same question: “Since they are all about the same, all the warranties are the same, they all do the same thing, which one is the cheapest?”
I went to a superstore to buy some sneakers. There were five aisles full of sport-type shoes. Running shoes, walking shoes, jogging shoes, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, soccer shoes, cross-trainer shoes, and on and on they went. All the name brands, every size, shape, and color imaginable. I didn’t know the difference, and there was not a salesman in sight. Guess what I did? Found a pair that fit. Were they the cheapest? No. However, price was a consideration. Why pay more just for a particular logo? It makes no difference to me who makes the shoe. I just want one that fits well, lasts a reasonable amount of time, and cleans up easily. After that, to me they are all the same.
So, once again, it boils down to price. Nothing is done to make them different. They all look like “me, too” products.
In the Beginning … When I was growing up, there were four channels on television: 2, 11, 13, and a public service channel. It was easy to memorize what was on. We were transitioning from a nation that made things to a nation that bought things. Labor-saving devices were introduced, and the push was on to save time by working less and having more free time. It didn’t happen, of course, but that was the message. People started buying soap, bread, clothes, and a host of other things instead of making them.
If you had any new product that was at all decent and advertised it enough, it became a huge success. It was called “interruption marketing,” and the marketers made no bones about it. “We interrupt this program to bring you an important commercial message.”
They didn’t even apologize! I never once heard anyone say, “Sorry to interrupt, but there is this new gadget we have that will …” They just told us they were going to interrupt, and then they did it.
Most of these messages haven’t stopped because, for a long time, this method worked.
Interruption Marketing Used To Work, But It Doesn’t Work Anymore
The less it works, the more money the marketers throw at it, and the more money they throw at it, the less it works. Here are some estimates.
There were over 17,000 new grocery products introduced last year, and over $1,000 to promote them was directed exclusively at you.
The average consumer sees about 1 million marketing messages per year, or about 3,000 a day. An hour of television may contain forty or more, while the local paper, over one hundred. Add to that a few telemarketing calls, the ads at the grocery store, billboards, radio, junk mail, and buses and cars, and it doesn’t take long to add up. And it all adds up to whole lot of noise.
The noise gets louder as more and more competitors compete for finite dollars. It’s a zero-sum game. When a box of Rice Krispies sells, a box of Grape Nuts doesn’t. It becomes a game of winners and losers, all competing for the consumer’s attention and interrupting at every step, clamoring at us to stop what we are doing and listen.
Where we used to listen politely to telemarketers before telling them we were not interested, we now just hang up or get on the “no call” list.
When a commercial comes on, we surf. The ads in the paper hardly ever even get read. If we don’t know who is sending that piece of mail, it gets tossed or left unopened.
When commercials hit the radio, we move to another channel or don’t listen. Ten seconds after the commercial ends, we can’t remember what was said. We have 260 plus television stations, most of which we don’t watch, and we even throw out magazines we ordered, still unread. We are totally and completely in the Information Age, and we are overwhelmed by it. We say we need more time, but in most cases what we really need is more space in our brains. The hard drive is full. It is almost impossible to take on any more data.
Unfortunately, the effort to get us to do just that is there, and it is unrelenting.
Marketers are hoping the success of the past will translate into success in the future. As consumers, we have done well. It really doesn’t matter much where we buy what we buy. It’s all pretty good quality, the prices are all about the same, and, for the most part, it’s going to function and last a good while. It’s the marketing that isn’t working.
Spending millions, or even billions, to get eyeballs that don’t buy doesn’t work. The “dot coms” found this out the hard way. Consumers are unable to distinguish one product or service from another. Even when they do want or need to buy, all the ads are alike. So, they shop price because the marketing piece did not clearly define the benefit to the buyer and/or give the consumer a compelling reason to call.
Price becomes the differentiator.
We need to fix this.
The Solution: answer the question.
As a business or as a real estate agent, when we try to be all things to all people, we end up being no one to everyone; you’re better off targeting your market.
It is better to be focused, specific, and unique.
What specific problems do you or your company solve? What value do you bring to the transaction, and how do you articulate that in a way that makes people want to call you? How do you do that?
Develop your own Unique Marketing Position, or UMP. Your UMP is a phrase, sentence or paragraph that elevates, separates, differentiates and distinguishes you from all your competitors, answers the question “Why should I do business with you?”, positions you as the obvious choice, keeps you from competing on price alone and leads the consumer to the decision “I’m going to do business with you.”
Stop doing what the other marketers are doing. Stop selling, start educating. Find out what they need. Help them. Educate them. Be unique. Develop your UMP. Give your prospects a compelling reason to say “Yes.” to you.
Are you a “Me, too!” company or are you different? What makes you different? (You can’t say “Service!”)
People want to sell houses. People want to buy houses. You don’t have to sell them on the fact that they need a house. You just have to find people who already want to either buy or sell a house. It’s a process that, if done well, will elevate, separate, and differentiate you from every other agent out there and drive an endless stream of customers to your door.
If you’re up to having access to real estate marketing strategies to grow your real estate business, you’re in the right place.
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