By Nobu Hata
I got stuck watching the Olympic Closing Ceremony and the highlight – for me – was watching how uncomfortable Avril Lavigne looked singing her hit opus “Girlfriend.” It was painful watching the once married, now divorced, 26-year-old post-tweenage pop punk princess singing an ode to adolescent high school girlfriend jealousy, while looking – literally – like she just walked out of a Chanel boutique. That particular message coming from that messenger didn’t register, and she knew it.
When it comes to your marketing, don’t be like Avril. Rethink your approach towards your brand and home marketing techniques. Reimagine all of it in a new light by talking to current and former clients along with folks from outside the industry. Reinvent where necessary, and keep it simple. Try something new and don’t be afraid to take a risk!
Perhaps a hand-written thank you card to a prospective seller after a market presentation. Guerilla market your new listing by knocking on doors and personally inviting the neighbors to your first open house. Make sure your website content is still relevant. And maybe now’s the time to remove your posed professional real estate pic from your Facebook page?
Word to the wise: get in the habit of objectively looking at your marketing every six months, especially if you’re in a seasonal market with regular slow-downs and re-launch of business. Most consumer insight folks will agree: consumers are fickle and their tastes change more rapidly now than they have ever in the past. Don’t take for granted that your marketing practices worked in the past, the one thing you can bet for sure is that resting on your laurels will undermine your practice sooner rather than later.
While we may be part of the internet generation, where social media-this and Twitter-that rules our marketing dollars, time and energy, we’re in danger of becoming a one-trick-pony; just as “guilty” as “those” agents who are still using 10-year-old professional mugshots on their business cards.
Thing is, those peeps have a steady stream of referral based business who can care less that their practitioner doesn’t have a Facebook page. It’s our present and future clients whose ever-changing attitudes, needs and wants have to be understood and embraced. Not only will that insight be the key to us reshaping our brand and value proposition as practitioners in our individual markets, but it will affect change within the industry itself.
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.