By Dave Robison
Marilyn Wilson with the WAV Group has been visiting brokerages and state associations with data that her company compiled about our industry. While attending one of her recent presentations, I snapped a quick photo with my phone of one of her graphs.
She said there are two different types of companies listed on the graph. The companies with the massive revenues are companies that the public loves. The companies with the lower revenues on the graph are companies that could be viewed as a commodity. One broker yelled out during Wilson’s presentation, “That’s why we are all not profitable! No wonder why we are having a hard time, we are all the bottom companies.”
Wilson explained that the brands people love have the most revenue, and as a result, the most room for profit, while other companies will fight to be profitable. The room was filled with “a-ha moments.” She then stated that the WAV Group conducted a survey in the Houston area where they asked members of the public to “name the first company you think of when you hear ‘real estate.’” Can you guess what company ranked No. 1? Wilson claims the same company was named more than 90 percent of the time when the question was asked. The public said, “Zillow.” Wow! When people hear real estate, that is the first thing that comes to their mind? She proved her point that our industry doesn’t have a brand that people love.
Here’s an example: What comes to your mind when I say, “Nordstrom?” Continue reading »
By Dave Robison
The Average Marketing Scenario
A couple years ago a loan officer asked me a brilliant question that they should have asked themselves before they spent $30,000 on a failed marketing campaign. “Dave, I have had a billboard for the past year on I-15 and I don’t get any calls off of it. What is going on?” I sat there for awhile trying to think of his billboard and I couldn’t remember it. Later that day it hit me. It took me all day to remember it. The loan officer had a prime location with his name and phone number and his company name on it. It said something like “your loan officer” or “call me for a mortgage.”
His marketing wasn’t working. He wasn’t getting any calls. I had that same marketing plan before. I had that same marketing on a moving van for three years. It was typical agent marketing that consists of: name, phone number, and how cool you are — it doesn’t work. I rarely got any calls, and nobody knew who I was. Then, I changed it and my business started to change.
There are two keys to smart marketing:
1. Can people remember you or your marketing?
Have you ever heard that famous statistic that the average home buyer/seller forgets their agent’s name within six months? I tested it out once. I met someone who said they just bought their home four months ago with the president of the Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®. I said, “Ohhh, awesome! What is their name?” Of course I knew their name, but I was wondering if the statistic really worked. They couldn’t remember. They said she is the president and surely I must know who they were talking about. Of course I knew, but how was this person going to recommend her to any of their friends and family?
Now lets talk about the loan officer’s billboard. After I drove by the sign, I couldn’t remember his phone number, name, or website. What a waste of money. His only chance of being remembered would have been if I wrote down his phone number the next time I saw the billboard, and kept it for when I had a need. Fat chance at that.
So what did I do to change my marketing after unsuccessfully advertising on a moving van for three years? it came down to branding. First, I created a scene of a desert in the background with my picture on it, and a Web address: UtahDave.com. Why in the world is there a desert when I’m trying to sell a home? Because every agent has a home on their marketing materials. I wanted it to be different, and the desert scene goes with Utah.
I don’t think the desert is key to your success, it just happened to work for mine. Maybe if I was “AlaskaDave” I might have an igloo instead of a desert. Geico has a Gecko, and the last time I checked they don’t sell geckos. The main thing is finding a special branding or memorable image…just don’t be like everyone else and have a home be your background.
The proof is in the pudding. I just got a listing appointment…and where did the listing come from? Continue reading »
By Brett Caviness
I strongly believe in the power of positive thinking and live by it everyday. As a determined entrepreneur and recent graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, I am goal-oriented and envision my plans becoming a reality. I work toward my goals each and everyday.
I have been in the business since 2009, but recently began a new chapter, bringing my business home to the resort community of Okoboji in North-West Iowa. Excited about this new endeavor, I began marketing my diverse interests along with the areas both my office and I specialize in.
I began using the phrase “From country living to your back-yard beach, I’ve got you covered.” No later than two days after this phrase was published in a local newspaper, I was contacted to co-list my first two area properties. I was approached first to co-list a lakefront “Back-yard beach,” then later in the day to list an acreage “Country living.” I couldn’t help but notice the strange relationship between the vision and words that I convey each day and the reality that I was creating. I feel we play a critical role in the world we co-construct.
As I hit the pavement running on this new journey, I am focused on my physical actions as well as my mental motivation that help draw success in my direction. I’m not saying that by envisioning yourself being successful it will just happen. What I want to promote is an overall model of positive thinking and action combined to help propel your business and yourself in your desired direction. In challenging times it is important to remember all things are possible as we have the true power to create our own reality.
Brett Caviness is a REALTOR® in the resort community of Okoboji in North-West Iowa. Connect with him at www.BrettCavinessHomes.com.
By Toby Boyce
“What do you think Heather Jones* does?” my mother-in-law inquired as we followed a heavily decorated mini-van through the streets of a north-central Ohio community.
“Well, I think it would be real estate,” I replied. “You can just make out a ‘just listed’ and ‘sold’ in the paintwork beside the license plate.”
“How in the hell was I suppose to figure that out?” she quipped back.
Ahh, Ms. Jones* — name changed to protect the guilty – did you just get the gist of that conversation? Your marketing while stunningly beautiful and definitely eye catching lacked the most important thing – the why factor.
It is a simple three-letter word that is often the first question children learn. Yet it is often the last question that we tend – or desire – to address as adults. It is a challenging question – nothing like how. How can be explained away, it is a process. “How am I going to sell your house? Well, first I’m going to…” What, Where, and When are just as easy.
But that continues to bring us back to that pesky “why” and just as important “why did I just do that?”
Every successful agent knows their return on investment for various projects that they continue to run. It doesn’t have to be a hard-and-fast number but something that says this is working and this is not. Has anyone ever gotten a deal directly from giving away a pumpkin at Halloween? Odds are low that many have, but yet hundreds of offices around the country continue to draw people into their office for a free pumpkin. Continue reading »
By Jared James
Part of my job as a real estate speaker/trainer is to keep up to date on the latest news, fads, tools and technologies that come out so that I can determine if I think they are here to stay and worth covering with REALTORS®, or if they are here today and gone tomorrow and not worth our time (see talking signs as a case in point). Well, I just got off of a webinar I was doing for real estate professionals on creating new leads using both the old school and new school methods to create the maximum number of opportunities in today’s marketplace, and one of the newest methods that I think is worth paying attention to was demonstrated by Dream Town Realty in Chicago who actually decided to leverage the popular coupon site Groupon.com.
They created a Groupon coupon for buyers and sellers in their area, which cost the potential clients $25 up front and required them to used Dream Town Realty to buy or sell, then at closing the Groupon clients would get back $1,000 in cash (as long as their purchase or sale was greater than $150,000 and they closed within the next 12 months).
Amazingly enough, they had 219 people sign up for this attractive offer in only one month. I think we all would agree that we would be OK with being connected with 219 potential clients that are serious enough about buying or selling a house in the short term that they are willing to pay $25 up front for a coupon.
Now Groupon is only available in major cities, but if you are considering using such a tactic as Dream Town Realty you may want to check out Livingsocial.com or the newest site that actually focuses on secondary markets and was created by the popular ActiveRain.com founder, Jon Washburn, called www.dailyticket.com There is even a coupon site created specifically for real estate deals called housetipper.com. Continue reading »