By Anand Patel
Now that I have your attention, let me explain!
Last month my wife and I took our three-year-old daughter to the Disney On-Ice show that came to our town (Tampa, Fla.). It wasn’t until the day of the event that my wife decided to tell me this show, which was called Disney on Ice: “Dare to Dream,” was going to feature various Disney princesses and their stories. I wasn’t too excited, but anything for your little pipsqueak, right?
As we were walking up to the arena entrance I saw a swarm of little girls seemingly attack a Disney vendor hawking all sorts of princess paraphernalia. I thought to myself – ok, this is strange. Once inside the arena as we were escorted to our seats, I again was confused and shocked as to why all these girls were dressed up from head to toe in princess clothing. Halloween wasn’t for another five months! Throughout the show, as the arena filled with screams of little kids cheering for their favorite princess, I sat there looking around in awe at the powerful business machine that is simply Disney. They had come up with a way to create a very profitable revenue stream from their old characters!
An Idea is Born
Being the business nerd that I am, when I got home I googled the Disney Princess franchise and discovered that the idea of the Disney Princess line came from a man named Andy Mooney. Disney hired Mooney in 1999 to help their consumer products division improve their dropping sales. At that time, while attending his first Disney on Ice show, he found himself surrounded by young girls dressed as princesses in generic, non-Disney costumes. That’s when the idea of capitalizing on Disney’s existing cast of princess characters hit him. The Disney Princess franchise was born. In my opinion, this was genius!
What’s the point?
What does any of this have to do with real estate? As I thought about it some more, I realized how many times I find myself (and many others fall into this trap as well) looking for an outside “shiny object” to help with our business. Continue reading »
By Rob Reuter, YPN Manager
It’s official: 2012 has kicked into full gear. If you haven’t already, now is the time to start your business planning. Elizabeth Mendenhall, 2012 chair of NAR’s Strategic Planning Committee, recently asked YPN members what kind of statistics they consider when forming their annual business plan. From my former selling days, I focused mainly on two statistics:
- Absorption Rate: Focus marketing in areas/neighborhoods/price ranges that have high turnover rates and low time on the market.
- Frequency of Income-Producing Activities: Where does my business come from and how much time/energy do I put in these areas?
Several other YPN members have great ideas as well:
Dollars/Hour Earned (Brian Copeland): How much are you earning per hour? Take your gross annual income and divide it by the number of hours you worked. Increasing this number means you are making more and working less!
Months Supply/Inventory (Nobu Hata): Communicating this information to the consumer effectively will help ensure more accurate pricing.
80/20 Rule (Tiffany Curry & Kate Koplinka): Are you part of the minority doing the majority of the business?
Market Share (Lena Williams): Increase the percentage of your market share if geographical farming is part of your plan.
Average Sales Price (Kenny Parcell): Continue reading »
By David Krichmar
And now for Part 2. (Check out part 1 here.)
4. Magnet Sign- “No one has ever called off a car magnet.” Really? Ask around your office — someone has gotten a deal off their magnet sign on their car. Get a nice and easy-to-read magnet for your car. Heck, how else can someone tell you sell real estate when they see you at a traffic light?
5. Name Tags- Yes, trust me, I know. No one has ever said, “You look amazing in that outfit. Now if only you had a tacky looking name tag, the outfit would be complete!!” But just like with magnets, it gives you the easiest and most direct way to make sure everyone knows you sell real estate. Make sure the name tag is direct and easy to read. Heck, make it catchy. Maybe a name tag that just says “Looking to buy a home? Ask me!” How much does a name tag cost? Maybe $15 on the high side?
6. Open House- Again, no one likes them… which gives you an even better opportunity to ask REALTORS® in your office if you can hold an open house for them, for one of their listings. It helps get that REALTOR® more traffic for their listing and it helps you get some new potential buyers. You can also try this approach with smaller home builders.
7. Market to a Professional- Think of a marketing campaign and aim it at a certain professional group. Try to choose a group that has some influence on other people such as CPAs or financial advisors. Or groups that have many coworkers, such as teachers, firefighters, police officers, or HR departments. Then offer them something for free. Some examples are a free home warranty, appraisal, free iPad, or talk about a specific program that is just for them (e.g. tax credit for teachers). Then make a flyer and drop it off at schools, fire houses, offices, etc. These groups are great to market to because if you do a great job they will tell all their friends and coworkers.
Like I mentioned in my previous post, online marketing should still be king. But, there are still other ways to market yourself. If business is slow, or you are new to the real estate business, then this list gives you some inexpensive easy ways to market yourself.
By David Krichmar
Let’s go old school for a moment. Trust me, I am not saying online marketing (social media) should not be No. 1. But until humans become robots and do not have eyes, there are other ways to market as well. Here is the first half of seven ideas I have come up with to market yourself offline:
1. FSBO’s- Yep, the dreaded “for sale by owner.” Yes, they can be a waste of time; but honestly, how much time does it take to ring a door bell? That’s all the time it takes to approach a FSBO. Instead of taking the usual, “Can I list your home?” approach. How about offer to do a marketing flier about the home with your info? If the seller has any buyers that are interested in the home ask them to give you a call. Offer to post their home on Twitter, Facebook, and blog about it. It can’t hurt you to try a different approach than most REALTORS®.
2. Real Estate Magazines- We all love to look through the real estate magazines that show homes for sale. Grab a bunch of these from your real estate office or from your grocery store. Then staple your business card to the front and drop off a copy monthly at your local salon, dentist and doctor offices, oil change places, etc. What does it take to do this? Some business cards, a staple, etc. Try it!!
3. Books- Yes, books are dying. But until they do, go by your local book store (Barnes and Noble or a local used book store) and find the real estate section. Stick a business card in the first chapter of every real estate and mortgage book. How long can this take???? Seven minutes per store — I timed it myself.
Stay tuned for Part II to read the rest of my great suggestions to market yourself offline.