Today, I wanted to share the marketing mistakes that most Realtors make with a focus on strategy, content and engaging with their clients.
Let’s look at strategy first.
Mistake # 1 is called No System/No Sale. If you want to succeed, you need to have operational, advertising and marketing action plans in your business.
Operational action plans are the tasks that need to be completed to move someone from the beginning to the end of a process. When you get a listing certain tasks need to be completed like entering it into the MLS or submitting the documents to your broker. Each part of the home sales process has tasks that need to be completed within a time frame, If your goal is to provide world-class service and have a smooth transaction, you need operation action plans.
Advertising action plans are the steps taken to advertise a listing. Things like where you’re going to market it, what type of media to use, when you’re going to advertise and how often.
Marketing action plans are your steps taken to engage with your clients or customers. If you do not have a plan, it will likely not happen. Think about the timing, frequency and the medium that you will you to connect with your customers and clients. Not everyone is in the same stage of the selling cycle, therefore you need to tailor your action plans for your prospects, buyers, sellers, sphere, past clients and others. You need to stay on top of their mind to keep their business.
Here are a few tools that I use for action plans and systems in my business. I use a tool called Brivity for my operational and advertising action plans. You can also use to do lists or spreadsheets for your plans. For my marking action plans, I’m currently using followupboss. However, any CRM will work for you if you use it. I truly believe John Maxwell when he said, “Systems make the ordinary, extraordinary,”
Mistake # 2 is what I call the Narcis-system. It is a common approach to marketing.
Do you have a personal Hall of Fame?
It is ok if you do. However, when you meet someone for the first time do you take them straight to your Hall of Fame? Of course not, that would be silly. However, if your marketing message is about your ranking, your multi-million dollar sales and your accomplishments, that is exactly what you are doing.
Your customers do not care about you. They care about what you can do for them!
Mistake # 3 is what Seth Godin calls the race to the bottom. Seth says that most companies are either on a race to the top or race to the bottom. Companies that are on a race to the top are like Apple. They do not discount their products because they provide world class products and support that people desire. Walmart and McDonalds are on a race to the bottom. They are always trying to cut costs and make things cheaper. Who wants to win that race?
My suggestion is to not provide average services, unless you want work for less. Be noteworthy and transparent with your clients. Go above and beyond and you will find out that people will pay more and complain less. To learn more about the race to the bottom check out this video by Seth Godin . If you have difficulty explaining your commission to your clients, see the link to Ben Kinney’s Commission Script here on the Water Cooler Show by Curaytor. At the 15 minute mark, he does a great job of explaining his commission to his clients.
Mistake # 4 Not understanding the clients mentality of, “What have you done for me lately.” This is human nature. With your marketing, try not to be disruptive. Try to bring value each time that you connect with your customers and clients. This includes before, during and after the sale.
What are different ways you bring value to your clients?
Mistake # 5 Where are you are fishing. I am talking about income streams. Most people focus on one income stream and haphazardly hit several others. I suggest that it is better to start with one stream and master it before moving to another stream. Your end goal should be to have a least three or more income streams.
Some examples of income streams include SOI, business partners, farming, working your database, REO, property management, landing pages, and IDX. This includes anywhere that you can find a stage and have real estate conversations.
Mistake # 6 is called don’t follow the leader. There are thousands of Realtors in the Nashville area, and somehow you have to set yourself apart from all that noise. Your marketing should describe what you do better than others, your unique selling proposition.
What is your USP?
You also have to determine, how you going to measure the return. Why invest your hard earned money and time into something that has no return. Unless you know the results, do not copy how others are marketing.
Now we are going to change gears and talk about Content.
Mistake # 7 is called 10 Headlines that Attract Sellers. Sounds interesting and exciting, right?
What is the purpose of content? To get someone to take action.
What is the purpose of a headline? To get someone to read your content.
I want you think about this there is an 80/20 rule when it comes to headlines. On average 80% of people will read a headline, but only 20% read the story. In order to engage with more people your headlines should be exciting and compelling.
When writing, I sometimes spend half of the time writing and rewriting the headline, and the other half on writing the content. This is true for emails, blog posts, advertising or anywhere you have a headline. I may write 20 or 30 different headlines on the same subject to find the one that works best. A good source for writing headlines would be Magnetic Headlines by Copyblogger.
When I need inspiration to write headlines, I will look at what the experts are doing. Using the list of online magazines at the bottom of the slide are some great examples. You can get an idea of the results by the number of times someone has viewed the article or by the social sharing.
If you want happy customers, make sure that the benefits promised in your headline are satisfied in the story.
Mistake #8 The content below the headline is key. Please understand that words matter. If the purpose of copywriting is to get someone to take action, then your copy should be written with that purpose in mind.
In order to persuade someone to take action, you have to know and understand the audience. With that knowledge, you should address their concerns and provide great solutions that overcome their obstacles.
Storytelling is a great way to connect with your clients and persuade them to take action. Common themes in storytelling, books and movies include the Hero’s Journey and the Cautionary Tale.
To learn more about copywriting, you can go to Copywriting 101 and check out some of the Copywriting groups on Facebook.
Mistake #9 What was the purpose of copywriting? To get somebody to take action. One of the most effective triggers to take action include a CTA or Call to Action. Do not forget to include a CTA in your copy. Your copy should have one purpose or CTA. Having more than one CTA will confuse most people and cause them not to take action.
If you have a very long content, I would suggest putting the one CTA in multiple locations throughout your copy. Place the CTA strategically, where you have overcome some objections and where people likely to want to take action.
Mistake #10 Use green content. Green content is something that can be reused or recycled. There are several ways that you can do this. For example, you could create a video and post it to your website. The audio from the video can be transcribed and placed below your video to improve your SEO. You can takes the best quotes from you video to be used in twitter to drive people back to your website. You can also strip the audio from the video to create a podcast. With that you have taken one piece of content and used it four different ways.
If you use the same content in multiple channels make sure it’s in the right context. What content works on Facebook doesn’t necessarily work on Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.
Another type of green content is the called Evergreen, which means it brings value over time. For example, a post on your latest listing brings value as long as the property is on the market. This is not evergreen. However, an article on the 7 Factors to Getting the Highest Price for Your Home, will be evergreen because most of the tips that work today, will also work in the future.
Also, a community page with IDX listings is evergreen content. Make sure the IDX is programmed to always provide the currently active listings for that community.
Let’s switch gears one last time to talk about Engagement.
Mistake # 11 is not having conversations that matter. One of your goals should be to have real estate related conversations with your clients and customers. Real Estate does not have to dominate the conversation, but should be a part of it as a minimum. Consistently having real estate conversations will keep you at the top of mind and should lead to business relationships and referrals. It is best if the customer brings up real estate, so listen for their cues and respond appropriately.
Your personal touch is important to generate relationships, but there is not enough time in the day to reach everyone personally. I suggest that you to leverage automation and find a proper balance between the personal touch and automation. This is a key concern when developing your marketing action plans.
Mistake # 12 is called back to the future. As you know buying a home is both a logical and emotional decision. It is very different than most of the decisions a person makes on a daily basis. When you have people that have difficulty making a decision or tirekickers, using the psychology of the future can be a difference maker. When people can picture the future e in their mind, it helps them to overcome the obstacles and make decisions. This is called Future Pacing. You’ve probably said to a client, “Can you imagine your furniture in this room, or Would this kitchen work for you?” If so, you have been future pacing.
For more info on future pacing, check out the link to quicksprout article here.
Mistake # 13 is called the greatest compliment. You often see that phrase on email signatures or on the back of business cards. I do not know anyone that has made a referral based on this technique. My solution would be to ask strategically.
Having world-class service is a prerequisite for referrals, so work on this first if necessary.
This is very interesting. 63% of people use a referral to sell their home. 65% of sellers say they would use the Realtor that sold them the home, but only 37% do it. Also, the reason most people give referrals to help someone else, and not necessarily the Realtor.
How can you use this to your advantage?
When is the best time to ask?
The best time to ask for referrals is when you receive a compliment or when someone asks a real estate question.
When someone compliments my work, I would say, ‘Thank you. This is how we serve our clients. If you know someone who could use help like this, please let me know.”
Another common question, How is the market? I would reply by saying, “The market is great, but we have more buyers than homes for them to purchase. If you know anyone who is thinking about selling, let me know. We likely have a buyer for them now.”
I would also suggest that you identify and focus on people who are likely to provide referrals. These people are typically the ones with whom you have the highest level of engagement and the deepest real estate conversations.
For more info on referrals, check out Darin Persinger’s LevelsCoaching.com.
Which mistakes would you add to this list?