Ahhhh . . . .remember the good old days? You know: a dozen years ago or so, when you would buy an ad of some kind and then measure the leads it would create, even analyze the quality of the leads created, and then pick and choose the marketing vehicles that seemed to work the best going forward? That process of trial-measurement-choose to arrive at a marketing plan was central to the mindset of a Help-U-Sell Broker. Unfortunately:
It Don’t Work That Way No More!
I talk with brokers every day, mostly about marketing. Many are still looking for that magical marketing silver bullet, that one advertising vehicle where they can invest their money and receive the highest return. Truth is: there are no magical lead-generating machines – not today. Today, marketing is not about spending a little money here and there and waiting for the phone to ring; it is about laying down a prolific blanket of media that reminds the consumer you are there and can save them money.
Flashback – 2005: Sitting in a room full of Help-U-Sell Brokers hearing about a Help-U-Sell only homes magazine one group had created. They were distributed in bright red boxes all over town and produced lead after lead after lead.
We used to hear that kind of story all the time . . . but we don’t anymore. The consumer is fundamentally different today and there are a dozen reasons why, the most powerful being the maturation of the Internet. With all of the information readily available online, consumers very rarely respond to a specific ad about a specific property. Today, they are slowly drawn to work with you.
Slowly drawn. What does that mean?
I know brokers whose Google Ad Words campaigns work. I know brokers who get leads every time they send out an EDDM. I know brokers whose CI postcards produce listings and sales. Often it is the same brokers. These are the ones who understand that they must mount a continuous, multi-pronged assault on their target markets. They do Ad Words, Facebook, Zillow, EDDMs, Just Listed/Sold, FSBO, CIs and even toss in a little print advertising from time to time. For this group, marketing is not the placing of an ad here or there, it is a holistic combination of dozens of things that keep their name and program firmly rooted in the minds of consumers in their target markets.
Today it is much more difficult to determine the source of the lead you get. They didn’t call you because of one specific marketing piece, they called you because they have casually noticed you in the market over and over and over again. ‘I found you on the Internet’ doesn’t just mean they got lucky with a Google search. It probably means they saw your EDDM a couple of times, noticed when your sign went up in a neighbors yard, received your door hanger, passed your office with its prominent sign 6 times last week . . . and on and on.
Richard Cricchio of Help-U-Sell Honolulu Properties is a good example of how to market today. Not coincidentally, he has been the number one Help-U-Sell office in the world for a several years. Richard started with Help-U-Sell core marketing, one piece at a time. Then as the program began to work, instead of wondering where he could cut, he looked around for what he could add. Every year he adds a thing or two to his marketing program: radio, homes magazines, new postcard program, blog and so on. He almost never cuts anything out because he realizes that all of it works to keep his company firmly in the minds of home sellers and buyers on Oahu.
Now, I know. If you are not drowning in discretionary income, you’re probably thinking, ‘Ok, Holistic . . . that means Expensive, right?’ Yes, it does. But it also means one step at a time. Your first order of business is to crank up core marketing. Get that working and keep it working for . . . well, forever. If you need a refresher about what Help-U-Sell core marketing is, you can find it here. Then start looking for what to add. Talk to me as you make those decisions; I may be able to help.