Help-U-Sell starts with a premise: we are a marketing company. That’s a heavy concept and it’s pretty rare in today’s traditional real estate world where ‘marketing’ (read: advertising) is done largely by agents (not brokers) and done individually, one house at a time. It usually goes like this: the agent gets a listing, promises all kinds of ‘advertising’ and then scrambles to do it in such a way that the impatient seller is placated. The result is disconnected stuff all over the place, little coordination and little evaluation.
Marketing companies don’t work like that.
Start with Analysis
At Help-U-Sell we begin with a thorough analysis of the broker’s target market. We look at everything we can find about the market place, breaking it down to smaller and smaller units: zip codes, then neighborhoods, then carrier routes. Among other things, we’re looking for two significant details: seasonality and turnover rate. Turnover tells us where to target our advertising and seasonality tells us when.
Then Target Your Marketing
One of the keys to being successful as a marketing company is narrowing your focus. You want to target your prescious marketing budget to the group that is most likely to respond and use your service. the biggest bang for your buck.
For example, you could target the 400 homes in a particular neighborhood where the turnover rate has been 6% for several years — which means that 24 homes will probably come on the market this year — and try to get , say: 20% of those. Running campaigns on several target neighborhoods at once can produce much better results than shotgunning your message to the world.
Then Track Your Results
Traditional agents put their new listing in a homes magazine and then breathe a sigh of relief because the seller will be happy for the next week or two. If a marketing company puts a listing in a homes magazine, they do it to generate leads and so they carefully track the results they achieve.
Every time the phone rings in your office with a potential buyer or seller on the other end (or you get an email inquiry), you have to write it down, count it, keep track of it. Ideally you get a name, contact information and what caused them to call. But even if you never get beyond the fact that they are a buyer or seller, you keep track of how many times potential customers contacted your office. Source information is critical in evaluating your marketing program and making decisions about where to best spend your dollars.
If you have an easy to use leads managment system, like the one we use at Help-U-Sell, you can look at every bit of marketing you’ve done and see how many leads each piece generated and how many commission dollars were eventually earned. Ultimately you know whether that homes magazine ad produced $5 for every dollar you spent or $50, or (gulp) no dollars. And until you know that you aren’t in a position to fine tune your market plan.