Do you want your marketing to generate more leads? Of course you do. No matter how many you’re getting you always want more. You could crank up your spending, send out more mail, increase your pay-per-click budget, take out more ad space. Or, you could be smart.
One thing that hasn’t changed in real estate is the power of signs. Really. I talked with a broker the other day who complained that she got no leads from her website. We talked around the problem for awhile and I finally asked how many listings she had. ‘Three,’ she said. Three listings = three signs. She’s unknown in her marketplace . . . and that’s why her website doesn’t draw.
The first part of your carefully created marketing plan needs to address how you’re going to establish your presence in your target area by becoming visible (read: by getting as many signs as possible out).
So you only have three listings. You know that Open Houses create an opportunity to use 4, 5, 6, or even more directional signs. But how many open houses can you personally hold on a Sunday afternoon? One, right?
That’s one of the great things about Help-U-Sell. We have this concept of seller participation and a willing and properly prepared seller can hold his or her own open house whenever they want. If you got all three of your sellers to be open at the same time on the same day, that’s 18, 19, 20 signs in the marketplace (maybe more), and you’re making your presence known.
Directional signs are not just for Open House day, though. They are powerful in the everyday world too. You must investigate local law and restrictions and then plan your directionals around them. However, I know of a number of offices in areas where directionals are prohibited who put them out Friday evening (after the enforcers leave work for the weekend) and pick them up Sunday evening. We even have one South African office that has a budget for monthly sign fines! They know they’re going to be cited, but the value of having signs in the marketplace far exceeds the cost of the fines. To them, the fine is just a marketing expense!
At Help-U-Sell we also have something called ‘Market Blitz Signs.’ These are smaller signs, usually made of cardboard or plastic that simply use your logo and feature your phone number. They don’t promote anything ‘for sale,’ and they don’t point to anything. You blanket your marketplace with them — put them on telephone poles and fences and really anywhere they can be taped, tacked or stapled. You refresh and replace them regularly and pretty soon people are saying , ‘I see your signs everywhere.’
Signs don’t always have to be stuck in the ground or tacked to a post. A car wrap is a wonderful sign with the added benefit that it’s mobile. I’ve known many brokers who encountered restrictions that affected the effectiveness of their office signage, who used a wrapped vehicle, parked at the street, to build their presence in the marketplace. And you don’t have to stop with a wrapped vehicle, either. Magnetic car signs, in your colors with your logo are available and easily attach (and detatch) from the side panels of your car.
Finally, keep an eye out for community events and sponsorships that give you an opportunity to put your brand in play. The perfect example is the softball team to which you donate jerseys with your logo on the back. Hey: it works for race car drivers and basketball players, why not with the kids in your target market?
Being visible in your marketplace, laying down a big, thick blanket of branding that people can’t help but notice, will make every bit of marketing you do . . . more effective. Your ads will pull more, your mailers will get a better response, your website will get more hits. And you don’t have to have dozens of listings to do this.