7 Lessons From a Disney Vacation

By Alex Camelio, CEO - Posted on
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I couldn’t help myself. What was supposed to be a vacation turned into a Disney Master Class about Marketing and Service. Disney sets a precedent across the world for what a “Customer Experience” should be. So, what can we learn from these Masters? Just like any successful Real Estate professional, it comes down to 2 things – Marketing and Service.

I had an amazing time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the time spent with everyone there, but what really made the trip for all of us was Disney’s exceptional delivery of the experience itself. Every detail of your visit has been carefully thought through and designed so you can get the most from the parks. And they must be doing something right to attract 52 million visitors last year and bring in $26.7 Billion for parks alone.

Marketing

Disney excels not only because of the experience they deliver, but because their marketing is absolutely genius! They’ve fully integrated their marketing into all of the products that go along with your trip, making you a walking, talking advocate. Disney’s marketing does a lot of things well. So many, in fact, that I couldn’t hope to cover them all in 1 article. Today however, I wanted to cover a few tactics that stood out as something that would help improve your marketing as a real estate agent.

Shareable Moments

Throughout the park, Disney has specifically labeled “Photo Spots” and put up signs where you can take photos with picturesque scenes in the background. Helpful, right? There’s more to it than that though – they’re prompting people to take wonderful pictures they know will be shared on social media, which is a cost-free and endless source of marketing for them as long as there are visitors to the park.

Lesson: If prompted in the right way, people will help you market your business at no cost to you.

It’s helpful to consider the different points during the buying and selling process that clients might deem as shareable moments. For example, Sellers might be interested in sharing a few listing photos that highlight what they loved about their home with a post about “saying farewell”. Or perhaps Buyers would like to share a map of the route you drove them on looking at houses (all day) with a post about “hanging out with my realtor” or “the quest to find the perfect house”. You can easily prompt people to share things just by sharing it with them yourself. .

The Power of Partnerships

I’m hardly a Coca-Cola expert, but after a quick bit of research I’m fairly certain the unique approach they’ve taken with their logo for Disney’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge has never been done with their branding before. Disney and Coca-Cola decided to work together in this case to create a deeper experience on both sides of their business, where the labeling immerses park goers in the Star Wars world, it also makes coca-cola fans feel like they’re getting an exclusive product (which offsets the premium price you pay for it all!)

Lesson: You can use partnerships to create a richer experience for your clients.

Consider that the process of buying and selling a home extends past your services, and people may also need movers, painters, landscapers…. Think about how you can create a holistic experience for your clients by integrating your partnerships into your service offering. At the same time, you can reduce your marketing costs by sharing them with these strategic alliances.

Our Service for Life!® Newsletter was specifically designed to help real estate agents co-market with their Strategic Partners, and we’ve already set everything up for you! Learn more here.

Innovate and Engage

In the words of Yoda – “Difficult to see. Always in motion is the future.” In this case, the Disney Play App really reflects their consideration of how the future will continue to bring new opportunities to their business. Today, not only can you get an interactive map of the park with quizzes, prizes and helpful tools, you can actually interact with the park itself. Inside Galaxy’s Edge, the park further reacts to how you use the app. Check it out in more detail here.

Lesson: Get creative with your marketing and don’t be afraid to try new things to improve what you’re already doing. That doesn’t mean you need to throw out what you’re already doing. The best innovations are often small improvements to what you’re already doing.

Service

Once you’ve arrived, the entire Disney experience is about service. Just like their marketing, Disney does a lot really well and I couldn’t hope to cover it all in one article. However, 2 things stood out as lessons for our businesses.

Cast Members and Details

Disney considers every staff member who interacts with the public a “cast member” and pays attention to their every detail. They have taken time to craft every part of the experience from what cast members wear to the lingo they use.  

Lesson: Pay attention to your role as a cast member in your clients real estate production. How do you want them to view your character? How you carry yourself can make a difference, so be decisive in your actions.

Gift Shop Pick Up & Ease of Purchase

At every gift shop in Disney you have the free option to have your purchase brought to the front of the park to be picked up as you leave. I can’t even imagine how much more money they’ve made because they removed the barrier of carrying it around the park all day.

Lesson: What barriers do you have? What can you do to remove them?

Mistakes

While Disney is amazing at a lot of things they’re certainly not perfect but as Master Yoda says – “The greatest teacher, failure is.” Throughout our time booking reservations and visiting the park, we noticed a few things that seemed out of character for Disney so I figured we should learn from those too.

Disney Website

One of the first things I noticed as we were booking our tickets and dinner reservations was that the website wasn’t quite what it should be. Any one part of the website was easy enough to navigate, but it seemed like different parts of the website were built in siloh’s. For example, how you book your Fast Passes, Dinner Reservations and Hotel Reservations feel like 3 different websites. If I had to guess, Disney built them piece by piece over time with different teams and ended up with a difficult site to navigate. 

Lesson: A consistent experience matters.

Magic Kingdom Wasn’t As Magical

While all 4 parks were great, we walked away from Magic Kingdom thinking that it didn’t quite live up to the rest. It had nothing to do with the age of the park or type of rides and had everything to do with the attention to detail.

Unlike the other parks, we saw an occasional overflowing trash can, vendors who were out of various products and it took close to 2 hours for the characters to make it to the kids at an already late starting character dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, we had an amazing time and none of this is to complain. However, when I think about the amazing experience at Disney I can’t help but think that Magic Kingdom didn’t pay attention to the same level of detail the other parks did.

Lesson: Details matter when it comes to providing great customer service.

Learn From the World Around You

In the words of Master Yoda – “Mind what you have learned. Save you it can.”

Learning from your own mistakes is incredibly useful, but make sure you take some time to learn from the success of others as well. We’ve taken a bunch of lessons from Disney’s success but there’s far more we can learn… So, what lessons have you learned from Disney? 

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Alex Camelio
As the CEO of Agent Inner Circle, Alex Camelio focuses on the development and growth of the community. Prior to selling his company to Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies, Alex was the Co-Founder and President at Barcode Realty. Within the real estate community, he has been recognized internationally as an expert in technology, marketing, and entrepreneurship and has presented for various national organizations.
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3 thoughts on “7 Lessons From a Disney Vacation”

  1. Well put. Many of life’s experiences can translate to other scenarios if we are creative enough without having blinders on our creativity. Now how to apply it in the other scenarios is the next step. Thought to action to results. Thanks for the ideas.

    1. Thanks Will!!! I’m really glad you liked the article. 🙂 I always try to take in the World around me and learn from it in whatever way I can. The lessons out there are abundant if you know how to look. Thanks again.

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