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Have you ever spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours on an ad or mailing program, only to stare at your silent phone?
If so, you’re not alone. Most agents spend an enormous amount of time learning about “real estate”, but very little learning about the “elements” that turn your advertising (or any marketing or prospecting efforts) from a “sunk cost” to a true “money-maker”.
The truth about real estate success is this: Even the most competent and knowledgeable agent will go broke without a steady, consistent stream of qualified, motivated buyers and sellers.
So while knowledge about real estate is essential to being a competent agent, it’s not going to write your ticket to success. You also need to develop prospecting and marketing skills designed to create an on-going flow of leads and clients.
Money-making marketing isn’t difficult if you know a few basics. In fact, all successful marketing has three essential components. I call them…
The Three “M’s” of Marketing Success
The next time you set-out to create a successful ad, post card, or even if you decide to cold prospect (or the next time you’re perplexed as to why your wonderful promotion didn’t work), think about these three ingredients…
#1: Select the Right MARKET
It sounds rather obvious, but most agents fail with their marketing right here – they fail to target the “hungry crowd“… people who are “right now” facing a problem about real estate, and are motivated and interested in what you may be offering.
What do I mean by “market”?
A “market” is a group of people who share a common demographic (statistical description, such as location, occupation, income, etc.) or psychographic (belief wiring). Your goal is to select a market that has an immediate, pressing desire for your services.
Want an example?
About 6 months ago an agent called me because she had been farming a “high-end” subdivision for over 9 months, and her efforts produced zero calls or listings. When I asked her to hop on her trusty MLS system and take a look at the market, she noticed that only 2 homes had sold in the entire area over the past year!
She had been fishing in an empty pond.
I then told her to select 5 decent markets in her area based on casual knowledge, and using here MLS system analyze each market for # of homes sold, average sales time, # of dominant agents in the market and a few other statistics.
By comparing 5 markets based on these criteria, all of a sudden one of the areas stuck out as a higher-potential market than the others – an area with lots of activity, high turnover, short sales times, fewer dominant agents, etc. Within 30 days working these markets she had her first listing, and is now making a small fortune from her farming efforts.
So how do you find hot markets? How do you find the well-stocked ponds that will produce consistent business for you, year-in and year-out?
The secret is to pay attention to where the dominant activity exists for the type of homes you specialize in selling.
If you’re a luxury market specialist, do your homework and locate luxury areas with better activity than others. If resort properties or horse properties are your specialty, then analyze the best resort or horse property subdivisions to target.
If you’re looking for buyers, examine your market for segments where the highest volume of buyers exist (get cozy with your local board and you can find lots of market data). Between your MLS and a trusty Excel spreadsheet, the answers are right at your fingertips.
But you want to know the one “market” that will out-perform anything else as much as 16 to 1? It’s your “Power List”…your list of past clients, friends, family and acquaintances.
If you’re interested in building a booming “Power List” business click here to learn more.
To sum up this first “M”… go where the pond is stocked from the beginning, and your odds of success will be much greater when you cast your line.
Let’s move on to the second “M”…
#2: Select the Right MEDIUM
Once you’ve found your market(s), the next question you should ask yourself is: “Where does my target market get information that’s important to them?”
The secret is to tap into the lines of communication and information that your market already finds credible and helpful.
Most agents are seduced into finding mediums (magazines, newspapers, etc.) based on the highest circulation, but that’s a BIG mistake because you’re going to pay for exposure to people who have no interest in your services – it’s called “waste circulation” and it’s very costly.
Find a medium that reaches your targeted prospect and only your targeted prospect.
You might choose to use direct mail after performing an analysis like the example above. You might locate a homeowner newsletter to contribute a helpful article about buying or selling in the area. Or you might find a bedroom newspaper that specifically targets the area you farm.
Either way, the “secret” to success is in finding well-targeted, small ways to reach your prospect and only your prospect. That’s because every dollar (and minute) counts when you’re prospecting for leads and clients.
The more you target by selecting the right medium for your promotions, the more money you make.
And the final “M” is this…
#3: Create the Right MESSAGE
All of your advertising, mailings or any other marketing should have one and only one objective: Motivate qualified buyer and seller prospects to CALL YOU or hire your services!
If they don’t call or hire you, you’ve wasted your money.
But most agents believe that, if they put up their photo with a “call me for more information” they’ve done the job. Wrong!
You will find volumes of books and courses about direct response marketing and ways to motivate prospects to call you, but here’s a quick 4-point checklist that will almost instantly improve the success of all your marketing.
Capture Attention with a Benefit-Rich Headline and Lead. Your headline is your “ad” for your ad or letter or even your listing presentation – no it’s not your name or your big company logo. It’s the specific call-out message that causes your reader or listener to stop and take notice, just like a headline in a newspaper article works. Your “lead” is what you say in the first 5 seconds that captures the attention of your reader and motivates them to read on.
Stimulate Interest by Harmonizing with Your Prospect. How do you get people interested in you? By talking about the problems they face and the desires they seek. It’s not about you; it’s about them! When you connect with your prospect and empathize with their situation (their immediate fears and desires), you instantly capture their interest and open their minds to be willing to listen to your solutions.
Create Desire by Matching Your Services Perfectly to Their Fears and Desires. When you demonstrate how your services solve problems or deliver benefits for your prospects and clients better than any other option – in a way that’s risk-free for them – you automatically make yourself a stand-out choice for their business. The art of persuasion is simply matching your solution perfectly to the problems and desires your prospect faces.
Stimulate Action with an Irresistible Offer and Call to Action. Remember this: No one will call you without a self-serving, almost irresistible reason for calling. So you need to give prospects reasons to call. For lead generation, offer special reports, preferred lists of homes and other “magnets” that will motivate people to seek you out. When closing a listing presentation, list out all the “things” you will DO for them, and make an offer that will have them saying, “we’d have to be fools to pass this up!” If you don’t include an offer, combined with an urgent call to action, chances are your prospects are going to procrastinate. And procrastination in this business means an empty checkbook!
One final note… these three “M’s” of marketing success are not magic bullet solutions.
It’s up to you to take action and consistently apply them in your marketing. Once you really understand each of these ingredients and USE them, you’ll have a reliable way of creating promotions that work instead of just a fizzle of response.
If you want your promotions to bring you a steady stream of commissions and clients, go and review every promotion you have right now against each of these ingredients of successful marketing.
You’ll be glad you did!
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Michael is a licensed real estate broker, a syndicated columnist and a freelance internet marketing consultant. As a sought after speaker and trainer, he is best known for helping to utilize video and video marketing in a way that actually works to make you money! As Executive Editor, Michael is very excited to bring his years of experience in real estate marketing to the team.