Incorporate top-of-mind marketing in your real estate business to obliterate the competition
Obliterating your competition is easier than you think.
It’s seriously simple. However, it won’t happen overnight. So if you’re into real estate for the long haul, this article is for you.
This marketing strategy will also mean that repeat business will kick in faster for you than agents who don’t incorporate this strategy into their marketing activities.
A little while ago I published the “are you leaving money on the sales table?” coaching article.
Today we’re going one step further. You’ll discover how to turn all those facts and figures into your competitive advantage.
In other words, how to position yourself so you stand head and shoulders ahead of all your competition. This, in turn, will ultimately result in you having no competition!
Relationships require nurturing
All relationships need to be nurtured.
In real estate, the relationship “date” usually kicks off with the appraisal.
However, before the date is set, many home owners have been watching you from afar.
The methodology to position yourself head and shoulders above your competition is via frequent and persistent marketing campaigns.
The methodology I recommend is via a frequent non-salesy newsletter.
Continue reading to discover how & why this works and how to make this happen in your real estate business.
Definition of news letter
A newsletter is not a sales letter.
Just to clarify, a frequent newsletter doesn’t mean the typical sales letters real estate offices mass produce on behalf of their agents full of just listed and just sold properties.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticising this type of communication because it serves a purpose. However, if you want to move your business to the next level and obliterate your competition relying on your head-office-produced one-size-fits-all publications isn’t the way to go.
What I’m talking about instead is personalised, branded information-packed interesting and newsy type newsletters.
Newsletters can contain just solds (because they help demonstrate your expertise) but this type of information needs to be at least equally balanced with something other than “buy me!” chest-thumping information.
Frequent newsletters of the sort I’m talking about take time and effort to write and publish.
Obliterating your competition is simple but not necessarily easy. After all, if it were easy everyone would be doing it!
Sales letters are not news letters
Most of the “newsletters” I’ve seen coming out of real estate offices are typically “sales letters”. They contain more “sales” related content than “newsy” information.
To obliterate your competition your regular newsletter needs to include more than automatically computer-generated same-as-everyone-else information.
Personal profile marketing designed to secure the 90 day listing
You already know that only very, very rarely do you do an appraisal and walk away with the signed 90-day exclusive in your hand before you leave.
Imagine what it would be like to experience this most of the time.
It is possible!
In the “leave money on the sales table” coaching referred to above, I talked about the fact that 93% of sales are made on the 6th (or subsequent) follow up.
Further, the average salesperson quits after just the second attempt.
How this usually plays out in real life
Someone visits your open home.
You make the obligatory follow up call. But your heart’s not really in it because experience tells you most people:
- are just looking,
- are not interested, or
- consider the property over-priced
(do these words sound familiar?).
You tick the “visitor followed up” box so you can report back honestly to the vendor that you’ve followed through with all potential buyers.
And that’s it.
If you’re like most real estate agents I work with you have a huge pile of visitors in your open home register books who’ve never heard from you beyond that first follow up call.
Below Average Performance
Remember I mentioned above that the average salesperson quits after two follow ups…?
Having a list of “called once only” names means your performance has immediately dropped to below average.
You need a simple system for keeping in touch with these people to elevate your performance to above average.
Most salespeople quit before they see results
The flip side of the 6+ nurturing-step-requirement is that salespeople quit after just the first or second follow up call.
I’m sure you’ve seen it in your office: a salesperson decides they’re going to get serious about farming an area. So they do a letterbox drop (or maybe two) with “buy me” type DL cards.
They do this because that’s what they’ve seen others do.
But because they don’t get any listing enquiries after the first or second drop they decide that farm area is no good and head off somewhere else.
Or maybe they continue in that farm area, but in such a completely non-related and disconnected way from the original marketing drop, recipients have no way of tying in the first type of marketing with the subsequent marketing as being from the same person.
This means they’re effectively starting from scratch. Again.
They’re screwing up their chances of building personal brand equity and/or marketing collateral.
Can you see where I’m going with this?
To be above average you just need to be more persistently consistent than your competitors in a cohesive and methodical way.
Do the numbers
You’ve already got the information at your fingertips to be able to easily calculate what’s taking place in your area. But the chances are high that no one’s ever stopped to tell you how to interpret these numbers and what they mean to you.
Calculate what the turnover of properties is in your area
If farm area marketing is a new concept to you, you might find this article helpful “6 reasons to become a real estate agent who dominates their farm area”
For your selected farm area, get the sales data for the last 3 years. Break it down into annual data, so you’ve got data for three 12-month periods. It’s not important that you’re working with January-December periods, just that you’ve got 3 x 12 = 36 months of data.
The reason for 36 months (3 years) of data is to determine the average for your specific farm area.
How many properties came on the market in your area each year?
For the sake of simplicity, let’s say that every year 200 properties come up for sale in your area of 1,000 owner-occupied properties.
In other words, property turnover in your area is once every five years.
This means that every week (on average) you can expect 3-4 properties to come onto the market for sale in your area.
Imagine being top-of-mind for the 200 or so people who are getting ready to sell their properties.
By being persistently consistent with your marketing this is what you’ll achieve. You’ll easily be able to out-perform your competitors.
Remember – 93% of people require 6+ follow up calls before they’re ready to buy.
Being a successful real estate salesperson is like running a marathon: you have to be in for the long haul. It’s not a sprint.
Agents give up too soon
Test it out yourself.
Start collecting all the real estate flyers that are dropped into your letterbox. If necessary, remove the “no junk mail” sticker from your home letterbox.
Rather than dump all the real estate marketing you receive, keep it. For six months.
If you’re the super analytical type, start an Excel spreadsheet. However, simply noting the date on each piece you receive will suffice.
At the end of the six month period you want to know:
- Which agents dropped more than one piece of information
- The frequency
- The type of marketing they used (eg, newsletter, Just Sold, Just Listed, List With Me)
If all they dropped were ‘just listed’ or ‘just sold’ DLs it implies the only reason you received this was because of the property, not because they’re the local specialist. They’re probably dropping similar DLs for other properties all over town.
How many agents were consistent with their marketing in your letterbox?
When you consistently and persistently keep in touch with people at an above average level of performance you start becoming top-of-mind.
You can obliterate the competition!
Nurture frequency is important
Monthly is better than nothing (or sporadic) – not quite long enough to be forgotten (but no promises it won’t happen – especially if your biggest competitor is publishing more frequently).
Fortnightly is better than monthly.
Weekly is the best of all.
It’s important to always have a call to action in your marketing material.
Calls to Action are instructions as to what to do next.
‘if you’re thinking of selling your home please call me direct’
‘ask for me by name’.
Your Action Steps:
Transition your prospects from your Open Home database to your Newsletter database
Follow up with them a second time. This conversation will have nothing to do with the property they viewed. You’ll use the open home as the reason for calling and it will become the “conversational bridge”.
Introduce your regular newsletter. Extol the benefits of receiving it and invite them to subscribe.
Decide on your marketing frequency
Whichever frequency you opt for it must be sustainable.
It’s easy to start off with a hiss and a roar.
The more frequent your marketing, the faster you’ll become (and stay) top-of-mind.
The flip side of that is the more frequent your marketing the more effort that’s required by you and the faster it will be noticed if you miss a publication.
Decide on your media
Are you going to go print (letterbox: unaddressed or addressed) or digital (email)?
Addressed and printed is more expensive but likely to have the highest ROI (return on investment) because it is more expensive fewer agents will be doing it this way and therefore you will definitely stand out and be memorable.
The downside of print (apart from the cost) is that you can’t measure who opens (reads) your letter.
The advantage of using an email service (eg, Mailchimp, Aweber) is that you can see who’s opening your emails and who’s clicking on your calls to action.
Decide on your method
- combination of all three
The best time to start was when you first started your real estate business. The second best time to start is today.