Learn What Successful Agents Know: It's Not About Real Estate ... It's About People
February 2000, By Don Hobbs
You walk into a store. A salesperson rushes over and immediately asks, "Hi, can I help you find something?" Your reply? Chances are, you're "just browsing." Even if you intend to make a purchase, no one wants to be marauded the moment they step foot inside the store.
Realtors do this, too. In fact, it's one of the biggest faults most agents make in their marketing campaigns.
Considering the example given above, it's painfully obvious that the way to connect with a consumer isn't to jump down their throat bragging about a product or service. It never has been, and it never will be. That will only deter people. But that's what many agents do in their marketing materials time and time again.
The real key to effective personal marketing is right there in the name - it has to be "personal."
It's Not About Real Estate. It's About People. Have you ever gotten to the end of a transaction and had the client call you a "friend" and make you part of the family? Of course you have. But consider just for a moment everything that client went through to get to that point:
First of all, they had to call a Realtor. Most people look forward to doing that about as much as they like scheduling their dentist appointments or doing their taxes.
Then, after some initial feedback on the phone, they agree to meet you, where, while still apprehensive, they begin to know your interests and values. At this point, it's much more about people than it is about real estate. And then two or three months later, after you've been through the entire transaction, this once-apprehensive person has been transformed into someone who invites you into their home. What happened?
Quite simply, you built rapport. And it wasn't based on your real estate knowledge. People don't call you their "friend" because you know a lot about mortgage rates or because you own a lap top computer. In fact, it's quite the opposite. It's because you share common interests and personality traits that bring people together.
If every time you met the client, you kept telling them how great you are, how long do you think they would have stuck around? (Not long, if you didn't think that was a rhetorical question.) But traditionally, that's exactly what most real estate agents try to accomplish in their advertising with laundry lists of designations and industry drivel that may impress other agents, but make no emotional connection with the consumer.
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The objective of truly "personal" marketing is to allow the consumer to achieve that comfort zone up-front: before you've met face to face, before the first phone call, before you even have a clue who they are, except that they're in your database. That's the power of personal marketing. And the result is that not only are they not apprehensive to make that first call, they feel good about it!
Now the question becomes how you go about that...
A New Way of Thinking Really, it's easier than it seems. Quite simply, it's a matter of infusing your advertising with emotion. Despite your desire to want to spew out details about your service and designations and sales figures, you must realize that great marketing is not based in fact. In all honesty, consumers don't relate or even understand any of that. Instead, great marketing is based on the "Wow!" factor and rapport - in other words, the relatable, emotionally driven ties between you and the reader.
So to really make an impact in your market, you need to start by analyzing your current marketing materials and asking yourself two essential questions:
Question One, are your ads intriguing, and not just to you, but to the reader? Are they different than other real estate ads or do they spout the same, tired, "I provide the best service," or "I'm No. 1"-type claims common to real estate marketing?
Question two: Do your ads and marketing materials possess a strong emotional appeal? Don't know? Here's how you tell: Are your ads ego-driven or do they allow the reader an insight into you on a personal level and encourage a positive emotional connection with you?
If you can't answer "yes" to both of these questions, you're wasting money and your marketing materials are due for an overhaul.
But once you can answer both those questions with a resounding "yes," you're on your way to a whole new level of productivity.