Real Estate Marketing -- How Strong Is Your Offer?
Many real estate agents are taught to market themselves in watered-down fashion. They're taught to spend a lot of money sending postcards to their farm area with a message no stronger than "I sell homes ... can I help you sell yours?"
Then these same agents wonder why they get zero return on their marketing dollars.
It's time for some hard truth. In marketing, strong offers will pull a strong response. Weak offers will pull a weak response. The two are directly proportional. And real estate marketing is no different -- you have to make an offer if you expect any kind of response.
Remember this acronym: WIIFM. What?s In It For Me? That?s what your prospects want to know, right from the start. So if you delay in answering this question by burying your offer -- or worse, by not even having one -- you?ve lost them.
Here?s a mental exercise that will help you visualize the importance of a strong offer:
Picture one of your prospects standing beside a mailbox.
Let?s say it?s a woman dressed in business attire and balancing a bag of groceries under one arm. While you?re at it, visualize the rest of the scene -- the color of her hair, the weather, the white two-story colonial behind her.
Now visualize the four catalogs, three bills and two marketing postcards she just pulled from the mailbox. Your postcard comes out next.
She shakes her head and says, "Another real estate postcard? That makes nine this week! Well, let?s see if this one?s any different." And she proceeds to give your card a generous three seconds of her attention.
That is the primary obstacle you must overcome. That is why you need to constantly strengthen and test your offer. That is why you need to build stronger relationships through value-based marketing.
Principles of a Good Offer:
* Valuable to the recipient.
* Relevant to your services (to qualify prospects).
* Highly visible on the marketing piece (as not to be missed).
* Clear and straightforward (as not to be misunderstood).
* Repeated more than once (in the headline, graphic and copy for example).
What Can You Offer?
You don't have to offer anything expensive, just something of real value to your recipients. In marketing terms, expensive and valuable are two different things.
A "report card" of local schools wouldn't take much time to put together, but you can bet folks in the neighborhood (or moving into the neighborhood) would be interested in it.
You could also put together a booklet called "Tips for Sellers ? 25 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal" without much trouble. But I guarantee anyone thinking of selling would want a free copy.
The ?no-obligation consultation? can no longer stand on its own as an offer or initiative. It will not spur anyone to act. It?s okay to use it as a supporting offer, but you need to include something of real value if you expect any kind of response. Give your prospects what they want, and you?ll thrive. Deny them at your expense.
About the Author: Brandon Cornett has worked as a marketing manager for a direct mail company serving the real estate industry since 1986. He now dedicates his time to helping real estate professionals improve their marketing. His "Modern Guide to Real Estate Marketing" and his free newsletter are available at: http://www.ArmingYourFarming.com