With the slowdown in the economy, the only response I can think of is to market, advertise, and market some more. Of course, that means spending more money, of which less and less is coming in. That means I have to be careful to get the most bang for the buck, to get a measureable return on the marketing dollar.
I don't know what works for you, and in fact, I'm not sure what works for me. I can tell you with absolute certainty what has not worked for me in the past. Here's a partial list of what doesn't work, for me:
- Lead providers - I listed them first, because this is akin to snake oil.
- Internet Listing Services - ranked just below the snake oil.
- SEO services - The ones I have tried have not been worth a dime.
- Doorknocking - Cheap, but worthless; akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.
Some things that work, but give very small percentage returns, and require consistent participation:
- Postcards - For listings, just solds, personal promotion, farming.
- Neighborhood newspaper/circular print advertising.
- Passing out businesscards everywhere.
- Joining Clubs to network; e.g., Toastmasters, Lions, Rotary, etc.
- Big Name Magnets on the car. It can't hurt. It's like wearing your nametag. If you are out in public, let it be known what business you are in.
Lastly, here's what I'm adding to the list of marketing tactics that I am using. I say adding, because I will continue doing those things that have given small returns, and continue looking for new things that might work better. Of course, anything that works exceptionally well will replace things that may no longer be worth continuing.
1.) Shopping Cart Riders
This is expensive - If it doesn't give returns that at least pay for itself, it will be gone in a flash. Test period is six months.
( by the way, the area code is 808) I like the concept, in that it helps anchor me in my area as a Neighborhood Expert. I was told at the time I purchased the advertising that I would be the only Realtor on the carts in this particular Supermarket, with a total of six different advertisers. Next time, (if there is a next time) I need to have that added to the contract in writing, as I am one of two. Two other agents are sharing a rider, splitting the cost.
In someone else's blog about what works for them, someone commented that doorhangers was their ticket, so I decided to give it a try. Coupled with the local supermarket cart riders, I decided to canvas the neighborhood around the shopping center. I ordered 5,000 cards, have given out about 1500. So far I had one call, from some deranged individual asking me if I could give him a loan.
If any of this works out for me, I'll be sure and follow up to let you know.
In the meantime, please share what you are doing, what you have found that works, and just as importantly, what didn't work. There may be a few reasons why things work or don't, and I would like to hear what you think about that as well.