Innovation Comes from Trial & Error
In our business, we hear, not just daily but, multiple times daily, marketing ideas that are sure to rock our world. We listen and most of the time, will give a new idea a try if all of the stars align - if the person referring the product is trustworthy in our eyes, if the marketing budget allows and if time allows for us to give the idea our full attention.
The key to a successful trial includes all of the above however, MUST also include evaulation and tweaking...continuing or discontinuing.
Oh, I can think of many postcards that I sent out that procured not one future client but, my most expensive bust was not so much the idea itself but, the way I managed it. I learned of a system that managed a home search site for me and promised to procure at least 60 leads per month. That doesn't sound like much but, if you convert your leads well, other agents who I know well, were turning a significantly higher number of leads than anyone in the country was documenting. Okay, I'll give it a whirl!
I started out quite well but, with our typical, crazy spring market and my normal referral business, I suddenly had not time to respond to the leads. Eventually, I responded to NONE of them! I simply didn't have time or the staff to do so and my referral clients keep me quite busy, typically 12 months a year
. Why I thought I could manage these additional leads is beyond me!
Eventually, I hired someone to work the leads for me and I referred out a good book of business, making more than enough with the 'mailbox money' to pay for the leads and my new assistant's salary for working them. In the meantime, my other websites began pulling in more leads than I knew what to do with so, I focused on those - after all, the amount of time I had spent over the years to boost my own SEO was more valuable than the cost of the leads I was getting from an independent service. I no longer buy leads and enjoy a heavy referral business...and mailbox money from my website leads.
*As you can see in the screenshot, a sample of unanswered emails from 2014 - and that's only one day from the people I was paying to be sure my IDX was getting leads!
I had several of my close friends who are agents telling me to become more social - actually spend time outside of the real estate transaction with them. Most of them were doing some sort of weekly or monthly meet-and-greet event but, I honestly didn't think I would have the time to implement such a large undertaking, time-consuming event each month...muchless each week. So, I started quarterly and then moved to monthly meet-ups - they were a raving success and how fun for my team and me too!
I have since focused on my favorite charities and have tailored the events around volunteering and including my sphere, past & current clients. I send out personal invitations and always receive a tremendous response. I have to say that tweaking to focus on this way to interact with my clients, whether or not I receive one referral, does more for my heart than the monthly 'bar meet-ups!' I love seeing others giving of their hearts to causes in which we share a passion.
I've been using Facebook for quite some time but, have enlisted my millennial assistants to help me with evaluating efforts on my FB business page. I have been enjoying Anita Clark's Facebook Fridays each week and taken many notes, trying to achieve a new goal each week.
This year, I hope to have a better handle on what works and what doesn't and utilize my calendar to add timely posts to FB - posts my readers need and/or want to read, when they want them. When they sit there, sight unseen or with few readers, this is indicative of one of two things - timeliness or material. I like to think that my material is important but, we need to evaluate the topics that are most-read and when they are read, resulting in calls or comments.
Regardless of the marketing that we do, evaluation is truly key - are we wasting our time, our valuable resources or our money? Or, are we hitting home runs? I'm also a big believer in continuing to do what is working...and for me, personalized business relationships, face-to-face, belly-button-to-belly-button business has never let me down and I will continue to focus on that aspect of my business. Sometimes, the old-fashioned methods of doing business are still impactful; for me, it's the most impactful thing that I do for my business.
What works for you?
This post is an entry in Jeff Dowler's challenge for this month. If you haven't participated, share what works for you and what doesn't. Chime in - let your voice be heard!
© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | CharlotteBroker@icloud.com | Innovation Comes from Trial & Error