Why are we here?
What do we hope to gain by belonging to active|rain?
Who really reads these blogs anyway?
I recently attended an one hour seminar put on by Barbara Oleska from Hobbs and Herder on the 7 Do's and Don'ts of MegaAgent Marketing. And, even though it was only an hour, it really did make my brain cells work a little and give me cause for thought.
Barbara made some very good points. What sets us apart from other agents is not really what we do, but rather what we don't do. You know the old adage that some day we'll be as highly regarded as used car salesmen, it's really something to think about. Where do you find the homes magazines? Usually in the supermarket right next to the Auto magazines, or in the newspaper right next to the car ads. What set's us apart from all the other agents out there who may or may not be as highly skilled or as highly qualified as I am? It's how I present myself to the public.
As agents we spend billions of dollars every year fuelling the advertising wheel. Why do we advertise in the newspapers and magazines? It's because our sellers expect it, not because it makes our phone ring. The magazines are filled with page after page of little heads and little houses, that by the time the magazine goes to press the house is sold. The ad might generate one or two calls but generally speaking it doesn't generate any client loyalty. A prospective buyer will leaf through the house catalogue looking for a house that meets their requirements and call the number, the duty agent will answer the phone and hopefully get Ms. Buyer's name and phone number and maybe call them back with other houses that might meet their requirements. But, Ms. Buyer is probably going to continue to leaf through the catalogue, calling any agent who has a house that they might want to look at. How do you differentiate yourself from every other agent who spends their advertising on the same exact kind of marketing?
Branding. Specialization. Setting yourself apart from everyone else by being a specialist at something. Your phone will ring because you now set youself apart from every other agent by being a specialist at something, that person must be really successful because they know something special about that, maybe they know something about this too and I'll call them.
Who are we really marketing to in the magazines? Who really reads those? Other agents look to see what everyone else has been doing. It's not necessarily the buyers. As a society we have become like sheep and we all do the same thing, hoping to get better results than the other guy who is doing exactly the same thing as everyone else.
Raise the bar a little by setting yourself apart from everyone else in the industry and make yourself special. We already know we're special, let's make everyone else think we're special too!!
June Piper-Brandon, Office Manager, Advance Realty Anne Arundel Inc.