Even though technology has evolved at light speed over the last 15 years, the concept of the real estate sign has changed very little during that period. Sure, there have been new innovations to accompany the sign (call capture 800 #'s, automated text message response riders, QR codes) but for the most part, the sign remains about the design.
That's not to say that there aren't ways that you can use this front line marketing tool to increase your effectiveness marketing a property, you certainly can. Kodak's interest in the real estate industry goes beyond simply selling printers and cameras to agents. Their interest is in becoming a marketing partner with real estate agents who are constantly striving to better their business, encouraging idea exchange and learning between our community, and contributing in a fun and creative way to our interaction with each other. Part of that partnership involves continually assessing what you do in your marketing to become the most effective marketer possible, and providing products that meet those needs. Any good listing agent will tell you, after being a pricing expert, being a marketing expert is the most important aspect of selling a home.
With that in mind, this months ActiveRain/Kodak Challenge is going to be a two part challenge. The first part is going to focus on your 'for sale' sign and the second part is going to focus on how you deliver the information you want to get out about the house, by way of that 'for sale' sign. It's possible that there are some great ideas out there that our members can share with each other.
In part one of the ActiveRain/Kodak Challenge, we'd like you to write about your real estate 'for sale' sign (we'll call this the sign post). How did you come up with the design? What do you hope that the sign conveys to a passerby? What components of the sign do you feel are the most effective in marketing the home? What kind of technology have you attempted to pair with your signs? Do you have always have flyers with your signs?
The idea is that we can learn from each other what is working. If you are generating a bunch of leads every day because you use text message riders on your signs that deliver a text message response with important details about the home, let's hear about it. Do you have an idea you'd like to share that no one else is using? You don't have to answer all the questions I posed, those are just examples. What we'd like is that you share with us, as completely as possible, what it is about your sign that helps get the house sold.
It's possible in doing this, you will realize you haven't been taking full advantage of one of the staple of your real estate marketing. If that's the case, feel free to share that and ponder ideas that you want to try to make your sign marketing more effective.
(I can't remember who it is, but I saw one of our members who has the most unique signs (It was Cindy Jones. She shared a picture below in comment #24....and that's the exact picture I had seen that made me write this paragraph).......they (she) essentially have their (has her) flyer made into the sign. So the for sale sign is what you would normally expect to see on the flyer, complete with pictures and everything and is unique to each house. We thought that was pretty innovative)
Part two is going to focus on your flyer (we'll call this the flyer post, even though it may not be about flyers). If you don't use a flyer, part 2 is going to focus on the main method by which you disseminate information about the property. The traditional way has been via the flyer. More recently QR codes and Microsoft Mobile Tags are being touted as a great way to share this information, like the examples in this article by Mark about enabling mobile marketing from your flyers.
In between we have people using automated 800 numbers and test message services. Your second blog post should let us know what you use as that primary way to share information with someone passing the home. Why do you use that method versus a different method? What information specifically do you share? Is there any information you may withhold (like price) from a flyer in order to get them to contact you?
What does your flyer look like? We'd love to have you show us an example. Do you do anything different? For example, our friend Ben Kinney, a Bellingham, WA REALTOR® uses the back of his flyers to display other listings he has. Of course he gets the buy in from the sellers, but that means their listing gets to be on the back of 10 other properties around town. Great way to provide that extra information it may take to land that next buyer.
Again, the idea is that by examining what each other does, we can make better choices for ourselves as it relates to how we choose to inform potential clients who may be passing by our listings. Only 10% of buyers who call in on a sign end up buying the home on which they called, having the tools in place to determine who those other 90% of the buyers are and turning them into clients that buy some other listing could transform your business.
- All posts must include the following text at the bottom: "I am writing this post as an entry to the ActiveRain/Kodak Sign/Flyer Challenge and have a chance to win the Kodak ESP 6150 All-In-One Printer and ink!"
- After you complete each post, the sign post and the flyer post, leave a link to each post in the comment section of this blog. Please leave both links in the same comment.
- Your peers are looking to learn from you. Please write these posts as if you were trying to convince someone that your way is the best way. Explain the methodology behind why you do what you do. 1000 points will be given for each post that lives up to this. If you write two posts like this, (one sign post and one flyer post) you will get 2000 points.
- Everyone that writes two posts will be entered to win a prize. The winner will be drawn at random from among the entries. 5 entries will also be drawn and given an ActiveRain Rainmaker t-shirt.
- All entries must be written, and the links to the posts must be left in the comment section of this post by April 29th. Winners will be announced on May 6th.
- First prize will be a Kodak ESP OFFICE 6150 All-In-One Printer and a year supply of ink,* with two community sponsorships on ActiveRain. If you're going to come up with a great new flyer design based on the ideas other members share in the contest, you want to make sure you have a quality printer, with water resistant ink, to ensure those flyers look top notch and that your mobile tools like QR Codes don't become un-scannable due to fading or bleed as they wait to be plucked by the home's next owner.
- Second prize will be 3 free community sponsorships on ActiveRain and two ActiveRain t-shirts
- Third prize will be two 'feature any post you want' credits (must be another member's blog post and approved by ActiveRain)
- Winners will be drawn at random based on the entries received for the contest.