Ten Things that I Want to Market About You

By
Home Inspector with Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections

While at a business over breakfast meeting this morning, I was sitting next to a woman who was a business consultant. Since I had worked in this field briefly (and I still do from time to time), we had something to talk about. She said one thing that made me think about my marketing though. She said that everyone should have at least ten different marketing campaigns going on at any given time. The number seemed high to me, but later, I attempted to see if I had ten campaigns going, and how I was doing with them. Here is my list:

  1. Word of Mouth- this is still considered the best way to promote yourself. I let everyone I know what I do, and I ask family and friends to spread the word too.

  2. Provide great customer service, and then ask for a referral. It never hurts to ask.

  3. Business cards- The two Realtors in the room with me did not have business cards. I told one of them: how am I going to refer anyone to you, if I do not know how to get in touch with you? I print the urls for the different sites I write for on the back of my card, so people will see me as an expert. I leave my card anywhere that is appropriate.

  4. Blogging- here on the Rain and on Wordpress (and a few other places). I try to find ways to connect with customers, so they will come back to the blog.

  5. Article submission to e-zines- I think that I am cheating with this one. I see it as being connected with four, but maybe to reach ten I need to separate it out.

  6. Mailers- I market myself to agents and home buyers. Should I include my e-mails here, or could that have its own number?

  7. My Website- maybe all of my internet marketing should be under one number, but I see my site as one means of marketing, and blogging as something different.

  8. Internet advertising- see 7. My internet ads lead back to my website, but I think of this as its own campaign.

  9. Networking- I should have put this one after number one. I go to business networking meetings as well as social ones, and this probably is the biggest lead generator behind WOM.

  10. I am still working on it.

I am working on revising my media packet, because in the off line world I have not had such success. For that reason, I think that I cannot put it under number ten. The nice thing about this counselor's statement is it made me think about how effective I have been, and am I using different marketing tools. I think that what is most important is allowing our campaigns to develop and grow. Nothing we do should remain stagnant.


So here is my question to you: do you have ten marketing campaigns going on? Is it anything that you could share to give others an idea?

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Rainer
18,229
George Langford
Zephyr Real Estate - Noe Valley - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Zephyr Real Estate

Frank:  Great work! Everyone should notice that 80% of those marketing campaigns are at no cost to us. We have to remember that it always isn't the fancy paper or the amount of color we use on a brochure.  But it i the way we get our information out to people in the smallest costs possible. For every $1 we make do we really want $1.25 going out, or would we rather want $.50 going out and $1 coming in? Great blog and love the fact that it's free and you made me stop and think exactly how many campaigns do I have running right now. Keep the ideas coming!

 

George 

Feb 20, 2008 06:33 AM #1
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
I think one point that this counselor was trying to make is that some campaigns might be individual by themselves. I look upon several ideas under one heading, like the internet. At least if some of the ideas above are not free, they can be cost effective with a little effort.
Feb 20, 2008 08:20 AM #2
Rainer
7,312
Isaac Diaz
LEADMACHINES.COM - North Hollywood, CA

Frank,

Great Post! Advertising is key in any business. Tracking your advertising is the next step. I can provide you with consumer tips on your mailers,ads, business cards, brochures that will be provided your own free 24 hour real estate or real estate inspection hotline. Consumers call in to hear helpful information (tips provided by you)

The moment the caller hangs up, you will be notified with the callers phone number, the ad they called in on and whatever action they took. You get to see how many calls you got in on each of your ads (marketing effectiveness report)  and most important, follow up on the lead. This costs about $49 bucks per month, which is very cost effective ( .15 cents each self generated lead). Let me know if your interested, you can also align yourself with many agents by letting them use your number on their listings so they can capture their leads.

Feb 20, 2008 09:31 AM #3
Rainmaker
432,131
Frances C. Rokicki
Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC - Bolton, CT
Broker-Mentor,CRS
Why not post an online seminar about home inspections?
Feb 20, 2008 09:48 AM #4
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Thank you for your suggestions, but I would welcome any comments to help all of us out (not just a home inspector). I am hoping to open up a discussion, and for you to see that maybe something even like a business card could be a campaign unto itself.
Feb 20, 2008 11:22 AM #5
Rainmaker
1,574,888
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info
Man I need to get some more ideas!  How about sky writing?  Free tattoos with my URL? 
Feb 20, 2008 01:54 PM #6
Rainer
32,400
Linda Futral
Newnan, GA
Frank this is great and I will have to get back to you after I think on it a while.  I know I have the blog in several places, my websites, email of course, SOI, letters etc, oh dang nyquil and the flu are making this a difficult task to say the least.  I am gonna get back to you later after I have thought about this one.
Feb 20, 2008 02:03 PM #7
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX

Thank you Linda and Georgina. My son was just asking me about skywriting the other day. I really have no idea what he would like to advertise though.

Hope you feel better soon Linda 

Feb 20, 2008 08:16 PM #8
Rainer
56,837
Lissa Uder
RE/MAX Next Generation, LLC - Lebanon, MO
Your Lebanon MO Real Estate Agent

Great Post.

Do you offer pre-inspection services? If so, on #6, include FSBO's in your mailings. I myself, am a pen fanatic. This entire town is saturated with my pens, which I leave everywhere.

Feb 20, 2008 11:30 PM #9
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Lissa- That is great advice. I forgot about pens. I think that would be a good one for many different real estate professionals. I need to remember the FSBO's. I send to them from time to time, and it is a great tool, but I admit to not being consistent.
Feb 20, 2008 11:41 PM #10
Rainer
32,400
Linda Futral
Newnan, GA

Frank the newest one that I used was a business card flyer.  They are on the table at the home the seller has some to give out and I give them out leave them at the dentist, doctor (which I am calling this morning) things like that. 

So, print ads, 1-800 call capture, internet (blogging on personal website and here then I have two others that are set up to feed from here plus doing a lot more localism posts and adding flyer advertising to that), direct mail, open houses, referrals, networking (which I am just getting into), business card flyers, business cards (planning to revamp these), brand website (re/max international profile), mls website profile, team website, two personal websites, then there is the advertising on craigs list (which I have not kept up with like I should). 

I think that is about it for what I am doing and dang that is a lot, lol.

Feb 20, 2008 11:51 PM #11
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX

Linda- if you are getting into networking, look into your local chamber of commerce. I happen to belong to a very good one, and the members are always trying to help each other out. At a meeting yesterday, a copy shop owner mentioned she had a table set up for business card flyers from her customers and chamber members. Since I am in and out of meetings today for various projects, I am going to be bold and ask shop owners if I could leave a little standee with business cards there. I am trying to come up with ways that I can help them in return. (Maybe a blog about their business?).

For everyone- I just had a website owner contact me for a link exchange last evening. Can I suggest that if you exchange links, do not have them just put up your sites URL. Use HTML code, so you can create an ad phrase that (when clicked) leads back to your site. Who is going to click on www.fschulte-ladbeck.com (my site)? They may click on "Ask the home inspection expert, for all of your Houston needs!" though. OK, I am rushed, and I could not come up with anything better, but I need to go to my next meeting now.

Feb 21, 2008 01:13 AM #12
Rainmaker
90,666
MC2 Home Inspections
MC2 Home Inspections LLC - Indianapolis, IN

Hey Frank,

Good post my man. Market, market, market. I think everything we do to market ourselves could be considered a campaign. Personally I believe the easiest way to accomplish that list of 10 is through the Internet. My wife jokingly calls me the "King of the Internet" and probably rightfully so. Take advantage of all the free advertising that can be found online. I currently have two websites up and am listed on about 600 sites currently and add at least 2-5 to that total everyday. I do have some link exchanges but not many, I think they clutter your website too much and really, you don't need them if you know how to work the web.

 Be careful of the so called "inspector listing' sites also. Some of them charge ridiculous prices for what you get. I only pay for one and that is www.inspectionzone.com. When I first started out I forked out over 1000.00 just to be listed on these sites, and got a big nothing in return, a hard lesson learned. There are plenty of free sites to take advantage of that help your SEO.

www.yellowpages.com is a site worthy of paying for, but again watch out for the other so called "yellow page" sites. They simply do not work, stick with the one and only yellow pages. One in particular to stay away from is Magic yellow.com. I paid 600.00 for a year and didn't get ONE call out of it.

More sites to take advantage of are www.craigslist.com I have gotten a tremendous response from using that site, and it's totally free.

Google, Yahoo, and Lycos Groups and blogs. All of which will shoot you right up in the search engines.

Networking sites such as Real town, Active rain and wanna network are great places to network, post blogs, join groups and stay connected. All of them are high up in the rankings on both Google and Yahoo.

Free classified advertising sites such as www.usfreeads.com and www.topix.com are also good. There are MANY more, but just way too many to list here. You can find all of them just by typing in "free classifieds and whatever city you live in". There are also several Real estate and relocation sites to post your ad on.

 Most every one of these sites I am talking about will allow you to post a link to your website, your email and also allow you to upload your logo.

Other than online, you have business cards, magnets, calendars, brochures, flyer's, direct email marketing (more bang for your buck than driving around all day at 3.05 a gallon), signs and decals for your vehicle, t-shirts, jackets, hats, pens, coffee cups, bus stop signage, local newspaper (even the Pennysaver is good and cheap), Homes Illustrated, FSBO postcard mailings (I have gotten several jobs just from postcards), joining your local chamber of commerce, sponsoring your local schools sports teams, and then you finally get to the word of mouth.

 Most people will say that word of mouth is the best. To that I say, well yes it is, but you first have to get there. Word of mouth does not spread until people know about you and the only way to get them to know about you is to...Market yourself everyday in everyway possible that you can think of.

Peace

Mike Chamberlain
MC2 Home Inspections
www.mc2inspections.com

 

Feb 22, 2008 01:30 AM #13
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Mike- your comment should be a post unto itself. A lot of great information! I think that you touched on one topic that we all should heed: think about your marketing, because you may be paying for something that just is not worth it. I agree with you on link exchanges for my main site, but for my blog (not connected to the site) I am more liberal with offering exchanges. I think if you do it, you should be smart about it. If you like craigslist check out kijiji. Ebay (which owns a stake in craigslist) started it, and it is supposed to have some more features. I have not fully explored it yet, so I cannot give you the best picture.
Feb 22, 2008 05:58 AM #14
Rainer
35,908
Joseph Ellman
Realty Executives- Williams-Sykes Realty - Poughkeepsie, NY
Frank - Great blog topic!  I'm going to work on my list to see if I have 10 solid marketing campaigns in place.  I'll be back to check on what others have posted.
Feb 22, 2008 04:35 PM #15
Rainer
75,699
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
Thanks for stopping by Joseph. It will be nice to have you back. For those of you who do not read Joseph's blog, you should check it out, because he gets great conversations started about marketing too.
Feb 22, 2008 09:03 PM #16
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