Tahoe Takeaways Part II - the Marketing
In Part I of my take aways from our annual Lake Tahoe summit, I discussed the market - where it is, and where it's headed. Another major topic of Tahoe this year was marketing. Marketing is no small part of what we do, and is actually the single most important thing we can become better at to increase our production, but the means of marketing are a constantly changing animal. So how to keep up?
I'd argue (and speakers at Tahoe would agree) that we need a combination approach - new technology combined with old school sales principles. For lenders, it's important to realize consumers no longer need us to know what the interest rate is today. For real estate agents, it's equally important to know consumers don't need you to find a home. But it's just as important to know they need you to find THE home. And for lenders, there is a NEED for guidance and ensuring people avoid the common pitfalls that cause many a contract to fall out.
In short, clients need service from someone that knows how to operate in the modern world, and have the communication and sales skills of yesteryear. When phone calls were returned. When voicemails weren't full. When people felt a level of comfort and trust with the people they worked with.
Let's face it, those tech "disruptors" (who I'd argue that to this point, are mostly pigs wearing too much lipstick and hoping consumers don't catch on) are banking on YOU not providing a service worthy of payment. That's their only hope, and in recent years, it's been working out in their favor. We've become accustomed to things like speed-to-contact, drip marketing, and churn-and-burn type marketing that is necessary to keep up with today's pace of business, but also a really easy way to lose sight of basic sales and service principles. Honestly, if we fight to stay most up to date on the tech and latest marketing funnels, we're going to lose. Well funded tech firms will destroy us. But where THEY CAN'T TOUCH us is our market knowledge, experience, and the ability to treat people as individuals, unique and worthy of our attention and customized advice tailored to their situation. The tech world has no idea how to operate in that manner.
At Tahoe, 2 of our speakers had the same message when it comes to 'how to be successful', and it's the same message I've shared with my sales team in training - consistency, and discipline. Think about it - isn't that what gives tech and well-funded disruptors relying on technology their edge? They use algorithms and computer systems to do things consistently. It's the same experience again and again. Calls are on time, to the second, because of computers. We need to be that good. AND we need to go above and beyond, being able to handle the curve ball when it comes to us.
As a lender, that means I need to be able to handle the tough scenario. The client that needs months of prep, credit clean up, or a complicated product to help meet their goals. Sure, I want all the 20% down, 800 FICO, on-the-job-for-30-years-with-a-great-salary clients, too, but in that segment of the market, I'm up against the robots (thankfully, I work for a company where we can still win in that market). In the weird, interest-only bank statement needing client who had a foreclosure 2 years ago? Ain't no robots in that yard.
As a real estate agent, you need to be able to show your clients similar value. Anyone can send them listings. Not everyone can get to know their needs and seek them out. Robots aren't out there door knocking on their behalf. You need to go above any beyond, and do it consistently. That is the key to success in today's business climate.
In today's marketing, you also need to be tenacious. Did you know if you make 6 calls to a lead, you have a 93% chance to contact? Do you know if you only call once you hve less than a 40% chance? And I'm sure you know this (but does it affect your behavior?) - if you don't call at all, you have a 0% chance of contact. So why do so few of us make 6+ calls on a lead? A blog on sales call reluctance would take on a life of it's own, so I'll leave it at "because we're afraid to call 6+ times", and therefore, we're afraid of success.
We were able to see some great real estate and sales minds at Tahoe - Rob Chrisman, Barry Habib, Chris Smith, Jeff Lobb, and David Greenspan all hung out, shared pieces of their skillset and knowledge, and gave away a ton of material on best practices for lead management and conversion. It all came down to good habits, done consistently, and a business handled with discipline. That should be your focus in all of your marketing efforts each and every day.