The Marketing Triangle
Every real estate professional at some point in their career must face the cold hard facts about ineffective marketing. Marketing is an essential part of running any successful business and real estate is no exception. Without good marketing you will never be able to predict what your business will look like year to year.
Can you imagine Coke a Cola, Nike, or Johnson & Johnson with no marketing? I certainly can't, and I have seen their marketing change and evolve over the years. That is exactly what real estate agents need to do-they need to utilize multiple types of marketing to get that perfect blend of effective marketing.
If you have ever peered into your empty pipeline and wondered what you could do to get that steady supply of leads into your business, then you need the Marketing Triangle to evaluate what you are doing (or not doing) to adjust the type and frequency of your marketing.
I am sure you have heard the terms Relationship Marketing, Promotion Marketing, and Attraction Marketing. Those are the three points on our Marketing Triangle and each should have a critical role in your marketing plans. The key is to find your marketing fit using a combination of these three. It is crucial to examine the Marketing Triangle and implement the types of marketing that best match your market, your personality and your goals.
This type of marketing relies on direct one-to-one communication and relationship building skills. This is by far the most common type of marketing that real estate agents rely on to build their businesses. I remember when I first started selling real estate my Managing Broker told me to make a list of all my friends and family member and anyone that I had a good relationship with and to put them into a database. He promised me that this would be my goldmine. In fact it turned out to be my worst type of marketing! Most of my friends were in their early twenties and were not in the market to buy real estate. My immediate family members were not in the market to buy and even though I came from a large Greek family, most of my relatives lived out of my market area. I quickly learned that I would have to find another marketing method to grow my business. I am not saying that Relationship Marketing is not an incredible form of marketing, but it must match your selling style and your personal circumstances. For me, I didn't have a large enough base to have this be one of my foundations for marketing in my business and it may not be realistic to expect your friends, family and personal relationships to be able to supply you with all the leads you need for your business. For those people who have a very large number of personal connections, it might. Everyone is different. One thing to keep in mind is Relationship Marketing requires your TIME.
This type of marketing relies on a specific type of promotion that is presented to a potential buyer or seller in hopes of getting them to reach out to you. An example of this would be an online ad that is meant to capture the potential client's attention. It could be a Facebook ad or Instagram post. It could be a direct mail piece or an ad targeting a specific area. The types of Promotion Marketing in real estate are numerous.
I have personally worked with many real estate agents over the years that have spent thousands of dollars chasing the next cool promotion in real estate marketing. The challenge with this type of marketing is that it can be very expensive without any guarantee of return on financial investment. If you are going to do any kind of Promotion Marketing, you need to be very careful with who you are targeting and what your marketing message is. There is a place for Promotion Marketing, but it needs to be targeted, well-researched and your marketing message must be well thought through. Potential buyers and sellers are smarter and more informed than ever before, so your marketing needs to be informative, powerful and compelling. This type of marketing requires your MONEY.
This type of marketing relies on your ability to become known for being the EXPERT on something in your industry. It could be something as simple as knowing more than any other real estate agent about a specific type of property or area or niche market. Attraction Marketing is the type of marketing that showcases what you know and your area of expertise. Have you ever sought out an expert in an industry or heard someone talking about someone you simply must talk to because of their knowledge? I am sure you have because this is the type of marketing that requires the least amount of financial investment because clients that come to you have sought you out. They already know before they meet you that you have something they want.
I remember one time being referred to a person who was an expert on a specific brand of septic systems. I didn't particularly like him as he was abrupt and in a rush to leave when he arrived at the property, but he was very knowledgeable. He didn't have the best bedside manner and he didn't spend any time building any kind of relationship with me. He told me what the problem was and what was needed to fix the problem. I could tell by talking to him that he knew exactly what he was talking about. He was confident and he had the expertise to diagnose and fix the problem. I hired him on the spot even though I knew we would never be best friends; I didn't need another friend…I needed an expert.
Attraction Marketing is very effective because potential clients seek you out and this makes your lead generation so much easier when this happens. The challenge with this type of marketing is that most real estate professionals are afraid to niche themselves or state they are an expert at something. Those who have done it have reaped the financial rewards of doing so. Attraction Marketing is by far the most effective type of marketing but to master it you have to invest your time in becoming an expert and then you have to create the collaterals you need to convey that. This type of marketing requires your EXPERTISE.
When you understand the key differences between each type of marketing it allows you to create a marketing plan that is balanced and effective. Most real estate professionals tend to rely solely on only one type of marketing. I am sure you have heard real estate brokers talking about how their business has been built on a strong referral network which is a great example of Relationship Marketing, but this type of marketing may not be the right type for you. Getting to know what works for you in your business is essential to overcoming the stress you have when you are not getting the leads into your business that you need. Learning to utilize the right type of marketing for your business is an essential first step in removing the fear of not having a steady consistent business.
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.