Aura Alex, who does have "jaw-dropping" abilities as an author, wrote "If you have a smashing idea and can't wait to share your jaw-dropping, thirst-quenching, thundering post with writing that explodes right off the page, you have come to the perfect place!" for this month's challenge. I wish I was like Aura with the excitement creating abilities of Gordon Ramsay. I love their passion, but it is just not me. I may set off a small spark at times, but that is about it. A spark might just be enough, though. We all make it to Center Court on national television in our own way.
When I first decided to become a real estate agent, this is what one of my best clients and long time friends told me, "Ray, I know a lot of real estate agents and you do not fit the mold." It was his way of saying that the road was going to be difficult for me. I took it to heart. I knew that with my reserved nature (some might say shy) that I would have to win before I ever made it to the listing presentation table. I started experimenting.
I tried buying leads and doing everything I could do to convert them. It did not work.
I thought that I might be sending out the wrong vibes when I made my phone calls to reach out to leads, so I hired a professional to make those calls. It did not work.
Recently, a firm told me they had "great success" using Facebook advertisements. I gave them a shot and I did get lots of leads. Every single one of them were looking to rent. They needed a property manager, not me. When I asked the advertising firm about it, they literally told me that they can't control who reaches out. Ha! I guess we all define "great success" differently.
I took a class from an agent that used Neurological Programing effectively for sales. It did not fit my style at all. It did not work.
I have paid lots of money to various marketers to build websites designed to bring me clients. I did have some success early on using a very localized website. It made me look like the expert in our area. It was very expensive, though, and I had to let it go. Still, the experience taught me that "local" was important.
I was getting frustrated and I remembered back to what my friend had said and started thinking, maybe I am different and need to embrace my style and not the styles that works for other agents. I thought back to the first business I built. What made it successful? It was building a great sphere of influence and a large network. I joined the Chamber of Commerce, investment clubs, a cooking MeetUp, a running group and, much later, a pickleball group. I did not join any of the group to "get business." In fact, I almost never bring up what I do, but if people like you, they naturally inquire and I do give them reasons to inquire.
I wear my eXp Realty hat everywhere, including every pickleball tournament that I enter. I purchase extra hats and hand them out like candy.
I also have several eXp Realty branded shirts that I wear all of the time. In other words, everyone knows that I am a real estate agent.
Most importantly, when I get a new clients, they are my friend or a friend in the making. I believe I do more than they expect. At least, my friends tell me that I do. I also use multiple forms of social media to share my experiences; Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. I believe it helps build credibility within my sphere.
Why has this form of marketing been effective for me? It fits my style and it has created a group of friends that support me. In the Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell, he talks of Connectors and Market Mavens. Connectors do exactly what it sounds like they do. They connect people. I may not be a Connector in the full sense of the word, but I am close. Market Mavens are experts in one way or another and share their knowledge with others in a positive way. I believe the goal in my style of marketing is to be a Connector that develops a few Market Mavens (fans) that will help you build your business. In other words, they will help you win before you even get to the table. I really do not even have a listing presentation and I never close a client.
Gladwell points out that there were two riders the night Paul Ravere made his famous nighttime journey. Have you ever heard of the other rider, William Dawes? He rode the same distance in the opposite direction with the same message, yet most of us have ever heard of him. Why? Gladwell believes that he was not a Connector, Maven or Salesman (The Tipping Point, Chapter 2, The Law of the Few), but Ravere was. The people that Ravere reached out to showed up the next day in droves. The people that Dawes reached out to did not. The rest is history.
There are real challenges to this style of marketing, though. It takes time. You have to build a lot of trust and you must know the business well. You really do have to work hard to develop great relationships. And what happens if you have one really bad experience? Your sphere will know! Bad news travels even faster than good news.
I really do not know how different I am from other agents. Other agents may have all kinds of success using other marketing strategies. One agent I mentored last year had a lot of success buying leads. He did more sales in his first year than I do in two or three years. I just know what has worked for me. Find a way that works for you and do not feel like you have to be like every other agent. Billy Bass had his moment of glory, but it turns out that he ran out of juice and his singing career ended very abruptly.
Thank you Aura Alex and Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker for this month's challenge. There are lots of ActiveRain members that did have explosive ideas this month and it was very educational. My ideas are not all that explosive. I do believe that, if done correctly, my ideas can create a spark that will lead to success. Some sparks can even set off an explosion. Who knows!