Today’s message is for new agents – and for long-time agents who my be thinking there’s a better way to market their real estate services.
If that’s you, I expect you’re reading and researching, thinking that you’ll find a good idea you haven’t tried. And you might.
Good ideas for marketing real estate services do abound, but…
You might instead find a bad idea, presented to you by someone who claims to be an expert in marketing real estate services. You might tell yourself that that person knows more than you, so you should try it.
That’s what worries me.
Last week I read an article giving advice about how to approach homeowners with expired listings. I read it thinking I might pick up some useful tips to share, but instead, I was horrified. I wrote about it in this Active Rain post, and the more I thought about it, the more it worried me.
New agents often mention the names of real estate coaches and marketing experts they follow. Sometimes I’ve heard of them, sometimes not, but the fact is that inexperienced agents are listening to people they hope will guide them to success.
If those people don’t have the knowledge and experience they claim to have, those agents can be led seriously astray. In fact, their careers could be derailed before they’re well started.
Remember – there are plenty of fakes in the world. Worse, those fakes are happy to take your money to give you advice that will do you more harm than good.
The first rule in marketing real estate services is that it has to be about your prospect.
When you try to make it all about you, your experience, and your superior knowledge, most prospects will rightfully reject you. You have to show them you care and understand their wants and needs before they give a darn about you and what you want.
That’s why real estate prospecting letters should never begin with “I” or “We.” And yes, I know that many of them do. That may be the reason why so many people believe that direct mail doesn’t work in real estate marketing.
Here’s my first rule in taking advice about marketing real estate services: Trust your gut!
If you think something sounds and feels wrong, there is probably a good reason: It IS wrong.
When considering advice, think about how you would react if someone tried to gain your business using the words that the “expert” recommends.
Even if you’re brand-new to real estate, you know how you’d feel. A rude approach is a rude approach, no matter what product or service is being offered.
So don’t assume that the coach or marketing “guru” is correct, just because he or she claims to be an expert. If your instinct says something like “I’d throw them off my property,” or “I’d hang up the phone,” or “I’d toss their letter in the fire,” then you’re probably looking at some bad advice.
Some good advice about marketing real estate services is also wrong – for you.
Think of all the ways you can market your services – all the ways you see other agents marketing their services.
It’s probable that some of those ways appeal to you and others do not. And that’s OK. You don’t have to market in every possible way.
At the same time, you might be wise to give different things a try. For instance – I really dislike pop-ups and slide-ins. When they obstruct what I’m trying to read on line I’m irritated and can’t click away fast enough.
BUT… they work for some people, so I might be wise to try them. I probably won’t, but perhaps I should.
You might feel that way about using Facebook and other social media – or about blogging, using direct mail, or drip marketing via email. Back when you could – you may have felt that way about holding open houses or having an annual client appreciation party.
While my advice would be to give some of these things a try, if they are distasteful to you, then you shouldn’t. They’ll be doomed to fail by virtue of the energy you give them.
Instead, choose methods you believe in and enjoy doing – and put your energy into using them well.
P.S. Thanks to agents who write or call and say “Do you have…” I got busy over the last week.
Two more new sets are:
Hands over face Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Choice courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net