Why You Must Focus on Marketing NOT Branding

Why You Must Focus on Marketing NOT Branding

Marketing is a critical part of any real estate business. Great marketing will supply you with a steady stream of fresh leads and new customers. A well thought out marketing plan will help you win more listing presentations.

​Unfortunately, many agents struggle with marketing.

Here’s a possible reason: Realtors don’t know the difference between Marketing and Branding.

To understand why you need to focus on Marketing and not Branding, watch this video by Donald Miller. He’s the author of Building a Storybrand – Clarify your Message so Customers will Listen.

Focus on Marketing NOT Building a Brand

​As a small business owner, you don’t have enough money or time to create your own brand.

This is the opposite of what most gurus tell you. If you listen to the hype you should be on social media all day documenting your life and building your personal brand.

There are more than 8,000 Realtors in Columbus, all trying to brand themselves on Facebook.

Do you really think you can set yourself apart by posting pictures of listings, open houses, and happy buyers at the closing?

What Makes Your Marketing GREAT?

Let’s go back to Donald Miller. Here’s a simple tip that will make your marketing great …

Lessons Learned

3 rules to help you become a better marketer:

  • Spend at least 80% of your budget and time on marketing instead of branding. Posting pictures on Facebook may create emotions, but there’s no reason for the reader to contact you.
  • Don’t confuse your customer with a clever or cute message. Explain the problem you solve and give them clear instructions on how to contact you.
  • Always include a strong call-to-action. It’s not enough to put your name and phone number on a postcard. Tell them exactly why they should call or text you.

How to Become a Better Marketer

I can help you master the marketing game to get more leads, close more sales and earn higher commissions.

Agents who join our brokerage get full access to our proprietary marketing system which has consistently generated $15 million in sales per year.

Click here and schedule a confidential meeting to find out how you can join and become an expert marketer.

Here are the Lead Sources of our Business

Here are the Lead Sources of our Business

Where’s Our Business Coming From?

While I was preparing for the class, I reviewed the lead sources for our own real estate sales business.

Here’s what I found …

The pie chart shows the lead sources of all transactions closed or in contract in 2018.

I was not surprised that geographic farming works well, and that online leads produce buyers and listings. Repeat customers are a major source of our business, but referrals have been slow this year.

During the Marketing Masterclass I will reveal exactly what we do to attract these leads and how we convert them into clients.

Will You Learn “Secret” Marketing Tactics?

Most agents believe there is a “secret”… something that only top producers know, that magically generates an unlimited number of motivated leads.

Wouldn’t such a “secret” change your business for the better?

The reality is, there is no secret. There’s only hard work, and there are systems that yield predictable results if you implement them consistently.

The top agents in your brokerage may not share how they are generating their leads.

I will.

I will show you the marketing systems we have been using in our business for the past 5 years that resulted in $15 million in sales in a single year without a team.

Implementing Inbound Marketing Strategies

I am a big believer in inbound marketing to attract motivated buyers and sellers. That’s what most top producing Realtors do.

If you want to copy our marketing systems please join me for the Marketing Masterclass on November 14, 2018 at Columbus Realtors.

Click Here to Register

Here’s What You Will Learn during the Class

The difference between inbound and outbound marketing and which one’s best.

Why cold-calling is a terrible way to generate business.

Which postcards we mail to a geographic farm using Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) and pay less than 30¢ a card mailed.

How to set up Facebook ads that capture seller and buyer leads for as little as $2.54 a lead.

5 ways to stay in touch with your database to get more referrals from your sphere.

The 7 best marketing services for generating listing and buyer leads, their cost & effectiveness.

How much we invest in online and offline leads, and why it pays for itself.

How to implement the perfect marketing plan that works for you.

Marketing Masterclass Info

Agents earn 2 CE hours. There’s NO cost to attend. Lunch will be provided.

Location: Columbus Realtors, 2700 Airport Dr, Columbus, OH 43219
Date: Wed, Nov 14, 2018
Time: 9:30 – 11:30 am, registration starts at 9 am,
Presenter: Kurt Novak, Business Coach/Owner, RE/MAX 24/7
Registration: www.ColumbusRealEstateCoach.com/MarketingCE

Call or text me at (614) 395-7375 with questions!

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing – What’s Best for You?

Inbound vs Outbound Marketing – What’s Best for You?

There seems to be a lot of confusion about inbound and outbound marketing. You may wonder which of these strategies is easier to implement to generate more business.

Outbound marketing is often called prospecting. That’s when you actively reach out to people to win business.

Inbound marketing refers to strategies that involve advertising to get potential clients call you.

Here are my thoughts on these strategies and tips on which one’s best for you …

Outbound Marketing

When you started in real estate your broker probably told you to prospect. That’s outbound marketing. You pick up the phone, reach out to people, and ask them for business or referrals.

Most agents believe that outbound marketing is free. That’s not completely true. If you call prospects you may have to buy a list of phone numbers (e.g. expireds, FSBO’s), a dialer to speed things up, and, of course, your cell phone.

Most importantly, outbound marketing takes time. And time is invaluable as you can’t get it back.

Typical outbound strategies include tele-marketing, door knocking, and networking events. It’s easier for an outgoing personality than an introvert.

Pros of Outbound Marketing

  • It’s low cost, it only takes time
  • It’s direct and personal
  • You can create business quickly

Cons of Outbound Marketing

  • It’s difficult to do consistently
  • You have to love the process
  • There’s a high level of rejection

Inbound Marketing

When you practice inbound marketing, you send out advertising that entices prospects to contact you.

Many brokerages don’t teach inbound marketing. Brokers claim it’s too expensive and only experienced agents can afford it.

It certainly costs more to mail out postcards and letters or advertise online. However, once the system is set up, it runs by itself. That’s why some people refer to it as passive marketing.

It takes less time than outbound marketing, and it’s much easier to do consistently.

Inbound strategies include direct response mail, including postcards and letters, and some types of online advertising.

Pros of Inbound Marketing

  • It can be automated.
  • It’s not very time consuming.
  • People who call you are more motivated.
  • It gives you leverage.

Cons of Inbound Marketing

  • You need to invest money upfront
  • It can become expensive
  • It will take some time and testing before you get any leads

Online Leads

Based on what I said above online leads are considered inbound marketing. When you subscribe to a marketing service leads are coming in quickly.

With so many online services capturing buyer leads their quality and motivation are low. An online lead is merely a name and an email. The person may not really be interested in your service. They are just curious.

So, to convert online leads you will need to do a lot of outbound marketing, i.e. make follow up calls, send emails and texts to convert them into a real customer.

Which Strategy Is Best for You?

Whether you use inbound or outbound marketing, the key is to do it consistently.

Determine your marketing budget first. Then decide which niches you want to pursue, e.g. buyers, sellers, expireds, FSBO’s, and how you can reach them most effectively.

For instance, you can market to expired with inbound or outbound strategies. When you knock on their door or call them, it’s an outbound strategy. If you send them a letter it’s inbound.

I believe you need a combination of inbound and outbound marketing to be successful. Your personality will determine which one’s best for you. If you hate what you are doing, I guarantee you won’t do it consistently.

Mythbuster – 5 Things You Didn’t Know About RE/MAX

Mythbuster – 5 Things You Didn’t Know About RE/MAX

Remember Mythbusters, the super popular show that brought science into our living rooms by debunking common assumptions on how things work?

I remember how our kids were glued to the screen when the show came on, because most of their experiments involved blowing things up.

You probably heard all kinds of myths about RE/MAX and wonder if they are true. Today I am going to debunk some of the myths and let you in on the secret why RE/MAX agents are so successful.

Myth 1: RE/MAX is too Expensive

I can almost guarantee that the fees and commission splits you would pay at RE/MAX are less than at any other national brand.

We charge a fixed monthly fee so agents can keep most of their commissions. If you close a deal a month the fee is not a problem.

This money is put to good use, as RE/MAX invests in national advertising, world class technology, and top-notch training for our agents.

RE/MAX is not too expensive – it’s an investment with an exceptional ROI.

Myth 2: Who Needs a Brand Anyway?

The RE/MAX balloon is an iconic brand – the most recognized name in real estate anywhere in the world.

​Every business needs a brand and so does every Realtor. Personal branding is one of the favorite topics of social media experts.

Imagine how easy it would be to boost your personal brand if you have the #1 real estate brand behind you?

Adding the RE/MAX balloon to your business gives you instant credibility. Consumers associate RE/MAX with high quality of service.

Since we opened RE/MAX 24/7 we had countless success stories due to the RE/MAX brand. Here are a few …

  • A new agent earned $8,000 in commissions in his first month because a buyer wanted to hire a RE/MAX agent.
  • One of Susanne’s clients told her last week that he will only hire RE/MAX agents, because the other national brands have too many part timers.
  • An agent who left RE/MAX at the beginning of the year told me that his production is down by 6 deals because clients don’t recognize the name of his new brokerage.

Myth 3: There’s No Training

This one’s easy to bust: long before the Internet RE/MAX had its very own satellite network to broadcast training to brokerages. It evolved into RE/MAX University.

At our office we focus on comprehensive agent development. This means we look at your business, have a one-on-one consultation and figure out exactly what prevents you from reaching your goals. Then we coach you to take action and hold you accountable.

Every Tuesday RE/MAX 24/7 offers agent masterminds where we jointly develop solutions to everyone’s business challenges.

The classroom training most brokers offer is basically entertainment that makes agents feel good.

At RE/MAX 24/7 we focus on implementation. If you don’t take action nothing’s going to happen.

Myth 4: RE/MAX is only for Top Producers

Did your broker tell you that you are not good enough for RE/MAX?

We stress quality over quantity. RE/MAX 24/7 is not a body-shop brokerage. We don’t take everyone. We are not right for every licensed agent.

However, we are a good fit for you if you are an entrepreneur, if you want to grow your business, if you close $2 million a year or more, and if you consider real estate your full-time career.

At RE/MAX 24/7 you are working with motivated, professional Realtors, not part timers and inexperienced hobby agents who bug you with basic questions every day.

Remember, you are the average of the 10 people you spend the most time with (Jim Rohn).

Myth 5: Every RE/MAX Office is the Same

RE/MAX offices are independently owned and operated. There’s a difference in how owners run their brokerages.

RE/MAX gives each franchise office complete freedom to run their business as they see fit.

We don’t tell agents how to run their business either, but we are here to support them 24/7 when they need help.

The 5 Keys to Dominating a Geographic Farm

The 5 Keys to Dominating a Geographic Farm

Have you tried geographic farming before but didn’t get any listings or sales? Or, do you farm a neighborhood now but aren’t happy with the results? You’re not alone. Geographic farming can be challenging and frustrating. But, when done right, geographic farming can also be a predictable and profitable way to generate tons of business.

Here are the five keys to dominating a geographic farm.

Key #1 – Turnover

One of the biggest reasons agents fail with geographic farming is they choose the wrong neighborhood. You want to select a neighborhood based primarily on its turnover rate, not on its home values or location.

You calculate turnover by dividing the total number of homes in the neighborhood by the number of sales in the previous 12 months. For example, if there are 500 homes in the community and 50 of them sold in the last year, the turnover rate is 10%.

An ideal geographic farm will have at least 200 homes and a minimum of 8% turnover.

Key #2 – Competition

Neighborhoods fall into one of three categories:

  • Dominated by no one
  • Dominated by a single agent
  • Dominated by two or three agents

If the sales in a neighborhood are spread across many agents, there is an opportunity for you to step in and dominate by becoming the community specialist. If a single agent dominates the neighborhood, you have the opportunity to position yourself as the alternative (people like to have options). You want to avoid neighborhoods with two or three dominate agents because they are the most difficult communities to establish a presence.

Key #3 – Multiple Marketing Approaches

The best way to market to a farm is using multiple approaches. The following approaches are the most effective:

  • Door knocking
  • Sending direct mail pieces
  • Holding open houses
  • Running social media ads using geo-targeting
  • Sponsoring or hosting community events
  • Publishing a neighborhood report/blog

Start with two or three and then build in more approaches over time.

Key #4 – Offers

No matter how you market to your selected farm, you want to include offers. Offers are the incentives you give people to contact you. Examples are free CMAs, neighborhood reports, and coupon books to local restaurants.

Marketing without making offers is branding. Branding is an expensive and time-consuming way to generate business.

Key #5 – Consistency

Most agents who fail with geographic farming either give up too soon or fail to market consistently. You want to give any geographic farming campaign at least six months. And, you want to market to the neighborhood at least 2 -3 times per month using one or more of the approaches from key #3.

P.S. – Geographic farming scares some agents away because they assume it’s expensive. But, you can run social media ads, door knock, and write a neighborhood blog all for under $100 per month.

The Brand Rant – Personal vs Corporate (part 2)

The Brand Rant – Personal vs Corporate (part 2)

Last week I told you how hard it was to identify Realtors in a local magazine and differentiate them from other advertisers. I also shared my belief that personal branding is not the “silver bullet” of marketing. Today I’ll explain how a strong corporate brand will enhance your personal brand.

​The Power of a Corporate Brand

Personal branding is very time consuming. The best way to get ahead quickly is taking advantage of a well-recognized corporate brand.

The reason why you want to create a personal brand is to gain trust with your audience. This trust is earned slowly. It accumulates when customers hear from you on a regular basis, on social media, in emails, newsletters and postcards.

Earlier this week Susanne received a “come list me call”. The homeowner has been reading her weekly emails for 4 years. He never called her. By reading her weekly newsletter he felt he knew her, he trusted her, and he did not interview other agents.

Four years is a long time. If you want instant credibility you need to associate with a corporate brand that consumers recognize and trust.

Does your Broker Support your Branding?

I am stunned by the lack of brand support agents receive from their brokers.

As a full-time agent, you probably pay $25,000 or $35,000 to your brokerage each year. All too often your broker will tell you that customers only care about your personal brand. Therefore, the brokerage does not invest in brand advertising.

That is foolish! Why would you pay $35,000 to a broker who delegates all branding to you?

A trusted, well-recognized corporate brand is the most valuable asset a brokerage can provide to its agents. Many large brokerages give their agents the “freedom to brand” themselves. This is diversion for “I am not investing money to promote the corporate brand of the brokerage.”

If your broker tells you to brand yourself, it’s time to move on and find a brokerage that understands the value of a corporate brand.

How to Stand Out as a Realtor

  • Remember the last time you saw a sign while driving down the road?
  • Did you know right away that it was a For Sale sign?
  • Did you recognize the name of the brokerage?

A potential buyer has less than a second to associate the sign with a brand. If they recognize the brand as a real estate brokerage they know the house is for sale. If not, the sign may belong to a roofer, landscaper, remodeling contractor or a candidate running for office.

Same with the magazine ads I mentioned earlier. None of the agents advertising in that magazine had a bold logo or a brand I would immediately associate with real estate (although some of the agents are with large national firms). If a reader thinks about selling their home, but does not immediately realize you are a Realtor, they will skip right over your ad and call someone else.

Why We Love the Balloon

Surveys have shown that the majority of homeowners associate the RE/MAX balloon with real estate. RE/MAX has the highest brand recognition of any real estate firm in the world.

This powerful brand recognition establishes trust and credibility. It substantially enhances our personal brand. If you invest time and money in personal branding, imagine how much easier it would be, if you had the power of a strong corporate brand like RE/MAX behind you.

​If you want to hear true success stories of how much business our agents generate due to the RE/MAX brand, call Kurt at (614) 395-7375!