Wednesday
July 30, 2014

Marketing: Keep It Real

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Marketing: Keep It Real

Self-promotion is a necessary endeavor, but make sure yours is authentic and targeted.

What do you want your marketing to accomplish?

It’s a pretty straightforward question, and real estate professionals who’ve given it serious attention should be able to describe their strategy quite easily. If you couldn’t come up with a response—or if you came up with an overly general answer like, “I want my marketing to bring me more business”—chances are you haven’t given it proper consideration.

I see too many real estate pros cutting corners. Or they try to be all things to all people. If you’re looking to become one of the best in this business, dominate your market, and shake things up with your own style and perspective, then you should give serious thought to how you’re promoting yourself and your services.

At this point, you may be asking yourself: Why should I listen to this guy? Well, I’ve been very blessed with a successful career in real estate brokerage and sales. In the past few years, my brokerage was named among the best places to work in Dallas-Fort Worth by both the Dallas Business Journal and The Dallas Morning News; and I’ve been featured many times in local and national media outlets.

Humility, I should add, is not one of my predominant qualities, but we’re in the business of self-promotion. Being authentic is important to me, and I want that to come through in my marketing. I am—in many ways—an unconventional person, and I want to promote my business in nontraditional ways. I try to mix my personality and interests into whatever marketing I’m doing. These include:

  • A humorous and irreverent tone so people understand right away that they would be doing business with a thinking, feeling person.
  • A love of pop culture, celebrity, and sports. I like—and I like to work with—professional athletes and entertainers. Once upon a time, I tried to become a movie star, and I even have an IMDB page. Google it.
  • Leveraging free social media tools. This helps us to reach our target audience at a low cost.

To that last point, I’d say at least 70 percent of our business comes from social networking. Facebook alone has led to our closing a few hundred sales and lease deals a year. In fact, I recently landed a $12 million project thanks to a status update on our fan page. Remember: It’s not how much money you spend marketing a listing; it’s how efficient you are. Spending $1,500 for a one-page ad in a luxury real estate magazine is still useful, but it won’t get the exposure a Facebook status update does, especially because we link it to Instagram and Twitter. In addition, we can track the impact of updates through the data analytics available for our fan page updates.

But simply being on social networks like Facebook and Twitter isn’t enough. You have to be genuine—and targeted—in your approach to reaching out.

A case in point: A while back, I noticed an expired multimillion dollar listing. I did some digging and learned that the owner was the starting tackle for the Chicago Bears. I found out his address, overnighted him a package that included a picture of me with Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (whom I’d done business with before), and told him that if he let me list his house, I’d wear a Bears jersey to the Cowboys game when they came to town.

Guess what? I got the listing. A $3.5 million listing. And I sold it.

Another example: I used to give away T-shirts that promoted my company to clients, including celebrities like Britney Spears and Khloe Kardashian. Photos of these celebs wearing my shirts popped up on TV and in magazine shoots. Other than the cost of the shirts, I didn’t pay a dime for the exposure. It even became a revenue stream as hundreds of people ordered our shirts.

I say all of this to emphasize the need to be more thoughtful with your marketing. How are you getting the word out about your business? Does your marketing tell consumers, This person is just a run-of-the-mill real estate agent? Or does it say, This person has the kind of creativity and knowledge needed for a successful transaction?


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Note: Opinions expressed in “Commentary” do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Association of REALTORS® or REALTOR® Magazine.

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