In this episode, we started by talking about marketing and how the definition of marketing is actually quite fluid and sometimes confusing. The textbook definition of marketing is the process of communicating, delivering and exchanges goods and services that have value to a group of consumers. This is a bulky definition that may not have much real meaning to the average real estate agent, who generally understands marketing to be the process of generating leads. However, marketing in real estate does not stop with lead generation — marketing is a cycle that begins with lead generation continues onto conversion and leads to repeated contact with past clients.
Now, with a better understanding of marketing in the real estate industry, we moved onto how to make your market. While the MLS compiles all the listings in the area, you cannot consider this to be your market. You need to make your own market by promoting and marketing individual listings in both traditional and modern ways. We talked about the importance of holding open houses as well as promoting listings on websites and social networking sites.
We then discussed the fact that you can't just promote your listing and hope that you find the right buyer. You need to place your listing in a position which generates feedback, that you can then translate to your sellers. We know it's tricky to deal with sellers who have an emotional attachment to their home, but it's up to you to remind them of the reasons they want to make this move in the first place. You need to find that sweet spot in the middle, in which you can make your market while also delivering your sellers the results they crave.
Last week, I was invited to speak at Miranda Real Estate Group in Albany, New York. The owner Willie Miranda is a great friend of mine. We met a long time ago when we were young and trying to become top producers in the marketplace. We even have the same mentor and he actually encouraged me to learn the systematic approach to this business.
One of the reasons why I want to share you his story is because he started from the bottom - literally. They are immigrants from Puerto Rico to New York in the Bronx area and came from nothing. I can still remember the story where they used to sleep on the floor. Another story that I remember was when he and his assistant were cleaning his office and there was a little heater that was about to be thrown away. He told his assistant not to throw it away because that heater was the one that kept him warm from the begging when he has nothing.
Another thing that connected us is we're both open-minded to how the real estate agency business works. Willie always looks at all the coaching materials available and he never traps himself into a belief system where that is the only way to success. That's why he never misses when it comes to recent trends in the business because he is always willing to embrace new ideas and try different things.
Another fascinating trait of Willie is his culture of sharing. During my talk at Albany, Willie not only invited his people but also even opened the door to other agents in the marketplace - even the competitors. Think about his willingness to give away his best resources in a true sharing and caring manner. This culture helped his business from the bottom to rise up now with 87 agents in various locations earning millions.
Willie did not stop his culture of sharing. In fact, he even took it further by writing a book called “How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked In The Real Estate Business”.
To summarize the key point: “Be Open Minded And Always Be Sharing Like Willie Miranda”
The first thing we did was to take an inventory and ask: "Last year, where did your business really come from?" It was an eye-opening experience because this particular group of top producers actually gets most of its business from influencer marketing to past clients versus the perception that much of it had come from Internet lead sources.
The next thing I asked the group was whether or not they liked the type of business that they had done in the past year. Most members really enjoyed the influencer marketing to past clients and their sphere of influence both on and offline. Although some were very good at converting Internet leads, most didn't enjoy the grind. When all was covered, we determined that Internet leads, although an important part of any top producer's book of business, should be re-weighted allowing for more low tech marketing efforts.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was how unclear most of the group was on how to articulate a clear message through their marketing. It's such a can of worms that I didn't tackle it in full here, however, I will suffice to say I'm hammering them all to start with the simple message that is founded on, "I have a plan for that."
The last thing we tackled was the reality of our marketing budget and how that calls for the discipline to not overspend on every great idea. The challenge for any entrepreneurial real estate agent is to control yourself when you begin to know what's possible because you get excited and want to try everything believing that you're missing out and behind in the race. My best advice is to take a step back and understand that your first step should be to focus on mastering the basics. Ultimately, the smartest real estate marketers stick to a plan that best serves smart growth and they don't worry about what other agents are doing.
To summarize the key point: “What Works Best In Reality Is The Best Place To Direct Your Marketing”