Five Unique Ways to Target Your Marketing Dollars
Regardless of the time of year, maximizing your production is critical to your profitability and success. A critical part of that process is carefully targeting how you spend your marketing dollars. The process begins by determining which lead generation activities are currently generating the most closed business, determining what activities need to be eliminated, and substituting at least one new source of revenue to grow your business.
Lead generation is the lifeblood of the real estate business. To effectively target your marketing dollars, devote 80 percent of your time to the lead generation activities that are generating the most closed transactions. Devote the other 20 percent of your time to unique lead generation activities that are seasonal in nature, that are tied to local events, or add a new niche for your business. Here’s what to do.
1. Which three lead generation sources are currently generating the most closed deals?
Go through your closed transactions for the last six months and note which lead generation activity generated each transaction. For the next six months, spend at least 80 percent of your time and marketing dollars on the top three niches for your business. (If you’re not currently tracking this data, start doing so now!)
Unique marketing strategy #1:
Hold a client appreciation event featuring one of your clients who has done something extraordinary for the community. If there is no one in your contact database, honor those in your community for their work with a local food bank, helping the homeless, rescuing animals, etc. Invite your clients who share the same interests. People are drawn to and want to do business with those who are like them.
Another approach is to gather pictures from newspapers and other sources that were taken 50-150 years ago. Interview a local historian about a notable property and post it on the social media. Be sure to include real estate ads with homes for sale and their prices. Almost everyone enjoys talking about how much real estate values have increased plus this approach helps to establish yourself as an expert in the area.
2. Is it time to add a new niche to your business?
The Law of Attraction says, “You attract who you are.” For example, if you served in the military, you will probably attract clients who have also served in the military. Here are four niches to consider that account for 61 percent of the total buyer sales according to NAR:
• Veterans, 18 percent (two percent are active-duty military)
• Single females, 19 percent
• Multi-generational households, 12 percent
• Senior citizens, 12 percent
Unique strategy #2:
Did you know that both first-time and repeat buyers can obtain down payment assistance, especially if they are veterans, educators, firefighters, health professionals, or work in law enforcement?
Down Payment Resource (DPR) aggregates local, state, and national down payment assistance programs on their site. According to the Rob Chrane, the founder of DPR:
Down payment assistance is money to help homebuyers get into a home by helping them accumulate their down payment and closing costs. Down payment assistance programs are administered by Federal, state, and local housing finance agencies, nonprofits, as well as some employers.
For example, when my brother was preparing to sell his house in California, I found over 25 different programs were available for his property on the DPR website. Those programs represented up to $125,000 in potential assistance based upon the buyer’s qualifications.
Your marketing campaign is simple:
Want to buy a house but
need help with your down payment?
Contact Jane Agent at 800-555-1212 to learn more
3. Set a face-to-face appointment as quickly as possible
No matter what type of lead generation you use, the first agent to meet with the potential client is the one that gets the business. According to NAR’s most recent Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 67 percent of the buyers and 80 percent of the sellers hired the first agent they met with face-to-face.
Consequently, even if a potential client is not ready to transact for several months, make the appointment anyway. Your goal is to prepare them to transact. For buyers this can include checking their credit report for errors, investigating if they qualify for down payment assistance, or obtaining pre-approval for their mortgage.
For sellers, review the steps required to prepare their property for sale, the various types of marketing you will use, as well as examples of before and after staging. At this appointment, you could take pictures of their property and then virtually stage it with Boxbrownie.com. This is a powerful way to secure the future listing.
Unique Strategy #3:
Visit your current and past clients and ask for a testimonial about what’s great about living in their area. Post these on your website, LinkedIn, YouTube, and the other social media sites where you are active.
Wrap up the meeting by thanking them and then asking, “Is there anyone else you know who would also be willing to give me a video testimonial about what’s great about living in this area?”
Every time someone agrees to give you a testimonial for the area, bring them a gift card or other small token of your appreciation. Once you wrap up, ask if they know anyone else who would be willing to give a testimonial for what’s great about living in this area. Be sure to send the videos to each person who helps you.
Three primary benefits for using this approach include:
• You are getting a warm, face-to-face introduction to a potential client for the price of a gift card.
• Most people will post your video to their social media sites which puts you in front of a whole new group of potential leads.
• Google interprets these testimonials for the area as testimonials for you!
4. What to eliminate
Unless one of the following strategies was in your top three revenue producing lead generation activities, stop wasting time and money paying for print newspaper advertising, home books, and home magazines. They generate virtually zero closed purchases as indicated in the NAR chart below.
Unique strategy #4:
Most agents track their revenue rather than how much they net after expenses. For example, if you spent $10,000 on internet leads and only closed one deal with a $12,000 commission, you only netted $2,000. When you make the decision about where to spend your money, always make sure you’re comparing net income, not gross income.
Also, here’s a bonus tip. There’s a great site called TrueBill that allows you to easily manage your money and expenses. You can use it search for subscriptions that you may not even know you have. To locate these, search for recurring bills that end with 99 cents. This is a great resource to share with your clients as well.
Unique strategy #5: Help struggling homeowners
With over half the population living from paycheck to paycheck, one of the greatest services you can provide is to get the word out that relief is available. A current list of relief programs for homeowners, renters, and investors is available at consumerfinance.gov/housing.
There are several ways to target the owners of properties where the owner may be having cash flow issues or be in default:
• Use ListSource to target homeowners and investors who are behind on their mortgage payments. Pricing is based upon the number of fields you use although the average is about $0.31 per lead. This service is provided by CoreLogic.
• Use REI Source to locate owners of 1-4 unit rentals who may be struggling with their cash flow due to the eviction moratoriums.
One of the lessons learned from previous downturns is that any time you can help someone keep their property rather than facing foreclosure or having to sell against their will, do so. It’s one of the most powerful ways to build your business.
The bottom line is that there is no better time than now to start maximizing the results from your business. Take advantage the tactics we just discussed and put yourself on the road for maximizing your profitability.