It’s a tradition from the bygone era of sub-agency.*
It’s a time suck.
It’s a feel busy – creative avoidance activity.
Most importantly, sharing constructive feedback with our competitors is harmful to our sellers, team members and the industry.
No, I’m not. Yes, I’m sober. This is my humble opinion. Here’s the planet I’m coming from
Showing Agent Feedback Consequences and Repercussions
I lifted the following analogy from last weeks blog post about Broker Open House and Sold Souls.
“Dear Rainmen, Please find enclosed a gift certificate for half-a-sandwich and our soon to be released, white 3GS iPhone. We’d love it if you would give it a test run and tell us what you think. How should we price it? Is it easy to use? How about the design, do you have any advice? We’d love to hear from you. We’re going to use your feedback to gain market share and well, let’s be honest, we’re going to swing your foolish-feedback like a Steel-Stupid-Stick and beat the living crap outta your feedback sharing, short-bus self. Thanks.”
Seriously! That would never happen in business, a competitor asking another competitor for advice and feedback. Nor would any sane business respond with feedback if asked. Right?
May I ask a question?
What would happen if every listing agent sat down with their seller(s) and had a conversation that began like?
Agent: Listen. I know you’re paying me thousands of dollars to sell your home for the highest possible price in a timely manner. I know that you know we’re in competition with other sellers and new home builders. Qualified buyers are going to look at those competing properties and yours…then they’ll make a decision…yours or theirs.
Here’s the deal. When anyone from my brokerage shows properties that compete with yours, we are going to provide constructive feedback that will help competing sellers, sellers we don’t represent, we are going to help your competition better price their properties, plus we’ll share other bright ideas for staging, merchandising and positioning. If this sounds like we’re gonna help your competition sell before you do, it’s because that’s exactly what we’re doing. You don’t mind do you?
Here’s how I think the rest of the convo might go:
Seller: Let me get this straight! I’m paying you to sell my house and you’re coaching my competition on how to out sell and out position me?
Agent: Yes. We’ve been doing it for years. It’s not so good for you…but it helps us build relationships in the real estate community. You’re OK with that, right?
Seller: No. It sucks. You’re fired.
Providing “showing feedback” that helps a competing listing agent and their seller competitively reposition their property is harmful.
It’s the same reason we don’t reveal what our buyers will pay, what our sellers will accept or the pending price. We are hired to represent the best interests of our clients – not our/their competitors.
KumBaYa Counter Point
Our business is a blend of competition and collaboration. Being helpful feels good, friendly and right. No question, positive relationships within the agent community are beneficial to everyone. Amen.
We can do both. We can protect the best interests of our clients and grow our relationships at the same time. Acting professionally and courteously, socially and in business will get the job done and we won’t be sacrificing the interest of our clients to do it.
One Form Of Feedback Is Good
Providing constructive positioning feedback to listing agents within your brokerage and office is positive.
The seller hired the brokerage. You are part of the brokerage. Your help is appreciated and appropriate.
What Say You
When I share this rabble-rouser perspective, people usually react with Ah-Ha. Ut-Oh. WTH. What ev! You’re an idiot. You don’t get it. Or?????
What do you think? How would the conversation go with your seller?
Let me hear from you. Go ahead, I can take it. I think:-)
Thanks for reading.
PS. I feel like I’ve been a bit preachy in my last two posts. Next week I’ll lighten up – sorta. Next week’s post will babble around the topic of Avoiding Creative Avoidance. I appreciate your patience.
* We were asking for feedback in 1978. It was the era of sub-agency, no disclosures, no inspections, no cell phones, no fax, no email, no copy machines and no internet.
No-reply emails don’t help customers, they’ve run their course
(MARKETING) No-reply emails may serve a company well, but the customers can become frustrated with the loss of a quick and easy way to get help.
Let me tell you a modern-day horror story.
You finally decide to purchase the item that’s been sitting in your cart all week, but when you receive your confirmation email you realize there’s a mistake on the order. Maybe you ordered the wrong size item, maybe your old address is listed as the shipping location, or maybe you just have buyer’s remorse. Either way, you’ve got to contact customer service.
Your next mission is to find contact information or a support line where you can get the issue resolved. You scroll to the bottom of the email and look around for a place to contact the company, but all you find is some copyright junk and an unsubscribe option. Tempting, but it won’t solve your problem. Your last hope is to reply to the confirmation email, so you hit that trusty reply arrow and…nothing. It’s a no-reply email. Cue the high-pitched screams.
Customers should not have to sort through your website and emails with a microscope to find contact information or a customer service line. With high customer expectations and fierce ecommerce competition, business owners can’t afford to use no-reply emails anymore.
Intended or not, no-reply emails send your customer the message that you really don’t want to hear from them. In an age when you can DM major airlines on Twitter and expect a response, this is just not going to fly anymore.
Fixing this issue doesn’t need to be a huge burden on your company. A simple solution is to create a persona for your email marketing or customer service emails, it could be member of your team or even a company mascot. Rather than using email@example.com you can use firstname.lastname@example.org and make that email a place where your email list can respond to questions and communicate concerns. Remember, the whole point of email marketing is to create a conversation with your customers.
Another great strategy for avoiding a million customer service emails where you don’t want them? Include customer service contact info in your emails. Place a thoughtful message near the bottom of your template letting people know where they can go if they’re having an issue with the product or service. This simple change will save you, your customers, and your team so much time in the long-run.
Your goal as a business owner is to build a trusting relationship between you and your customers, so leave the no reply emails behind. They’re annoying and they might even get you marked as spam.
Influencer marketing isn’t new, it’s actually centuries old
(MARKETING) You may roll your eyes at sexy strangers hawking snake oil on social media, but influencer marketing is nothing new…
Influencer marketing is now one of those buzzword phrases that you can’t go a few days without hearing. In fact, it’s become such a popular term that it was officially added to the English Dictionary in 2019.
While this is a recent change, the concept of an influencer is nothing new. For years, people have looked to friends and family (as well as high-profile people like celebrities) to be influenced (intentionally or unintentionally) about what to buy, what to do, and where to go.
Social Media Today notes that influencers date back centuries.
One of the first “influencer” collaborations dates back to 1760, when a potter by the name Wedgwood made a tea set for the Queen of England,” writes Brooks. “Since the monarchy were the influencers of their time, his forward-thinking decision to market his brand as Royal-approved afforded it the luxury status the brand still enjoys today”
Now, influencers are known as people blowing up your Instagram feed with recommendations of what to wear and stomach flattening teas to buy. Influencers are basically anyone who has the ability to cultivate a following and, from there, give advice on how followers should spend their money.
After the 1760 tea set influencer, influencers were found in the forms of fashion icons (like Coco Chanel in the 1920s, and Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s), celebrity endorsements (for example, all of the money Nike made in the ‘80s after signing Michael Jordan to be their spokesperson – I wonder if Hanes is raking in the same bucks as Nike…), TV stars endorsing products (like Jennifer Aniston when she was at the height of “The Rachel” cut and became the face of L’Oreal Elvive; now she’s the face of Aveeno).
Then in the mid-2000s, blogs became a space where “everyday” people could use their voice with influence. This trend has continued and has shifted into social media, usually with a blog counterpart.
Now, blogging and influencing is an industry in and of itself with influencer marketing being a key form of comms. According to the HypeAuditor report, the influencer industry will be worth $22 billion by 2025. Where can I sign up?
The use of offline marketing can still be advantageous in a digital world
(BUSINESS) Offline marketing is usually skipped over nowadays for the sparkly, shining ‘digital’ marketing strategies, but don’t forget the roots.
Everywhere you look, people want to talk about digital marketing. In fact, if you don’t have a digital marketing strategy in today’s business world, you’re not going to last long. But just because digital marketing is popular, don’t assume that offline marketing no longer yields value.
When used together, these strategies can produce significant returns.
“Some people will argue that traditional marketing is dead, but there are several benefits to including offline advertising in your overall marketing campaign,” sales expert Larry Myler admits. “Combining both offline and online campaigns can help boost your brand’s visibility, and help it stand out amongst competitors who may be busy flooding the digital space.”
How do you use offline marketing in a manner that’s both cost-effective and high in exposure? While your business will dictate how you should proceed, here are a few offline marketing methods that still return considerable value in today’s marketplace.
1. Yard signs
When most people think about yard signs, their minds immediately go to political signs that you see posted everywhere during campaign season. However, yard signs have a lot more utility and value beyond campaigning. They’re actually an extremely cost-effective form of offline advertising.
The great thing about yard signs is that you can print your own custom designs for just dollars and, when properly stored, they last for years. They’re also free to place, assuming you have access to property where it’s legal to advertise. This makes them a practical addition to a low-budget marketing campaign.
The fact that you notice billboards when driving down an interstate or highway is a testament to the reality that other people are also being exposed to these valuable advertisements. If you’ve never considered implementing billboards into your marketing strategy, now’s a good time to think about it.
With billboard advertising, you have to be really careful with design, structure, and execution. “Considering we’re on the move when we read billboards, we don’t have a lot of time to take them in. Six seconds has been touted as the industry average for reading a billboard,” copywriter Paul Suggett explains. “So, around six words is all you should use to get the message across.”
3. Promotional giveaways
It’s the tangible nature of physical marketing that makes it so valuable. Yard signs and billboards are great, but make sure you’re also taking advantage of promotional giveaways as a way of getting something into the hands of your customers.
Promotional giveaways, no matter how simple, generally produce a healthy return on investment. They increase brand awareness and recall, while giving customers positive associations with your brand. (Who doesn’t love getting something for free?)
4. Local event sponsorships
One aspect of offline marketing businesses frequently forget about is local event sponsorships. These sponsorships are usually cost-effective and tend to offer great returns in terms of audience engagement.
Local event sponsorships can usually be found simply by checking the calendar of events in your city. Any time there’s a public event, farmer’s market, parade, sporting event, concert, or fundraiser, there’s an opportunity for you to get your name out there. Look for events where you feel like your target audience is most likely to attend.
Offline marketing is anything but dead.
If your goal is to stand out in a crowded marketplace where all your competitors are investing heavily in social media, SEO, PPC advertising, and blogging, then it’s certainly worth supplementing your existing digital strategy with traditional offline marketing methods that reach your audience at multiple touchpoints.
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