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You May Talk A Good Marketing Game, Now Prove It

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How often do you go into a listing appointment and talk about how slick your internet marketing is?  When you’re trying to impress a potential client and prove to them that your listing package is the best thing to come around since Al Gore invented the internet, it’s easy to talk about listing feeds, show a video or two, and perhaps even show off your site statistics or how well you rank for Google keywords.  All of that is great, but as more agents become better connected themselves, it’s time to start thinking about ways to keep yourself a cut above the rest.

Rock The Webcam

It’s historically been a part of my plan to send out thank you cards to past clients whenever we do a deal, but lets face it: Every agent and their cousin does the exact same thing, so what makes yours any different?  Try using your webcam to make a personal video appeal to your client instead (I know what you’re thinking, and no, a video of you stripping to a Spice Girls song is not appropriate here, sorry).  Consider sending out your thank you notes as videos emailed to your clients and see what sort of response you get.  Direct, personalized videos to web leads with inaccurate phone numbers can also help you gain the trust of potential clients and increase your chance of response.

Clients Need To Know You Care

There are plenty of tools (many of them free) that you can use to keep in touch with your clients and show them that you are actively working to get their house sold.  Trulia creates free weekly listing reports that can be emailed to your sellers, as does Realtor.com.  The most common complaint I hear from sellers is that agents tend to “list it and forget it”, and that’s frustrating.  Often times clients just want to know that you care about their listing and you’re working to get it sold.  If you can prove that to them it makes life much easier when it comes time to ask for a price reduction!

Show Them Your Value

We live in a digital world, and when it comes to marketing a property a well prepared plan of action is exactly what you need in order to get a home sold.  I’ve tried and tested every marketing services proposal I can get my hands on, and what I’ve discovered is that my most successful presentation is the one that I created myself (It also happens to be the shortest, with only 9 presentation slides).  What I’ve done differently is that I have cut straight to the chase and given the client what they want.  I don’t talk about my awards, I don’t talk about my sales volume, I talk about THEM.  I show the client exactly how I plan to market, where I plan to advertise, how I plan to find their buyer, and how/why my methods differ from other agents.

If you can show the client how you are a more remarkable agent without droning on about awards and sales that don’t apply to them, you accomplish two distinct things:  First, you have shown them that you care about them, and Second, you have shown them that you’re different from the other agents they are interviewing.

Photo Courtesy of codiceinternet via Flickr CC

I'm a Realtor in Southern Maryland. I grew up surrounded by the RE business, spent time as an actor, worked as a theatrical designer and technician, and took the road less traveled before settling down in real estate. I run my own local market website at https://www.somdexpert.com and when I'm not at the office or meeting clients, I can usually be found doing volunteer work, playing with my 3 rescued shelter dogs (Help your local Humane Society!), or in the garage restoring antique cars.

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  1. Ken Montville

    July 30, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    I’m not sure I agree that every real estate agent and their cousin even go to the trouble of sending a thank you note. I guess I’m a bit old fashioned but I still like the old paper in the envelope type of thing.

    The webcam is an interesting idea but I wonder what it does for clients that aren’t that tech savvy or don’t want to watch my video “thank you” done on my Flip camera with God knows what in the background (my posters of The Spice Girls).

    Your larger point about differentiation is well taken, though. Ditto your point about staying in touch with your clients during the process. The reporting is easy to send. A quick phone call. Maybe even a “video update on the sale of your home…. bought to you by Jon Benya” (since you’re into it!). I might even send an old fashioned card midway through with something like “hang in there” (or something) written in it.

    The Internet and digital communication is fine. Sometimes the personal (human) touch is good, too.

  2. Carmen Brodeur

    July 31, 2010 at 3:17 am

    It is true that people love video, but taking a video on my flip then downloading it to the computer to email to my client, takes about 5x longer than writing a handwritten note. I just don’t see myself doing it.

    • Ricardo Bueno

      August 10, 2010 at 5:39 am

      Carmen: totally agree! Downloading and uploading a video from your flipcam can be very time-consuming. An alternative is to use something like Eyejot.com (I’m not an affiliate) to send video “Thank You” or “Follow Up” emails. Assuming you have a web-cam you can record and send in under a minute. Totally personal and effective in my opinion 🙂

  3. Nick Nymark

    July 31, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Anybody used TopProducer to stay in touch with clients? What’s your thoughts on it?

  4. Anthony Rueda

    August 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Jonathan,

    I think you’re right on, when it comes to showing that you care about your possible client. I believe it’s very important to customize my service to exceed the client’s needs.

  5. Ricardo Bueno

    August 10, 2010 at 5:37 am

    I use Eyejot.com to send follow up video emails to people who comment on my blog and/or send an email inquiry. Their premium version has what’s called a “Bookmarklet Feature.” It basically allows you to send the video that plays in top fold of any site you’d like to send them. Anyway, it’s effective because it adds a personal touch to your communication and it allows you to send/share information in a very interactive way.

    I think something like that is totally useful (it’s worked for me).

  6. Audrey Duval

    August 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    Wowwww What a great post, I totally think the same way has you do! Just started to use the webcam to say happy birthday to my client and the idea for thanks you client for a listing is brilliant! Love it! You know All my listing presentation was about them and not me… Who care, who you are, they want a know what is it from them!

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Business Marketing

What entreprenuers can learn about branding from trendy startups

(BUSINESS MARKETING) What’s the secret of focused startup branding, and how can you apply it to large enterprises?

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A set of wine from Craft Hugo, showing off pleasing branding in labels.

Think of your favorite brand. Is it the product they offer or the branding that you love? Exactly – brand ethos reigns supreme, especially with those trendy, aesthetically-pleasing startups (I never thought Glossier had good makeup, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t visit their website once or twice a month).

So let’s break it down.

Co-founder of Red Antler – a company that assists startups in creating successful branding – Emily Heyward believes in a few branding truths.

Firstly, you have to make sure not to market your brand as a single product or experience. Doing so, she says, will pigeonhole you and thus truncate your ability to expand and offer new products and services (she gives MailChimp, known almost exclusively for email marketing, as an example).

What Heyward does say to do is instead market an idea. For example, the brand Casper (one of Antler’s clients) markets itself as a sleep company instead of a mattress company. By doing this, they kept the door open to eventually offer other products, like pillows and bedding.

Heyward states that this “power of focus” is a way to survive – with countless other startups offering the same product or service, you have to position your company as offering something beyond the product. Provide a problem your customer didn’t know they had and offer an innovative solution through your product.

Ever used Slack, the app-based messenger? There were other messengers out there, so focus of Slack’s branding is that regular messaging is boring and that their app makes it more fun. And customers eat it up.

How can this logic apply to mid-to-large enterprises? How can you focus on one specific thing?

Again, placing emphasis on brand over products is essential – what is it about what you offer that makes your customers’ lives better? It’s more cerebral than material. You’re selling a better life.

Another thing to remember is that customers are intrigued by the idea of new experiences, even if the product or service being offered is itself not new. Try not to use dated language that’s colored by a customers’ preexisting feelings. Instead, find an exciting alternative – chat solutions are desperately trying move away from the word “chat”, which can bring to mind an annoying, tedious process, even though that is in fact what they offer.

Broadening the idea of focused brand ethos to a large company can be difficult. By following these tips and tricks from startups, your company can develop a successful brand ethos that extends beyond your best product or service.

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Business Marketing

Spruce up your product images with Glorify (just in time for Black Friday!)

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Want professional, customizable product images for your company? Consider Glorify’s hot Black Friday deal.

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Glorify app lets you create beautiful designs for your products.

Glorify, the app that creates high converting, customizable product images for your business, is offering a lifetime deal for $97 this Black Friday. In just a few clicks, you can transform one of Glorify’s sleek templates into personalized, professional-looking content – and now, you don’t have to pay that monthly fee.

Whether your business is in electronics, beauty, or food & drink, Glorify offers a range of looks that will instantly bring your product images to the next level. With countless font styles and the ability to alter icon styles, shadows and other elements, you can access all the perks of having your own designer without the steep price.

In 2019, Glorify was launched – the app was soon voted #2 Product of the Day and nominated for Best Design Tool by Product Hunt. Since then, they have cultivated a 20k+ user base!

Glorify 2.0, which was launched last week, upgrades the experience. The new and improved version of the app is complete overhaul of intuitive UI improvements and extra features, such as:

  • background remover tool
  • templates based on popular product niches and themes
  • design bundles for your website/store, social media
  • annotation tool
  • upload your brand kits and organize your projects under different brands
  • 1 click brand application
  • & much more!

“But the most important aspect of Glorify 2.0, is that it comes with a UI that sets us up for future scalability for all our roadmap features”, said CEO of Glorify Omar Farook, who himself was a professional graphic designer.

Farook’s dream was to provide a low-cost design service for the smaller businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford design services. Looking through reviews of the app, it’s evident that Glorify does just that – it saves the user time and money while helping them to produce top-notch product images for their brand on their own.

Glorify is one of the many new design-based apps that make producing content a breeze for entrepreneurs, such as Canva. As someone who loves design but doesn’t have the patience for Creative Cloud, I personally love this technology. However, Glorify is unique in that it is the only product-driven design app. All you have to do is upload your photo!

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Business Marketing

This new Chipotle location will be fully digital

(BUSINESS NEWS) In the wake of the pandemic and popularity of online delivery, Chipotle is joining the jump to online-only locations, at least to test drive.

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Chipotle exterior, possibly moving to a fully digital restaurant space soon.

A lot of industries have switched to an online-only model in the wake of the pandemic. Most of them have made sense; between abundant delivery options and increased restrictions on workers, moving away from the traditional storefront paradigm isn’t exactly a radical choice. Chipotle making that same decision, however, is a plot twist of a different kind—yet that’s exactly what they’re doing with their first online store.

To be clear, the chain isn’t doing away with their existing locations; they’re just test-driving a “digital” location for the time being. That said, the move to an online platform raises interesting questions about the future of the restaurant industry—if not just Chipotle itself.

The move to an online platform actually makes a lot of sense for businesses like Chipotle. Since the classic Chipotle experience is much less centered on the “dining” aspect than it is on the customizability of food options, putting those same options online and giving folks some room to deliver both decreases Chipotle’s physical footprint and, ostensibly, opens up their services to more people.

It’s also a timely move given the sheer number of people who are sheltering in place. A hands-on burrito assembly line is not the optimal place to be in a pandemic, but there’s no denying the utilitarian appeal of Chipotle’s products. To that end, having another restaurant wherein you have the option to order a hearty meal with everything you like—which is also tailored to your dietary needs—is a crucial step for consumers.

Chipotle’s CTO, Curt Garner, says he is hoping this online alternative will offer a “frictionless” experience for diners.

As a part of that frictionless experience, consumers will be able to order in several different mediums. Chipotle’s website and their mobile app are the preferred choices, while services like GrubHub will also be available should you choose to order through a third-party. The idea is simple: To bring Chipotle to you with as little fuss as possible.

For now, Chipotle is committing to the single digital location to see how consumer demand pans out. Should the model prove successful, they plan to move forward with implementing additional digital locations nationwide.

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