I Love Statistics
When I began in real estate I quickly became involved in all aspects of marketing and advertising: from our company brand to all our new construction sites. I even received a signed copy of “On Advertising” by David Ogilvy because I answered a question at an seminar he gave.
Being able to take numbers and distill them into useful information is a passion. If this information can be used in everyday business, it is even more vital.
In many of my classes I use statistics from various sources to make my point. Why? Because most of us don’t know who controls our business. Marketing 101 – know your client is so you can market effectively. It all boils down to this. Know what the consumers wants, give it to them, be successful.
Who’s Your Boss?
In one class I teach I always start by asking who their boss is. Normally someone will give me the answer I want – the client. Then I ask someone to have a dialogue with me. I ask them about their market. When asked about market share, average sales prices, absorption rate, list to sale price, the volunteers gives me the answers – rapid fire. Then I ask like: the average age of the first time buyer in their market, % of homes bought by first time buyers. % of first time buyers who were single women, and so on.
Now the answers stall. Why? We focus on being smart, but on the wrong things. The key to closing the performance gap between the consumer wants and what we give them is knowing what the consumer wants and giving it to them.
Let me give you an example. The average age of first time buyers in 2007 was 31 years old and they purchased 39% of the real estate sold. That is a group to be reckoned with. Well educated, well off. Who is that person? What do they want from their sales person?
This group is the largest generation in history – 79 million and the first to grow up with interactive media. They are multitaskers and devour huge amounts of media. They find information everywhere. As a result they don’t pay attention to anything quite well. So how do you get them the information they need?
The Info They Need
- The web has to be a visual medium. Less text and more photos and graphics.
- Tell it with picture and short text . 50% of your audience is lost with every click. The drop off rate is very low with pictures and short text.
- And dare I say it? Use Interactive video!
Most real estate sales people focus on sending this group – listings – I am sorry, but this buyer can find listings faster and better than most of us. So what do they need from us? Information on financing, the nuances of each home they are looking at, the process of buying real estate. Could this be done with short bytes of information? With links to more? How about video?
Statistics work when you can distill the information into something useful. Then test it, test it, test it.
October 17, 2008 at 6:28 am
Statistical information when used in a micro economic setting may or may not be as valuable as one would think…
A buyer is 63, a buyer is 29, the statistical average from this population is 46!
The nuances needed to move the 63 or the 29 year old into position are not the same as what would be needed for the 46 year old (indicated by straight average).
A better unit of referance would be a “Modal” or most frequently appearing age within the population being measured.
Mismanagement based on stastical data is the reason for 50% of the marketing and operational failures seen today.
The real estate transaction is a large cumbersome transaction requiring multiple decisions to complete, over relatively long periods of time. Although there are numerous attempts at doing so, It is not easily staistically quantified and labeled for expedited use.
It is (in this Old Man’s opinion) a case by case business. Think micro for marketing would be my advice: “Do what you like to do, boat, bike, golf,etc. ” Do not miss opportunities for “Face to Face” promotion and conversation and keep a tickler file. These things will still serve you well. The environment may have changed, there may be Twitter and the like, but human is the same:)
October 17, 2008 at 12:47 pm
Amy – Great post – and Steve’s comment notwithstanding, I’ll buy the statistics you used because they have validity in context.
Steve; I would agree with you that we need to meet people face to face to do business, but I think that the important point that Amy makes is that its easiest to meet people where they are, not where you want them to be…. and we need to meet them (virtually or face to face) before we do business with them