Does part of your marketing spend include paying for leads? If so, ask yourself this - how much money have you wasted on lists that include duplicate leads because no one took the time to adequately scrub the list. Often enough, names are included two or three times on a mailing list because the address was entered differently and appears as though it is a new lead, costing you more money. If you purchase email leads you should consider the volume of emails that people receive every day. Most of them are unwanted and you run the risk of being perceived as a spammer. This can impact the deliverability of your messages to people who really do want to receive your communication.
For most people, using these lists is like playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. You are blindly throwing darts hoping one will stick. That’s no way to effectively market yourself or your company.
Instead of paying for leads and hoping for the best, consider these tips to refine your marketing approach and improve your prospecting results.
Step #One: Develop a Real Marketing Plan and Stick to It
Decide how you want to prospect for more business and how often. Do you prefer internet advertising, door-to-door canvassing, dialing for dollars, direct mail marketing or a combination?
Despite the domination of the internet world, direct mail marketing does still work. According to the Direct Market Association, 79% of consumers immediately act on direct mail while only 45% will do so with email. Consider that a direct mail piece is tangible. Even if a piece is set aside, chances are it will be looked at in the future instead of being automatically deleted like most emails.
When I was an active Real Estate agent, I decided to do direct mail marketing and door-to-door canvassing. My farm was my own neighborhood. I sent out postcards once a month and distributed a monthly newsletter to each household, in person. After plugging along religiously, I got my first listing within a few short months! My next listing was for my husband's childhood friend and his wife. I focused my marketing efforts in their neighborhood and not only did I sell their home, but I got two more listings in that neighborhood! My direct mail marketing plan worked.
But trying to get all the correct mailing addresses was a tedious process. First, I had to go into the property tax records and do a zip code search for property owners (which was no small feat). I then had to figure out which properties were, in fact, owner-occupied versus absentee owners. Another frustration was trying to reach potential first time home buyers. There was an apartment complex nearby that I wanted to farm but there was no way of getting complete addresses since the building residents were not in the tax records. The whole process was very time-consuming and I wished I had an easier alternative.
Several of my colleagues who were in the business a bit longer and who had more substantial marketing budgets than I did purchased both email and standard mailing lists. When I asked if it was something that I should consider, they all agreed that most of the “so-called” leads were garbage and the lists were not worth the money.
Step #Two: Target Your Market
Think about the demographic that you would like to reach. Are you interested in property owners that are a certain age or income bracket? What about the type and age of the property? If you are a service provider, you might want to search for homes that are older than 10 years that probably need to replace heating and cooling systems, hot water heaters, or other appliances. Are you more interested in a specific location? Maybe you want to prospect to areas that are within a certain radius from your business or office.
Instead of just throwing out a broad net and hoping to catch the big one, you should be narrowing your scope and focusing on the types of customers who have a real need for your service. Having a resource that allows you to do this quickly and easily is key.
Step #Three: Build Your Reputation and Become the Local Market Expert
We all know that the real estate landscape is ever changing. One quarter it might be up, the next quarter it might be down, and so on. An area that may have been considered less desirable in the past, may now be undergoing a revitalization and is the next HOT place to live and existing home values in that neighborhood are rising. As a broker or agent, you need to constantly be aware of these changes. Make sure you have the tools to help you prove that you are the local expert.
To build your reputation, you must provide accurate and timely data to your existing and potential customers. But how do you know where to find this?
The trick is to find something that helps you pinpoint where and how to locate more customers quickly and easily. Metro Market Trends, Inc. (MMT) has a proprietary software program, SearchNet which is a platform that helps you prospect for more business by targeting a market area based on the criteria that is important to you.
Using multiple search variables, you can locate the ideal customer. Or utilize the integrated mapping features and draw on the map to locate properties. Download your results into a spreadsheet, print mailing labels and focus your direct mail marketing which, in the long run, will save you time and money.
If you aren’t already using SearchNet, you should try the free trial. Check out the videos and get more information on how SearchNet can help you work smarter, not harder to achieve the lifestyle you desire and the one that you deserve.
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