The first R is “Research”. As a newbie you should research and find the market area where you would thrive and grow. One of our very first clients was a newbie. Everyone was surprised by her meteoric rise in the business. What was unique about her is that she researched and knew exactly where she would fit like a glove in her real estate market place. She had it down to neighborhoods, streets and school districts.
How? She walked each street, talked to people walking their dogs, watering their flowers, or just sitting on their porch. The minute she announced her new career to everyone she knew, the calls came in and the listings and sales followed. As her preferred lender said, “she hit the ground running, and then flew!”
In order to gain trust in business or any relationships you have to know what you are talking about. That means research, research and research. Today, we have an abundance of information thanks to the Internet. However, not all information on the Internet is accurate or factual. You have to also research who the author of this information is. Are they skewing the information to suit their point of view?
When it comes to marketing everyone has an opinion! The truth is as we have often said, “marketing is not a one size fits all mu-mu.” Your market is unique, and you have to research what makes your area tick. Someone recently mentioned that postcards is what the majority feel works in real estate. When we pick up our mail, we notice that our neighbors throw all postcards real estate, plumbers, et al in the recycling bin, just like we do. In this area, we will open handwritten envelopes!
Watch out for the marketing guru who says: “all print is dead!” An agent recently mentioned that when he was jogging early in the morning in his preferred listing area, that every home had the Los Angeles Times on their doorstep! When he started advertising his listings there, his statistics for listings rose dramatically! Marketing is a living form of communication, it waxes and wanes, and like a surfer you have to be able to read the waves of change. You cannot read the waves on the Internet.
To make money, you have to spend money on marketing and use professionals for photography, video, etc. Our broker/owner clients use the same photographer for their real estate inventory, whether is it a humble home or a significant estate.
Spend you money wisely by researching. One of our clients was approached to enroll in an expensive international affiliation group. When asked what was the return on investment other than perception, the salesperson kept referring to prestige and visibility on the net. For our client, it was less expensive and more profitable to place a monthly ad in the local magazine where a significant number of listing calls and sales came from. The ads generated income as well as the prestige of success.
When it comes to research, you cannot be lazy and take someone’s word for it. You have to doubt and verify, doubt and verify. We are often queried on a marketing strategy, and we will respond with: “We do not know!” We may have an idea, but until we research, check and double check, we will not say a word.