What do you think is the number one reason consumers choose one product over another?
They buy a product or a service because it elicits an emotional response; this holds true even for real estate. Whether through branding and storytelling, relationship to the product and what that product stands for, familiarity, or simply that the product gets them excited about something.
Products and businesses succeed because they allow their customers to feel something. An emotional response, along with trust, is the key to turning prospective clients into clients, and then clients into long-term clients, and then long-term clients into satisfied clients who will refer people to you.
Face-to-Face: Key Marketing Strategy For Real Estate
Sure…If you have a massive marketing budget you could invest in giant hero advertising campaigns that will instantaneously make a consumer feel like they just drank 12 Red Bulls and can take over the world by purchasing your product or service.
But most small businesses don’t have that type of capital behind them, nor do they need it, particularly in an industry such as real estate where prospective clients are generally in a small geographic area.
This is important to think about when trying to figure out where to focus your marketing efforts. It’s a common misconception in real estate to get your face on as many things as possible — bus stops, billboards, stickers…you name it…most realtors just want to their face to be seen.
But how often do these mere impressions actually result in long lasting clients? Not very often.
Think about it in dating terms: you’re a guy and you meet a girl at a party through mutual friends. You are introduced to each other, and have been told by the respective parties they’re a cool, good person, have a good job etc. How much more receptive will you be to talking and potentially going on a date with that person, as compared to some random person that messages you on the Internet or some dating app?
Exactly! Trust has been built with his and her friends, and so, you’ve already begun expediting the “getting to know someone” process based off the trust you have in the person who introduced you.
That’s why investing too much money in advertising that simply puts your face in front of a bunch of nameless strangers who have no idea who you are is not the most effective marketing strategy for your business.
Sure, you should invest money in Facebook advertising and Google AdWords. But meeting people your community, building relationships, and bringing value to people around you, is the most important and influential way to elicit an emotional response and build trust with people who, one day, might turn into clients.
In the broadest sense, the reason prospects will decide to become your client is because they feel good about you and your service. So, if you know people will become your clients because they feel good about you and your service, then how can you make people feel good about choosing you and using your services?
Do you think online advertising, lead-generation and flyers are going to make someone feel good about using your services?
Probably not. That person will probably end up going with a family or friend, someone whom they have complete trust in, to guide and nurture them through the buying or selling process.
You can post on social media sites like Facebook and SnapChat and engage with people actively online, which is going to help, but unlikely that it’s going to generate the type of emotional comfort and trust that is necessary in order to go into business with you.
So how do you build that trust?
Face-to-face marketing, combined with sampling, is the quickest and most efficient way to generate those feelings of trust and comfort with prospective clients and customers.
“The best marketing companies in the world know that once people have experienced a product with some or all of their senses, the chances of them buying go through the roof. When I worked in brand marketing, our sales by 45 percent. For some brands, sampling increases sales by as much as 2,000 percent.”
Now, you’re probably thinking, real estate is not a food or drink. It’s not a product; it’s a service. How can I sample a service?
Examples of Service Sampling
“The fitness industry gives out free personal training and bootcamp sessions. Because if people enjoy the experience and believe they can lose weight or gain muscle, the chance that they will spend thousands of dollars for the full experience goes up dramatically.”
When a software company gives you a free trial, it is sampling its service. Because if you like it, you’ll commit to buying the subscription. Case in point: the software Asana gives free usage to small companies with 10 or fewer employees using the software. But as soon as there are 11 or more employees using the software, that company is forced to upgrade to a paid subscription. They are used to the software by that point, and probably love it, so of course, they’re more likely to pay for the subscription!
For agents, the service is you. Homeowners talk to their agent, get information from their agent, get connected to other people by their agent and achieve goals with their agent.
With our Local Leader System, this is what we’re all about. We want our agents to “sample” their expertise and services by providing value to local business owners and professionals. By building relationships, and providing value without asking for anything in return, you’re laying the foundation for trust and comfort in prospective clients.
Just like you trust your friend to set you up on a date, a homeowner buyer or seller will trust their favourite local business owner to set them up with a real estate agent who they’ve been told by the trusted shop owner is extremely passionate about his or her community, is well connected with local professionals in the community, has extensive knowledge about the area, and knows the ins and outs of the local real estate market.
This is why meeting people (face-to-face marketing), building relationships (providing value), and demonstrating knowledge about the local market and local community (sampling), you’re moving in the direction of creating long-lasting relationships with clients who trust you.