Marketing and building a reachable farm on a shoestring budget

If you want something you never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.
Thomas Jefferson

Knowing is not enough, we must apply.  Willing is not enough, we must do.
Bruce Lee

Every single day, I make sure to do SOMETHING, to fill my pipeline with future business.
Dan Kennedy

Marketing Works.  Here’s how it works and why you as a business owner need to do more of it.

A week before Christmas I was driving along a busy road that I drive on almost daily to make a bank deposit.  (As hands off as I am, I’m still never too busy to do bank deposits).

I drove by one of our less popular shopping plazas and thought to myself; I wish that sub sandwich shop that closed down were still there…  I love subs…

Then, I saw the sign.  It was a junky tattered tarp sign strewn over the old sign of that closed down sub shop.  The new sub shop was called Firehouse subs.  Here is the kicker – I had actually eaten there before but just forgot.

Here’s my point.  Even though their sign was right in my face every day and I had tried them before, I still forgot all about them.  All it took for me to remember about them and eat there again was noticing that ratty old sign with their logo on it – Yes, I have eaten there since I saw the sign.

Since it was the week before Christmas, I had plenty of time in traffic to dwell on what just happened when I drove past that sign.  All the advertising and PR Firehouse subs did prior to me seeing that sign had just come to a head.

I don’t know what Firehouse spends on advertising, but I know they are consistent about putting their “brand” and “USP” in front of 30 something males that love sub sandwiches, like me.

Domino’s pizza, built a 5.4 billion dollar market cap business with the slogan, “Delivered in 30 minutes or it’s free”. They were not selling pizza in their ads, they are selling the brand and idea or USP, Universal Selling PropositionYou can call them and a pizza in 30 minutes or you get it free.  Period. WOW, it’s just so powerful…(important that a USP be just that).

Since this is a “Real Estate Blog”, let’s bring the idea full circle to our industry.

In one of the MLS systems I belong too, there are 5,000 Brokers.  You cannot get more commodity than that.  I would challenge you to come up with a more commodity type business.So, how do we stand out like these successful companies above have done?  We must carefully choose our target markets and consistently put our message in front of them.  Our target market is commonly referred to as our “Avatar” customer.In order to reach our Avatar, we must know as much as we can about them.  How much they make, how big their family is, do they watch football, etc etc etc.  This will allow us to target market and not spend huge sums of money trying to reach the masses.Once we know who our Avatar is, we must craft a USP (Unique selling proposition) that will resonate with them.  The average household only moves once every X amount of years.  I can’t give you a number there because it varies, based on your Avatar.

Let’s say your Avatar moves once every four years.  It would be nice to be in front of that Avatar at least once a month times four years or 48 times.

So now it comes down to “what can we afford”?   So let’s say we have $6,000.00 to invest over four years.  That’s $1,500.00 per year or $125.00 per month.

This is what we have to work with, our budget.  If we were to create a custom postcard (@ .10 cents each + .49 cents postage totaling .59 cents each) and mailed it out to our group of Avatars (Your Farm), this would give us a group of about 211 homes that we can afford to reach each month.

If you have done your homework on your Avatar,  a good number of people in this group of 211 homes is going to sell their home within the next 4 years…(ie.  Mail to homes where people have already lived there for 4 years???)

It’s not a huge group, but they are targeted and this is critical.  A targeted ad that reaches 200 people is just as good as a television ad that reaches 10,000 people.

Now that we are the “Top of mind choice” to our core Farm of Avatar customers by communicating our USP, we must leverage upon our efforts.

Enter the Internet.

If we are making irresistible offers to our Avatars via postcard and can drive them to our Opt-In website, we can communicate to them via email for free!  This brings our cost to communicate down to zero effectively.  Once they opt-in to your lead page, we can drip email them FOREVER with our USP message until they either opt-out or call us to buy or sell a home.

Also, once we have them via the Internet, we have all kinds of analytic stats at our disposal, so that we can measure how well our messages are received and tweak them accordingly.

In conclusion, it’s not about sending out a one-time email blast or post card mailing.  That will be like trying to put a forest fire out with a squirt gun.

Marketing is about consistently positioning yourself as something different and better through your USP, to a small niche Farm market causing “top of mind consciousness” in your prospect customer’s head.

This way, when they think of buying or selling, they will associate YOU with that thought and maybe just give you a call to talk about it.

Weather they choose you or not will just depend on how well prepared you are for that call.But at least you will get a chance to close them…
I hope you enjoyed the article, please share it with a friend or comment on it below!

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