In today’s changing marketing landscape being eaten alive by your competition – Big or Small – is a distinct possibility.  How a sole practitioner — and I include teams here, too — can survive is everything.

Yet, exactly how – when only the fittest survive – can you avoid becoming the biggest loser in today’s life-or-death game of Marketing Darwinism?

First we must believe: Prospects haven’t stopped responding to marketing. They are just consuming marketing differently. The issue isn’t: Should you stop marketing? The issue isn’t: Can the little survive amongst the big? The issue is: How to adapt to this new environment and thrive by being the most direct.

5 Facts Of Real Estate Marketing Life

  • Fact: 60-70% of real estate business comes from people you know.
  • Fact: 70% of sellers and 67% of buyers only contact one agent (NAR’s 2014 Profile of Buyers & Sellers).
  • Fact: 90% of buyers, who used the Internet to search for homes, also purchased their home through a real estate professional (again, NAR’s 2014 Profile).
  • Fact: 53 is the average age of home sellers (“Younger Boomer,” born 1955-1964), and lived in their house 10 years before deciding to sell (NAR’s 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends).
  • Fact: Internet leads are very perishable. Even with virtually instant response, online prospects are already clicking through that Mega Portal to visit your competitor’s listings.

The secret isn’t beating the Mega Portals at what they do best: Traffic. Let them use their online traffic domination to link the online search prospect with you — the live real estate professional — when they can. Trying to beat Portal websites at their own game is what odds makers call the “short end of the stick.” Why? Because quantity without quality is not the best use of your marketing time – and money.

The solution is to be direct. Rather than running after a stranger online, the best way a real estate professional can beat the competition today is to treat strangers as dessert. Instead, focus first on the main dish of people you know and the people they know…who live or want to live within your sphere.

5 Things That Make Direct Marketing Powerful

Why direct mail marketing is so powerful compared to digital marketing channels:

  1. Direct mail is the only channel that can reach everyone in your database. Let’s face it. Most contacts don’t want texts, phone calls, visitors, updates, tweets or pins…and they tend to route marketing e-mails and social media to oblivion. Direct mail gets delivered.
  2. Customer home-address lists are the most stable. Email lists degrade eight times faster than postal lists. Why? People live at the same address for years. Not so with email addresses. Better still; the property located at that postal address is the very essence of your real estate business.
  3. Mailboxes are less crowded than they used to be. Messages can be lost in the bombardment of daily emails and flash-and-gone news streams. Whereas well-designed direct mail jumps out and commands attention.
  4. Direct mail positions you as the expert. Information, tips, current market trends, all create conversations and top-of-mind awareness with past and future clients who appreciate the human connection that direct mail provides.
  5. Direct mail is the most compelling messenger. Prospects touch it. Feel it. Respond to the richness of color, images, design. Tangibility, credibility and trust are the best friends of your relationship marketing.

Even in the digital age, with direct mail marketing you don’t have to be the biggest. All you need to be is more direct and consistent than your competition. Or, as that marketing master once said, “You don’t have to out run the bear. You just have to out run your competition.”

Dan Richard

Emeritus at Gooder Group
Dan is the Founder of the Gooder Group and the author of a series of successful Real Estate books:

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