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Back to the Basics: Advocacy Marketing for Real Estate Professionals

April 05 2011

homeactions coverOn ActiveRain.com, there is reference to a study done at Baylor University concerning the effectiveness of agent marketing: how many dollars spent in which areas lead to the best results.

The main thrust of the study was to relay their findings on what really gets a consumer to contact one agent over another. The researchers found that inspiring clients by appealing to their emotions and values worked the best. Simply saying that "I can sell your home faster and for more money" does not cut it anymore. The "I am a million dollar producer" type of self-promotion falls on deaf ears too, most of the time.

 

Consumers Use Emotion To Make Buying Decisions

HomeActions' co-founder, Albert Clark, recently spoke at Nextage Realty's Homeactions whitepaperannual business meeting in Atlanta. At the meeting, an 18-minute Simon Sinek video was shown that most in the room found inspirational, motivational and transformative.

The theme of the video is that people do not buy from you because of what you do, but why you do it. It essentially delivers real estate professionals a new way to market to emotions and aspirations.

Rather than utilizing the traditional "what I do" marketing approach, agents should appeal to and target consumers' emotions. Each and every marketing impression agents make should include at least one emotional tie-in.


Tell them WHY you do what you do.

For example:

"I am passionate about helping people

achieve their American Dream.

It gives me great pleasure to complete a transaction

in the shortest possible time, with the highest integrity

and earn your trust for many years to come.

 

My business is all about relationships.

People matter to me.  You matter to me."


All of this emotional targeting can be summed up with a term HomeActions uses on a daily basis:

Advocacy Marketing - Becoming an advocate for your clients, prospects and sphere of influence.

 


 

How to Become an Advocate

Watch out for your clients' and prospects' consumer and personal needs and keep them informed of tips, trends and issues that impact their lives as homeowners. Help them manage what they have now and you will earn allegiance when the time is right for them to make a move or a referral. Provide them with local market reports. Give them updates on what is happening in your office, your life, your community. Remember to include emotional content – you are developing relationships, not just racking up sales. Relationships are ultimately what drive your business.

Relevant and timely email marketing and social communications are the best vehicles to solidify your role as an advocate. Your website is not enough to build or maintain the valuable relationships you need.

Why? Up to 95% of everyone you know will not visit your website this week, this month or maybe even this year. They have no reason to visit your website because they are not currently in transaction mode.

It is up to you to maintain the absolutely vital communications and relationships you have with your clients, prospects and sphere of influence without relying on your website to do the work for you.

Relationships require interactive communication – you proving that you are listening to them, and them responding positively to you accordingly.


Statistics From The Baylor Study

Referrals and repeat business from past clients continues to lead all other sources of activity (sales). Yet, many agents are spending time and resources on areas that do not generate commensurate value (sales). The first chart from the Baylor study indicates where real estate professionals are spending their marketing budgets and the second image relays where the best (most) business comes from.

homeactions white paper stats

The above statistics do not necessarily indicate that all marketing budgets need to be wildly changed to attract referrals and repeat business. However, it is significantly easier and more cost effective to keep an existing customer than find a new one. Real estate professionals need to use tools that incubate and insulate relationships.


Summary

Staying top of mind with past clients and prospects will deliver measureable business for agents that succeed in "advocacy marketing". Communications must be actionable, relevant, unassuming, informative and consistently delivered. The marketing must have an emotional tie and the sincerity of the message (focusing on the consumers' needs and dreams) must be evident.

The shift in perspective from "about me" to "how can I help you?" is one that all agents must embrace and implement for long-term relationship-building and business success.

For more information about advocacy marketing, please visit HomeActions or contact Albert Clark at 240.408.4002 today.

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