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The Three Barreled Marketing Gun

November 02 2010

shotgunI will never forget my father teaching me to shoot a gun. He started me out on a 4-10 shotgun. It was light and easy to carry – the shot did not travel far and the spray was enough to insure that I did not miss. Once I progressed, he moved me up to a 12 gage – double barrel.  Asking why they built a gun with two barrels, my daddy explained that the second shot was in case you missed with the first. The same is true of marketing in real estate today, but in these difficult and competitive times, I think a three barreled gun is what agents need.

The three barrels in real estate marketing are:

  1. In-person marketing
  2. Direct marketing
  3. Follow-up

In-person Marketing

The first barrel is in-person marketing. Door knocking, business associations like Rotary or Chamber, charity groups, church, etc.  Burning shoe leather is another name for it. These community based flesh-pressing events go the furthest in building business relationships in real estate. You may also want to include hosting homebuyer classes, home seller classes, etc. These activities allow you to stay in front of your target clients in a physical way.

Direct Marketing

The second barrel of marketing is usually called direct marketing. These are email campaigns, direct mail like postcards, telemarketing, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, articles, blogs, etc. You are publishing material on a regular basis that passively reaches your target audience. The goal of this is to let your sphere know that you are an expert. Be careful not to just hire a service and not read the content. This happened recently when a Top5 agent sent out the RIS Media content to his contacts without reading it. When a customer asked a question about the article, the agent had no clue about the topic or how to begin answering the question.

Follow Up

The third barrel of marketing is follow up. Follow up is the final shot that helps you achieve your goals and sell more real estate. It is among the chief failures of real estate agents today. Here are some tips:

1.      Answer your phone – even if you are on a call. Ask the person you are talking to please hold on a second while you take a message. Take the message, which includes name and phone number. Always find out when it is a good time to return their call – and get a back up phone number. Call them back. This may seem rude to the person you are speaking to, but if you excuse yourself for a moment while you take a message, they will understand. They probably already know that you always answer your phone and honor the service commitment to call them back through their experience with knowing you. You hold yourself accountable to every customer and make yourself available 100% of the time. It is good quality of service.

2.      Answer email right away - Even if you do not have an answer, respond and let them know when you will. Again, make sure that you always get a follow up phone number and complete mailing address if it is a new contact.

3.      Keep your ear to the floor with social media - Check your Facebook wall of your business page, or personal page, and respond quickly to any questions.  Check your direct messages on Twitter and LinkedIn and respond accordingly.

4.      If you have not tried for easy, online scheduling with an attractive interface, check it out.  This is great way to display the times during the coming week you are free.  This schedule can be copied with a URL to your calendar, or emailed to contacts.  It can also be embedded into your Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. This is a welcoming invitation for leads to set up meetings with you, if a game of phone tag is in full swing.

Of all three I emphasize follow up.  Granted you need leads to follow up with, but once those are generated, massaging those prospects into leads, then clients is the single difference between a successful agent and one planning their exit strategy.

We like the three barrel approach.  What do you find that works for you?  Let us know!