“The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.” — Thomas Wolfe
In a world where cyber social networking has, for many, overtaken actual face-to-face contact, and a person’s worth is measured by the photo-shopped pictures of themselves that they upload, and the number of friends and “followers” they have, it’s really easy to delude ourselves into believing that our value can be determined by how many people “see” us.
I glanced at an article the other day about a recent book written by Barbra Streisand called “My Passion for Design” which showcases the painstaking process she engaged in to create her perfectly designed surroundings and, between the lines, yammers on about the way she interacts with her crafted environment in meticulous detail. “Image”, in the world she has created, is everything. Apparently, the koi fish in the pond out front are “coordinated to the colour of the woodwork.” [Maclean’s] “I remember her living room,” said Clare Ferraro, President of Viking Press who published the book. “The color scheme was in pink and burgundy and green and if you looked out the window you saw there were roses in the same color. And throughout the house, the outside matched what was inside. I went home and ripped the flower bed out of my porch because the flowers didn’t match my porch furniture.” [Associated Press]
Smiles don’t sell
Will the book sell? I guess it will because Streisand, after all, has celebrity status that actually does have backbone, but all of this made me think about the way that so many agents delude themselves into thinking that they can create this celebrity status for themselves with their advertising. You may not have ever thought of it in this way, but that’s really what it amounts to. Most agents who get fed up with traditional prospecting (such as cold calling and door knocking) turn to marketing in the hopes that this will attract qualified prospects. The problem for most is that their definition of marketing is what I call “image advertising”. Every single one of you knows what this is because real estate sections in newspapers and magazines in every city in the nation are littered with it. It’s the head and shoulders glamor shot with the big smile beside the words “I Care about Your Business”. It’s the cozy picture of the agent and his or her dog beside the words “Trust Me to Sell Your House”. It’s the two agents back-to-back in a spy-like pose with their hands raised as if they’re holding guns beside the words “Licensed to Sell”. Guess what. These ads won’t get qualified prospects to call you. This is not how to market real estate.
I’m being somewhat sarcastic about this, but don’t be offended. The truth is that when I first started out, I ran ads like this myself. In fact, I’m willing to bet that the hokey ads I ran are worse than most. That’s how I know, from firsthand experience, that these ads are nothing more or less than a waste of your hard earned money.
I made the same mistake
It’s because I made the mistake myself of running ads like this in my early days that I understand why so many agents run them. As business people, we look around at the big brands such as cars or perfume or fashion and we see that these highly successful properties are marketed largely on the basis of image. We reason that if that’s the way the really successful marketers do it, it must be right. The thing we forget is that we’re really nothing like any of those big brands. For one thing, they have bucket loads more cash to throw against their brands than we do, and secondly, do you really imagine for one second that someone selling their house is going to decide which agent to use on the basis of this “image”. Is it likely that they’ll hire on the basis of what the agent looks like? How meaningful is it to a seller, do you think, to read the words “I Care” when the same kind of warm and fuzzy language is used by all the other agents in the advertising medium? Would your ad be better if you said “I Care More” or “I Care the Most” or “Nobody Cares More Than Me”?
The reality is that what home buyers and sellers really care about is gaining the most financial benefit from the transaction and not having to undergo a lot of hassle to get it complete. If there’s one very important lesson I want you to take away it’s this: Just because people know you are, doesn’t mean they’ll call you. They will call you, however, if you offer them an easy and non-threatening way to get information they’re craving about the home selling / home buying process.
And it’s less expensive
As new as this idea may be for some of you, the good news is that doing advertising the right way is actually much easier, much less expensive and exponentially more effective. Not only that, but the lead generation strategies I teach in this system are measurable – which means you don’t have to guess what works and what doesn’t. Instead, you can test every single aspect of what you do down to the tiniest detail to ensure you’re getting the absolute best value for the marketing money you invest.
Your mug may not grace the cover of the national news with the strategies I teach you, but I can promise you this – if you follow my lead, you WILL sell a lot of houses and make a lot of money. And you can take that to the bank!
P.S. You can test drive my ideas and systems absolutely free by signing up for Free Weekly Training which includes live weekly webinars, a monthly newsletter and priority invitations to free half day training events. This Free Weekly training will expose you to inexpensive and highly effective methods of lead generation (with no cold calling) -- what I call “Reverse Prospecting”, where qualified prospects actually hunt you down rather than the other way around, and then how to follow these leads through to maximum GCI via proprietary lead conversion and prospect presentation systems. This is the easiest way for you to find out with no risk or obligation what my system is all about and how it can help you profitably grow your real estate business and vastly improve your quality of life. JOIN MY FREE WEEKLY TRAINING PROGRAM HERE