Estate agents are always coming up with creative places to put their adverts. It used to be that you’d see an estate agents advert just in the pages of newspapers and magazines, but now you see them on park benches, billboards, shopping carts, anywhere there’s a flat surface and someone willing to sell you space on that flat surface for an “affordable” (i.e., very, very large) monthly fee.
That’s all fine, I guess. Brand marketing is important. I’m not so sure that a face and a slogan like “Let me bring you home” on a shopping cart is a great use of your money, but it probably doesn’t hurt.
But don’t kid yourself. Brand marketing is an expensive and inefficient way to build your business. It takes a lot of money and time to build that brand presence, and even then you’re not really likely to generate direct leads from it. The best you can hope for is that you establish some degree of name recognition in your market.
Here’s a better way. Create really happy clients. Happy clients are the best marketing you could ever have. Happy clients become referral sources. They become testimonials and references that help you secure new listings. They create word of mouth.
People buy a house, invite their friends and family over to see it and people ALWAYS ask them about how they found it. They want to hear the story and that story is generally going to include the buyers’ impressions of the experience they had buying the house. If they’re happy, they’re going to tell everyone. If they’re NOT happy, they’re going to tell everyone. Either way the word is going to get out.
Multiply that experience by everyone who buys or sells a house with you and THAT my friends is a marketing program. Happy clients running around the country talking about how great you are. No amount of money can buy that.
In the internet age, happy clients are more important than ever, because instead of just sharing their experiences with their friends and family, they’re actually writing stuff on the internet and sharing it with anyone who Googles your name. The scary part is that the unhappy clients are even more motivated to find some online review site to talk about how much they hate you.
Bottom line is create happy clients. Instead of writing cheques to create a brand presence, put your back into giving great client service experiences to the people who buy and sell with you. It’s hard, it takes a lot of work and it requires a lot of dedication, but it’s the best marketing you could ever do for yourself.