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How to Leverage the Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

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RISMEDIA, Dec. 1, 2008-”While the Internet has brought new sophistication to real estate sales and newspaper advertising continues to be used, there’s something much more powerful than both,” states Rich Shipley, director of Marketing for Entertainment® Publications.

The most powerful form of marketing you can employ in real estate is word-of-mouth. For one thing it’s not ‘you’ speaking, but your clients. Word-of-mouth marketing extends beyond simply using testimonials because your clients transmit their feelings directly, without your serving as their intermediary. Of course, word-of-mouth marketing is much less expensive than any other form of marketing, and normally results in delivering more qualified prospects.

How do you leverage word-of-mouth marketing? In many cases, if you offer outstanding service to your clients, you don’t have to do a thing to launch your word-of-mouth campaign – your clients will do it for you. By “outstanding,” we mean service that not only sets you apart from other real estate professionals in the area, but that sets up a relationship “inequality.” You’ve done so much for the client that they feel they must do something to restore balance. One way they do that is sing your praises to anyone who will listen. If they can refer one of their friends, neighbors or relatives to you, they feel balance has been restored.

“Word-of-mouth marketing is normally at its most powerful in the period immediately following a real estate transaction. That’s when clients are most enthusiastic about the service you have provided. Since there probably won’t be a repeat transaction with a client for years, the way to extend the enthusiasm is by providing a smaller service or “good deed.”

“Closing gifts may help, but only if they have a long ‘shelf life,’” says Shipley. “A box of chocolates, for example, may be greatly appreciated upon receipt, but could be gone and forgotten in a week. You want to be associated with a gift that has lasting value, one that makes your client say “Hey, look what I got from my real estate agent.’ Of course, if the client was less than satisfied with your services, he or she will not mention the gift and will not sing your praises. The gift cannot create word-of-mouth marketing on its own; it merely extends word-of-mouth power.”

“There will be clients who think highly of you, but who are not necessarily motivated by a perceived relationship inequality to tout your services,” says Shipley. “A simple request on your part – “Would you kindly pass the word around to friends and relatives about my services?” – can help launch their word-of-mouth campaign.”

Rich Shipley and his team at Entertainment® help real estate professionals all over the country leverage word-of-mouth marketing. Entertainment® 2009, available to Realtors for use as gifts at a 50% discount from the retail price, provides consumers with a year’s worth of coupons they can use every day. According to the company, there are offers good for many types of eating establishments, clothing stores, groceries, hotels, car rental companies, airlines, dry cleaners, car washes, golf courses, and entertainment and sports venues. The handy business card holder attached to the front keeps agents’ names in front of clients all year long. It’s a great way to help recent clients get to know their new neighborhood, and an effective reminder to previous clients of the outstanding service you provided them.

For more information, call 800-672-3053 or visit http://www.entertainment.com/nar. The deadline for placing orders for holiday delivery is December 12th.

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