By Burke Smith
In Part 1 of “Winning Listings and Converting Buyers” we discussed some keys to generate qualified leads by integrating your offline and online marketing initiatives. This article focuses on the conversion of those leads. It is very important to remember that you only get paid on conversions. Nobody cares if you have 1,500 friends on Facebook if you can’t sell their house nor can you financially support driving around endless buyers who fail to ever purchase something from you.
The conversion process actually starts well before the prospect ever contacts you. That is why you need to consider following The 40/40/20 Rule. This is a proven formula for generating effective, conversion-friendly real estate marketing whether it be offline marketing like direct mail or online marketing such as a Facebook page or a website. This rule works for everything you do when it comes to promoting your brand or your listings. The 40/40/20 rule suggests the following when it comes to measuring the success of your marketing, advertising and branding:
• 40 percent of your success is based on knowing your audience. How well do you know the audience you are marketing to? At its simplest level, we are continuously marketing to three very different and distinct generational groups: Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y. Can we all agree that these three groups probably communicate very differently? Of course! So why try to communicate with all of them the same way? To illustrate this portion of the rule, I often ask agents, “Who did you send that direct mail piece to? Or, who are you talking to with your most recent Facebook post or blog post?” Besides what generational group they belong to, is the person receiving your message a seller, buyer, empty-nester, investor, renter, married, single, etc? How much do you know about the audience that makes up your farm or your Facebook followers? The more you know about your audience, the more effective your marketing will be, the higher your conversion rates and the more closings you will see.
• 40 percent of your success is based on the value of your message. How valuable is your message? Are you constantly doing the worst thing possible on social media and just posting pictures of houses or celebrating recent sales successes? Or are you just posting links to articles from RISMedia or the Wall St. Journal? There is nothing wrong with posting links, but people want your two cents, so anytime you post a comment or link, think about who am I talking to and why am I putting this out there. A great way to measure the effectiveness of this portion of the rule would be for generating listing leads. For example, too many agents advertise “Contact Me for a Free Home Evaluation,” which does not offer the prospect much value at all. However, by following this 40 percent of the rule, you might advertise, “If you are thinking of selling your home, anybody can tell you how much your home is worth. Contact us and we will coach you on how to make your home worth more.” Certainly the second message above is more valuable than the first.
• 20 percent of your success is based on the look. Whatever you put out there still has to look good. But long gone are the days where you have to worry about getting your headshot, the sunset, the dogs, the neighborhood and your contact info all in the same image. Nobody wants to see that. The look also includes the consistency of your offline and online brand images. Are you trying to be one thing offline and another thing online? I am sure whenever you go on a listing appointment or go out to show property, you get the car cleaned, you dress nice, hopefully you smell nice and overall you put together a great offline image of your brand. However, since 92 percent of real estate consumers will go online, will the image they find of you online be consistent with what they saw offline? We live in a world of instant transparency so be sure to present a consistent image. Don’t pretend to be a “Luxury Home Specialist” offline, but online all they can find on your Facebook page or website is a couple of $50,000 foreclosures from 6 months ago.
That’s the 40/40/20 Rule. Many agents who have attended the free seminars we at HSA Home Warranty have conducted, where I teach this rule in more detail, have done extremely well implementing this in their marketing strategy to win more listings and convert more buyers. I wish you the same success. If you are interested in finding out more on when and where our next free live seminar or webinar will be, visit http://facebook.com/HSAhomewarranty.
Burke J. Smith is the Chief Corporate Communications Officer of HSA Home Warranty.
For Part I of this article, please click here rismedia.com/2013-02-21/tips-that-will-immediately-help-you-win-more-listings-and-convert-more-buyers-part-1/
For more information, visit http://onlinehsa.com.