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Agents and brokers are bombarded with programs, apps, lead-generation sources and literally hundreds of ways to spend their hard-earned money. How do you decide what to spend money on, and what types of marketing will make the biggest impact on your business?

There’s a big difference between marketing and advertising. The easiest way to understand the difference is to think about a wheel with spokes. The wheel is marketing and the spokes are advertising. Each spoke is a different piece of the marketing wheel, including public relations, sales strategy, customer service/reviews, market research and community involvement—all of which play a role in your marketing strategy.

Most people think marketing is the same as advertising because they do it to generate more business. Many of the spokes in marketing are directly related to lead generation, while others focus on building a brand and creating awareness of your product or services. As a real estate agent/small business owner, our marketing efforts are focused on what I like to call direct response. That means if I spend $1,000, I need to see direct responses that generate $6,000 in return on that spend.

The other way is less direct. It may be a billboard, geographic farm postcard or even Facebook ad where we drive business to sites, and do our best to engage the prospective client, but we can’t directly track where the business comes from. I like to call this institutional advertising. Beer commercials are great at this. They show a bunch of beautiful people having a great time on the beach, playing volleyball and Frisbee and swimming in the ocean. At the end, it simply says “Bud Light.” Many times, the difference between direct and institutional advertising is the message on the advertisement. For example “FREE download,” “FREE market analysis,” and “FREE home valuation” are all direct response phrases that cause people to take action, that can easily be tracked by downloads or appointments scheduled.

Institutional advertising would be a billboard that says “Doritos” with a cool picture. There is no direct response or call to action phrase.

If you want your marketing strategy to pay huge dividends, here are a few rules to follow:

  1. Track every lead in great detail. We created a Google Drive lead tracker that shows exactly where every lead and sale comes from.
  1. Reason for the call. Make sure you ask everyone exactly what message they saw or heard that caused them to call you.
  1. Review your numbers often. The more information you have about what is and isn’t working will allow you to focus and spend in the right places. We review this data from our high-producing coaching clients and share what is and isn’t working.
  1. Allow time for things to work, but when it’s clear that something isn’t working, move those dollars to other marketing activities that are proven.

You don’t have to recreate and guess anymore in this business. Get with your coach and make sure all of your systems are set up to track and manage your marketing strategy correctly. And when you find what works, crank up the spend. This is a very profitable and predictable business. If you need help, click here to schedule a free business consult.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems.

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