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Backwards marketing? Ever heard of such a thing? I hadn’t until a recent phone call with a marketing expert who said some thought-provoking things during our conversation. She said that real estate agents like to talk about their listings and themselves, which is very true. Then she added that agents should focus instead on how the features of homes will benefit homebuyers—and how the agent’s past successes and experience benefit prospects and clients. After hearing this, I realized that my team had been missing the mark with much of our advertising.

In an effort to elevate our team’s marketing, I’m going to start asking myself these questions when writing copy:

  1. How do the features of this home benefit the buyer? I’ll try to tie features of the home to a benefit for the prospect. For example, if the home has a swimming pool, I could say something like, “Splish! Splash! And not much more cash! This four-bedroom, three-bathroom traditional in Norcross comes with your own sparkling, in-ground pool. You’ll feel like you’re on vacation every day!” I’d be interested in seeing a “free” pool that made me feel like I was on vacation every day. Wouldn’t you?
  1. How does our team’s success benefit our clients? Most real estate agents are really good at highlighting their accomplishments and those of their teams’ within marketing collateral. While this is great stuff, I’m going to focus instead on how our team’s outstanding performance benefits our prospects and clients. For example, instead of saying you sold X homes in the last year, or that you’re the area’s top agent, you might convey a more powerful message by saying, “Because of our team’s sales in the last several years, we have a huge pipeline of buyers looking for homes in your area…and one might just want your home!” Instead of saying you sell homes for more money, you might try, “Our typical seller earned $X,XXX more than the average seller.” I hope it goes without saying, but your results must actually support your claims.
  1. What can I say to make this copy reader-focused? This sounds like an easy thing to do, but our natural tendency is to talk about what we’re trying to sell instead of how it will benefit the reader. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve mentioned that a home has fantastic curb appeal or is the best-looking home on the street, but if I want to be reader-focused, I’ll need to change my words to something like, “You’ll be very proud of this beauty every time you come home.”

How many ways can you think of to elevate your marketing? Let’s all start by marketing forwards instead of backwards. Market the benefit of what you’re selling and not what you’re actually selling. Remember to ask yourself the three simple questions above as you write copy, then measure the results to see if the change makes a difference.

Cleve Gaddis is a master coach with Workman Success Systems and a team leader with Gaddis Partners, RE/MAX Center in Atlanta. He learned sales the hard way, selling vacuum cleaners door-to-door and now puts those skills to use in helping his team close $60 million annually. He loves to share his systems and strategies to help others succeed. He hosts the Call Cleve Atlanta Real Estate Show, heard weekly on NewsTalk 1160 WCFO. Contact him at Cleve@WorkmanSuccessSystems.com. For more information, please visit www.workmansuccesssystems.com.

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