What Business Are You Really In? 

So – what business are you in?
The correct answer is: The Marketing Business! Marketers make it their business to have what the market place wants. So the focus is on the prospect not on the agent. There is a big difference specifically in the Luxury market.  

Most agents confuse advertising with marketing. Back when I was 21 years old, selling cars in 1989, I wondered what it would be like to make a million dollars selling luxury automobiles. The harder I worked at selling them, the more I knew I would NEVER see $1 Million in income or more doing it the way I was doing it. It was then that I learned what business I needed to be in – the Marketing Business. Specifically, Direct Response Marketing. You see, the kinds of advertising I engaged in prior to this made all sorts of boasts about me, but it really offered no benefits of interest to prospects.  

When I decided to get into real estate in 2006, I quickly learned that our industry is commoditized and it seemed the harder I worked the more I failed at achieving my goals of making a really good living selling real estate. The advertising I did was the same kind of ineffective advertising most agents do to this day. Meaningless boasts about them saying – “here I am, a Real Estate Agent and I can help you buy or sell.” I learned through failure that advertising about me, was ineffective at getting a steady stream of prospects ready to buy or sell. I learned that EFFECTIVE marketing:  

  • Talks to and about your prospects
    • Gives prospects real benefits
    • Gives prospects a non-threatening way to get more information, and
    • Gives prospects compelling reasons to call you to get it
    • All marketing (including luxury) requires Brand positioning along with WIIFM (what’s in it for me) benefits to the client. 

This epiphany helped me make over $1M is GCI in a very short period of time. I, in, essence ended all forms of advertising that involved manual grunt prospecting, cold calling, door knocking and expensive advertising instead, implemented systems that delivered exactly what prospects wanted. I call it Reverse Prospecting. ALL of the hundreds of warm buyer and seller leads we generate month in and month out – all of them – ask for info from us first. They contact us about buying and selling. We simply call them back and follow up.  

I now teach agents this as a coach, mentor and broker. You see, you can’t make prospects call you. Prospects won’t call you just because you want them to. They won’t call you just because they are aware that you exist. They will only call you if it will benefit them in some way to do so. Most agents think that to attract prospects you advertise or think the purpose of marketing is to promote themselves, but they are sadly mistaken. The purpose of marketing is to ATTRACT prospects. As soon as you learn to STOP homogenizing your business by simply being a typical real estate agent selling houses to buyers and sellers and START being a marketer of solutions for those wanting to buy or sell properties, the sooner you will discover the key to really making money in real estate.  

I have outlined the top 5 marketing mistakes real estate agents make and how to correct them.  

Mistake #1. Your marketing doesn’t tell me what’s in it for me…There’s nothing that tells me WHY I should call you versus anyone else. If there’s nothing in it for me, it is guaranteed that I will NEVER call you, or sign up for anything. Tell me WIIFM in the headline and the offer.  

Mistake #2. There’s no compelling offer…your ad simply says, “I’m a real estate agent, call me.” That will NEVER get someone to call you. What are you offering me as a consumer that I can’t get or think I can get from somewhere else or from someone else? Think about what buyers want and what sellers want.  

Mistake #3. Your marketing doesn’t speak to me…is there a message to market match? Am I your target market based on the message? You absolutely need to match the message to the market to the medium. Does your message speak to the people you’re sending it to, and is it being sent to them in the medium that they are more likely to see it and respond? Think about the demographics as well as the psychographics of your market.  

Mistake #4. There’s no C2A Anywhere…a simple call to action is imperative to a good marketing piece. I jokingly say that if a 10 year old kid doesn’t know what to do with your marketing piece then the general public won’t either. Not that the general public has the same intelligence of a 10 year old, but they only have 3 to 4 seconds to understand what to do…if they have to think about it or re-read it, you’ve lost them. Ask the consumer to take action by responding, download now, learn more, go to… 

Mistake #5. Your marketing doesn’t send me to a landing squeeze page or an 800-number. Probably the most egregious of all mistakes, not giving me an easy way and non-scary way to get the information I’m interested in. It’s a marketing crime. Forcing me to call your mobile number or email you specifically is the kiss of death. Making me search on your website for the info will only make me bounce off and NEVER return. You’ve just destroyed your entire marketing campaign.  

BONUS Mistake #6. You’re not tracking where your leads are coming from. You’re sending out multiple pieces of marketing and OK, you have a decent offer, it’s compelling and speaks to me and it even tells me where to go and get it, I can easily give up the one thing I hold so dear (my anonymity) and download it or request it but you have no idea where I came from…all you know is that somethings working but you’re scared to stop because you’re afraid of the good stuff stopping. Remember: only one marketing piece per landing/ squeeze page and 800#. Split test, A/B test your message, offer, market, C2A  

Jay Macklin
Platinum Living Realty 
8th Annual Journal Industry Awards
Designated Broker of the Year