Let’s Talk Marketing
We’re starting the part when most perk up their ears. Some say it’s an art that’s learned over years. Still others decry its materialistic start as they stroll down the isles and stuff goods in their cart.
Whatever your view, I don’t honestly care. Your business needs marketing to get it’s fair share. So pull out your notepads and uncap those pens. Today we’ll discuss the means to your end.
If you take nothing else from this blog post, remember the following:
Marketing is the most important aspect of your business. It will determine your success or failure more completely than all other aspects of your investing career. If you are not willing to commit to marketing, stop reading this article. Stop studying Real Estate. Stop kidding yourself and pretending that you want success.
It’s that important.
If you are still reading this, let’s talk about marketing.
Several years ago I was shopping for new carpets in my house. I scheduled estimates from several companies. Most were referred by friends or business contacts. One of the companies I called was a big advertiser. I saw their ads on TV almost every day. I heard them on the radio and even got postcards in the mail. When all the estimates for my new carpets came in, I was shocked at the high price of the big advertiser. Their quote was more than double the second highest price!
A few months later I met one of the company owners at a friend’s Independence Day picnic. He was a great guy and we got along well. During our conversation I told him about the experience I’d had with his company. He gave me a candid and direct response.
He said, “I get so many leads that if 1% turned into business, I’d have to close. I’d have too many installations. There aren’t enough good installers. People that hire my company get a good product and great installation. I do so much advertising to ensure that my profits are big and my headaches are not. ”
Proper marketing drives leads. Leads give you the freedom to choose the amount of business and profit to achieve your goals.
Developing a successful marketing plan starts with mastering the 3 M’s: market, medium and message. Each aspect represents a basic building block necessary to attract new clients. The key is pairing the correct message and media with your target demographic. When matched correctly, the 3 M’s of marketing produce results.
The market is the group or groups of people who you want to attract with your advertising campaign. For our purposes, these are people who own specific types of properties within our target market. The types of properties that these people own will be dependent on the exit strategy you’ve established to meet your particular goals. In order to maximize the return on your investment dollars, you’ll first want to clearly and explicitly define this group.
The following are three examples of the same market. Each derivation more explicitly defines the targeted group. More specific targeting will lead to more effective results.
Broad: Owners in the city’s Richmond section that are interested in getting an offer on their house.
Revised: Motivated sellers in the city’s Richmond section who have a lot of equity in their properties.
Explicit: Individuals or corporations who own single-family residential dwellings which are located within the region constrained by Stanley Street, Roper Street, Arlington Place, and Charles Way on the North, south, east and west perimeters, respectively. The property owners being targeted should have at least 50% equity in their properties. They must also have an unpaid tax balance greater than $500 or have filed for eviction at their property within the past 90 days.
The media is the way in which your advertising is being delivered. Some examples include billboards, television, radio, letters, postcards, t-shirts, websites, online advertising banners or novelty gifts.
Matching your media with your market is very important. If you are only advertising online and the people in your target market don’t have computers, it’s a problem. Be sure your media will present your offer to the largest number of potential customers.
What do you want to say? The message is exactly what it sounds like. This is where you deliver your offer, make your pitch or start to close the deal. The message should target those people in your market and be written to appeal to the people you want to attract.
When writing your message, there are two simple rules that must be applied:
- There will always be an offer.
Example: I will pay your closing costs if you contact me before August 15.
- There will always be a call to action.
Example: Pick up the phone RIGHT NOW and call me at 800-555-1212.
Now that you have the basics, it’s time to get started. Define your market – EXPLICITLY. Match your media – PERFECTLY. Construct you message – BEAUTIFULLY. Then you too can say, “My profits are big and my headaches are not.”