Critical Marketing Mistake 1 – Putting Out Institutional Instead of Direct Response Messages

Institutional advertising is a very common part of most businesses marketing strategy. It is also EXTREMELY ineffective. Many business owners have unfortunately bought into, (literally) or been coerced into believing, that if I throw enough of it ‘out there’, then something’s got to stick! Very often this mis-information has come from people who simply don’t have a clue how about advertising, but just simply want to sell you ‘white space’: advertising in the local paper being a classic example.

Most advertising I see is nothing more than a larger version of a business card: name of company at the top, then a few lines about what the business does, then their contact details. Or worse still… Falling into the trap of believing ‘branding’ is a means in itself of attracting clients. I will always maintain that branding — as a starting point — will never work for SMEs, unless… You either have 1) the kind of marketing budget afforded to big corporations, or 2) you simply don’t mind throwing good money away!

‘Yes, we recently did a 5,000 flyer drop locally, and so far… Well, we’ve had no response… But I’ve been told that very often the first time doesn’t make much of an impact, it’s only after several attempts that you may get some response.’ The number of times I’ve heard this from a client tell me this, or variations on a theme, is unfortunately common place. It also makes me angry, as especially for the small business owner every pound counts.

Let me tell you this… If you didn’t get a response to your advert/flyer/letter the first time, it doesn’t matter how many times you keep rolling out the same version. Listen… Your audience are trying to tell you something, ‘it ain’t working!’ So don’t keep throwing good money after bad!

Instead… Always use DIRECT RESPONSE messaging.

You need to start using messages that elicit a response. A blown-up version of your business card, will do nothing to compel me to want to contact you, or discover more information.

NEVER start your advertising pitch with your company name, that’s not going to get my attention. I don’t care what you’re called, so why start the message this way. Instead… Begin with a COMPELLING headline; one that speaks to me directly, and that draws me in to the rest of your copy.

Then offer a call to action… Get me to respond… FASCINATE me into wanting to contact you!

Naturally there’s much more to effective copywriting than this, but this strategy alone, will not only save you thousands, but more importantly, will help you get a response to your marketing efforts.

Tips, Tools and Tactics For Handling Commercial Property Owners in This Market

In this commercial real estate market you really know the property owner that you are dealing with, and their reason for talking with you on property matters.

As a base strategy, it pays to directly question the client on their needs but also and perhaps more importantly their knowledge of the current market. You want all the real facts and make sure you get no hidden agendas from the clients. So let’s see how we can achieve this clear and precise information from the client.

Direct Questioning

Question them more and you talk less! Direct questioning does set the foundations of confidence and knowledge for you in the conversation. It makes you stand apart from the competition as the property agent of relevance and knowledge. The property owner can see that they are talking to someone who really knows the current market and why things are happening.

Here are some key questions and concepts. We recommend that you use this as a checklist for the process. That will keep you on track.

  • What is the Owner’s Motivation in talking with you today and how did they reach you? They must have at least one specific reason. You need to know why they have chosen you as the potential agent to help them. You should also know how they found you in the first place. If it was through another property campaign or a referral then you have a base from which to create leverage.
  • In this commercial and retail property market, volatility and uncertainty can impact many properties. The time on market will be extensive in most circumstances unless the property is correctly matched to the target market and the price or rental is keenly structured. For this reason you want the best properties to list with you and not the average ones. What do the clients ultimately want to do in listing the property today and what is the time frame that they must satisfy?
  • Is there a financial hurdle or benchmark that must be satisfied for the transaction to be successful? If there is any financial pressure from the mortgagees and the banks, it is important to know full details of that. See if the client will involve you with the banks at the earliest stages so that any pressure from that direction can be controlled. If the bank is confident in you and your services, they will likely let you take choices in the property promotion road ahead.
  • Given the price or rental that you could achieve with the property in today’s market, is there a financial target or hurdle in the clients mind that must be matched? Is it realistic and what will be your strategy in the process? Work on the clients thinking from the earliest stages of the listing process. Attitudes of inflated prices and rents have to be toned down. The property market of this year is a lot different than two years ago. Do not waste your time on overpriced listings at unrealistically high levels.
  • Has the property been on the market for some time with other agencies? This fact will impact your strategic approach in continuing with the listing today. You will need to freshen up the marketing so previous promotional campaigns are not impacting your campaign today.
  • The previous history of the landlord’s interaction and service with the other tenants in the building must be identified and understood. Many potential purchasers or potential tenants for the property in today’s market will speak to the other existing tenants in the property as part of their due diligence process. Any bad history can derail your negotiations. The earlier you know about the problem the easier it is for you to strategize and address.
  • Given that there are so many changes impacting the market at the moment, does the owner of the property understand the market and how they must adjust to those pressures? This can include property renovation, adjustments of rentals, establishment of fresh lease documentation, repositioning of tenancies, a reassessment of the property financials, well directed marketing campaigns, and reductions in price or rental as required.
  • Is the property owner a ‘Corporate’ in structure and how does that effect or delay decisions that will be appearing in the sale or lease process? It is surprising how much delay can be experienced when working with boards of directors and the people in ‘head office’. Property documentation must be a high priority and fast tracked when the time comes. Understand who you must get the documentation to and how they will process the documentation.
  • Who are the Owner’s Solicitors and Accountants, and can they be directly reached for discussions on the financial matters of the property? It is interesting to note that solicitors in the property documentation process can slow things down extensively (their work load pressures are not your pressures). This is where you will likely need the assistance of the client to make the solicitor respond in a timely fashion to your requests. It is quite likely that the solicitor will not even take your calls as the property agent until the client so instructs them.
  • Given the property transaction today, is the client a repeat investor and will they want to re-enter the property markets soon on a different type of investment? This is an excellent time to purchase other commercial real estate. Prices are historically low and offer significant opportunity for those clients that can act today. Finance can be the problem that holds back the bigger deals.
  • Does the client own anything else in commercial real estate which needs to be balanced in property portfolio performance as you sell or lease the subject property? In many cases, it is the stability of the cash flow across the portfolio which needs to be considered for the client. Many wise portfolio property owners will select properties in different property types such as retail, office, and industrial, so that the economic trends of any distressed market segment or location will be offset by the other properties in the portfolio. It is of note that diverse property portfolios produce less volatility but also produce less extreme peaks when one property market is performing highly. The property owners today who are reasonably comfortable economically are those that have spread their investment portfolio across different property types in good locations.

So the key issue here is to completely understand client and their needs. The better you do this, the better the chances of an effective sale or lease in a timely fashion. Confidence and control are the foundations of your success as a commercial property agent in this volatile real estate market.

Real Estate Agent Direct Mail Marketing

How Real Estate Agent Direct Mail Marketing Can Increase Your Business

According to the US Postal Service, 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered, and 77% sort through it immediately. Now, imagine a piece of Real Estate Agent Direct Mail strategically delivered to one of those consumers, filled with information that addresses one of their immediate needs. It’s like scheduling a face-to-face meeting with your ideal consumer, since Direct Mail gets you literally in the front door!

If you are a Real Estate Agent in Orange County, California searching for the most effective way to reach your clients and prospects, Real Estate Agent Direct Mail Marketing may be the answer you’re looking for. Here are some ways Direct Mail Marketing can effectively increase your business…

* Hit your target.
Determine who you’re trying to reach and focus on reaching them. Mass advertising can be expensive and isn’t always an option for small businesses. By contacting only your ideal client through targeted Direct Mail Marketing, you eliminate unnecessary marketing efforts and drastically increase your return on investment.

* Connect on a personal level.
Addressing your clients by name, and offering them service based on their needs, forges an automatic connection which makes them more likely to respond. In fact, 55% of consumers “look forward” to discovering the mail they receive, and you want to ensure your piece is there for them to discover.

* Customize it your way.
Infusing the unique traits of your business into your Real Estate Agent Direct Mail Marketing pieces is easy, and you can customize your program the way you want. Some examples of customization include showcasing real estate accomplishments, informing readers of market trends, or simply wishing them a happy holiday!

* Give them something to hold on to.
Physically placing your message in your customers’ hands engages them in a tactile way, and providing them with useful information encourages them to interact with you and keep your piece handy.

* Track your success.
Real Estate Agent Direct Mail Marketing is one of the few media channels that allows you to track the success of your campaign, and it’s as simple as counting the responses you received from that particular piece. By tracking and analyzing your results, you can make the necessary adjustments to your program to generate more leads.

The key to building a strong brand as a Real Estate Agent in Orange County, California and increasing that brand’s value is consistent, regular marketing, and Direct Mail marketing pieces are an easy, cost-effective way to do this. Connect to your target client today with Direct Mail marketing and increase your business!