About a month ago, a collegue and I decided that it was time to pitch our expertise to the local realtors. I’d grown sick of looking at the sea of headshots in our local newspaper… which were literally (and I’m not exaggerating) designed to be exactly like one another. On one occassion, they ran a series of the “McAds” across from a motivational seminar in town…and it was literally headshot hell. It seemed realtors didn’t understand that they needed a brand platform and a comprehensive marketing plan they could work. In some discussions with a few of them, they all noted they’d like to learn and explore more.
But how? We couldn’t take them ALL to lunch. And we didn’t have time to consult with each of them individually. There had to be a way.
My team mate on this adventure was Debe Fennell – a member of the well known Dickson Realty family who enjoy the lion’s share of the local market.
Debe had taught a series of operational, organizational, and inspriational classes to realtors for years at “Dickson University” – the in-house training program the broker constantly presents to its family of agents (both old and new). Obviously…Debe knows her stuff, and was a perfect team member for this adventure.
But what do the local agents really need in the face of a “bubble burst” in this, and most of the national markets? What could we give them that would be of REAL value? We began to research, and touch bases with newbie realtors, and highly successful agents alike. And it all seemed they shared many things in common. Most commonly – a feeling of being frozen by fear.
Most were intimidated by the current climate – many thinking it was time to withdraw their exposure, and “ride out” the declining market change until prospects and loan rates improved, and buyers came back. Some, especially those within the luxury property market, felt little effect on their base of clients. But most agreed it was time to consider something new and adjust to new demands from buyers and sellers alike. Surprisingly, most thought they knew what a personal/professonal brand was – although few admitted they had an actual marketing plan, or could easily define their brand.
So there it was…an obvious need in the market for brand development, marketing and sales organization. And then we hatched an idea: offer a symposium of experts that would touch on some basic, and advanced topics. We gathered our team together ~ Debe to teach the basics of organizing contacts, and keeping them in constant contact. Connie Weber, a local media buyer, would present ideas about how to buy media…which media to buy and why, and when to use a media buyer (and when not). David Spillers, President and CEO of digiprint ( a high-end printing company) would give them insight as to customizing printing for their markets, and the newer technologies available in today’s print shop.
And so began “Making The Market Hot, Even When It’s Not” as a seminar for any agent looking to energize their marketing campaigns and strategies. The symposium went very well… and the presenters (including me) were all given high marks for the content we offered, the tips and tricks taught, and the need to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy and brand platform ~ as any business should.
What we discovered was very interesting. The response to the symposium was great. We immediately had 30 people sign-up, with just over half actually attending. Of those attendees – there was a broad mix of beginning agents and well-seasoned pros.
Many agents couldn’t begin to navigate through their Outlook, and had no idea how to establish contact groups or personalized data. Others were well beyond it…but didn’t think marketing and personalize branding were important. The mix was too broad, and we were presenting information to many different levels of interest.
The event came off without a major glitch..and the response was very positive and factual. We learned as much for our students as they did from us.
So now what?
We’re in the plans of another series of presentations with a variety of target markets – all customized to beginning/intermediate/advanced levels. Those will roll-out next month, and we’ll begin the e-blasts and flyer contacts all over again.
In the meantime, we’re pitching a series of packages to meet the demands of beginners and experts alike. And, of course, in a blatant act of shameless promotion, you can download them from our site: here.
So what I’d really like to know is…what do you think is going on in our market? How can marketing help you sell, or buy your next home? What can we offer you that might help?
Blog on…and let us know.