After being in the digital marketing world for several years, launching and managing hundreds of marketing campaigns, thousands of hours learning from other marketing experts, you tend to pick up a few lessons that change how you approach marketing.
One of those lessons is learning from more competitive industries. For example, if you are in the landscaping industry, try learning how insurance companies market their products and services.
Don’t get me wrong, you should study what your competitors are doing. However, when you look into other industries and their marketing strategies and compare that to other businesses in your industry, you will come up with more ideas and improvements you can make to your marketing strategy.
One competitive industry that we all can learn from is the real estate industry. After going to a handful of open houses, I picked up a few marketing lessons along the way.
Here are six of them.
- Directing prospects to the property with signs
- Making it easy to find the elusive house number
- Getting you to sign up before entering the property
- Selling you when you enter the property
- Text message after you are out of the property
- Turning the sale into an event
1. Directing prospects to the property with signs
When was the last time you used a paper map to navigate your way to a certain location? Today, the majority of us use a GPS to help us get to where we want to go.
However, one thing that real estate agents do really well is they use a sandwich board or an a-frame signs to help direct their prospects to the property they are selling. It might not mean much but when they turn into a wrong junction or miss the first turn and need to make a U-turn at a busy intersection, 10% of them might get frustrated and not attend or have a different opinion on the property such as “The location isn’t as convenient as the other one” and that is a bad start to selling a property.
“We know from experience that 5% of buyers who drive past will stop to view a property based on seeing the pointer boards,” Adam Sorrell, director of Barry Plant Wantirna said.
Product in the image: A Frame Sign
2. Making it easy to find the elusive house number
Finding the street is easy. Finding the house number is a different story. However, the moment you see a huge signboard you know you have arrived at the right place.
Take three seconds and imagine if there wasn’t a signboard outside the property. Some of us would be driving around in circles trying to find the property and some of us might just give up.
Another benefit to the signboard is it is essentially getting free advertisement to any random prospects that drive past.
3. Getting you to sign up before entering the property
Now that you have found the property, you will be asked to sign up before you enter the property. If you are like me, you must be asking yourself “What is the point of signing up? Can’t we just say hello and start viewing the property?”
The BIG thing here for the real estate agents is once you are signed up, you are on their mailing lists. This is when you get email newsletters such as a recap of the property you just viewed, other properties they have for sale in the area, and more.
These are essentially free leads for them. So if they have 10 open houses per week and generate 20 leads per house, that is 200 leads per week for free.
On another note, one thing we liked during the registration process of one of the houses we went, this real estate agent asked us for our feedback on what other properties we were viewing. It was a very simple question that can give you a ton of information on your competitors.
“What other properties have you viewed?”
4. Selling you when you enter the property
After you sign up, you make your way into the property you are hit with another marketing material. This time it is brochures. These are high-quality brochures that make you feel like the property you are in also has the same premium quality as their brochures.
Imagine if you went to two properties…
- Property A has the paper leaflets which looks like it has been printed by their HP printer at home.
- Property B has the premium laminated gloss brochure with the property pictures and a summary of why this property is the best in the market today.
Which property do you perceive has a higher value?
5. Text message after you are out of the property
One real estate agent did a really good job on this part. After we viewed the property, we received an SMS thanking us for our visit and with a link to the property to “refresh” our minds on his vendor’s property.
It would be great if there was another SMS that provided additional details such as:
- The structural integrity of the property
- The capital growth over 5 years in the area
- Amount of savings you get if you build a similar house like this on a similar block of land
That would give confidence to the buyers that they are buying a good property.
6. Turning the sale into an event
The final step in selling the property is either via private negotiation or auction and vendors and real estate agents love auctions.
Product in the image: Custom Flags
According to research done by the University of Wollongong, they found that prices paid at auction tend to be higher, and in one study by Ashenfelter and Genesove (1992), the auction premium could be as high as 13%.
That means if a property price is $700,000. 13% of $700,000 is $91,000. That is almost paying over $100,000 more for a property! Add interest on top of that and you are looking at nearly $200,000 more.
Another company that does this really well is Apple with its keynote presentations. When they do it, they not only get a ton of free press but also a massive amount of shares on Facebook to spread the word about the new products and features they are releasing.
Real estate agents combine:
- Convenience in helping us find the property with directional signs and signboards
- One-on-one support by being at the property to answer any questions we have
- Psychology by placing high-quality brochures inside the property
- Scarcity by bringing all the buyers together, selling the house via auction, and letting the buyers compete for it
Does your business has convenience, support, psychology, and scarcity built into your marketing strategy?