May 11, 2022
My first question is where did September 2021 go? It seems like a blur right now to me, while at the same time it was a month of many major distractions. Kids went back to school (physically I might add). The vaccination passport was announced, and questions swirled around how that would play out. There was a federal election, or was there? (2019/2021 Lib 157/159 seats, Con 121/119 seats, BQ 32/33 seats, NDP 24/25 seats). It seems that in uncertain times the electorate gravitate to what they know.
So what does all of this mean for us as citizens, consumers, and of course REALTORS®? The noise and distractions have disappeared and now the heavy lifting of interpretation, direction and strategy needs to take shape. I recently read an interview with Rich Lesser (ironic name combination) in the NYT. He is CEO of Boston Consulting Group. He is a CEO who advises CEO’s, so when he speaks, I pay close attention. Lesser was particularly eloquent when he spoke of the over-used pandemic terms “new reality” vs “new normal”. In early 2020 “new reality” and “new normal” were used pretty interchangeably. However, new normal implies that the way we do things will eventually go back to the way they were, with small tweaks and improvements. And new reality is synonymous with a new platform, a new environment, or simply put a new way of doing things…period!
It is very important that we take the hubbub of September 2021 and begin to sow the seeds of our business in the future. It’s important to first calculate how the top 5 real estate brands did in 2019 vs 2021.
Gaining 1% in just 2 years is a very impressive feat when you take into consideration the size of our organization, and vast market share. This showcases that we as a company excel in an uncertain market, and that we should never take this for granted. Our focus should be on the customer experience, and how to change that experience when the business environment changes.
It is clear that our business environment has changed forever, and as a result, if you change a person's environment (post pandemic) then you change a person’s behavior. Who would have thought that my Sociology 101 textbook chapter 2, Nurture vs Nature would have come in handy at this point. The nature of our consumers have changed for a variety of reasons. It's time our way of conducting business should change as well.
Many would argue that the seeds of this change were already beginning to germinate. All COVID did was accelerate that growth. So how are you working, selling, knowledge brokering, negotiating, nurturing and communicating differently??
Let’s start with the basics. There are 3 ways every business should focus on to grow their business:
Attracting more customers (great marketing does that)
Increasing your average sale (the 2020/21 real estate boom did that along with the resources we put into our luxury division)
Increasing your repeat purchasers and closing ratios (what is your listing presentation to listing ratio?)
Q. What are you doing for your past and current clients?
A. This is the year you finally create a reward program for current, past, and those who refer clients.
Q. What are you doing to upsell your clients? What is your ‘do you want fries with your order’ strategy?
A. Start to weave into your conversations with your clients how you specialize in an area of real estate (income properties), or how you have a service to enhance your area of specialization (property management).
Q. Are you dripping or dropping?
A. Create a customized, quality, segmented drip campaign for your current and future clients. Your drip campaign should focus on adding value to your clients’ lives (equity and enjoyment).
Q. Do you have a CRM? I can’t believe I’m asking this question!!!!!
A. Just get a CRM. Stop asking which one is the best one!!!! The best CRM is the one that takes all your contacts from all your scraps of paper, from you brain, and off all your trade record sheets and organizes them demographically. News Flash…..That f’n CRM does not exist!!!!
Q. Do you have a current Positioning Statement?
A. As a result of our business environment changing, it's time you hone your PS. A positioning statement is a description of your expertise and your target audience(s) and explains how you fill a market need.
P.S. Make sure your PS makes an appearance in some form on all of your email campaigns, your social media, your website (via a blog or vlog), etc.
Q. How are you leveraging your testimonials?
A. Start gathering and creating a testimonial library, organize them by geographic location, by demographics and by sheer quality. I don’t have enough space in this blog to tell how valuable client endorsements are, or how you can use them when you are trying to win a listing or increase your client base.
Q. How much are you investing in Search Based and Interruption Marketing?
A. Get together an online advertisement budget, with 75% of your budget in search based marketing (ie Homes for sale in ………….), and 25% in interruption marketing (ie What’s my home worth?).
Q. How many Blogs/Vlogs do you create a month?
A. You should be creating 4 a month, 1 consisting of 1000 words (keyword rich), and 3 micro vlogs.
Q. Do you have any strategic endorsements? And, what are you doing to show that you are an expert in our industry?
A. Seek out the media, albeit locally or nationally, pitch a topic on a trend you are experiencing. Create a platform where you bring experts in our industry and/or in business generally (ie accountants, builders). Leverage these relationships and cross endorsements wherever possible.
Q. Do you have some sort of quarterly report that is of high quality, that it gets shared extensively on social, your clients clammer for it, and when it is late your audience/database makes noise about it?
A. Special Reports have legs. By its mere title it exudes importance, and will heighten your brand awareness and stature as a local knowledgeable REALTOR®.
If you were able to answer any of these questions with more than 5 words or just a simple yes, than you passed. You have proven yourself to be a high caliber professional, with an astute ability to master client acquisition and retention, under any market conditions.