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10 Essential Marketing Strategies - #5

Sell to all your market segments    

One size does not fit all – not in t-shirts, not in lattes and certainly not in real estate. As a result one of the biggest mistakes developers make is to use one brand statement to try to reach everybody. In the old advertising days they used to call it “Spray and Pray” because it involved blindly blanketing everyone with the same message, and hoping and praying it sticks to somebody.

Those days have been replaced by highly targeted, individual marketing where all of your prospective buyers receive a marketing message that is specifically targeted to them. If you have three different target groups, say investors, first time buyers and empty nesters, start with three different website addresses or URLs that focus the information on that particular group.

Investors generally do not care about the esthetics of the home, rather they want to know about the commissions, contracts and closings. The site should answer all of their financial questions about the rental market, typical resale value in the area and other relevant concerns.

First time buyers on the other hand want to know that the area is young, sexy and hip. Their website should focus on these details and fresh imagery that would get their attention.

The empty nesters are usually looking for a lot of floor space, storage and two or three car garages - they may want their pets to move in too. They will usually be less interested in financing as they will be selling another property at the same time and buying their new home with cash.

Some strategies to keep in mind:

When marketing to investors, use the imagery and the words they use to market financial services. Also talk about diversifying – if they own a lot of single-family homes, they may need more multi-family housing. If they own residential now, they should try looking into commercial.

When marketing to first time buyers stress the prestige of owning your home rather than renting, the wise financial decision of buying and the way in which this decision will help to create a much brighter future. Also focus on the hip and trendy lifestyle that awaits those who act now.

When speaking to boomers or empty nesters use physically attractive people with a touch of gray – or those that most empty nesters would aspire to look and act like.

Regardless of which market segment you are trying to reach, or which medium you are using, be sure to use testimonials – an incredibly powerful way for you to drive your message home.

Try targeting a specific market

And one last point about creating customized targeted niche marketing. You may not know this but I spent the early 1990’s as the one-man marketing machine behind the then unknown bands the Backstreet Boys and ‘N Sync, at a time when the Internet was just emerging as a marketing tool.

Back then we had absolutely no budget but we did have a very focused target audience of 13-year old girls. The decision to narrow our focus rested on some solid research that suggested this age group had the interest, the time, the disposable income and the influence to take our two previously unknown boy bands and promote their music, message and merchandise around the world. And it worked.

The Backstreet Boys as an example went from zero to $1 billion in sales in 27 months through the power of target marketing.

I bring all this up to remind developers that sometimes, focusing your marketing efforts on a niche audience can be a very wise decision. And whether you are speaking to a local, international or niche market, be sure to craft content that resonates with them specifically and makes them feel that this project was custom designed for them. 

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Topics: strategies, marketing, toronto, n5r

10 Essential Marketing Strategies - 1. Track Your Marketing in Real Time

There is no denying it – the pace of change in our modern world is dizzying. Just close your eyes and think about life just ten years ago and consider how different things were then. A decade ago nobody had high speed Internet or HTML interfaces. There were no iPods, iPhones or BlackBerrys. Google was just coming out of Stanford and had yet to revolutionize the way the world shares access to information.

Back then nobody was tweeting or had a Facebook profile. And although cell phones were available, they were not everywhere the way they are now, and had only a fraction of their current capabilities.

Ten years ago these tools were literally not available and certainly were not an integral part of the real estate marketing landscape. They are most certainly available now – and the challenge is that most developers are still not even using them.

The painful truth is that what sold your property a decade ago is terribly outdated now. Today, smart, skilled builders and developers are trying to market everything from multi-million dollar developments to single-family residences using antiquated methods from the dinosaur age. My goal is simply to change all that and dramatically increase your real estate profits in the process.

Find out what is working

One of the first things my company does is to begin tracking and measuring our client’s sales and marketing efforts. It is almost life altering when we present our results – our clients cannot believe that the things they thought were working best were not working at all, and the things they thought worked the least were actually generating 80% of their current business.

Beware of registration cards

Let me give you an example. One off the most common tools that builders and developers in residential and commercial real estate use are the standard, old school registration cards. Unfortunately, 70% of the data on registration cards is actually pure baloney. People will check the first box in the list nine times out of ten.

Now people do not mean to lie – but most of them cannot remember what they had for breakfast let alone how they came to hear about your project. So if registration cards are not telling you where your leads are coming from, is there a more accurate way to track the information? The answer is yes, there is.

However before I explain how to track leads, let me stress again why it’s important to track your sales leads. When most developers do a marketing plan they say “Okay, we are going to spend this much on the Chicago Tribune. We are going to do something on Google. We are going to do something on billboards. And we’re going to do a print piece.” So they write out a number of different initiatives as part of their marketing plan, and put a dollar figure beside each one. Done.

The problem is that this is old world thinking – there is nothing trackable about any of these initiatives, and none of them include projections. So how will you know if the things on your marketing plan are actually working?

Make a plan to track your progress

What I am challenging you to do is to add a layer of information to your marketing plan by writing down what you expect your cost-per-lead to be and how many leads you are planning to generate from each separate initiative. Then track that information every week and every single month. Are you hitting your numbers with the Tribune? If not, try changing the creative direction or try something different.

If your Google ads are not hitting your cost-per-lead projections or if you are not getting enough leads, then it’s time to make a change. Information like this is powerful because with it, you can strategically focus your budget on things that are producing real results.

Another thing to remember – not only should any lead-generating tool be trackable, it should also give you results in real time.

The days of waiting weeks and even months to find out what is working and what is not are long over. And if you do not feel that trend already, rest assured that your clients most certainly do.

So let’s discuss your prospects for a moment – they are impatient and have every right to be. These days information is immediate and accessible. With computers, people can search for any piece of information in a matter of seconds. Downloading pictures takes no time at all.

If someone missed their favourite television show they can probably go to the network’s site and watch it then and there. Customer service lines are open at all hours now – and even mainstream shops have extended their hours to accommodate their shoppers’ schedules.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling commercial real estate or ice cream, the point is that you had better be ready when your customers are. And that means changing the real estate feedback cycle from days to hours.

You have to follow up on leads fast!

Let me give you an example. Someone registers on your website on a Friday night at 5:30 pm and expects to hear back immediately.

The problem is that you haven’t assigned a Lead Manager to follow up over the weekend, which means the weekend passes and the lead is only contacted on Monday or Tuesday. I guarantee you they won’t be pleased with this and in all likelihood, will not do business with you. This is the reality of real time customer service.

If you don’t have a process for this situation, you will not be in business in five years. People’s expectations have been transformed forever because of the Internet, and it is unlikely that they will ever go back. Now I do not suggest that you keep your business open and running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But I would suggest hiring an Internet Lead Manager who can get back to people in the evenings until 9:00 pm. This is a critical necessity.

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Topics: seo, strategies, marketing, toronto, n5r, real time

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Topics: seo, strategies, fan page, facebook, social media marketing, twitter

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