Today‟s real estate market remains in a state of flux. With economists predicting that the bottom has still not arrived, investors are running from investing in real estate. The price of homes has plummeted throughout the country off record highs of just a couple of years ago, and real estate investors have lost millions and millions of dollars. But all is not lost. As Warren Buffet preaches, "Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful."
This week we have the Senate working on fixing the foreclosure problem (I haven‟t heard anything that makes any sense to me) and in my opinion that is more scary than the fact that foreclosures are up 50% from last year. Political rhetoric is amusing but scary and the media loves every minute of it. As I hear all the doom and gloom about the economy, I see at the very same time investors making life changing money.
All stress and fear is not negative, in fact, creative people use stress to become very resourceful and focus on the important things to keep us on track and focused on the most important issues. Those that have a library of specialized knowledge have lots of resources at their disposal to come up with creative solutions. So if you have been listening to the negative media, instead focus on the investors in this market that are being successful and ignore all that doom and gloom negative talk. Move past the negativity. Our senior investors are locking down as many properties as they can right
LAWS OF MARKETING - #1 COMMITMENT
To launch your marketing plan requires commitment to it. Sending out one letter to your list of leads and expecting a widespread response to it is contrary to one of the fundamental laws of marketing. That law states that the more times a potential customer, prospect, a lead (what ever you want to call them) is contacted or sees your ad, the more likely they are to take action. Simply put, by sending repetitive mailings to your leads or keeping that ad in the newspaper week after week, will increase your response rate. Read the list below to get an idea of how a consumer‟s mind works.
The Consumer’s Mindset
1. The first time a man looks at an ad, he doesn‟t see it.
2. The second time, he doesn‟t notice it.
3. The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it
5. The fifth time, he reads the ad.
6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, "Oh, brother!"
8. The eighth time, he says, "Here‟s that confounded thing again!"
9. The ninth time, he wonders whether it amounts to anything.
10. The tenth time, he will ask his neighbor if he has tried it.
11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes it pay.
12. The twelfth Time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
13. The thirteenth time, he thinks it might be worth something.
14. The fourteenth time, he remembers that he wanted such a thing for a long time.
15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
16. The sixteenth time, he thinks he will buy it someday.
17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum of it.
18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys the article or instructs his wife to do so.
The preceding was written by on Thomas Smith in London in 1885. Amazing! How many of you notice this pattern in your own life? Do you react to ads in the same way? As you can see, this is nothing new or edgy for our current time. It is an age old law of marking – the more you see it the more likely you are to take action.
Now, lets get serious here. We do not recommend that you commit to sending 20 mailings of the same letter or mail piece to the same person. You are targeting a customer who is acutely aware of their situation. They don‟t need to be convinced that they have a problem and that there is some action they should be taking. They do need to be convinced that you are the answer to that problem and they do need to be convinced to take action to contact you. By sending at least 4 to 6 – maybe even 7 letters to them, you are creating the opportunity for the customer to take action. Another method that is highly effective is to send them 4 to 6 letters or postcards with an alternative approach simultaneously.
I can hear your objections already, "Mike, it will cost too much…it will take too much time….Mike, are you crazy? Well, call me crazy, but hear me out on this one.
Consider the specific emotional mindset of the homeowner in distress. They are scared, embarrassed, angry and often times paralyzed from taking any action. Some simply think there is no hope and no options for them. Quite possibly they are in denial that they are going lose their home, sure that something is going to bail them out, the question is what. Some of them are just so mad at why they got into the situation, mad at the job, mad at the spouse, mad at life, they just
can‟t do anything productive except vent about their circumstances. In both of these situations, they are stopped by fear or anger from doing anything.
Just from the information you have about your lead, usually their name and address, you cannot possibly guess their circumstances and their mindset. Do they need to be shocked into taking action? Do they need to be coddled into taking action? Do they need to get scared into taking action? Do they need to feel safe before taking action? Will they react to a very direct, in your face style of message? Will they react to a gentle sincere, warm fuzzy message?
A very effective solution is to send them at least two types of messages, one warm and secure and one that is more aggressive. Maybe even a third mail campaign that is a little bit of both. Send them simultaneously and send them at a regular frequency. Some direct mail experts suggest sending out your message as often as every 2 days. By doing this, you are guaranteeing that one or the other style of message will appeal to your homeowner and move them to action. While they may just disregard one style of message, they will certainly pay attention to another style of message. This is a highly successful, battle-tested method. Yes, it costs more money, but wouldn‟t you rather have spent a few more dollars and have many more clients?
Often times their business goes to whoever is left standing – to the person whose name and message is constantly in front of them. Make sure you are providing the consistent, committed message that they are getting.
I‟ve used the direct mail example because most of us use direct mail as a place to start our marketing, but keep in mind there are numerous other types of advertising and these ideas should be applied to them as well and we will examine form these areas in upcoming newsletters.
I talk to students who have run an ad in a newspaper or publication for months and have not received a single call or have put a flier on a public bulletin board with no response, sent 4-5 mailings to a potential customer and NOTHING. Yes this is extremely frustrating. Yes, it makes you question if the time and cost are worth it. Yes, it really tries your commitment to the process.
And then one day, it pops. The calls start coming in. Someone contacts you who saw your ad months ago or someone told them about you ad. A lead that you have been mailing to for weeks contacts you. A business card that you left in a restaurant or gave to an acquaintance weeks or months ago got picked up and passed on to someone who needs your help. I have no rational, calculated explanation for this. There is no exact recipe for this. If I had it, I‟d be a really wealthy woman. But what I can point to is that the staying power, the sheer commitment to your marketing plan paid off. That repetitive committed message got through.
To quote Jay Conrad Levinson in his book, Guerilla Marketing, "You evolve a marketing plan, revise and revise it until it is a powerful plan for your purposes. You put it to work and you stay with it, no matter what (in most cases). You watch it slowly take effect, rise and falter, take a bit more effect, slide back a bit, start taking hold even more, stumble, then finally grab on and soar, taking you with it. Your plan is working; your cash register (or phone) is ringing with new clients; your bank balance is swelling. And this is because you were committed to your marketing program."
Stay committed, stay creative and stay tuned… in our next newsletter, we will examine and apply the next Law of Marketing.