Two weeks ago, Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States. Whatever you think of his ideologies, many political analysts noted that he ran a "near-perfect" campaign, with a revolutionary use of the Internet to raise money and inspire his supporters.
So obviously, it’s time to take a look at his strategies and see if they’d be useful in building an individual Realtor brand or selling a condo.
Here, I think, are some of the more applicable lessons:
1. Define your brand. Newsweek got in on this early, with a big feature story called "When Barry became Barack." Once the naming was done, a couple of core values were identified: Change. Hope. The candidate also defined himself in the marketplace — not against a competitor, but against an icon: President Bush.
2. Give people a place to find you. Barackobama.com offers links to all of the other places you can make a virtual Obama connection, including YouTube, Twitter, and MiGente. If you are on, say, LinkedIn, that of course has a link back to barackobama.com.
3. Have a weird name. OK, I know this can’t necessarily work for everybody, but if you can differentiate yourself in an Internet age, do. On LinkedIn, I’m two degrees of connection away from both Barack Obama and John McCain, but Obama is easier to find because there are lots and lots of John McCains. I guess the corollary to this is, if you are at all working an Internet presence and have a common name, be aware of it. I just got an e-mail from somebody whose last name is Smith who didn’t bother to identify his firm. He has a fairly common first name, so it’s like, "Dude, there are hundreds of people you could be. Which one are you?"
4. Offer, if it’s possible, premiums. You donate to Obama, and you get some little thing with a logo. Now you have to be very careful with stuff like this, because people who are left out can sulk. For example, if you donated $30 to Obama in September you got a shirt; if you donate $30 to Obama now, you get a shirt; but if you donated in October you got a car magnet.
Also, you have to make sure that people want your little logo thing. I personally feel that I have enough canvas tote bags with branding on them to last the rest of my life, but other people might feel differently.
But back to making this applicable to us agents: When customers first sit down with you, do they get a notebook? A pen? A coffee mug?
5. Put the calls to action in your drip marketing. Obviously "vote" is a much stronger call to action than "come to my open house," but to me the cool part was that there was always a secondary call to action before it. "Watch this video, vote" or "look up your polling location, vote." I don’t know how successful "go to this apartment’s Web site, come to the open house" or "check out these current mortgage rates, come to the open house" is going to be, but you can be sure that I’m going to try it.
Alison Rogers is a licensed salesperson and author of "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie."
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor. To contact the writer, click the byline at the top of the story.