• Good marketing has an individual and unique strategy.
  • Copying something you like rather than something you know will work for your market is a waste of resources.
  • You must know your client and understand your competition to win the marketing game.

Homebuying and selling keep evolving with the times, which begs the question: why aren’t agents changing the way they service homebuyers? The real estate industry, much like the legal industry, falls victim to the blind-leading-the-blind curse when it comes to generating marketing ideas.

The result of this is mediocre marketing that looks and sounds the same. But more than that, it’s ineffective marketing because it lacks originality and, therefore, memorability.

Good marketing starts with an individual and unique strategy. In real estate, marketing can be easily spotted, which leads to others copying those materials.

For example, a highway billboard with a giant logo and the image of an attorney leads to an agent making the conclusion that he or she should also be doing that.

What imitation does to real estate

In real estate, it looks something like: identical tag lines, ads, postcards, home brochures, etc. — all done with no strategy. The scary thing is that typically the individuals being copied have no clue what they are doing. That’s right.

A postcard might arrive at your door that has an offer for a free coffee if you contact the agent, but it might be poorly done, and have no effect whatsoever.

But, it looks novel to you, so you go and tell your marketing team to replicate that piece. See the problem? We have no idea what the initial person based that strategy on, and we don’t know how effective it was.

Regardless, you still put out the same piece in your farm area, and another agent sees it and reproduces it. See where I’m going with this?

The thought behind it is that if all real estate agents are putting out a piece with a free offer, that it must be effective. It almost becomes something that you have to do to be competitive.

Why mediocrity breeds ‘meh’ results

The worst part is that agents usually aren’t copying industry leaders but rather the mediocre agents. If you ever feel the need to source ideas from others in your industry, research and evaluate what the leaders are doing.

That will give you an edge because you know you are emulating those who are indeed successful. But a word of caution: your clientele might not resemble that of those you are trying to imitate, that is why good marketing has to be individualized, unique and well-designed.

The goal of marketing is to dominate your competition and take their market share. This can only be achieved by having a solid marketing plan and by offering something exclusive to your clients.

I can guess what you must be thinking now. You are thinking that it costs money, and you barely make enough. Well, nothing comes for free, so yes, you will have to invest. But, it will pay for itself, and you will end up with an increased market share.

The answer

This is where the changing needs of homebuyers come into play. Show that you are changing with them and that you understand them above your competitors — who are stuck looking to other agents for guidance, instead of growing in an effort to serve their clients better.

The strategy should start with understanding your clients and building a strategy around that. Of course, you must also know your competition to be able to trump them (no pun intended).

What’s the remedy? Stop looking at your competitors for your marketing strategy. Figure out what your homebuyers and sellers are looking for, and give it to them. Then, create a plan to make them aware of your offerings and how you stack up against the competition.

Laura Ure is the CEO of Keenability, a marketing agency specializing in lifestyle marketing that targets the affluent buyer. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Laura Ure.

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