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Added: August 22, 2004
Article rating: 3.08 (of 5) - 529 votes

13 Real Estate Marketing Mistakes to Avoid ! (I)

[ by Joe Gracia ]
To be successful and profitable, you must START using the most effective real estate marketing strategies possible. Less obvious, is the fact that you must also STOP using the most ineffective, money-wasting marketing strategies. I call them The 13 Fatal Marketing Mistakes. While this list doesn't cover all of the possible real estate marketing mistakes, it does describe some of the most expensive, destructive and most common made by many real estate agents. It's relatively easy to produce profitable results with a well-planned, tested and proven marketing strategy. However, it's even easier to lose thousands of dollars by making any of the following 13 Real Estate Marketing Mistakes.

1. Trying to generate sales with the One-Step marketing strategy.
This is the most basic marketing strategy used by most real estate agents today. It's everywhere. It consists of an ad, flyer or other marketing device that simply announces the real estate agent name and agency, possibly lists a few basic features of services and ends with an address and phone number. The prospect is now expected to respond to this type of marketing piece by immediately purchasing.

Unless you are offering an extremely high-demand, hard-to-get product/service (an original Van Gogh painting, Super bowl tickets, etc.) this marketing strategy almost always results in little or no response. This strategy totally disregards the psychological buying sequence of consumers. It's very much like walking up to a stranger at a party and asking Would you marry me? What do you think the response would be?

2. Not knowing for sure which of your marketing efforts are producing results and which are big money-wasters.
Even new real estate agents are investing in up to a dozen marketing devices at any given time. Not only are we talking about traditional media, like newspaper or Yellow Page ads but many others that may not be as obvious.

These marketing devices are either contributing to your business profit or destroying it. Most real estate agents don't have a clue as to which is which. If they did, they could easily guarantee increasing their profitable results by investing more in the winning devices and eliminating the money-wasting losing devices.

3. Expecting your prospects to know exactly what you want them
to do
. Never, never, never assume. Take a look at most real estate ads and you'll see that the agents/brokers are almost always assuming that the reader/prospect will know exactly what they want them to do… without telling them. At the bottom of the ad there will be a phone number and an address. Usually nothing more. Ask one of these persons what they wanted the prospect to do after reading their ad and they will most likely reply, Buy my product! Isn't it obvious??

The answer is a resounding No!
For one, there is rarely enough information in the typical marketing piece for a consumer to make an immediate buying decision. Therefore, that can't be the action expected from the consumer.

Second, the marketing competition for the prospect's consumer dollars is fierce. The prospect is usually exposed to dozens of ads for basically the same services. Obviously, he or she is not going to take action on every single ad.

How do you insure that they will respond to your marketing piece and take the specific action you intended? Certainly, not by assuming that they will know or figure out what you want them to do. In order for a real estate agent to tell prospects exactly what action to take next, the real estate agent must know what that action should be. Once you know the psychological buying sequence the next expected action becomes obvious.

4. Expecting your prospects to Call for More Information.
Closely related to fatal mistake number 3, is the marketing piece that again simply announces the business name, lists a few basic features of the product or service, ends with an address and phone number… and then asks the prospect to Call for More Information.

One of the last things a prospect wants, is to feel dumb. What information should they ask for? Does this mean that the real estate agent doesn't have a brochure or any other literature? Are they going to have to take notes?? Will there be a test? The other thing no prospect wants is to feel pressured. Whether it's true or not, the average prospect assumes that they'll get a high-pressured sales pitch if they call. Most do not want to risk this pain. Therefore, the Call for More Information tag is almost always ignored.

While some prospects may not have a problem responding to this vague directive, the majority do. If you doubt this… try putting it at the bottom of your marketing pieces. You'll soon be convinced that few prospects, if any, respond to the Call for More Information fatal marketing mistake.

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5. Focusing your marketing efforts on you or your company.
It seems natural to tell your prospects about you and your company. We're proud of what we do and how we do it and we assume that our prospects will be impressed and motivated to take action.

We've been in business for 16 years… We are an award winning, cutting-edge agency… We are equipped with the latest micro-techno, laser-guided, nuclear-activated widget-gizmos…

Too often these phrases evoke the following responses from prospects:

  • So what?
  • Big deal.
  • Who cares?

Please don't misunderstand. I'm not saying that your marketing materials shouldn't include background information about you and your company and/or specifications about your product/service. I'm saying that this should be supportive information, not your primary marketing message.

It's a fatal marketing mistake to think that prospects care about the same things you care about. They rarely do. However, they do care deeply about something entirely different. Once you know what that is, and you address it powerfully and clearly in your marketing, you will begin to draw prospects to you like a magnet.

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