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Income Targeted. Goals Set.

Because written goals have a higher probability of being achieved, we’ve recently created a workbook and presentation called, “The Income Based Approach to Real Estate Marketing” which is a goal setting program designed to show you how to allocate your marketing investment to generate the leads necessary to make the sales that will increase your income now.targetdarts_39226978

 

Based on lead generation research we completed in this fall, this workbook and the accompanying spreadsheets are similar to the method a financial planner uses with their clients; start with where you’d like to end up and then put in place the actions you need to take to get there – This is not a long, three to five year plan – especially difficult in these uncertain times — but a goal setting exercise designed to help you achieve your desired income now.

 

 This 4-step program will walk you through –  

1.      How much money do you want to make?

2.      How many homes do you need to sell?

3.      How many leads do you need to generate to sell
that number of homes?

4.      What marketing sources can you use to drive the right number of leads of the right quality to sell the number of homes to generate the income you want?

 

We’ll be making this presentation at the National Association of REALTORS convention in our booth (#2435) at the Exhibit Hall.  The schedule is below.

 

Friday, November 13

5:00 p.m.

 

Saturday, November 14

10:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

 

Sunday, November 15

11:00 a.m.

1:00 p.m.

3:00 p.m.

 

Monday, November 16

10:00 a.m.

 

Please join us for the presentation, or for more information, go to www.realestatebookmediakit.com/income to learn more.

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Advertising is about hope

by Dan McCarthy on October 27, 2009

Last Tuesday I spoke on a panel at Folio:’s ConnexLive conference. Tony Silber moderated, and steered the conversation with some urgency to simple questions about the future of the business we have all made our living from for a long while — magazines.

One of the panelists was Bernie Mann, a successful radio entrepreneur from North Carolina who publishes Our State, a high-quality glossy serving North Carolina. (Interestingly, some of the most practical and successful people I’ve met in local publishing have come out of the radio business.)

Tony kicked off the questions by asking when we might see a recovery in the ad market, and whether there will be a place for magazines when it happens. Bernie kicked off the dialogue by highlighting two basic themes: Advertising is about hope, and it’s hard to hope when things are hard; and, there’s a place for high quality, highly-focused magazines that offer things that people care about enough to pay for.

Advertising is about hope.

I struck this theme several times during conversations in the following through days as I travelled through Kansas and Missouri visiting with clients and our offices. Placing an ad is about the future. You’re betting that something good will happen AFTER you advertise. Experiencing a prolonged recession is about the past, about wondering when things will get better, about being wary about the future.

The theme resonated with the sales teams. It led to my sharing a bit of research I’d seen recently that concluded that the primary factor indicating whether people will live to an old age is their attitudes about age when they are young. The science is loose, but the conclusion makes sense: If, when you are young, you have negative perceptions about old people, you are less likely to live to be old.

The relevance to our business? You can’t have hope if you have negative perceptions about what you do, about the product that you represent, about the promise that you make in your business to your customers.

The challenge is proclaiming that hope even in the face of skepticism and negativity.

A good example is in our Real Estate Book Business. In the middle of the greatest housing crash on record, we offer a color catalog of homes that people peruse during the process of a home search. A common observation from many people is that the printed catalog is obsolete, given that 87% of consumers use the Internet during their home search. Hearing that observation over and over again, while watching real estate agents in their market struggle to stay in business quickly saps the confidence of the sales organization. In a meeting with our St. Louis TREB team, one woman asked candidly: When the real estate market comes back is their going to be a place for us? Will we have jobs?

The question is simple and honest.

I answered with some facts that we’ve accumulated over the past several months. In order to find out whether our magazine and print distribution works in achieving our primary goal of delivering business activity to our real estate agent customers, we did an extensive call tracking project with ads in multiple books. The results: An ad in the The Real Estate Book generates an average of 80 calls over three months, a $15 cost per lead at $400 per page.

We have to understand what our purpose is in the market, I explained. Our product exists to help agents with their marketing, and it takes advantage of people’s natural inquisitiveness when they are looking for homes. We distribute 8 million copies of The Real Estate Book with advertising from about 15,000 real estate agents. Our goal isn’t to provide a comprehensive listing of homes to the more than 30 million people who are searching for homes every month. The Internet is a great source for that. We’re distributing our listings to about 30% of that audience, when you include our TREB.com traffic. Our goal IS to make our agents stand out and to support their business activity: By showing home owners that their listing will get visibly marketed, by driving traffic to agent web sites (about three web visits for every phone call) and to drive phone calls.

In a market with ubiquitous information, that highly focused purpose is easily lost and market reps can easily get discouraged. When you look at our business, I told the team, you see that 75% of our customers have been with us a year or longer — they use our product because it helps them achieve basic goals that are important to their business.

Which brought me to Bernie Mann. I shared his comment with them. And suggested that until we can have hope, we can’t hope to inspire our customers.

You can find a video here with Bernie talking in simple and focused terms about what he has tried to accomplish with Our State. It’s compelling.

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WHAT GOOD DOES PRINT ADVERTISING DO?

Earlier this week, on October 20th in fact, I read an article in REALTYTIMES titled, “What Good Does Print Advertising Do?” The article was written by Bob Hunt, based on some conversations he’s had recently with his son Scott.  Both Bob and Scott are Realtors in south Orange County, California.

The topic was, do homes advertised in print sell for higher prices and faster than homes not advertised in print? Pretty interesting subject, I thought. Their work concluded that REO homes in their market, which tended not to be advertised in print, sold faster (41 days) and closer to listing price (97%) than market rate homes, which were more frequently advertised in print, (91 days) and (91%) of list price.

Now, I’m sure the very low initial listing price of many REO’s is a huge draw and people will find a way to seek them out; print or no print. But it still is an interesting point.

So the question is why do so many real estate agents and companies continue to advertise in print? What do they know that others may not? And, what good does print advertising really do?

Bob Hunt answers these same questions in his article this way:

1. Home sellers expect their home to be advertised locally in print. Period. Many, many people, including home sellers, believe that print is a strongly beneficial tool. Especially in today’s much slower market. They want everything going for them possible. Their perception is that print will help sell their home and successful agents satisfy this perception to acquire listings.

2. Most  importantly, home buyers use print heavily in the process of finding a new home. In fact, recent data from the National Association of REALTORS, showed that nearly half of people looking for a new home used print advertising as one of their sources of information. Wow! Looks like the sellers insisting on local print exposure weren’t wrong after all. It’s rare that the buyer prospect actually buys the specific home they call about out of the ad.  But valuable relationships are formed when these calls come in that often result in a successful transaction on another home. Thus, the print investment clearly worked for these companies and agents.

I think of it this way; we live in a multi-channel world. I want my product story told and sprinkled across as many of those channels as possible. Home sellers appear to want this to.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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