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What Can Real Estate Professionals Learn from the National Football League?

As summer ends and we head into Labor Day weekend, it can only mean one thing – football season.  College football starts this week and the NFL on September 10th.  Each new season gives every team a chance to start fresh and improve over the year before.  But how do teams get better?  What do they need to do differently?  Each season teams favor different trends in offense and defense over others from the past.  How do these trends develop and why? 


As a general rule, the teams successful the year before set the trends for the following year.  Based on last year’s Super Bowl win, you will absolutely see teams trying to emulate offensive and defensive plays of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  And, even though the Arizona Cardinals lost the big game, their winning record spurred by an outstanding offense means that teams around the league will try to integrate some of their plays and offensive formations this year. 


Another trend in the NFL is for teams to hire new head coaches who are former offensive or defensive coordinators on highly successful teams.  The Atlanta Falcons hired Mike Smith to be their head coach prior to the 2008 season.  Most casual fans had no idea who he was and questioned why the Falcons hired him.  Why not get a so-called “big name” coach?


When you dig a little deeper, the reason they hired Mike Smith because he was a proven winner with two very successful franchises.  He helped guide the Baltimore Ravens’ defense to a Super Bowl win in 2000.  Later, he was defensive coordinator for the Jacksonville Jaguars through several winning seasons.  He led a defensive unit that ranked fourth in the NFL in overall defense and third in points allowed from 2003-2006.  And he brought that knowledge and the winning techniques he learned over the years to take the Atlanta Falcons from a record of 1-15 in 2007 to a record of 11-5 in 2008.


Smart owners, general managers and coaches carefully analyze, scrutinize and evaluate what the top teams are doing to win more games.  After they have done their research they then incorporate a lot of these “winning” techniques into their team’s overall strategy.


What can real estate professionals learn from the N FL?  Study what the top agents and brokers are doing in the current market from a sales and marketing perspective and incorporate those best practices into your business. 


So, what are the top agents earning over $200,000 in commissions doing today to survive and thrive in today’s market?


OSR Research recently conducted a survey to determine the most effective habits of these top performing agents and here is what they found:


Habit #1: Investing in Marketing is Critical.

The average agent only invests about $7500 per year on marketing and has an income of $88,750.  The top agents who make more than $200,000 a year invest nearly $20,000 on marketing. When you look at a top agent, you’re looking at someone who has a habit of getting their name out in front of consumers as frequently and professionally as possible.


Habit#2:  Spread the Wealth

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  Review your marketing objectives and allocate or reallocate your budget accordingly.

Top agents spend the majority of their marketing budget as follows:

*25% on local real estate magazines

*25% on their personal website and driving traffic to their website

*25% on all other forms of internet and electronic marketing


Habit#3:  Track Your Results

Don’t rely on what you think is working or what other people think is working.  Test and measure your marketing with call tracking numbers and web analytics.  You may be surprised what really is working best.


Habit#4: Test and Measure Your Marketing against Your Goals

What are you specific marketing goals?  Are you trying to gain more listings?  Get more buyers?  Work with a specific geographic or lifestyle niche such as first time home buyers or military relocations? Measure. Measure. Measure.  Adjust and measure again. 


Habit#5: Experiment with New Technology

Test new tools and new media such as blogs and networking sites like Facebook.  Some may fit your overall marketing strategy.  Some may not.  Everything new is not necessarily good or bad.  Experimenting will help you discover those that deliver the best results for you.


Habit #6&7:  Stand Out from the Crowd and Work with Market Leaders:

At the end of the day, this is one habit of top performers in our business that has not changed.  They know they have to brand themselves in the local market place, reach out to sellers to gain listings, and reach a large universe of buyers to bring in business and they do these things aggressively.  Top performers do what others are not willing to do. 


Whether in football or real estate, to become a top player, you should learn and use the habits of other top players.  And if you want to make over $200,000, your marketing strategy has to be aggressive, well-executed, measurable, and innovative – or else you’ll end up sitting on the sidelines.


For more information on this study go to realestatebookmediakit.com



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Actions Speak Louder Than Words at Inman Connect

I recently attended Inman Connect in San Francisco, a real estate technology conference featuring the latest online developments for real estate and swarms of high tech minds.  And, while I gained new insights into the future of real estate marketing technology, I couldn’t help but make the following observation. 

As I registered, I was handed a printed and bound program – with at least 20 ads for online real estate sites and services. The bag I received was full of fliers and promotional items – and every one was imprinted with a website. Each day, as I walked into the general session, every chair was piled with multiple printed fliers advertising services found only online.  On the trade show floor, every single vendor passed out printed fliers detailing their typically online only offering. Noticing a trend? 

As I listened to speakers from many of these same companies warn how the life span of print advertising was limited at best, I thought it ironic that they, themselves, chose print and other offline sources to capture the attention of attendees, leave a lasting impression and drive traffic to their sites at this event.  Actions speak louder than words.

As I sit in my office flipping through various B2B magazines targeted at the real estate industry and count the printed ads for online real estate sites, my suspicion is that they know an integrated media marketing campaign including both offline and online channels is still the most effective.  

One can only wonder how much the “print is dead” rhetoric is out of self-interest for their online only business models.  Their actions certainly did not mimic their words.

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