I attended an event recently, where the keynote speakers were political analysts discussing the upcoming Victorian state elections.
What I found fascinating and interesting was the focus on the changing face of the electorate and the key ways to engage with them to gain their vote. Simply being the local politician who represented a party wasn’t enough. The electorate is more informed, has access to information or data and demand connection with party policies and the politicians. There were, in fact, more swinging voters than ever before and the youth coming through questioned everything.
The issues politicians face are not dis-similar to ours. How do you get people to know you, like you and trust you, to vote for you or select you as their listing agent?
It has been suggested that if political parties had call centres that employed nurses, teachers or mums to make calls or even door knock suburbs to share with the constituents the virtues of a political party they would obtain engagement. It’s the power of third party endorsements – sound familiar.
If these political campaigners then used social media to comment or share their views and experiences, they would obtain even more cut through with their constituents.
Believe it or not, if political parties did consistent DL drops with a message that the consumer connected with and then door knocked they would get buy in.
What I found fascinating was the key issue political parties’ face is identical to what we face in real estate - having a database that is up to date and called and marketed to in a consistent manner.
To quote one of the presenters – if a politician had an up to date data base, that was consistently called, who connected with the consumers and ensured that people understood his key message and the benefits of voting for him/her; then that politician would be more likely to win an election! Database connection was more powerful and engaging than any TV, newspaper or radio advertising.
As agents we do have an advantage over politicians – we are perhaps more trusted! On a serious note however most agents work in farm areas and you don’t need to have an entire state on a database; just everyone from your farm area.
The question then becomes more about consistently marketing to your database with a message that people are going to connect with and consequently, selecting you as their listing agent.
Time and time again it has been proven that there needs to be a balance between success and connective marketing. The consumer needs to know you understand their needs and you are the right agent to list with.
The reasons why people sell or buy homes are upgrade, downgrade, death, divorce and change in financial situation. Why not create marketing around these key messages linked in with your success.
Using social media not to market properties you have listed, sold or leased but more about what you are putting back into the community and have others endorse your success.
Lastly the concept of a call centre or lead generator shouldn’t be out of the question. Why not have someone call your database on a regular basis to constantly keep it updated, connect with your constituents and find you leads.
The research we conduct at Harcourts consistently shows that we are selected as the listing agent because the vendor knew the agent; was referred by family or friend; had used us before or simply contacted the local Harcourts office. Given these are the reasons it is important you have a mix of the following as part of your ongoing prospecting plan:
- Consistent calls to your database
- Success marketing
- Connective marketing
- Social media presence
- Boards in your local market
- Advertising in your local press
It is much easier for us to build a database, relationships and become the agent of choice than it is for a politician to do the same and get elected.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sadhana Smiles is chief executive officer of Harcourts Victoria, the state division of one of Australia’s leading and well respected real estate brands.
She is also a popular speaker and presenter, and is regularly asked to speak at some of the industry’s most prestigious events, including ARPM, AREC, AREL, RELC, the REINSW Women’s Conference and the Harcourts Conference.
Sadhana is also a regular contributor to a number of national real estate journals and publications.