The Advertising Agency
for Today's Serious
Real Estate Professional

The Tools of the Trade

Successful branding isn’t just a matter of having an assortment of marketing materials, but knowing how to use them effectively. Greg helps organize your marketing tool box in this useful tip.

Let’s say you have a few pieces of wood and a bunch of nails. Without any tools, there’s not much you can do with those raw materials. But if I gave you a hammer and a saw, suddenly there are a few things you could build, such as basic shelves or a small step stool. And what if I gave you even more tools? A screwdriver. A router. An electric sander. The more tools you acquired, the more things you could build from those raw materials, right? The answer is yes, with one major caveat as long as you know how to use them.

Okay, back to reality now. Think about your real estate career for a second. What do you have at your disposal? Do you know how to use them? Most importantly, what, exactly, are you building?

These questions are critical to your success as a real estate agent. I encounter many agents whose’s tool boxes’ look like a variety pack acquired over the course of a 20-year career. None of their marketing materials match each other and they don’t know how to use half of them anyway. This is a waste of money, a waste of time and a waste of energy. There is a better way.

The First Step: Education

The first thing every agent serious about branding must do is educate him or herself. Many agents make decisions regarding personal marketing based on typical Realtor® thinking and the things they see their colleagues doing. The result of that mentality can be seen in hundreds of pages of house ads in every real estate magazine distributed throughout the United States and Canada. It’s a huge waste of money, and it can easily be attributed to agents lack of educating themselves when it comes to personal marketing.

Every agent who intends on spending one dime on personal marketing should first attend our MegaMarketing 2 seminar and then the Gateway seminar. At these conferences, we teach agents what tools are most effective, how to make wise decisions regarding their investment in personal marketing and perhaps even more importantly, how to set up systems that will utilize the tools in your tool box to their full potential. In other words, by educating agents about what works and what doesn’t work and the intricacies of media planning, we help agents get the biggest bang from their marketing buck.

Step Two: The Tools

When it comes to choosing which tools you’re going to utilize in your personal marketing campaign, they naturally divide themselves into two categories: The Essentials and The Enhancers. (Click here to download a PDF of our Marketing Tools Checklist that will help you better track what tools you have and how to elevate your campaign.)

The essential elements of any powerful personal marketing campaign are the same no matter what your market is like or who you are. What will vary is how you’re going to use them based on what you’re trying to accomplish and the market in which you work.

Quite simply, every real estate agent working today should have a full-color, high-quality personal brochure and several multiuse direct mail pieces such as the Hobbs/Herder House Flier master and Powerkard , an oversized postcard that immediately and consistently delivers your name and image to homeowners in your farm area. Every agent should also have their own custom personal logo that ties all of their marketing efforts together, as well as a personal web site (including HTML-enabled, full-color, high-quality e-mail capabilities) that conveys the same marketing position and look of your direct mail materials.

So those are what I call‚The Essentials of personal marketing. Why would you want or need anything else, you ask? Well, here’s the catch. When you utilize a combination of those essential tools with tools from the list, the enhancers‚Äù significantly increase the effectiveness of the essential tools.

Here’s an example: On its own, a TV commercial on cable TV is not going to be the most effective usage of your marketing dollar. It will raise awareness of you in your market, but it alone will not change the way you live and do business. But if you already have a consistent direct mail campaign in place, where homeowners are receiving three pieces of mail from you each month, a TV commercial will significantly enhance your image with those consumers who are already aware of you. That’s what makes The Enhancers such attractive tools in the tool box. You might not use them as frequently, but their ability to perform a specific task is remarkable and powerful.

Just as with our actual tool box, the more marketing tools you have, the more you can do and the easier it becomes to build things of value – in this case, your name and image in your marketplace.

Step Three: Execution

Once you’ve educated yourself and obtained a full complement of personal marketing tools necessary to be successful, the final step is implementing systems that will allow your marketing to run smoothly regardless of how busy you get and allow you to focus on serving your clients.

This requires a systematic approach to every possible aspect of your career except for your dollar productive work such as going on listing presentations. For more information on systems and how to implement them, I strongly encourage you to attend an upcoming Gateway seminar and also read this article.

Taking Inventory: Five Questions
So what’s in your tool box? Are your tools matching and organized or an disheveled hodgepodge of items you’ve collected over the years? How do you use the tools you have? What tools are you missing? How can we help you?