I want to begin this article with a quick exercise that I have done with many agents to help them understand the importance of marketing and branding:
What is the first pop (or soda) company you think of? Okay, now what's the second? And the third?
I’m guessing you chose either Coke or Pepsi in answer to the first two questions, and maybe something like Sprite or Dr. Pepper for the third. Of the hundreds of times I've asked these questions to agents, the first answer is always Coke or Pepsi, and whichever company the agent names first, they always name the other second. Most struggle to name a third.
So why did I ask you about pop companies? To show you how the power of branding and marketing works.
On average, we are hit with over 5,000 pieces of branding a day. Just think about how many times we see pop ads on TV, hear them on the radio, see them online, see them on billboards, etc. So as REALTORS®, we have to find a way to fit our names into people’s congested minds so they will think about us when they hear the words “real estate.”
In order to do this, let me first explain a little bit about how the human brain works. Full disclosure: I'm a REALTOR®, not a psychologist or brain surgeon, but I have studied a lot about how the brain works when it comes to branding and marketing, so hear me out.
Our brains are like a huge warehouse full of millions (if not billions) of containers, aka memories. There are many different sections and aisles, all based on our experiences (i.e., what we see, feel, hear, etc.). Each day we have thousands of experiences that our brain stores into these containers.
Why does our brain do this? So it doesn't overwhelm us with everything at once. Another way to think about it is that your brain creates a “zip file” so it can compress all of the data it just took in into a smaller file labeled “What Just Happened.”
Now the cool thing with our brain is that it can open these “zip files” whenever it wants. Our brain will go deep into its own warehouse to recall a moment that relates to what is happening with us in the moment. Think about a time when something happened to you and then all of a sudden, you recalled a memory that related to the situation at hand. That is your brain diving into the warehouse!
So how does all of this relate to being the first REALTOR® people think of?
As REALTORS®, our goal should be to be Coke or Pepsi in people’s minds. We need to be the first REALTOR® they think of. From my experience, most consumers only know two or three REALTORS®. If we are the second or third one on the list, the chances of us getting that person’s business go down tremendously.
In order to be the first, we must make sure we are consistently marketing to our people. This is not difficult to do, but it does take discipline.
Here are two simple ways you can get in front of your audience’s mind and stay there!
Make a plan to market to your database multiple times a month.
- Create a doc and layout the full year of touches in advance. Know what you are going to do each month. Then set reminders or do whatever you need to do to make sure you follow through on your plan.
- Mix things up. Send eblasts (personally, I highly suggest doing a monthly newsletter; MailChimp is an amazing platform for this and it's free), or mail something physical like a postcard or calendar, or do something more personal like make a call, send text, or mail a handwritten note.
Create a social media posting schedule.
As with your database, you need to be consistent with your posting. Posting sporadically doesn’t work. You need to know when you are going to post and what platforms to post on.
- You should plan to post at least once a day, Monday through Saturday. Anything additional is a bonus.
- On top of this, use the other parts of the platforms (i.e., stories to post at additional times). These are not as consistent but are a great way to create more engagement.
- Pro tip: On Facebook, you can create something called a “friends list,” and you can add all of your past clients to it. This way, you will only see these people when you are on that list.
In essence, you are training your people, your audience, to know when to expect your touches or posts. By doing this, you are training their brains to associate your name with real estate, so no matter when or where your people hear the words “real estate,” the first file their brain will grab from their warehouse is the one with your name on it!
Mike Opyd is the owner of RE/MAX NEXT, a brokerage specifically designed to help an agent’s business grow without the limitations of a traditional real estate company. In addition to owning RE/MAX NEXT, Mike is a top producing agent. He has been recognized by Chicago Agent magazine as a “Who’s Who” REALTOR® in 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019.