Hit the marketing reset button

It’s time to get to the truth. The pandemic has taken a lot of the noise out of our industry. And that’s a good thing.

Marketing and content strategy expert, Christopher Melotti says, “This is the reset point. We have an opportunity to say, “How can we learn from this experience? How can we grow and reflect on what we actually do as a service?” Everything we do makes an impression. We must connect with people in a more humanistic and more genuine way.”

You cannot underestimate the power of genuine connection. Years ago, when I had just started out as an agent in Dee Why, I won the Diamond Pin Award for the network I worked for. It was an important award because I was the youngest person to ever win it. It was in the paper as an editorial on the Friday.

On the Monday, I received a card from Ann Wilson Funerals. The card was from Ann and she said,

“Dear Lee, Congratulations on your recent award. It’s very hard to be at the top of any channel or chain in your marketplace and I want to applaud you on what you’ve done and I wish you all the best for the future.”

I read this card from Ann Wilson, who was in my little community as the funeral director, and thought, “Wow, she’s a cool lady. I really like Ann.”

It’s only now I realise that she was marketing to me. Just recently I had my father and my boss pass away on the same day. It’s been a tough six weeks.

I was overseas when the funeral arrangements were going on.

My brothers said, “You know, we need to pick a funeral person. Who are you going to go with?”

I said, “Just go with Ann Wilson.”

They said, “Why?”

 I said, “Just go with her.”

The company did my father’s funeral and my bosses – on the same day.

My entire career I have referred her without even knowing I was referring her. She was top of mind for me, so when I’d go into these deceased estates, I’d say … “Ah, ring Ann Wilson.”

Digital is amazing, but there’s a moment or an experience when you receive a card and it’s genuine. I didn’t feel marketed to. I felt, Wow. Thank you. I was touched that someone had taken the time to write a card. She was a business leader of the area and I was 22 years of age, so it had a profound effect upon how I felt about her company. I think that’s gone missing in marketing. We need to genuinely collaborate.

Restarting your marketing and your visual communications plan

Marketing is a daily continuous activity today that has to go side by side with your selling ability. Don’t stop marketing ever. This is a good time to consider your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

Chris says, “It sounds so cliche and it’s as old as the hills, but a lot of agents don’t take the time to assess their current situation and personal abilities, and then they wonder why they can’t adapt to the changing environment. Now is the perfect time to reflect on yourself so you can capitalise on your strengths, take advantage of opportunities as well as address your weaknesses and protect against threats. Look at yourself and say, “What do I do really well that I could push harder and what don’t I do well that I could take advantage of and readdress?”

Clients are evolving. Buyers and sellers are embracing new technology. If you don’t embrace tech, you eliminate yourself straight away in their eyes. Digital is no longer a choice. Research. Discover. You can adapt your offering. Chris says, “If you’re one of the first to absorb these kinds of changes, often you come up on top. The consumer has chosen. So instead of fighting it and resisting it and becoming that agent that is the laggard, it’s really important to jump on it and say, “How can I look at this in a different light and shift my offering to take advantage of this digital era?”

The Seven Pillars of Agent Marketing to build your content mix

Customers, buyers and your sellers look at every channel. Chris says, “You have to produce a core group of content that will engage them, get them interested and build a rapport with you. These seven pillars mix up content into a calendar so that people are getting the same information about you in an interesting and wide scope. What happens is people get a constant stream from all these seven pillars that creates a whole conversation. It’s a comprehensive marketing approach rather than just the same thing over and over.”

1. Local community

Clients want agents who are genuinely part of the local community. Chris says, “Produce videos, emails and photos of you interacting with people in your local community. Create blogs and updates about what’s happening in your local community. When you get in amongst the local community, people see that you are actually part of it and that you’re well aware of what’s happening in the local community because that’s what people look for in an agent.”

2. Value add

Value adding is where you provide your clients with information. Chris says, “Value adding pieces are so critical because people want to learn from you and the minute you do, you become a key opinion leader in your area. People will see you and go, “Oh, he or she’s much more than an agent. They’re more about helping me get up to the process.” So if there is an interest rate change, do a video on what it means for buyers and sellers. Write a blog on five things on how you can prepare your home for sale. Show your worth.

3. You

Promote yourself. Don’t gloat. Tell and share your story. Be genuine and personable. Chris says, “People love connection. Tell them about how you became an agent. Tell them what drives you every day. People love people they can relate to.” With LinkedIn for example, you can record a voice message when you connect with a new person. Chris says, “When people write, “Thank you for connecting,” or, “I want to know more about you,” I hit record and say, “Hi there. It’s a pleasure to chat with you. Thank you for reaching out. I saw that you’re part of this company. What is it that you do that you do?” You can’t fake who you are when you’re recording. So many people have come back to me and said, “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know you could do the voice message.” It creates a connection.

4. Your client stories

Chris says, “Share social proof, testimonials. Explain how you went from selling to sold. Explain how a client got a great result. People love client stories because they think, “Well, I want to be that client for you.”

5. News and updates

News and updates are critical because people want to see agents who are on the ball and up to date with things. Chris says, “So say, “Auctions have been cancelled during this pandemic and this is what you need to do next,” or “This is how we’re adapting.” People love to see an agent taking the charge and leading the conversation.”

6. Events

Share your involvement in webinars, local conferences or educational events. Chris says, “Publish these and advise people because agents that are part of the community are valued and people like to be invited to be part of them.”

7. Humour

Chris says, “Don’t be afraid to share humour with your audiences because people love when there’s a bit of humour and they see you’ve got a bit of a light side to you.”

Powerful stuff isn’t it? Chris is right. If you’d like to chat with Chris, go to www.melottimedia.com.au.

Chris says, “You can email me and I will be happy to help. Don’t be afraid. Agents, please, it’s not weakness. It’s strength when you look for help. Go to someone that can help you build your website. Go to someone who can walk you through the digital stuff, all the AI stuff, all the things that seem too distant. It’s not a weakness. Go seek some help and get someone to help you create content, all those kinds of things and please reach out.”