Name Recognition is Important to Attracting and Keeping Clients

Before the Internet took over our lives and marketing, Realtors actually had to get out in the world, interact and see what the other guys were doing to drum up business.  Those who did so discovered that the most successful agents were the ones with whom clients and prospects were most familiar.  Business just seemed to flow to the agents who stood above the crowd.  They weren’t known because they were successful; they were successful because they were known.

It’s a philosophy that still works today, but we now have even more tools and gadgets to get our personalities and messages across.  Building a recognition base is mainly sticking to a program of constructive and repetitive exposure.  The goal is to become so well known that, when a consumer hears the words “real estate” or is finally ready to buy a house, your name or image immediately pops to mind.

Once you set a marketing and promotional budget, establish a priority list for related expenditures that might include customer service, client retention, electronic marketing, current condition releases, testimonials, signage, target marketing, direct marketing, mass media marketing, publication advertising and miscellaneous recognition tools.

But the most important aspect of any recognition-building program is consistency, so set aside at least a few minutes each day to monitor, update or tweak your activities.

Even after you build name recognition and a pipeline, don’t stop your branding efforts.  Clients still need to feel wanted and prospects still need to be nurtured, so continue to make calls, send e-mails and distribute materials as much as possible.  Not doing so is simply inviting the competition to swoop in and take over.

Some of the tools and ways you can keep your message active include:

Videos: As long as your face or company’s name and logo are in the corner of the frame your video can be as creative or straightforward as you like.  Just be sure that you’re comfortable and personable, because your message will be better received.

Branded e-mails and documents: Include the company motto or logo on all correspondence to ingrain your message in the mind of a client or prospect.

Business cards: OK, these relics are falling by the wayside as electronic communication takes over, but handing one out does add a professional touch and can be an ice-breaker when meeting a potential client for the first time.  It also adds a personal touch that’s often lacking these days, such as a handwritten note or letter.  Speaking of which ¦ hunting down a pen and some paper probably wouldn’t hurt either, eh?

Rise above the Competition by Standing out from the Crowd

Expecting buyers or sellers to use your services simply because you’re available won’t cut it these days.  Real estate agents need to cultivate leads and be creative to attract new business.  A little ray of hope and a slight nudge are incredibly powerful tools.

Say you have a buyer and have narrowed his or her neighborhood choices to a manageable size.  As a way to drum up transactions, send postcards into the targeted area saying that you have a buyer who wants to purchase in the neighborhood.  This could flesh out people with a desire to sell their home but who haven’t tried because of the recent negative news.  By approaching these homeowners with a ray of hope — a potential buyer — you can generate listing opportunities with a nudge that builds seller interest.

You can also manufacture new business every time you take a new listing.  Once you have the listing, determine the neighborhoods where homeowners might view the listing as a good move-up property.  Usually this is in neighborhoods priced a level below the value of your new listing.  Target these potential buyers with a letter stating that you have an opportunity for the recipient to move up to a more prestigious neighborhood or one that would be a better fit for their lifestyle.  The power of suggestion is a great tool and often encourages people to act on an unfulfilled wish.

Other ways to actively get the word out about you and your business is to be involved in community organizations, activities and select interest groups.  If any of the groups hold seminars, offer to do one on home-buying and selling strategies.  Promote yourself on your website as the community expert, and if you’re capable of producing videos, create ones that highlight happenings around town or focus on your favorite spots, such as farmers’ markets and parks.  You can also give virtual tours of some home listings.

Most of all, never forget the personal touch by showing clients that you really appreciate their business.  Karen Taussig, an agent in the Southern California communities of Camarillo and Oxnard, says her favorite part of the job is her interaction with prospects.

“I look at them as pen pals more than as potential clients.  I enjoy talking to the people and meeting them.  I enjoy working the database from HouseHunt and the MLS to find properties that they might really like, and the minute I do they’re hooked.”

Another way Taussig stands out is to host parties for clients and, as a show of appreciation, to introduce them to each other and cultivate new leads.

“It’s a little thing, but people appreciate the gesture,” she said.  “It’s an enjoyable thing for me to do, and it also makes good business sense.”

Make things happen by doing things other agents might not be willing to do.  Be creative, unique and aggressive when it comes to finding new business opportunities.  If your career isn’t generating the income you desire, spend some time on developing ways to change that scenario.  It will likely pay off down the road.



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