Two Simple (But Often Overlooked) Marketing Tips for Multifamily & Real Estate
Barbara Savona, CEO for Sprout Marketing, gives two simple tips for improving your marketing. You don't have to attend an expensive marketing conference to keep up with trends. Watch this little video to find out how a simple tactic can keep you aware of what's important to people.
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Check out the transcript of our Facebook Live below.
Hey Sprouters! Today, I thought, "Really, my market is the housing industry. It's what I love, but at the end of the day, these are tidbits that will help with ANY business. And helping EVERYONE is what I love.” If you've known me for a while, you know that I teach classics, a lot of basics. What I love about those is they never go out of style, but you can always improve and you can tweak them to make them even a little bit better.
Let’s talk about Marketing. I know that when it comes to marketing, we all wanna know the latest and greatest, what is happening. We go to conferences. We attend webinars. We listen to podcasts. I know I love to consume. I read a ton of books. We're always trying to figure out what is the latest and greatest. I think that's huge. That's important to stay informed, but some of those things are expensive. They take a lot of time and they're not always so easy to digest. I wanna share with you 2 Simple Tips that have helped me build Sprout and has also helped me stay fluid and modify where I'm going with my business and where our clients are going.
My First Tip: Pay Attention
Pay attention to your own conversations and interactions. It doesn't matter what business you're in, what product or service you're trying to sell, we're all human beings. We're all just people with surprisingly similar goals and things we're trying to get to. They can be at a big scale, or small but we all have them. It’s what connects us socially.
Like in the circles I run in: whether I'm listening to something online, talking to my sister that just had a newborn baby, my best friend that runs a business and is a mom of two, or I'm talking to somebody that's retired and they are maybe taking on another job, everyone is limited on time. Every single person I talk to, seems like we open with, "Oh my gosh. I'm sorry I haven't called you. I've been so busy." In fact, my friend Lisa's texted me about this earlier today. It's like we're all just swamped. We're busy, and because of that, we find out that we're all struggling. We're all trying to find out how to do things easier and how to do things in a simple way.
So listen to your conversations with people, because they're so telling about people's needs. What people are struggling with is always going to help you with your product or service, because if your product or service can solve a bigger problem (like busy schedules, overwhelming lifestyles, etc) than just the obvious problem, then your business is in a really great place to be.
I want you to think about what you talk about with your best friend? What you talk about with your spouse? What you talk about with your coworkers? What are some commonalities that you find when people are talking? What are the common challenges, even if they're not your target market? What are the challenges that they're having right now? When you think about that, it's like ... one of the things that I have noticed leads me to tip number two.
What Do I Really Sell?
Question number two to ask is, "What do I really sell?" For me, I'm in housing. The very obvious for our industry is if you're in an apartment, you're an apartment manager, you're selling an apartment home. You're trying to lease apartments. On the flip side, if you're a realtor you're trying to sell a home, or maybe you're trying to sell your services so that you can get a buyer so that you can list a home. That is the very obvious, but I want you to step back for a minute. I want you to think about a giant, not in our industry, just totally somebody separate. Think about Amazon. What does Amazon do? What do they really sell? Well, if we tried to talk about it, they sell a million things. I mean, I could talk to you about the books that they sell on Audible. I could talk to you about Prime and all of the different food now, the Pantry. They now have clothing, but what does Amazon really sell? At the end of the day, Amazon sells convenience. It's about making our life easier.
With that, I started to apply it to myself. With Sprout, we sell advertising services. We sell design. When I look at the competition, if I boil it down to the very basics of what I sell, I'm in trouble if that's the only thing I sell. There are companies out there that sell design. There are companies that give design services and tools away for free. Guess what? If I only sell design at Sprout, I'm in trouble. Here's what I really sell at Sprout. I sell convenience. I sell ease. I sell credibility and industry experience. That's what I really sell. I had to get really clear on that, because if I sell on product, just like for those of you in housing, if you're strictly selling on the house that you're trying to sell or the apartment and the features of that apartment, you're in a big trouble 'cause there's always somebody bigger. There's always somebody better that's coming to knock at your door.
What I want us to think about today is... there's one thing that we can all sell that people are all looking for more of and that is Time and Convenience. At the end of the day, nobody I've ever met says, "I just have so much time on my hands." We've gotta step back and we have to think for ourselves that time is that non-renewable resource. I mentioned this several years ago at a TAA conference. I think it resonated with people. As social media grows, as our demands grow, this is only gonna become more and more apparent.
We're in a really weird time where think about how many families not only have young children or children living at home, but they're also now caregivers for their aging parents. Think about how many single moms, how many single dads, how many people have been impacted by economy, just how little time people really have, how this thing is with us 24/7. Even when we have no time, we get stressed and we find ways to distract ourselves. We look at our phones. The reality is is people do not have time.
Let's talk for our industry in the housing. When we step back and we say, "We're really selling time. We're selling convenience," it changes our mind. We do this whole total mind shift. We start talking about how, in multi-family, I'm not selling you an apartment home. I'm selling you time and I'm selling you convenience. We train our leasing professionals. When we ask somebody, "What's most important to you? Where do you like to spend your time? What is your commute like right now? What are some of the things," if they're coming from buying a house, "What are some of the stressors that you wanna leave behind?" Are we tying that into our messaging, not only when we first talk to somebody with our advertising, but when they're walking in and they're talking to us face to face? "Where do you love to spend your time? Who's most important to you? How do you think living here? How do you think having a place that your kids can spend the summer? How do you think having a place that you can work out when you get out at midnight because it's a 24/7 fitness center? What is that gonna give you back?"
It's gonna give you back Time that you'd never, ever get back. On top of that, it's gonna be easy. Same thing with real estate. If I'm your realtor, this is what's gonna happen. You don't have to worry about X, Y, Z. That saves you time. That gives you peace of mind. Get super clear on how we do it. Practice and get comfortable talking about it. Here's the deal. We can't stop there. If we have a team, we have to teach our team how to sell what we're really selling. I want everyone to kinda just get clear, yes we all sell a product or service. That is the obvious. What is the real pain point that we're solving? How can we bring that to life for our customer? We train ourselves. We train our team and we bring it to life in our marketing and then all the way to our close.
Just to recap real quick. Step one, Listen. Listen and they'll tell you. Your friends or your family, "What are your biggest struggles? What are your challenges?" That's the way that most products come to be is somebody stopped, they listened, and they said, "I can solve that." If we have a tangible product, we just start thinking about, "Man, if this is happening to my sister, this is happening to my best friend, my husband feels that way, I guarantee even that person that just walked through the door who's a stranger, they're probably struggling with that same thing, too." That gives us a little insight. Then step two is saying, "Not only do I sell my actually product," like I love this planner Sprout has. I showed it earlier on Instagram, my Brendon Burchard planner. This doesn't just sell me a piece of paper. I could write my plan on any piece of paper. This gives me a way to organize my thoughts. It gives me clarity. It gives me a purpose in a sense. It gives me a connection point. What is the real thing that we're selling? Let's get really clear on that.
Anyway, those are my two points that I wanted to share. I'm gonna try to do these a couple of times a week. I think there's a lot of little tidbits that we do a little different and a little better.
Pay attention today, see how you can incorporate what we talked about and then go back to your teams and say, "Hey, let's forget about some of these apartments. Today we're selling time."
Make it a contest. Who's the most creative? What can you do when you answer the phone? How can you send a follow up that touches on time? What can your social media posts do that talks about the time, the convenience? I challenge you, get creative with it. You're gonna find that this really is what people are looking for. See what a difference that change in perspective can make.