You’re going to love Marketing Monday this week.
I thought it would be perfect timing to talk about how to use no-cost marketing to generate new business.
Most of the time when people start thinking about marketing, they immediately start thinking about how to spend money to get a return on that investment.
If they really thought about it–most people would be happy if they could get a return OF their investment!
What I want to talk about this week is how to get an unlimited upside return with no downside risk.
We’re going to talk about 7 ways to generate leads and business without spending any money.
So, let’s get started.
#1. Start or Join a Networking Group.
Networking has been around for a long time…and it works.
The best thing you could do is to make a list of all the complimentary service providers and professionals you know and call each of them to invite them to a networking meeting before or after hours.
Explain to them the purpose of getting together is to share business strategies and build relationships with local business professionals with an eye for referring clients to each other.
Make sure they are open to the idea of referring business and they have time to take on new business that is referred to them.
This is a perfect time to start a networking group and you could arrange to meet twice a month on the first and third Wednesday of each month, for example.
Here are some things to consider when starting a networking mastermind group:
- Choose one person from each business specialty.
- Make it a requirement to refer business within the group at least once a month (and keep track).
- As you are building the group-encourage charter members to invite other members.
- Make a list of your top 30 business categories to invite–and aim to fill the group in the first 90 days.
- Start with 4-6 people you already have a relationship with and invite them to breakfast next week to talk about working together to get each other new business.
- Arrange to get together again in a couple of weeks and bring one new person from your top 30 list each time.
- Start looking for ways to refer business to your group members every chance you get.
- If you focus on this strategy and get a good group built up, it will pay off tremendously for all of you!
#2. Start doing Homebuyer Workshops.
I love homebuyer workshops. They were a major pillar of my business–and I am going to dedicate an entire podcast to them very soon.
Until then, here’s a quick way to get started…
Step 1: Develop a 60-minute workshop you can do on short notice.
It doesn’t have to be a 3 hour extravaganza, it can cover the basics.
- Some common myths about buying.
- How to tell how much you can afford
- How to buy a home with a zero downpayment.
- How to find out about the best homes as soon as they come on the market.
- How to get a free report on the best homeloans for your situation.
- How to avoid expensive hidden defects.
- How to save thousands when you buy a home.
It doesn’t have to be so detailed they could qualify for a real estate license after attending, it just has to be enough to open their eyes and introduce them to:
- your home-finding service
- Your lender’s home loan consulting and
- your home inspector
This could be a three person show–or you could do it yourself. It doesn’t matter.
Step 2: Now, once you get your show together–it’s time to take it on the road.
Start looking for opportunities to get in front of a group of potential homebuyers for zero cost.
Where could you do this?
…at a library
…at your local community college
…at your local churches
…for your financial planner’s clients
…for your accountant’s clients
…at Barnes & Noble
…for your insurance agent’s rental clients
…on your local public access cable channel
Get creative. There are lots of places you could do these one-hour workshops.
Step 3: How about a “lunch and learn” at the 3 biggest companies in your town. Call the Human Resources Director.
How about for the teachers at your local elementary, middle and high schools.
These don’t have to be huge events, but if you could get 6-12 people at a mini-event like this–that’s what you are looking for.
Watch for a newsletter all about home buyer workshops next year.
#3. Become a “Media Darling”!
When I first started in Real Estate, I worked for Royal LePage–a big company in Canada.
They would publish a quarterly report on Canadian Real Estate prices, and I got the bright idea of summarizing the report in a letter to a reporter at the local paper.
It wasn’t a press release or anthing formal like that because I really didn’t know how to put one together, but I would just write a short cover letter with my summary of the local statistics for the quarter and include a copy of the quarterly report from Royal LePage and offer to send them to anyone who wanted one.
I included my contact information, and guess what?
…they wrote a story about the market statistics quoting “local realtor Dean Jackson” and at the end of the article they included my contact information for anyone who wanted the report.
I would follow up with everyone who asked for the report and get 3-4 listings a year because of it.
Make friends with people at your local newspaper and try putting together your own quarterly report on Real Estate prices. It works!
#4. Put together a Joint Venture Mailing.
Direct mail is a great lead generation tool — but it can be very expensive.
Here’s how to do it for free…
Make a list of local businesses that could benefit from direct mail, but might find the cost too much to handle on their own. You know…
Paint and Wallpaper Store
Carpet and Flooring
Some of these people might even be in your networking group.
Stop in to see them, or call them and tell them you’re putting together a mailing to go to 5000 or so homes and if they’d like to be included it will only cost them a tenth of what it would cost to do it on their own…plus they’ll be the only carpet cleaner.
You get to be the 11th company for putting it all together –and mail for free.
#5. Get to know the new home sales people.
Did you ever wonder what the new homes sales people who man the model homes do during the week?
Most of the time they are sitting there alone like the Maytag Repairman.
Most of the activity at the model homes is on the weekend –and it slows down considerably during the week.
That’s good for you because when you go in to visit them, they will be happy to see you.
Most of these builder reps have a real estate license –but they only use it to work with the builder they are representing.
In Georgetown–there were some pretty big developments happening in the early 90’s.
This was the first big new development in several years and a lot of people (who already lived in Georgetown) were buying new homes in Georgetown South.
This meant they had to sell their existing homes to buy the new ones–and the new home reps would refer out these listings for a referral fee.
Every agent in town was trying to get the builder reps to refer those “back up” properties to them.
I did something a little different.
I went in to see the builder’s rep (Stacy, I think) and asked her if she did anything with the people who came in to the model and didn’t buy a new home.
She said “no–they just go on our mailing list”.
I suggested we send them a letter from her that said something like:
It was a pleasure meeting you this weekend.
I realize that you may be considering resale homes as well as new homes and I wanted to let you know about a free guide that might be helpful to you…etc.
I offered to send out the letters for her and pay a referral for the people who bought a resale home.
This was a great source of leads–and we did that for several months.
She loved it because she was getting something for nothing –and she ended up referring several listings to me instead of all the other agents.
Because I was the only one who went in with an attitude of offering to GIVE instead of just TAKE.
All the other agents went in there trying to get the backup listings…without offering anything in return.
Always think about things from the other person’s point of view, because that’s exactly they way they look at it.
#6. Ask your clients for help!
One of the lowest cost–highest upside things you can do is call your clients.
These are people who already know you, like you, and trust you.
They’d be happy to hear from you.
One of the easiest calls to make is to let them know about your homebuyer workshop at the library –and to ask them who they know that’s going to buy a first house this year.
It’s as great way to keep in touch with your clients –and you will be surprised by how many referrals you get.
It doesn’t have to be just your past clients, it can be your current clients too.
Most of the time, when people ask for referrals, at the closing, it’s already too late.
It sounds something like this:
“Um…I really enjoyed working with you…Hey, let me know if you ever hear of anybody who needs a realtor ok?”
“Yeah, we sure will!”
Clients leave the closing and never give it another thought.
One of the best times to ask for referrals is DURING the transaction–while you’re actively working with them.
This is the time they’re most likely to be aware of other people who are LOOKING for a home.
Once they move in to their new home–their awareness will switch to noticing people who have just BOUGHT homes.
#7. Demand more from your marketing dollars!
Look back over the course of this past year.
You probably spent somewhere between hundreds of dollars on the low side, and thousands of dollars on the high side,
marketing your business.
You probably spent some money on…
Those are the basics–and I’m guessing the better portion of your marketing budget was spent on those things.
Do you measure the actual, trackable results you got in return?
The great thing about marketing is the potential for BIG returns on your money.
Every time you run a display in the homes magazine, it costs the same amount of money whether you get 3 calls or 30 calls.
If you know how to write ads that focus entirely on your prospects and compel them to call you, you can exponentially improve the return you get on your current budget…with no additional cost.
If you have a website that gets 500 visitors a month and generates 5 leads–and you can improve or replace your website with a website that gets 50 leads from the same 500 visitors –you’ve increased your return on investments by 10 X’s!
Just improving your results from your same marketing budget will do amazing things for your business.
If youâ€™re mailing to a farm area â€“ or even worse â€“ cold calling or door knocking â€“ to get listings and you havenâ€™t registered for the next Getting Listings Teleseminar do it today.
Itâ€™s the very best program Iâ€™ve ever developed for getting listings and you get all the tools youâ€™ll need dominate any neighborhood you choose â€“ including a custom website specifically for you neighborhood.
The next class starts in a couple of weeks â€“ and as soon as you register you get immediate access to our members area â€“ so you can get started right away â€“ even before the class starts.
Just go to GettingListings.com and get registered today.
I encourage you to become a real student of marketing…hang in there with me on these podcasts.
Keep blocking off time each week to work on — and THINK about your marketing.
I promise…I’ll never share anything with you that isn’t
tested and proven to work.
Have a great week…and I’ll be back next Monday with even more ideas to help you find buyers, get listings and convert leads.
Make My Life Better Day
Hereâ€™s a cool idea to make your life better
I love TV.
I like to watch lots of different things, but I donâ€™t like to have to be there to watch them when they come on live.
A couple of years ago â€“ my cable company came out with a new product called a DVR or Digital Video Recorder.
This DVR buys me so much time â€“ because I can select and record shows I want to watch with one click â€“ and I can even set it to record the show every time it comes on.
I love them so much â€“ Iâ€™ve got 3 of them now â€“ and I never have to watch commercials â€“ or be tied to the TV at a particular time.
Itâ€™s perfect for recording movies from the movies channels that come on at times Iâ€™m not around.
Or shows that come on every week â€“ but are frustrating to watch live because of all the commercials.
Did you know the average episode of a hit show like LOST or 24 that has 20 minutes of commercials for a one-hour episode now?
Itâ€™s true â€“ same thing for Dateline or other serious shows.
Half-hour shows have 8-10 minutes of commercials, so itâ€™s easy to see how a DVR could save you at least an hour or two each week â€“ plus put you in control of when you want to watch.
The DVR is a great example of time shiftingâ€¦ just like subscribing to the marketing Monday podcast on iTunes lets you take me with you on your time â€“ walking or driving or on the treadmill or at an open house.
How many time shifters can you think of that would make your life better?
Share them on the message board.
In the meantime â€“ call your cable company and see if DVR service is available in your area.
Calamity Proofing Your Life
Have you ever had a flat tire?
This week I saw someone by the side of the road struggling to fix a flat tire.
They had a friend with them, and they had the car jacked up on the side of the road in the middle of rush hour.
It immediately brought me back to a time several years ago when I was stuck in the same predicament â€“ except it was in the pouring rain.
It was late at night.
I was just a little ways from an off-ramp and instead of getting out to change the tire in the rain â€“ I drove the car very slowly down the shoulder to the off-ramp â€“ and into a service station parking lot.
My friends and I got a taxi to their hotel â€“ I stayed the night with them and called the service station in the morning to get the tire fixed.
Last summer â€“ I was out in the country near our house in Canada â€“ and got a flat tire in my wifeâ€™s BMW X5.
I was at the edge of a very small town â€“ and then I remembered the BMW assist button in her car.
I pushed the button.
A voice came on asking if I was okay.
I told them I had a flat tire â€“ and where I was.
They said â€“ No problem â€“ someone will be there in 20 minutes.
They arrived in about 15 â€“ fixed the tire â€“ and sent me on my way.
No charge. Calamity solved.
The thing is â€“ all those years ago when I didnâ€™t have a luxury car with the roadside assist service built right in â€“ I probably walked by the AAA kiosk in the mall a hundred times without doing anything about itâ€¦
Now I know better â€“ and Iâ€™m constantly looking for ways to avoid a calamity.
So, this week â€“ today â€“ think about what would happen if you got a flat tire.
Do you have everything you would need to fix it yourself?
If thatâ€™s what youâ€™d do â€“ check to make sure youâ€™ve got everything youâ€™d need â€“ and that thereâ€™s air in your spare.
If youâ€™d rather not have to deal with it yourself, an AAA membership might save you some hassle one day.
Itâ€™s just one more small way to calamity proof your life!
Thatâ€™s it for this week â€“ keep you ideas coming at the Marketing Monday Message Board â€“ and Iâ€™ll be back again next week.
PS – How many listings will the strategies and tools in Getting Listings get YOU this year?
I don’t know…but I DO know that hundreds of people just like you are getting more listing leads than they ever thought possible…and those leads are turning in to listings.
Are you getting all the listings you want using your current strategy?
You can get started as soon as today…just go to GettingListings.com and I’ll see you in the members area.