I almost titled this post “How NOT To Market Yourself As A Real Estate Agent”.
Was reading through some of my favorite real estate news sites when I stumbled upon an article by Candy’s Dirt about Bank of America. When thinking about how this was a great program, I suddenly realized how bad it is and how bad it will be from a marketing standpoint. The devil is in the details. In order to qualify for this program, a home owner must:
- Owe more on the mortgage than the house is worth.
- Have been at least 60 days behind on the mortgage payments, as of Jan. 31.
- Have monthly housing expenses of more than 25 percent of gross household income.
- Have a loan that is owned and serviced by Bank of America, or serviced for an investor who has given the bank the authority to do this type of modification.
Do you see any issues with this program? I certainly do.
How can you use this to adjust YOUR marketing?
Right off the bat, BofA disqualifies anyone who is not underwater on their mortgage and anyone who has not been late with any payments.
Do you include disqualifiers in your marketing? A surprising number of agents do. A disqualifier is any word, phrase, or term that would make someone not “qualify” or not be interested in your marketing. Don’t send out a “mortgage rate update” to people who are not in the market or who just purchased a home. Don’t send Open House notices to people who are not in the market for that type of house, that neighborhood (or even that city/state!), or that price point. And please DON’T DON’T DON’T flood your personal Facebook profile with real estate related stuff. Why?
Most Marketing Gets Ignored And Goes Into The Trash
With Bank of America, they only allow people who were 60 days late as of January 31st to qualify. This means that BofA has been sending them late notices for at least 4 months and probably longer. Do you think this letter notifying them of a forgiveness program will even get opened by most? My guess is no.
People start checking their email by deleting trash. People sort their paper mail over the trash can. We all do it. Those preapproved credit offers, the satellite TV ads, the solicitations all go directly into the trash without being opened. The obvious email SPAM gets instantly deleted. Is that what happens to YOUR emails, letters, and postcards? When people associate you with information that they are not interested in, they will instantly ignore your messages.
Just like with Bank of America, the problem with ending up on the “ignore” or “spam” or “instantly trash” list is that when you DO have a message that is important to THEM, they probably will not read it anyway.
RETHINK Your Real Estate Marketing
If you want your marketing to be successful, there are a couple of things you need to do immediately:
- Stop Disqualifying people before they ever contact you
- Stop spamming people with information you KNOW they are not interested in
- Stop being a SALESPERSON and start being a RESOURCE
- Make your marketing DIFFERENT. How can you stand out from the crowd? How can you be unique?
Have you seen a piece of marketing that has come into your mail box recently that really caught your attention? Please share your stories and “Ahas!” below in the comment section below.