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Advertising vs. Marketing (Part 2) Know your Clients to Know the Difference July 1, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Cool Technology, Customer Sevice, Industry Misconceptions.
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This is a follow up to my original post “You’re NOT Marketing… How to STOP Advertising and Start Marketing!”. This Utterz talks more about HOW to incorporate the knowledge of your target audience into your efforts to create true MARKETING campaigns instead of Advertising.

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You’re NOT Marketing… How to STOP Advertising and Start Marketing? June 30, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Customer Sevice, Great other Sites and Blogs, Industry Misconceptions, Using This Technology.
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So, I’m driving down the road today and had to take a picture of this. Why? Because it reminded me of how so many companies (not just real estate companies) approach their marketing efforts… Even more so, it made me think about how many people, (and industries), don’t know the difference between ADVERTISING and MARKETING.

Are you investing in Real Estate MARKETING or Real Estate ADVERTISING?

Advertising: The paid, public, non-personal announcement of a persuasive message by an identified sponsor; the non-personal presentation or promotion by a firm of its products to its existing and potential customers.

Marketing: The systematic planning, implementation and control of a mix of business activities intended to bring together buyers and sellers for the mutually advantageous exchange or transfer of products.

Quick Test – Based on the definitions above, categorize the following real estate “marketing” efforts:

  • Just Listed Postcards – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Email Drip Campaigns – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Direct Mail Campaigns – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Online Banner Ads – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Farming a Neighborhood – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • FSBO’s and Expireds – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Informercials – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Grocery Carts ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Cold Calls – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)
  • Agent Websites – ___ (Advertising) ___ (Marketing)

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Here’s a newsflash though… ALL OF THESE ARE FORMS OF ADVERTISING BUT DON’T HAVE TO BE!

So, how could we turn some of these “Advertising” efforts into “Marketing” campaign?

Just Listed Postcard to renters featuring a property suited for First Time Buyers – Marketing

Email Campaigns focusing on things to do in your town, or information specific to their buying needs

Direct Mail Campaigns focusing on the psychographics of your database (See Understanding Your Clients Post Here)

Farming a Neighborhood and sending them to a website like the one of my past agents developed www.510werie.com

FSBO’s and Expireds can benefit from the information and help you can provide to them (80% of them will sign with a Realtor, 70% will sign with the first Realtor they talk to, and they’ll probably use you on the buy side if they like you and feel you helped them)

And the list goes on…

It’s time to innovate, and bring yourself and emotion into the equation. By reading, living, and incorporating the true definition of MARKETING listed above, you will be taking the first steps forward into a new level of business.

Matt Dollinger

Google Alerts – Managing your Identity, Favorites, and Your Competition June 23, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Cool Technology, Google Gadgets, Great other Sites and Blogs, Using This Technology.
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Ok… Maybe I’m a Junkie, but I can’t write enough great things about Google.

So let’s say… hypothetically of course… that you like reading about all of the following things:

  • Real Estate Market Statistics
  • The latest technology for your Blackberry
  • Social Networking Media Developments
  • Indie Rock Bands playing in Chicago
  • Great Grilling Recipes
  • Barack Obama
  • Matt Dollinger I mean whatever your social identity is.

Wanna know when there’s a GREAT article written, blog post, update or anything else on these topics? Try Google Reader and it’s delivered comprehensively to your email account daily, weekly or monthly FOR FREE. Easier than using Google Reader (and for different purposes), Google Alerts give you a simple way to monitor sports scores, the political campaign, your Social Identity, and research the competition.

Below are two videos that will show you EVERYTHING you need to know about setting up Google Alerts, Keywords, and delivery methods. Enjoy!

Matt Dollinger

Basic Using of Google Alerts

Using Google Alerts as Your Virtual Research Assistant

Fear and the Art of Real Estate Success June 20, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Uncategorized.
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The Only Thing We Have To Fear… Is Fear Itself

On March 4, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt faced a country in fear, in depression and receited one of the most eloquent speeches in Presidential history. Entering the Presidency in the middle of the Great Depression, Roosevelt inherited 13,000,000 unemployed and almost every bank in our Nation closed. In his first “hundred days,” he proposed, and Congress enacted, a sweeping program to bring recovery to business and agriculture, relief to the unemployed and to those in danger of losing farms and homes… sound familiar?

Fear was not an option for FDR. Having battled to use his legs after being stricken with poliomyelitis, the challenge of facing a Nation at its knees was simply another battle.

Today we face issues ourselves. Homes, Jobs, and a fluctuating economy strike at the heart of each of us, and for those of us in the Real Estate profession it is our turn to overcome this fear. Fear is not simply an emotion, it is a debilitator, it is a paralyzation, it is a disease that can only be overcome by action.

And so I urge those of you with the strength to stand up against this fear to combat with the tools you have amongst you. Educate your clients. Arm youself with knowledge. Embrace new technology. You are the solution… not the disease, and rather than pointing fingers and throwing blame assist in rectifying the problem. Action will combat your fear. Knowledge will rise you above. Education will move you forward.

The Utterz below was recorded after talking with a friend, facing unemployment, and struggling to rise above the Fear.

Matt Dollinger
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Understanding Your Client and Creating a Long Term Experience June 16, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Customer Sevice, Great other Sites and Blogs, Industry Misconceptions.
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So, what do you actually KNOW about your clients and referral sources?  You probably know the following demographic information:

  1. 1.  Where they live.
  2. 2.  What they do for a living.
  3. 3.  What their general income looks like.
  4. 4.  Their race, sex, and family status.
  5. 5.  Possibly their educational level.

But the question becomes, “Does this truly make them people,  or are these just demographic factors that we often draw assumptions from?”  I think this is a huge difference between knowing your clients’ Demographics and their Psychographics… and I believe that the Psychographics are what we really need to know.

What’s the difference between the two?  According toWikipedia

Demographics – refer to selected population characteristics as used in government, marketing or opinion research, or the demographic profiles used in such research. Commonly-used demographics include race, age, income, disabilities, mobility (in terms of travel time to work or number of vehicles available), educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and even location.

* Psychographics– are any attributes relating to personality, values, attitudes, interests, or lifestyles. They are also called IAO variables (for Interests, Attitudes, and Opinions).

I made my first post this morning on www.Utterz.com(this site is incredibly cool.  Audio-blogging) talking about how I am working with my agents to develop marketing campaigns geared around creating a Long Term Customer Experience throughout the course of the relationship… not just the transaction.  Where this is pretty Real Estate specific, I believe that it could easily be incorporated into any business that depends on the word or mouth advertising or referrals of clients. 

–> If you’re interested in putting together a long term email campaign for your clients like this, listen to my Utterz post here:  http://tinyurl.com/5hqztl

I think that the important thing to focus on when developing this type of email campaign to your clients is your target, or “Top Ten” list.  These are your “Top Ten” client and referral sources that you would like to  clone into ALL future business.  These might not be your most expensive clients, or most likely to buy tomorrow, but they are people you enjoy working with, respect you as a professional, and think highly of the service you provide.  Below are the steps I recommend you take to develop this campaign:

1.  Send the email below to your “Top Ten” list of clients and contacts

To get a copy of the Psychographic Variable Introduction Email click here http://tinyurl.com/5d2qmg

2.  Follow up with a phone call afterwards to go through the fact finding questions with them.

To get a copy of the Psychographic Variable Questions for clients click here http://tinyurl.com/6s3z2r

3.  Review the answers that you get from your “Top Ten” and find the 6 degrees of separation between them.  The typical shared interests will usually be food, drink, family, travel, fun, etc.  These will determine the “Personal” content of your campaign.

4.  Print out a 12 month calendar and determine what your campaign will look like over the next year.  (i.e. July might be an Al Fresco dining recommendation, August could be day/weekend trips before school starts).

5.  Determine what “Professional” elements you are going to include in the campaign. (i.e. market data, links to articles of interest, etc.)

6. Put these elements together into a short (2 – 3) paragraph email with a couple of hyperlinks together for your database to review.  (1 paragraph intro, 1 paragraph personal, 1 paragraph professional).  The idea is that even though the campaign’s content is based on what those MOST IMPORTANT TO YOUR BUSINESS would find valuable, it will probably appeal to a much broader database. 

Our goal is that our clients and contacts will:

*Find it VALUABLEenough to pass onto their personal sphere of influence

*Brand us as a local community EXPERT, and increase communication between us

*Open the lines for referrals, because referrals are a Two Sided Business

*Take the first steps in becoming a LOVEMARK to our clients, and not just a brand

Ask yourself this question.  “When you’re driving down the street and see a For Sale sign from your company that isn’t your listing, don’t you feel just a little proud of that?  Don’t you feel that because you have contributed to that company, that the agent’s success for that property is partially yours?”

Usually, the answer is YES.  And just like that situation, we want to make our clients and contacts feel part of our business, feel like contributors to YOUR success, and most importantly… special.

The thing to remember here is that this is target marketing.  We are not trying to be all things to all people… we are attempting to truly understand and deliever information to those that effect our business most positively.  On top of that, I believe you’ll probably feel much more confident (See Become the Jame Bond of Real Estate Post) in your communication with clients when you provide something of value to them. 

Matt Dollinger


“The You Factor” – Differentiation in the age of Choice, Experience and Authenticity April 18, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Cool Technology, Great other Sites and Blogs, Hometown Chicago, Using This Technology.
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So I have been approached often with the question, “Why The You Factor?  What is it?  What does it mean?”  I’ve been working on a mission statement, (Thanks Jerry McGuire), to address this question, and where it’s not done yet, I’m always excited, “when a plan comes together – Hannibal Smith”. 

Below is an email that I received from one of the agents I coach last night after working with him last week.  He has been a Realtor for a while but feeling rather burned out with the whole industry lately.  We talked at length about his passions, what he liked to do in life, and how we could use this to incorporate a “You Factor” into his business.  The results were outstanding…


I just wanted to thank you for your time last week, I’m very glad <our owner> encouraged me to meet with you. Some of the ideas we came up with to build my business have me real excited! I went out that Friday and took a bunch of neighborhood shots for my listing in <a neighborhood of Chicago> where I have been getting a somewhat negative response on the location, and had them out on the table at a showing on Saturday. The first person to come to the listing and see the pics wrote a contract, that day. Maybe luck, maybe effort, but either way I had a lot of fun getting these pics, and it’s got me real excited about combining my passion of photography with my career as a REALTOR. I can’t wait to implement more ideas.

Thanks so much for you time, I’m looking forward to continuing working with you.

See the pics here

Now I’m excited… and when I’m excited… Katy, bar the door.

Go Go Google Street View April 14, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Cool Technology, Using This Technology.
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Ok… so if you DO happen to live in the dark ages (or under a rock for that matter) Google has released it’s creepiest (and one of the coolest) features yet.  Google Street View.  For those of you that have used, feared, or viewed this incredible program, and work in the Real Estate Industry, your first question was probably, “When is this going to make it into the Real Estate World?”  Well, the question has been answered and Trulia is the answer.

Trulia Street View

Now with the power of Google Street View, home searchers can actually take a tour of their potential neighborhoods and streets without leaving their computers (sounds like a lot of lost productivity at work!). 

The pros:  This would rank an 11 on my creepy-cool scale.

The cons:  The addresses aren’t 100% accurate and you’ll end up looking at the convenient store instead of the condo next door.

Needless to say the race is on for the implementation of this kickazz technology, but the address thing keeps it grounded. 

(Suggestion?)  I might actually incorporate this more into a “neighborhood tour?” rather than “look at this listing from the street.”  Read the whole article from My Tech Opinion here.  http://www.mytechopinion.com/2008/04/trulia-first-to-go-google-street-view.html

Virtual Staging of your listing??? Floorplanner.com April 14, 2008

Posted by mattdollinger in Cool Technology, Great other Sites and Blogs, Using This Technology.
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So, I found this software a while ago and thought it was really cool, but it has it’s limitations.  Now, with some recent upgrades, FloorPlanner, www.floorplanner.com , is really something that your clients and you youself might find useful.  You can design the layout of the room including:

  • Flooring
  • Appliances
  • Furniture
  • Plants
  • Room colors and more

Althought, yes, this is developed by a European company so much of the furniture looks Ikea-esque, it really is a cool way to have your clients play around with a new property, see if their furniture will fit, or virtually stage your listing.  Check it out and tell me what you think. 

FloorPlanner Screenshot Page