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Category Archives: American Genius

Real estate professionals should take a couple of minutes and read this very interesting take on how to influence people into utilizing your services. What do you think of this advice?

By:  Tinu Abayomi-Paul/AG Beat

 

 

Two simple yet tricky steps to influence people

Every business wants people to do something – buy this, try this, tell people about this. There are two steps to getting people to do what you want them to do, but they can be tricky to execute.

Getting people to do what we want them to do

Whether it’s in social media, marketing or closing a sale, we all need to get people to do stuff. And after years of being confounded, way before I started my current two businesses, I figured out that like most people, I was making things too complicated.

There is one, and only one, way to get people to do things for you. Every other way there is obeys this underlying strategy. I invite you to think about every single time you’ve ever needed to get someone to do something after reading this, and I challenge you to find some other method.

You can use this method for getting people to share your content.

You can use it to get people at your site to subscribe to your newsletter.

When you follow up with them, you can use it to get them to buy.

One way, two steps, many challenges

There’s only one way. It has two steps:

1- Be in a position to ask them to do something.
2- Ask them to do that thing.

Here’s the rub. That looks fairly easy and straightforward. And to be fair, the second part very much is. But that first part? It’s a doozy.

Because it means that before you need something, you need to be in the position to ask. Which often means getting into that position before you really need something. And that’ll mean having a sincere interest in other people, and consistently showing that connection matters to you, whether it’s a light peer dalliance or a strong, deep friendship.

It also means you have to know who the people are before you ever know them personally, where they hang out, what their needs are, and who can address them, even if it’s not you.

How to overcome the challenges

I’ll give you an example: let’s say you’re having a sale, and you want it to be in all the publications read by the people you want to reach. With poor advance planning, your only resort will be to advertise in that publication, if you have the money, and flat out beg people who run those publications to pay attention to your story.

And by beg, I mean ask nicely, make it as little work as possible (more than a press release, folks), and do your research.

You could make your job so much easier, and more successful with a little foresight. The instant you know what kind of start-up you’ll have or business you’ll start, before you ever make your first dime, start to get to know people in the same field.

Pay attention when companies that seem like they should be competitors partner up on things. Start frequenting spots where customers you want to have are spending time online. Be there. Offer to help a little.

You don’t have to give away your services for free to start gaining a minor kinship with the people you want to serve through your business.

A deeper connection, a more meaningful identity

Already have a business but haven’t started this process? Start right now. Get to know your audience as deeply as you can. Because people care about other people, not some company with stuff to sell them.

You want to be “that lady who helped me ________, so I didn’t have to _______.” You don’t want to be “the owner of SomeCrap LLC”.

This may seem like time poorly invested at first. Not everyone you cater to is the person you’ll get something back from – and it will seem like a labor of love, and nothing more.

Until that day you want to fund that Kickstarter project with a $50,000 goal. And people you didn’t even know were paying attention to you will say “that’s that guy who ________. That’s guy’s awesome. I trust him with my money, and bet those T-shirts will be SWEET. Here’s my money.”

Reaching that goal legitimately

And they’ll tell their friends. And you’ll reach your goal. Because you won’t have to come to them with the energy of “I know I just met you but do this because I’m desperate. Take a gamble that I’m good for it.”

You’ll be able to run the vibe of “you know me. You signed up to my list. I don’t bother you too often or send you a bunch of spam. I know what you’re interested in because I share those interests. I think we can help each other.”

I want to give that guy my money and I’m not even gonna wait for him to ask me.

Non-evil manipulation

Because that’s the other great thing about being a position to ask. Some people will give to you before you ask. It’s almost like manipulation without the evil part.

(Yes, manipulation is a form of asking. Asking by twisting emotions or making it seem like the other person has no choice? Still counts You’re just being a jerk about it.)

No matter where you are in this process of getting people to do stuff for you when the time is right, get in the habit now, of doing for other people what they want done for them. It’ll eventually be your turn, and the payoff, for whatever reason, is in proportion to your level of sincerity.

Builders reveal hidden costs of buying foreclosed homes

By:  Tara Steele/AG Beat

 

 

The builders’ challenge

Despite builder sentiment rising for the last five months, new home construction remains one of the hardest hit sectors in the housing industry as lending remains tight and a glut of foreclosure is dragging down prices nationally and reducing the chance of healthy margins. The large inventory of distressed sales has been problematic for builders since the crash, and the battle has been waged by builders to educate consumers on the differences between buying a new home versus a distressed home.

Arizona builder, Fulton Homes is marketing their new Foreclosure Calculator that offers detailed cost comparisons between a new home purchase and the purchase of a foreclosed home, taking into account condition, size, repair estimates, size and other factors.

A 50% cost increase?

As an example, a 1,755 foreclosure home in Arizona listed for $81,500 in “Poor” condition that has outstanding liens but no current occupants will cost an average of $42,908 cash investment in the form of repairs, appliances, painting and the like, making the total investment $124,408.

Some consumers believe that the $81,500 price tag is their cost, but when buying a distressed home, it is often much more. With the attention turning to the deals to be found with foreclosed homes, builders like Fulton are launching a full out attack to promote the idea that new homes can be less expensive in the long run and you know what you are getting.

After each cost comparison, Fulton offers homes in the same price range that require no work or additional investment, showing slick photos of community amenities and clean floorplans.

The inventory of foreclosure homes will increase in 2012 as the backlog begins clearing after the robosigning scandal and lawsuits are settled, and new home builders have to be more out front like Fulton Homes if they want consumers to choose their product over what appears to be a less expensive option.

Millennials more difficult to reach, but respond well to creative ads

By: Lani Rosales /AGBeat

 

Advertising to Millennials

For years, we’ve written about marketing to Millennials not only because several of us are actually in the Millennial/Generation Y category, but because it is a highly misunderstood generation. Only 20 percent of people 30 and under are married, and Millennials are the least employed of any age demographic. Most reports or opinion pieces we come across are a joke, as they misinterpret data or assert assumptions on to the generation that are completely false.

Today, comScore has released highlights from their upcoming report on advertising to Millennials and we are enthusiastic that their findings are spot on. They define the generation as having a high comfort-level with new technologies and cultural diversity, as well as being accustomed to on-demand access to entertainment, continual stimulation and extreme multitasking.

The report notes that television ads work substantially less effectively on Millennials than on older generations, but were able to retain a much longer lasting impression of a television advertisement. The 30 and under crowd will most likely remember an advertisement, but it does not necessarily convert to a sale. Interestingly, television ads (that are not forwarded through) are 30 seconds, which is a short time to devote attention, and Millennials as digital natives are used to processing millions of rapid packets of information, thus retention is higher and reception is lower. Predictably, digital advertising performs better than television on Millennials.

The comScore reports that Millennials tend to be less interested and more difficult to connect with, capture attention, impress, convince and entertain. This is an assertion we made years ago and were scoffed at – it is nice to see data to back up the idea that attention spans are short and because of growing up around constant advertising, our generation is difficult to impress and on top of everything, Millennials are price conscious.

How to reach Millennials

For all generations, but especially Millennials, comScore notes “the presence of key creative elements in advertising were shown to relate strongly to successful advertising.”

The good news is that when a Millennial chooses to engage with television or digital content, engagement has been shown to amplify the effectiveness of advertising, so comScore says that when targeting Millennials, it is important to utilize engaging content to help boost returns from investments in advertising.

Millennials are natural researchers, are thoughtful and when they chose to move beyond an observer and become a lead, they engage more highly than any other generation and opine publicly (positive and negative) than others. If you can win over a Millennial and have their contact information, you’ve moved beyond what many advertisers (particularly your competition) have been able to do.