Just two weeks ago I wrote series of blogs about how real estate professionals SHOULDN’T market themselves. I mentioned the 5 really big problems were: Offering a free home evaluation, using “great service” as a differentiator”, using schtick in place of real value, guaranteeing a home sale, and marketing themselves to locals as being experts in the city.
And then this letter came in the mail yesterday…
So let’s dissect this ad further:
In the above picture the real estate professional lists some accreditation and awards. Unfortunately, he doesn’t tell us what these awards are for. I’m sure they’re for something (homes sold? years in the biz? income earned?) it would be helpful to know.
Next he lists the big slap-in-the-face: “Local Knowledge” as if that’s the reason we hire real estate professionals. As if, the fact that we own a house in this area isn’t proof enough that I have my own local knowledge. Also, I’m not so sure about the use of the term “intimate”. I know what he’s getting at — in-depth, no-stone-unturned — but intimate has another meaning and it’s a little disconcerting to suggest that he has intimate knowledge of the area. Yikes!
This section had some promise… except that he uses “your” and “our” a little too much which sets up the ad to be more adversarial. He’s trying to align himself with the reader (“our area”) but the use of “your” and “our” in such close proximity makes for a less clear reading of this section.
This is a WEAK paragraph! First, there’s the market evaluation, which is another slap in the face to me. Also, being “in the position” to do something reminds me of my days in sales when we were encouraged to say: “I’m in a position to give you a great deal on…” in order to make the customer feel like they are getting something exclusive. (They weren’t). His proximity doesn’t give him “the position” to do anything different than any other real estate professional… and his market evaluation won’t be any different than those who don’t live and work in the area. And I hate to break this to him but he has access to the same information that every other real estate professional has.
This paragraph is also weak (although to his credit, he does live in the area — I checked). Referencing “the local community clubs” and “the local schools” makes it seem too generic. There are several schools and a couple of community clubs. A specific reference to at least one of those would have made this letter feel far more authentic. And again with the local knowledge reference!
If he really wants to plug his local knowledge, he should stop saying “local knowledge and instead say something like: “I’ll show you the 3 BEST streets to buy in East Kildonan” [thats the area of town we live in] “if you want to increase your home value 50% in the next 2 years, and I’ll show you the best deal on the most unbelievable pizza you’ve ever eaten!” Or, “if you have kids under 12, I know of the perfect location to buy so that they are only 5 minutes from John de Graff School”.