Entry by Brent Fraizer

My biggest consulting challenge: Marketing!

  4 Comments

Mollie and everyone, great call today. As requested, here is my challenge currently with consulting:

Finding the right marketing message and medium to advertise consulting as an alternative to the traditional process.

We've had great success with our "sphere", talking about what we do, the benefits, high level of service offered etc. And a little success with marketing. The clients we've worked with have been extremely satisfied and their testimonials, which we have on our website, show it. It's just getting the message out to the masses. We're different in that we are a 100% consulting model, but we do offer traditional services on occasion. I know some out there are more traditional and trying to work consulting into the mix.

What I've found is that the folks we have been working with are people that the traditional agents just couldn't help because they didn't offer a fee based service as opposed to commission only. I've heard some comments that because of the market and economy, "real estate" is a tough business to make money in right now. I think it's the opposite for a consultant. Because we don't need equity in the home and aren't dependent on a sale to help, we can provide professional guidance where other's can't.

Any ideas in what types of marketing are working for others would be great. I am going to revisit the marketing info on the exchange as well.

Thanks,
Brent

4 Comments

Brent,
Sorry I could not be on the call today. Here's what I do:

1) Your Blog will become your greatest source of business (people that will want to work with you). So keep it up. Add content as often as you can. Blog about the business and what you think. Consumers are looking for authenticity. Your Blog needs to be a consumer resource, not an advertisement about your business.

2) If you do any print advertising, your objective should be to point readers to your Blog. Claim you provide more market data than they can find anywhere else (I know you probably do because I've seen it!). Your ads need to be be completely different that any you see. A quarter page ad with lots of white space works best. Include a listing or two. If there is not an example of what I do in the library, I'll upload one.

3) I created a tri-fold brochure and left it in my barber's store, my local wine store and anywhere else you have local relationships (doctors, dentists, and on and on). Get your relationships in the retail and services trades to talk about you and your unique approach.

4) Get involved in the local Chamber and attend their events. Package your elevator speech so it rolls of your tongue naturally. Business people will understand the "consulting" model instantly! Grat source of potential clients and referrals.

5) Continue to work your sphere!

Hope this helps...for everyone!

3)

Thanks Merv. All good points and things I'm going to try to bake into my marketing. I've actually been kicking the idea around of advertising my blog and I think it does make sense. I did see your ad in the document library and I'm going to give it a go. It's been a little while since I updated new stuff on my blog, but I need to get back into it. (I need to just make the time)

Are you doing anything to increase your blog hits? You've got some big numbers. Is it just the large amount of content or do you have something else in place to improve your ranking?

Thanks,
Brent

I'm sorry I missed the call today as well.
One thing I would add to Merv's great brochure idea, that has worked for me is to put it in the Teacher lounges, fire depts, grocery stores and all the places they will let you.

I was at a Dr. appt today, had my brochure there and while waiting to get in, listened to a girl talking on her cell phone, who was obviously a realtor. She was trying to find some space for a one day event, and having issues with it. She picked up my brochure and was telling the person on the phone about the consulting services.

TOO funny! After she hung up, I introduced myself to her and she was stunned. Needless to say, I have now made $1000. by going to the Dr. and having my brochure there.

You just never know!

Another thing I highly recommend is to join your local Chamber and network. They usually do business with those that do business with them.

If you work with investers, join an investment club. Investers LOVE to buy fro you, but consulting is awesome for the sale.

If you do any kind of REO, BPO, Short Sale business, let the lenders know, it's great for those upside down people.

If you have kids in baseball, soccer, etc, ballet, get one of the shirts with your logo on it thru the link on here for Queensboro. They have EXCELLENT products, and the more people who see you are a consultant, the more questions and buisness you'll get because they are curious. I just picked up a lead in the grocery store today, a girl recently moved here, is renting, but wants to buy. While waiting at the deli, we got to talking because she saw my consulting shirt and asked me about it. She is approved for a $890 loan, and is actively looking and has no agent.

As Mollie always says, think outside the box!

Before I sign off, I'd like to wish a very happy Fathers Day to all our Consulting Dads!!

Brent and anyone else that struggles with Blogging:

I started Blogging in march of 2005. I had no idea where it would lead. I didn't even know what I was doing. I just kept writing articles and slowly but surely I gained readership. The magic bullet for me was discovering that when I provided data on the market and provided candid opinions, my traffic spiked. It was clear that consumers were hungry for information they couldn't seem to find or get anywhere else. So I kept doing it and elevated the level of sophistication to the point I was getting over 20,000 visitors a month and in excess of 100,000 page views.

But that's not all. At my Blogging peak I was writing 20 to 30 articles a month on everything from the housing bubble to local politics, to dead beat agents (not by name, just my experiences) to technology that was working for me and why ... anything and everything that I thought might be relevant to consumers and related to real estate. Even an occasional article about activity based pricing.

So, to be really effective, you have to have some stamina. Frequent, short articles is far better than an occasional essay. Short is just a paragraph or two. Succinct, to the point with your personal thoughts.

I also subscribed to SiteMetre, a tool that tracks visitors, how they get to me and what search words they used to find me. If I see that consumers are looking for "real butter" I would find a way to write about butter (figuratively, not literally unless it had some tangential relationship to real estate). Google has a free service called Google Analytics. Check it out.

Read what consumers read and post your opinions, something about real estate of course. I even did an occasional article about my hobby; wine collecting and cooking. I was amazed at how many comments I would get that had nothing to do with real estate. But, readers were getting to know me on a personal level even if I didn't have a clue as to who. BTW, I call this the "electronic recipe card" and the postage was free!

I gave a seminar about Blogging to a group of agents attending a local association conference and was asked "how much time do you spend doing this?" My answer was two to three hours a day. In disbelief the next question was "how in the world can you find that kind of time?" My answer was in the form of a question: How much time do you spend marketing? No one was willing to answer or couldn't answer. After a few moments of silence I said: I choose to spend my marketing time Blogging. I know how much time I spend doing it and can measure the exact response through web visitors, page views and real clients. I am a very early riser. My Blogging window was from about 5:00 am to 8:00 am. I had the rest of the day to do all the other stuff we do.

Effective Blogging is not about the "call to action." It is about getting consumers to know the real you through your written words. That may be a scary thought.

This page contains a single entry by Brent Fraizer published on June 13, 2008 11:54 AM.

Listing Presentation was the previous entry in this blog.

Getting a Home Value When There's No Transaction is the next entry in this blog.

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