Let’s face it, most of us simply don’t have the marketing dollars to
hire a public relations firm to conduct surveys or to run focus groups about us
or our brand. So, many, of us will try to do our own informal market research
by asking our friends and family what they think of a brochure, a marketing
postcard or even an open house. There’s a few problems with that approach,
first of which is your friends and family are most likely bias and probably
aren’t going to give you honest answers. The second and more important problem
is they’re not your customers.
Your customers are the people you need to be doing all your informal
market research with, and luckily it’s never been easier. For example, if
you’re thinking about launching a new logo, take a second and load your three
favorite designs to your social media, and then ask people what they think. Not
only will this help you get honest feedback for future marketing ideas but will
also give you content for the social media marketing you already have in place.
If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, you might even try to send out
a survey — either electronically or through the mail. However, this survey is
going to need to be quick to fill out and easy to submit. Even then, you’ll
probably only receive responses from extremely satisfied or dissatisfied
However you do it, take some time and listen to what your clients — the
folks who are helping you earn your living — are saying about your business.
Just don’t make the mistake of trying to market to everyone, by doing that
you’re simply failing to effectively market to anyone.
Let’s talk about your business plan for a moment, seeing that this is a
HUGE part of being a REALTOR® and an entrepreneur. In my mind there are two
types of business plans in today’s market:
Business by default.
Business by design.
Business by default is when we’re excited
about what we’re doing, simply pursuing the passion of the hunt. It is jumping
from high to high without a real plan, because the work is exciting but isn’t
For many just starting their careers, it’s so easy to get caught up in
the transaction of the closing because of the feeling of euphoria that comes
with it. I’m sure you felt a real sense of accomplishment after closing your
first home, and your second, maybe even your third, but after a while that high
can start to fade and will eventually burn out completely. So, how do we avoid
this? It’s important to remember that a career is a marathon not a sprint. We
need to focus on a higher purpose to keep motivated and stay in the race. We
need a career that is fulfilling to our soul. With a little bit of an attitude
shift and honest communication with ourselves, we can achieve just that.
Business by design is when we’ve become
honest with ourselves and the clients we serve. We are aware of our deepest
motivations and goals, so we conduct business to further them.
When we take the time to start listening to our authentic voices, we
start living and conducting ourselves in a way that we designed for ourselves.
Our business is no longer about the services or products we sell but about the
lives we are improving. Once we’ve found a higher purpose that is fulfilling to
us, passion becomes limitless and our focus will shift from the daily highs and
lows to the mission of our professional life.