Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Real Estate Marketing - Secrets Shared at a Private Event

Sitting in on a real estate marketing meeting was never on my list of things to do. Until one day, I was shamed by my best friend Shawn into going.

Looking back on the experience, I can say that it was truly an eye opener. The people were friendly, the food was excellent and the drinks were killer! Most impressive were the topics and ideas presented to the 30 men and women that day.

Following are the enlightening real estate marketing tips that were presented by Don and Pat (husband and wife real estate wizards).

Build a Website That is Capable of Generating Leads

Don began by explaining how the methods of marketing had dramatically changed over the past decade. People’s attention span was about 2 seconds and if your website content couldn’t deliver a clear benefit quick enough, it would fail.

He then showed us the differences between successful websites and poorly managed one’s. The successful sites were well structured with pertinent information, high-quality and captivating photos of all properties, video walk-throughs, and other features that enhanced the process for a buyer or seller. Take a look at this video walk through virtual tour example:

After delivering valuable information and rich content, the website left you asking for more but required your email address or phone number. This turned visitors into leads, and made the website more than a digital brochure.

After Don’s presentation, it became obvious how certain elements could greatly impact the effectiveness and value a website delivered.The two core principles Don presented that stood out were;

Navigation through successful sites was obvious and always simple. Even the novice users could get the information they needed without getting “lost” or having to search. Visitors come to a website for their own benefit; make what they are looking for easy to find and they will reward you with their attention. In the web design industry, intuitive design and ease of use is known as “user experience”. Ensure your web development company is proficient in this department, or little else will matter.

Branding and curated content that spoke to a specific segment of the market. We can’t be all things to all people. A real estate website is no different, and must clearly indicate the market and people it serves. A first time homebuyer has vastly different needs than someone looking for a luxury home. Or consider parents buying a home in a great school district and the things that would be important to them. Knowing and displaying this information on your website speaks volumes, and subconsciously lets the customer know you understand them and their specific needs. Feeling understood is an intangible that makes your customer comfortable. When setup properly, your website can help earn the goodwill and trust of a potential client.

Take a look at this well branded website that is catering to luxury condo owners:

Real estate agent branded website

Establish a Referral Program

Pat took over at this point and provided an interesting and shocking statistic. She said, “On average, out of every 100 people that call you, only 18 will come from your marketing efforts. The other 82 will be referrals from past or current clients.”

This made perfect sense to me. All my adult life, I have understood the building power of “word of mouth” and how important it is in any business to keep your clients buzzing about your products and services.

Real estate meeting and referral program

Thus this staggering statistic cannot be overlooked, or you will fail. Put into perspective, 8 out of 10 calls are a function of your network and six degrees of separation amongst people you know, or people that know you.

With this in mind, a large part of your marketing efforts must be to encourage and facilitate said referrals from this group. In essence, your job in marketing is to create visibility and awareness while fostering deeper relationships within your existing network.

She went on to explain how simple “rewards for referrals” would entice people to spread your name. Be creative she said, “rewards can be in the form of any number of fun things, like concerts, dinners, or money.” People want to be acknowledged and appreciated for their efforts.

However, Pat warned us, “Your service and product must contain superior quality in all of its aspects. Without quality, there will be no referrals to worry about.”

Remaining Relevant With Social Media Profiles

Don picked up seamlessly where Pat left off and asked the room for a show of hands, “How many of you have a Facebook profile?” Everyone had a hand in the air. He then went on to explain that social media is the new-age dominant word-of-mouth marketing medium.

Real estate agent social media facebook profile

“Everyone in some way is connected by social media, Facebook alone has over 2 billion users.” and that “Anyone shying away from building and asserting their brand and value on social media is losing out on potential clients and revenue in a big way.”

After taking us on a quick tour of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat, Don said this: “Quality and engaging engaging content is your #1 goal. Not sales! If you can’t focus on quality content that’s relevant to your customer, don’t waste your time.”

Home buyers and sellers are interested in a wide variety of things. Use your social media platform to call attention to the important ones that are directly affecting your clients. Some examples are: pricing trends, housing inventory levels, interest rate hikes, a new home coming available in a highly sought after area, or highlighting the schools and local amenities within a neighborhood.

Relevant facts and statistics are critical in getting people to pay attention. Stop and think, how many of us randomly post images, phrases, and comments without giving much thought to them. What if we were (as Don put it) focusing first on the end-user and their needs.

The majority of the time you should focus on their interests, but being entertaining also has its benefits. Watch how this young realtor uses her YouTube channel to be personal and showcase a day in her life:

Sponsorship of Local Teams, Charities, and Events

At this point, we all expected Pat to pick up the microphone. She did not and Don sat down. They toasted each other with their martinis as Brad came from the back of the room (microphone in hand) talking about sponsorship.

“Sponsorship of local events, charities, and athletes is one of the fastest ways to create visibility, awareness, and build trust in a community. With banners, flyers, hand-outs, and signs, you are able to personally engage and show the people your investment in their well-being and the local community.” He went on to explain, “For your yard signs to be effective, there must be a level of trust behind the brand. Only then will the SOLD sign be attached.”

Real estate community charity sponsorship

Turns out that Brad is Don and Pat’s son. Also a very successful real estate agent (and great bartender too). His message ended with an emphasis on the quality of all printed material and again, “Your content on everything printed must contain the highest quality customer-focused information, otherwise it will not convey your message and simply be tossed in the trash.”

This is part one in a two part series. For the rest of these real estate marketing tips, check back here: www.clashgraphics.com/printing-tips/

http://plus.google.com/+Clashgraphicsprintshopatlanta

Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing
2140 Peachtree Rd NW #301 Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 235-3464

To view the original version on Clash Graphics, visit: www.clashgraphics.com/printing-tips/real-estate-marketing-secrets-shared/

Monday, October 2, 2017

Restaurant Marketing - Increase Sales and Fill Empty Seats


Successful restaurants establish a connection with their customers. It is this connection that keeps loyal customers coming back and telling others. Customers become “Fans for life” when the ambience and food quality come together to create a lasting emotional and culinary impression.

A fantastic example of this impression is found with a memory nearly all of us over 30 from all walks of life share: It begins with red and white checkered table cloths, dark wood finishing on the tables and booths (with their red leather padding), slightly dimmed lighting, parmesan and chili flake shakers next to the salt and pepper shakers, a juke box in the corner, and winding down to a table top PacMan or Space Invaders game somewhere close to the salad bar.

As the example illustrates, when a restaurant is able to capture all or a part of something unique and special, business picks up, sales increase and empty seats get filled. After all, “the greatest expense a restaurant can have is an empty seat.”

In this article, Clash Graphics addresses the impact of customer experience and marketing on keeping the seats in your restaurant filled. Both of which every restaurant owner should relentlessly keep at the top of their priority list.

Restaurant Customer Experience

Ask yourself this: “How do I see my restaurant?” Before answering that question, consider getting feedback from both customers and employees. Ultimately, it is the customer experience that drives a restaurant’s revenue. While it is the employees that support the customer experience by maintaining the ambience, food quality, service, and engagement with customers.

Discovery - The two principle ways a person finds a restaurant are by personal recommendations or through the marketing plan with ads, signs, invitations, etc. Both of which provide the opportunity to exceed expectations and create a customer for life.

Customer Expectations - Understanding the wants and needs of customers is vital to meeting their expectations. Encourage them to give reviews, fill out comment cards, or take online satisfaction surveys.

Customer feedback is often priceless insight that should be taken seriously. It is this information that provides an exact blueprint which enables the development of a plan to meet and exceed their needs.

Diner providing feedbackfor restaurant customer service

Curb Appeal - What does the entrance of the restaurant look like? Are there cars in the parking lot (signaling success and popularity). Is the location easy to find for a first time customer? The importance of location and visibility cannot be overstated. That said, the outside of a restaurant will often times determine the customer’s mood and expectations before ever stepping foot in the actual restaurant.

Restaurant Staff - These are the people responsible for bringing your vision to life. In turn, they must deliver an elevated level of service, and seamlessly work together from all points in the restaurant to create an amazing experience for all customers and guests.

Think how genuinely engaged the staff at Disney World is, and how their cheer, charm, and willingness to go to any length impacts your experience and emotional association with their brand.

For this reason, service staff applicants should be screened and hired with the customers in mind. Remembering that personality and attitude are fundamental, they can’t be taught. However, the skills to support an amazing customer experience can be taught, and must be purposefully reinforced.

Food - The greatest asset (or detriment) to the customer experience is the food. It is the make or break ingredient from your menu (click here) which ultimately determines whether a seat remains empty or a restaurant has a highly sought after waiting list.

One of the most special things to hear is your customer saying, “Mmmmmm, this tastes so good...” or “This reminds me of...” It is food that is nearly always associated to people, places, and memories. Thus, being associated and part of a lifelong memory of your customer is the greatest of accomplishments.

Satisfied diner eating pizza in restaurant

So, when customers offer feedback on a restaurant’s food, they are speaking from their taste in food, cultural experience, and more importantly their expectations. Use this invaluable information to fine tune the kitchen and at times, refine the menu.

Superior Relationship Marketing for Return Customers

“What am I going to eat tonight?” This is the question that your restaurant’s marketing campaign should consider and effectively answer. People in general want to feel they belong and are a part of something authentic. Running promotional “gimmicks” can generate short term results, but consistent, meaningful, and engaging interactions will create “life long fans” for your restaurant.

Comment Cards and Satisfaction Surveys - In the above section we discussed encouraging feedback, comments, and online reviews. This not only gives your customers a sense of inclusion, but also illustrates that their opinion matters. The win for the restaurant is a better understanding of what customers not only want, but what they expect.

However, merely asking for feedback isn’t enough, and is your opportunity to prove your genuine concern and commitment to a fantastic experience.

An impactful way to encourage customers to contribute feedback is as simple as offering a free side or dessert. Not only have you gotten valuable feedback, you’ve given them a reason to come back to claim their complimentary dish.

First Time Customers - Creating an experience for a first-time customer venturing into your restaurant can be truly exciting and leave a lasting impression. Ring a bell, make an announcement, offer a token of appreciation, a discount on the meal, free drinks, a free appetizer, or free dessert. And for a cherry on top, involve the chef or owner to personally welcome and extend these accommodations.

Not only does such a gesture buy goodwill and leave an impact, but this personal touch also gives the patron an opportunity to become acquainted with signature dishes and desserts they may otherwise have never tasted. Sometimes, putting on a little show can bring big results, especially when combined with culinary charm and great food.

Celebrating Milestones - Set up a customer contact database with contact information and relevant dates (first time at the restaurant, birthday, anniversary, children’s birthdays, etc.). This information allows for dynamic future customer interaction via text, email, or phone.

Diners toasting milestones in restaurant

Whether offering a “Half-Off” day for their “Birth” day, free champagne for an anniversary dinner, or even a free signature dish; their occasion will be unforgettable, unique, and special.

This level of personalization and attention is a sure fire way to permanently embed the idea that you and your staff care about and value them as customers.

And dare not forget about game day (if it’s that type of restaurant). If you simply collect their favorite team or sports preferences, you have the opportunity to create Super Bowl, Kentucky Derby, or World Cup events. Which affords your restaurant another rapport building opportunity, where your customers can eat, drink, and cheer on their teams while enjoying your food and service.

All too often, marketing campaigns are selfishly-focused and structured for short term results. Employing a celebratory and unique approach not only provides a higher frequency of engagement, but also establishes a deeper and more meaningful relationship with your customers.

Take a look at these guest testimonials from Adventures by Disney:

Using relational marketing you now have the opportunity to acknowledge, invite, and celebrate their milestones along with them.

Lifelong Customers Expect Value and Quality

Marketing and acquiring new customers is expensive, thus care and special attention to improve customer retention is an efficient means of improving lifetime value, and creating long-term relationships with potential loyal supporters of your restaurant.

The goal of this article has been to initiate a conversation on how customer experience and retention-focused marketing are inseparable. Simply serving decent food will only get you so far. Offering value and quality in exchange for the customer’s time, money, and experience are fundamental for a business to survive.

As people are becoming more desiring of ordering takeout and prone to convenience, it cannot be stressed enough that “value” is the key to unlocking the loyalty of lifelong customers and filling those empty seats.

High-quality food and unique experiences go a long way in communicating your restaurants commitment to earning patrons business, and delivering an unmatched service. At the end of the day, filing empty seats is a reward for the restaurant that caters to and serves its customers best.

http://plus.google.com/+Clashgraphicsprintshopatlanta

Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing
2140 Peachtree Rd NW #301 Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 235-3464

To view the original version on Clash Graphics, visit: http://www.clashgraphics.com/printing-tips/restaurant-marketing-increase-sales/