Your Marketing Has to be Creative

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Anthony: Do you think that holding resentment against a competitor or someone else in your industry that you might think their advertising is skewed or isn’t right is going to help you or hurt them? I made a very interesting observation this week. Something occurred to me. I put up a friendly post giving a gentleman by the name of Stan Humphreys from Zillow credit because they said he’s the so-called father of the Zestimate. I found that to be interesting. I never knew that.

Years ago, I’ve been at Zillow’s headquarters. I’d never heard that, but when I read the article in Inman, they talked about how he’s the one that came up with it and he was the father of it back in 2006, and I said, “What a brilliant person. What a brilliant marketing move.” I pointed out in my post on Instagram, if you want to see it go locate AJ Lamacchia, how– It’s brilliant. They drive 200 million unique visitors a month. I said, “Everybody in the business wishes they had that many visitors, and none of us do.”

I noticed something interesting, and truthfully, I’ve experienced this myself. I noticed how the only people that commented with anything positive was those who had a connection to Zillow or knew Stan. I don’t know Stan. I have a love-hate relationship with Zillow. We’ve been back and forth with them for years. We do a limited amount of business with them now so I have no reason or no skin in the game to speak positively about Stan or Zillow.

Back to my point. What I’m getting at is this, too many people are too quick to automatically hate on some type of marketing. I’ve had it happen to us. There are some realtors in our state. We have lots of supporters. I’ve been very fortunate, but there are a few who enjoy hating on some of the marketing things that I’ve done over the years. I will tell you that shows the, in many cases, lack of intelligence in people or the lack of ability to think big.

Many realtors in the business, many friends of mine, they hate on Zillow, they hate on the Zestimate specifically. Well, I’ll be honest, I have my feelings about Zillow too. I believe they’re our biggest competitor, but taking that out, and you think about the Zestimate. When I think of the Zestimate, I say to myself, “Brilliant.” They drive tons of traffic to their website and that’s how they generate money. That is marketing, folks. The reason I’m talking about this to all of you is marketing has to be creative.

If you go and do an ad and you say, “I am a wonderful realtor. You ought to call me because I give great service.” Do you know how many calls you’ll get? That many. That’s why over the years, I have done wild things like guaranteed sale programs, programs where if we don’t sell your house, we’ll buy it. Programs, “Hey, you want to sell your home, but you don’t want to lease, we’ll buy the home up front,” and all these different kinds of things so don’t many other companies.

Look at some local companies, Jordan’s Furniture or Bernie and Phyl’s or I don’t know. I’m just randomly thinking of random companies. When you are marketing, you’ve got to be unique. You’ve got to be creative, and you’ve got to solve a problem. You have to fill a void of curiosity. Fill a void of curiosity. Think about that. What did Zillow do when they came out with the Zestimate no six? They filled the void of curiosity. Everybody that goes on there knows that it’s an estimate.

Do some home sellers go to realtors and say, “Yes, but Zillow says.” Of course, we’ve all heard it. Who cares? They’re not the only one doing it now, but they were the first. They were the first. Again, my message today, I have no reason to defend Stan or Zillow, but I wanted to talk about it because I found it to be something that was very interesting to me. Why would people have so much hatred toward the Zestimate? Why? Should you provide clarification to clients that it’s an estimate? That it’s a guesstimate? Of course, you should, but why hate on it? Think about that.

Think about marketing. As you roll into 2023 and you think about your marketing, you need to be considering what you’re going to do to be unique. What is your unique selling proposition? Again, you go on there and say, “I do a great job. I love referrals.” You’re not going to get very many calls. You’ll get some, but very, very, very few from people you don’t have some connection to. Think about that, folks. You’ve got to be a little bit wild in your marketing.

For those of you that are local, and those of you that compete with us either in New England or Florida, get ready because we’re going to turn up our creativity and we’re going to do more things, and you’re going to see that. Most of you will say, ‘Oh, there he goes again.” Some of you will give credit and a few of you will criticize. For those of you that criticize, here’s my message, I hope you keep criticizing because if you ever stop, that will mean that we stopped being creative. Thanks, everybody. Have a great day.