Burn Your Boat

To use the words of Ross Perot, do you hear that giant sucking sound? Right now it is coming from the cities that have been hit hard with our current real estate problem. And, having worked with some real estate brokers and agents, I can tell you that they are scrambling right now trying to determine their next steps. Many of them have given up or are thinking about it. And, I agree that might be the best thing for those who make that decision. But, maybe there is another way. Maybe it’s using Marketing strategy and tactics for this specific situation.

Seth Godin suggests two plans for Realtors.

1. “Quit now.”
2. “Or, if you’re not going to be able to make a living by taking orders, by selling houses the way everyone else does, by using the never-ending rise in real estate prices to make sales, then what are you going to do? Whining is not an option.”

He suggests investing in mirco-specialization, as he suggested in his book The Dip, and becoming the best in your world “(where world can be a tiny slice of the environment) or you’re invisible.”

Seth says, (and I firmly agree) that being the best in the world also means having to burn your bridges and obsessing on being the best. Imagine landing in a new country to establish a new home and burning your boat. Now you’re committed.

Forget about all the other irons you have in the fire while you are waiting on the market to change and go change how you communicate and relate to your customers and potential customers.

Talk to all those customers you sold when things were easy – especially if you did a poor job of following up with them since you “sold them.” Get permission to send them a newsletter, build your own community of people who look forward to hearing from you. Let that community know you’re here now to help them with resources and information that matters to them. Talk about what they what to talk about and forget about what you want to talk about. Get out in your community and network and talk to people about their lives, their families, their hopes and fears. Be a friend and neighbor and build a relationship.

This is your opportunity to reinvent how you market yourself and your company. Or, you can continue to do the same things and get the same results. Better to quit.

By the way, this advice applies to all businesses. Especially if you’ve gotten used to being an order taker. Here’s Seth’s Blog with his suggestions. It’s definitely worth the time to read.

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