The Power of Branded Merchandise
Without a doubt, the real estate industry in one of the most competitive industries in the U.S. Hundreds of real estate agents operate in direct competition with each other in city after city throughout the country. On a level playing field, it is incumbent on every agent and real estate agency to figure out how to gain a competitive edge over the competition, especially when the real estate market is unevenly matched between buyers and available properties.
Real Estate Marketing Tools
As a licensed real estate agent, you have to be willing to accept the inevitability of competition. Everyone has bills to pay. With that in mind, you have to take advantage of any real estate marketing tools at your disposal. You have to use these tools to market properties, your abilities as an agent, and who you are as an individual. In today’s marketplace, agents are using digital advertising (websites, social media, email), print marketing (fliers, billboards, newspapers, magazines, brochures) and good old-fashioned business ‘SWAG’ (Souvenirs, Wearables And Gifts). All of them are equally effective and for the most art, equally affordable.
The Power of Business ‘SWAG’
For decades and perhaps centuries, business people have used gift giving as a marketing tool. Given its longevity, you can assume it is still an effective method of advertising. When you think about, the real estate industry is tailor-made for personalized merchandise. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. Appealing to the Subconscious – Many years ago, scientists and psychologists did a group of studies related to subliminal messages. In the 1970s, there were claims of movie houses overdubbing “eat popcorn” messages throughout films being shown. In all cases were this claim was verified, popcorn sales went way up. These kinds of studies have not lost on recent corporate marketing people who have developed logos with a subliminal message in them to remind customers of some aspect of the company. This methodology has proven to be very effective and would certainly work with a real estate agent or agency’s brand.
2. Creating Obligation – In every culture in the world, children are taught at a very young age about the concept and importance of reciprocity. When someone does something nice for you, you have an unspoken obligation to return the gesture. A simple gift or souvenir from you as a real estate agent is a great way to “obligate” a client to refer others to you in the future, or in fact reenlist your services the next time they start looking to buy another property.
3. Indicating Recognition – The sheer thoughtfulness of giving a gift should not be taken for granted. While there might be ulterior motives for doing so, a gift is still a gift. As such, it should be considered nothing less than a sincere thank you for the patronage and a legitimate sign of recognition, friendship and respect.
4. Display of Professionalism – On a professional level, there is something to be said for issuing a thank you after completing a successful business transaction. As a real estate agent, you no doubt understand that you generally receive excellent compensation when you do your job well. As a token of appreciation for the opportunity to do that job, it makes perfect sense for you to issue a souvenir or gift as a memento of the exciting occasion.
5. Creating an Advertising Billboard – When it comes to business branded merchandise, or swag if you will, a lot of value can be derived by having your brand carried around by a satisfied customer, particularly with the personalized items. In essence, an inexpensive baseball cap or t-shirt can become a walking billboard floating around the local community. It only takes one closed deal from said items to recoup the cost of all branded items you might distribute in one-year. That makes for a pretty good return on marketing investment.
If you are interested in building some personalized business merchandise distribution with your client-base, and perhaps with prospective clients, this is an investment you simply shouldn’t miss out on.