4 out of 5 Realtors and mortgage lenders prefer Trident: What you can learn about surveys from the iconic 1980s marketing campaign
If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s vividly, then you definitely recall a Trident television ad in which the brand’s spokesperson claimed that “Four out of five dentists surveyed recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum.”
It was actually launched by the Warner-Lambert Company as part of their ad campaign for a novel-yet-fledgling innovation, a sugarless gum called Trident.
It’s hard to imagine these days, but the sugar free or sugarless phenomenon hadn’t caught on yet (this is when you could still smoke on airplanes!), However, Trident was tanking with consumers, and about to be discontinued.
Then, the “Four out of five” ad was released, and it changed everything. Based on a poll of 1,200 dentists conducted by the somewhat-obscure Chicago Reader in 1980, they determined that sugarless gum was recommended by 85 percent of dentists (that’s why they couldn’t say “Nine out of ten” at first). Still to this day, no one knows which knucklehead dentists actually recommended more sugar in their patients’ gum!
The TV ad became so popular that it was soon a household saying, a cultural trope, and the stem of many jokes.
But, the marketing epiphany of using data from a survey or poll was replicated by toothpaste brands like Crest, Sensodyne, Colgate, and others (who all claimed that 9 out of 10 dentists recommended their brands, which is statistically impossible!).
There’s nothing stopping you from running your own survey or poll, and using the data as a marketing coup, just like Trident did back in 1980.
Yes, I do realize that you're in the business of selling homes and funding loans, not brightening smiles.
But, there are 3 inherent advantages to surveys that make them so invaluable no matter what field you're in:
1. Learn about your target audience/clients
You’re directly asking your target audience or potential custom base to volunteer information about their beliefs, attitudes, motivations, needs, challenges, and more.
(All of the big brands, shopping sites, and retailers are obsessed with collecting your data and finding out more about you!)
2. Come up with tangible data
You don’t just end up with a range of opinions or a few answers to open-ended questions but specific, tangible statistical data.
3. Snazzy and presentable format
That data lends itself perfectly to charts, graphs, and other forms of visual expression that aren’t only appealing to the eye, but easy to scan, understand, and lend themselves to sharing online.
Case Study #1:
I recently ran a survey for one of my favorite clients (and good friends), Jason Matthews of Matthews Insurance and Financial Services.
We sent out invites for people to take a simple survey consisting of just 10 questions, which only took them a few minutes. (I’ll talk more about how to effectively run surveys and best practices in a future blog.)
When we collected the results, we had some clear, concrete data that really stands out when we use it as a marketing tool.
Not only does Jason have a much better understanding of what makes his clients or audience tick, but there are SO many helpful ways we can use this data, the survey results, and these graphs to market his business going forward.
We even included an open-ended question, “What are your top fears about the economy,” and gleaned this useful list:
With minimal effort and little or no cost (or, just outsource the work to me!), the average Realtor or mortgage lender can come up with something like:
Those are just examples, but you get the idea.
All of this leads to an exponentially larger audience, new levels of trust and credibility, boundless opportunities to share your content, and plenty of new clients – just like it turned Trident’s fortunes around virtually overnight.
Case Study #2
Does this one look familiar?
I ran this survey for my own little brand, Real Estate Marketing w/ Norm, a week or two ago.
But instead of surveying PEOPLE, I surveyed the Instagram posts and content of the top 100 Realtors and mortgage lenders in the U.S.
The result was easily summarized in this handy dandy graph that has since been shared and re-shared across the industry, conveying huge value to any Realtor or loan officer who wants to follow in the footsteps of the best in the business (and what they’re doing for marketing).
Other chief benefits to hosting surveys:
Endear yourself to your audience
Studies show that one of the most powerful ways to get people to like you isn’t by doing something for them, but by asking them for a favor or to complete a task that helps you out. People also want to be heard, counted, and valued, and asking them to complete a survey appeals to that.
Congrats, you’re instantly an industry leader
99.999% of your competition are NOT doing this, so surveys are a fantastic took to differentiate yourself from your competitors and elevate your brand.
If you use this correctly, the data from these survey results will be useful for years, and you can ride the wave of promotion and new opportunities as you pick up scores of new clients along the way.
No matter how big or small your operation, how long you’ve been in business or how much income you’re pulling in, you immediately become a credible and authoritative voice of your industry by using surveys and releasing the findings.
Surveys result in useful, clear, and compelling statistics, and those are shared, used, and referenced over and over for years to come.
Did you ever wonder how one Realtor or mortgage lender in your city keeps getting quoted over and over again in just about any article about the housing market? Creating statistics based on credible surveys is the best way to “break in” to that closed media circle.
Send a press release based around your survey findings and you’ll be surprised how effective it is for garnering media attention – and they’ll have to quote you or give you credit!
Once you have a relationship with certain members of the media, you’ll always have their ear since they’re constantly looking for stories and concrete data to use.
You can take that to the next level by publishing your survey results as a special report or white paper on Kindle for Amazon, Apple Books, etc. All of a sudden, the world’s leading content platforms are listing your name and promoting FOR you!
Create unique social media and marketing content
As you see, the data and information you glean from these surveys is perfect for graphs, charts, lists, and stats that can be used for custom content you share on social media, email, your website, buyers and sellers’ packets, etc.
In a future blog, I’ll give you tips and best practices how to create and use surveys to launch your brand and grow your business to new heights!
Or, you can just ignore this smart marketing tactic and keep doing what everyone else is doing for marketing, instead.
Guess what the results will be?
What content mix are the best Realtors and mortgage lenders posting on Instagram?
They say that there’s a roadmap to success, and the best way to achieve greatness in your respective field is to follow in the footsteps of industry leaders. However, when it comes to Instagram, those road maps are a lot harder to find (or changing almost monthly). The social platform continues to evolve rapidly, as do the ways marketers and business owners use it.
So, for the average entrepreneur or real estate pro to maximize their presence on Instagram, they’d have to spend hundreds of hours reading guide, blogs, and eBooks and watching scores of instructional videos.
Then, it hit me: instead of doing it that way, why not just follow the most successful Realtors and mortgage lenders in the U.S. and track what THEY are doing on Instagram? By observing the best of the best and analyzing the results, I could form a rough blueprint for best practices -and share it with you (so you can shamelessly copy it).
By the way, if you’re in a rush then you can skip all of this methodology and just check out the results and graph near the end of this blog.
I did just that over the course of the last three months, but it wasn’t easy. It took endless combing through lists of top mortgage lenders and Realtors, checking in with industry periodicals and sites like Mortgage News, Mortgage Origination, Scotsman Guide, Realtor, and many more, and cross-referencing endless smaller blogs and rankings.
The other issue was that I was only looking for the best on Instagram, not just the best, and many of the traditional “old guard’ don’t bother with social media, or just use it sporadically and personally.
I also wanted to track individuals (or teams), not large companies with huge social media ad budgets and countless interns, and I threw out the outliers (like Crazy Cat Realtor and Political Post Broker) and discounted any post that had to do with going to the gym, random vanity selfies, or snapshots of their lunch (there weren’t too many of those, as the top-100 definitely do things for a reason, don’t waste time, and have a tight social media plan).
Likewise, I took into account the fact that Realtors post a whole lot of content about houses: open houses, houses for sale, houses that just sold, and just plain nice houses. So, those will always be more prevalent in a real estate agent’s Instagram timeline, and I split them up into sub-categories based on the purpose of those posts.
So, while this list shouldn’t be taken as 100% accurate, it is based on a mountain of data and observation. I think the result is a very fair representation of what the top Realtors and mortgage lenders in the U.S. are posting on Instagram to bring in clients and grow their business better than the rest.
Let’s get the good stuff – the top-100 formula for Instagram.
(Keep skipping to the next section)
In all, there were 30 main categories of posts for top-producing Instagram accounts (in no particular order):
That’s a whole lot to process (and way too much to summarize in one simple yet snazzy graph), so I decided to break it down into nine main categories, ranking them by a percentage that they appeared on the Instagram timeline.
(Finally, here it is.)
The top categories for top-producer Instagram content:
34% Personal, Family, and Slice-of-Life
27% On the Job
11% Events, Happenings, and Offers
9% Community and Charity
6% Social Proof, Reviews and Testimonials
5% Products and Services
4% General Interest and Humor
1% News, Blogs, and Content
That’s pretty useful data if you’re a Realtor or mortgage lender (not yet in the top-100 in America) and trying to strategically plan your marketing on Instagram.
It also means that it’s much easier to walk into the footstep of these industry giants and emulate their success!
A few other notes:
Video versus image posts:
Videos are a huge part of their marketing plan, but don’t dominate their Instagram feed – yet. In fact, videos comprise only 21% of all content for the top 100 Realtors and mortgage lenders in the U.S. – a little more than one out of every four posts.
However, averages can be deceiving, as I tracked several real estate pros who post almost nothing but videos, and a good number of pros post them rarely or not at all.
How often do top Realtors and mortgage lenders post on Instagram?
Among the best of the best of Realtors and lenders, they post on Instagram 1.7 times per day.
Personal versus business Instagram profile:
93% of all Instagram accounts were business profiles for the top 100 Realtors and mortgage brokers.
That’s it for today – enough number crunching until next week! Hit me up if you have any questions or need some help with your marketing!
The best damn marketing you can do…if you only have 5 minutes per day!
I received a great question from a new client the other day.
Based in breathtakingly-gorgeous Lake Tahoe in Northern California, my client is even busier than the average realtor (or mortgage lender). One minute, she’s showing luxury homes and negotiating better deals for investors. The next, serving 'Tahoe locals who are trying to buy their first home, in between managing vacation properties and dealing with the peaks and valleys of the off-season versus the ski season.
So, she's thrilled to have me on-board to help, freeing her up to focus on meeting new clients and selling homes ($200/hour-and-up tasks) instead of grinding away with mundane marketing (the $20/hour tasks that I handle).
However, this soon-to-be-superstar Lake Tahoe agent was still worried about the time it would take to commit to our new marketing campaign.
“So, if I only have an extra hour each day,” she asked me. “What’s the most important thing I should be doing to market my business?”
Fantastic question – and many of you are in the same boat, with so many obligations and important matters (like putting out fires and closing deals!) pulling you in every direction that it’s really hard to find an hour – yet alone a few minutes – to sit down and dedicate to marketing.
“I’ll do you one better,” I told her. “And tell you what you can do in just five minutes every day to grow your business.”
“What is it?” she asked, eagerly.
“Just turn on your camera and start videoing!” I said.
I genuinely believe that is the #1 most beneficial marketing activity for any real estate agent, mortgage lender, or any small business owner or entrepreneur.
If you only could do ONE thing for marketing…
And only had an extra 5 MINUTES every day…
The best use of that time is to shoot a few short videos.
Like marketing icon, Gary Vaynerchuk says, “No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.”
I can give you a ton of data to back up that assertion, like that 83% of brands, companies, and entrepreneurs using video marketing think it gives them a good ROI.
But that's kinda boring, so I’d rather get you excited about how easy, fun, and effective this is.
You're already paying too much for your smartphone every month, and it's with you at all times, so why not put it to work? These videos don’t need to be fancy, formal, or use any special equipment – just point and hit record.
The opportunities are boundless. In the car driving to an appointment? Turn on the camera and talk about the house, the clients, the market, or the crazy things the home inspector just found.
Take that time to wish a client happy birthday, send them a happy home-buying anniversary vid, congratulate them on getting married, or thank them personally for that last referral they sent you.
You can shoot quick videos to update buyers and sellers, or answer a common question or concern you hear often. Lenders should be doing this EVERY DAY with valuable content that helps Realtors as well as educates and informs their clients. And a personalized video update is a great way to invite people to events you’re promoting.
The best part is that you can film short vids anywhere and anytime as you go about your typical day. Do you love it when the leaves start to change color in autumn? See a stunning sunset from your new listing’s back yard? Your first-time homebuyers just got their keys and are practically (or literally) jumping with joy?
Turn on the camera and share those moments!
Here are examples from three of my clients who do a great job shooting quick videos all the time.
You can also give tangible, concrete advice and information with these quick videos. Discuss a statistic or market trend in a video, walk through an example of a good (or bad) investment property, or talk about property taxes and why it’s better to buy than rent, etc.
Oh, you’re having a bad hair day (or, a bad hair decade like me!) and look like you just rolled out of bed? Simply turn the camera around the other way so it’s pointing out into the world. Narrate the video as you drive through certain neighborhoods, visit local landmarks, and walk through homes you’re buying or selling.
At your escrow office for a signing? Introduce your favorite title and escrow team - or appraiser, home inspector, and home improvement contractor.
Lunchtime at your favorite local restaurant? Why not scan the room, video the menu, say hi to the owner, and give them a great video recommendation?
If nothing else, just share a few of your thoughts on gratitude, why you love your job, or THANK someone.
You’ll be surprised how fun this is once you get rolling and make it a habit, and how much fantastic marketing content you can produce in just five minutes a day.
If the video comes out too dark, your voice is drowned out by an 18-wheeler, or you just come out sounding like a rambling crazy person (me again!), then you simply discard that video, or edit out the parts you don’t like.
With video marketing, short and sweet is better, and you can share them on Instagram (feed, story, or TV), Facebook, YouTube, etc.
I realize that I’m getting fired up and talking a lot about WHAT to video, but you get the point – stop thinking and just turn on the damn smartphone and get started. It will offer the highest ROI by far on your time and marketing dollars.
In just five minutes a day, you’ll be FAR ahead of the competition and, most importantly, far ahead of where you were this time last year.
Now, I gotta run – I’m going to fix my hair and try to take my own advice by shooting a few helpful marketing videos!
P.S. Need help with those $20/hour marketing tasks so you can focus on making $200 an hour or more? Hit me up!