Archive for November, 2008

Kick Start Your Low-Cost, High-Impact Marketing Plan for 2009 Now.

November 29, 2008

Sure times are tough. But not marketing will only prolong the pain. Start planning now for your success in 2009 with a focus on your online and database marketing programs.

There is little doubt that those who manage to maintain a visible marketing presence during the down market will be among the first to reap the rewards of a recovery.

There are still buyers out there. And marketers have a number of relatively low-cost tools to reach them that weren’t available during the downturns of the past. Not surprisingly, many of these tools are available through the Web. What truly is surprising is how few real estate marketers take advantage of them.

Search Engine Marketing Fro Greater ROI.

Your 2009 Marketing Plan should begin with effective Search Engine Marketing, or SEM. Chances are, you have a Web site. But is it working for you as hard as it could be? Are you pushing your Web site to your customers or pulling your customers to you? Can they find you in their search? If not, they’ll most certainly find your competition. Search Engine Optimization and online marketing currently generate a much greater cost-per-lead than print media and both are easier to track. But the faster you plan a Search Engine Marketing strategy for 2009, the faster you will reap the rewards. It often takes months to see results. But they’re worth the wait.

Your Closest Sale is in Your Database.

Let’s not forget your database in your 2009 plan. There are definitely sales there. Our research shows that up to 5% of your database has already purchased elsewhere. Those sales could have been yours if you were constantly servicing your leads. Begin a meaningful dialogue with your database again. When they do decide to take advantage of the market and purchase their dream, you’ll be top-of-mind.


November 29, 2008


If You’re Not Marketing, What Are You Doing?

November 20, 2008

The rest of the economy seems to have caught up to real estate. We were at the tip of the spear when things began to slow, and I believe we’ll be at the forefront when things begin to turn around.

There are still folks out there marketing, still out there selling. But for the moment, not even the most optimistic among us would suggest it’s business as usual. We are in the midst of a downturn, at a traditionally “down” time of the year no less. Currently, we’re not telling our real estate clients that now is the time to spend their marketing dollars generating leads.

But if they’re not generating leads, what should they be doing? Hunkering down and waiting this one out? Hardly.

When the market is good, I’ll grudgingly admit that even mediocre marketing can work—or at least, it won’t hurt your chances at success. But what about marketing when all the sheep are nowhere to be found? At Hill Mullikin, we’re telling our clients that now is the time to plan to succeed. Current conditions present us with a rare and valuable opportunity: time to step back and figure out a few things.

Things we don’t always have the time or patience to figure out. Things like what is it my customers want? What makes me different? How am I going to be top-of-mind when they’re ready to buy? How can I leverage new technology and new ideas to get a greater return on my marketing investment?

Now is the perfect time to plan for the new year—for the new economy. Because when the market returns, relevance will be king. In other words, you’ll need to be relevant to your customers. They’ll be empowered not only by economic conditions, but also by a rising tide of information available at their fingertips. So take the time now to get to know who your customers are and understand what’s meaningful to them.

It sounds simple, but another essential component in preparation for the new year is figuring out who you are. At Hill Mullikin, we suggest a battle cry. A battle cry is a simple statement, a stake in the ground that defines who you are and what your position is in the marketplace. For instance, Microsoft’s battle cry is “information at your fingertips.” Barack Obama’s campaign battle cry was “change.” Both examples are clear, concise and ownable positions. Let’s take this time to figure out what your stake in the ground will be.

For many of our clients, the battle cry is presented in the context of a brand platform, an internal, easy-to-understand brand manual and a blueprint for all advertising and messaging. The brand platform outlines a clear, consistent voice that can easily be recited by every member of the team, from sales to marketing to administration. Coupled with a sound, strategic marketing plan, the brand platform has proven to be a powerful tool in the planning process.

“If you’re failing to plan, you’re planning to fail,” the old saw goes. For real estate marketers, I believe it’s truer today than it has ever been.

Echota DVD

November 20, 2008

This is a video that we collaborated on with Mark Mooney at Crescent Moons films. I think there are quite a few reasons that make it successful for a real estate video.

1. The owners tell the story and it is heartfelt.  It was not at all scripted.  We got a few couples together and did candid interviews that went so well that Mark and Rodney were able to tell “their” story, not that of the developer.

2. It is all actual footage.

3. It really captures the beauty and views of Echota but still over delivers when you get there.

4. It is appropriate in length at just 6 minutes.

5. Mark Harrill comes across as real and approachable.

Take a look and we would love your feedback.  The response has been great at cocktail parties and in the sales office.

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