There’s always something to howl about

iPad observation #4: Looking for a smart way to connect with your clients in a pull-based marketing world? Update your iPhone/iPad app.

I give away a lot of killer marketing ideas here, but I never worry about the competitive implications.

For one thing, I believe to the core of me that it’s raining soup, that wealth is pouring out of the skies and almost none of us is smart enough to reap that bounty.

But, second, I have learned through years of experience that, no matter how good my ideas are, almost nobody will ever follow through on them. We learned to sell, most of us, from people who believed to their cores that real money comes from laziness and lies. My way of marketing looks too much like work, I surmise, for people to adopt it in big numbers.

So much the better for me, I guess, although, to be frank, I would rather see Realtors doing more to earn the business — and the trust — of their clients.

In any case, here’s a way of thinking about marketing my way, a style of salesmanship based on integrity, transparency, follow-through and client satisfaction.

So: Start here: Build an iPhone/iPad app for your business. (See there? I just lost almost everybody!) The app has to be mission-critical and laser-focused on what your clients really need. Not — with emphasis — more idiotic self-promotion. If you’re not delivering something of value — in the estimation of your target-marketed end-users — you’re wasting your time.

Then get it on their iPhones and iPads. It ain’t easy, so you have to do it relentlessly. Ideally, everyone who can be expected to use you in the future — and to refer you to their friends and family members — should have your app on their iPhone or iPad.

Now you have the perfect means of staying in contact with those folks going forward. I’m not talking social networking, and my thinking is that drip marketing is probably a waste of effort. If they don’t unsubscribe, they’re going to ignore you except when they need you. It’s a pull-based marketing world, and your clients only really want to hear from you when they have a real estate need — not when you have a need for attention.

But you can draw their attention to you again and again, with one simple marketing tactic. What is it?

Upgrade your app.

If your clients have your app on their devices, the App Store will tell them when you’ve upgraded. Not only will they refresh their copy, they’ll go in to see what’s new.

Implication: Only upgrade when you have something that is not only new, but is also of demonstrable value to end-user. Cry wolf and you will end up deleted.

But this is not only a way of delivering real value to your clients, its a way of reminding them that you are working assiduously, constantly to deliver real value to your clients.

That’s my kind of marketing…

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3 Comments so far

  1. stephanie crawford January 31st, 2010 4:43 pm

    I think this is a great idea. Of course, I don’t have the faintest idea how to build an app. What sort of app would be helpful and actually get used? It seems like MLS search and loan payment estimators are a dime a dozen… though I’ve yet to see a good FHA payment estimator – one that easily works out payments based on 3.5% DP and factors in PMI, taxes and insurance. Of course, as soon as I build one, the conventional markets will open up and everyone will go back to piggyback loans…

  2. Greg Swann January 31st, 2010 4:57 pm

    > What sort of app would be helpful and actually get used?

    Your weblog, if it’s good enough. In any case, you need hyper-local real estate content that only you can provide. You can roll in loan calculators and the like, but you’re right that those can be had anywhere. If you have raving fans, all you have to do is give them what they’re raving about.

  3. […] investors will have a mobile platform that allows my customers to enter through my app button and keeps me in front of our mutual customer for the life of the loan.  I want to know when that customer enters through my […]