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November 6, 2012


MTC Forum 2012 Part One. Defining Your Unique Selling Point and Making Sense of Analytics

by mark mclean

They say membership has its benefits, well, last week as part of my director duties with the Toronto Real Estate Board I got to participate, as a voting delegate, in the CREA Special Assembly Meeting in Winnipeg. The timing could not have been better as  Toronto was starting to feel the effects of Hurricane Sandy. I took off in some serious rain! The two-day event provided some updates on a few CREA initiatives as well as a day of presentations hosted by the MTC or the MLS and Technology Committee. The MTC Forum hosted some great speakers and I thought it would be worthwhile to provide my top take-a-ways from the day. This is Part One, you can check out Part Two, The Customer Experience in a Digital World & 6 Trends That Will Change Business Forever here;


Rebecca Mountain, of Impetus Consulting, was the first presenter. She started out by asking a simple question; What is your unique selling point? The answer should include a strategy or way of doing business that distinguishes you from the competition. There are thousands of agents in your city, yet each one is different so your job is to take these five steps to build your “unique selling point”.

Step One. List the top three benefits you offer to clients (not best service, quality, price) and ease fears about the real estate process.

Step Two. Be unique. What sets you apart. Connecting with your target audience by  creating hard to come by information about where to buy or invest. Create a background experience that few others have. Be the community specialist. Give them something they want to hear or talk about and they will share it with others. Become a specialist either through marketing, research, trends, or stats that will make you an expert. The end goal is to have others talking about you. Remember, it is four times more important what others say about you than what you say about yourself.

Step Three. Solve a point of pain. What are the points of pain for my clients today. How do I meet or exceed these expectations.

Step Four. Condense into one sentence. It’s tough to take a big thing and condense it into a few words.  Each word will earn you money by being convincing and immediately and consistently action worthy.

Step Five. Understand your audience and their motivations… must answer these two questions. What do they care about the most? You need to me needed all the time even between home buying and selling transactions. How do you deliver a solution to this concern better than anyone else?

Rebecca also provided some thoughts on Social Media and Blogging by providing some  interesting statistics and commentary. Remember the Four E’s of content; Educate, empower, entertain, engage. Between 6 and 10 people want news, 10 to 2 they want solutions, 2 + they want an entertainment pick up.  About 60 to 75 percent of your posts should be about real estate. Leave the rest to be about you, your community and what’s going on. It’s okay to talk about your passions.

Above all, it is important to start the conversation. You need to ask for it. Click like or like or dislike. Ask for the share or comment.  Include lots of images because we process images at 1/20th of a second. Ask questions, get people to vote on a variety of topics, and occasionally leave inspirational or feel good messages. Practice “The art of the personal message”. Engagement on Facebook is less than 2%. A new fan, follower, connection, subscriber are worth nothing unless you engage them or give them value. Remember that your posts have a 3 to 7 hour shelf life on Facebook, less than 2 hours on twitter, while Pinterest and YouTube posts can stay front of mind for up to 8 months.


Alex Langshur, Senior Partner of Cardinal Path gave an interesting lecture on analytics that I found fascinating. While I saw some eyes in the crowd glaze over it is important to recognize that analytics give us the ability to know. Once the interaction goes digital it can be measured and it is that measurement that tells us if we are on the right path. Consider how products were sold in the good old days. Sales and advertising worked like this; See an advertisement (Stimulus), see the product on the shelf (First moment of truth) and finally, take the product home (second moment of truth). Today there are no less than 10 sources of information that a shopper uses before buying. This fact is what is known as “Ground truthing”. Searching multiple sources of info before buying a product or service. This should be clear proof that you need to be visible on many platforms.

Here are some insights into our digital world;

Youtube uploads 60 minutes of content every second.

How do people find you? Google 38%, direct access 31%, search engines 4%, other websites (links) 27%, social media 0.5%

What is “remarketing”. you may not realize that it is already a big part of your on-line world. Do you think it is just a coincidence that when you look at a vacation site and then search somewhere else, you see ads for the vacation site? Remarketing is having a huge impact on our purchasing decisions.  84% of people who come to your sight will be through some type of micro conversion (that is the little steps that take people from taking a quick look at your site, do actually doing something like signing up for a newsletter).

The take away from this is to simply think about your digital footprint. Acquire Convert Maintain. Get them, make them interested and coming back, keep them engaged. Make sure your site is integrated, balanced and addresses points of contact. GO MO! should be your mantra. Mobile is one of the fastest growing ways we are working and accessing information.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amazing information!

  2. Nov 15 2012

    Super report Mark.
    John L.


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