Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Generation G

Author and Speaker extraordinaire Jeffrey Gitomer says that "everything being equal people want to do business with their friends and everything being unequal people still want to do business with their friends." Jeffrey is telling us that if you want to make more money you should make more friends. So the question becomes “how do you make more friends?” The most overlooked rules in life are "play nice" and "share". Playing nicely with others and sharing can be a challenge not only for children, but for adults as well. Play nice and share because you value their friendship not because you want something from them.

Where are your friends playing these days? The internet! To be more exact, they are playing on the new and improved Web 2.0 version. Remember when you had an Atari and everyone else had the Nintendo? Well it is time for you to once again put down your joystick and pick up the control pad. Get on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, read a blog, post a comment, or write a blog. Now is the time because Web 2.0 is still new to a lot of people.

I recently came across two related articles about what is known as Generation “G”. You have heard about the Baby Boomers and Generation "X". Let me introduce you to the generation that is not defined by the year in which they were born. This new generation is a mix of all generations known as Generation "G". What is Generation "G" and how do you market to them?

According to TrendWatching.com, Generation G:

Captures the growing importance of 'generosity' as a leading societal and business mindset. As consumers are disgusted with greed and its current dire consequences for the economy—and while that same upheaval has them longing more than ever for institutions that care—the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers.

Copyblogger’s Brian Clark takes the concept a step further and discusses how to market to this generation. While he is speaking mainly to online marketers, this still applies for this in the real estate space:

But here’s the win-win-win-win that results when you give away valuable content in a smart way. Not only do you get attention, and not only are you viewed as generous, you’re viewed as a subject matter expert who demonstrates expertise instead of simply claiming it. You’re building authority with prospects while kicking in the reciprocity effect, so they in turn amplify your authority by talking about you to others. The same process will result in the 4th “win” - Google viewing you as an authority and ranking you high in the search results (more on this in the near future). If you’ve managed to attract attention from prospective customers or clients who view you as a generous expert, AND you’ve got great search results, you’re way ahead of the vast majority of your competition. And yet, you can take it even further thanks to social networking.

How do we apply this to real estate or the title industry?

  • Create content that consumers and real estate professionals can call upon 24/7 to help them with whatever issue they have.
  • Ensure “Salespeople” are resources, equipped with the knowledge and willingness to help on transactions they are not going to profit on.
  • Create hotlines and helpdesk email platforms (manned by real people) to take in questions and answer them timely.
  • Be where the people are, namely Facebook and Twitter.
  • Where proper and legal, bring service failure resolution out into the open so people can see how it happened, and what you did to fix it.

Running a business with transparency, honesty and integrity is not a novel concept. The novelty resides in the fact that these current times demand it, and the current technology not only allows for it, but supports and encourages it!