On today’s episode of the Marketing Genius Podcast, Calvin Curry the CEO and Founder of Smart Agents, joined me to discuss all things marketing. We went over everything from Calvin’s introduction into the business world and entering the real estate industry during the housing crash, to how agents can market themselves as an authority in the industry.
Calvin began his journey in the business world at a very young age. At just 13 he had already started a business growing plants for a nursery and by the time he turned 16, he had started a landscaping company. He helped run the landscaping company for a number of years before unfortunate circumstances required him to change careers.
Calvin had to undergo two major surgeries in a single year, leaving him unable to lift more than 5 pounds and unable to continue working in landscape. During this time he relinquished his portion of the landscaping company to his business partner and started working for his father. Calvin’s family had been in the real estate business for a number of years and his father was willing to get him started in the industry. Unfortunately, this was 2006 and the market began to unravel in Florida as soon as Calvin got into the business.
“For me, I wanted to provide value to my dad’s team while I was laid up recovering so I focused on direct response marketing,” Calvin had for many years, while working with the landscaping company, bought billboards, magazine ads, and radio ads but had never tracked the ROI for them. This is a mistake that many people make when trying to market their business, “when you’re looking around at what everyone else is doing, and you’re doing it from an uneducated perspective, its really easy to burn holes in your pocket”. Without tracking your ROI you’ll never know which method of marketing is generating the most for your business.
Thankfully, when Calvin started working in real estate he educated himself on how to market himself. Initially he started with traditional methods like cold-calling, direct response marketing, and sales letters. After a time, Calvin’s sales letter had become a 26-page book, that he used to build relationships and acquire business, while the rest of the real estate industry was in shambles. It was then that Calvin and his team began teaching agents how to market themselves.
For many agents, staring in the industry during the housing market crash would be a death sentence. But not for Calvin. “What worked for us was being adaptive and changing the way we did things,” the team tried many different ways to make things work. From lease to own to hybrid auctions, they tried anything to make their houses sell.
Calvin was also able to build a brand of authority from his book. Client after client would tell him, “you’re the only agent I know with a book, you must know what you’re doing, I’m gonna list with you.” There are many ways to build that authoritative brand in your marketplace, you just have to find the way that works best for you.
After agents began asking for Calvin’s help marketing themselves he began Smart Agents. The company describes its self as:
“We are a group of dedicated real estate and marketing professionals. Agents nationwide and beyond have looked to Smart Agents to provide them with the most up-to-date, tried and tested marketing strategies for their own businesses.”
Starting this company gave Calvin even more authority in the marketing space. It allowed him to focus entirely on helping agents differentiate themselves in the market. “When there are a million other agents, what are you doing to make yourself different?” This is where building a brand and your marketing come into play. For Calvin, he differentiated himself with his book, for another agent, it could be a viral video. All that it really takes is trying new things and adapting.
Ultimately, if you’re trying to make yourself stand out there are a few things that you need to do:
1. Test and adapt – if you are doing the same thing over and over, you might never find the thing you are best at.
2. Be consistent – you can’t take time off from building your brand. If you aren’t marketing yourself, people will see and believe you’re not totally invested.
3. Find your ideal clients – without knowing who your ideal clients are, you cannot be intentional with your marketing.
If you’re interested in more awesome stories and tips on how to market yourself, you’ll definitely want to check out the full podcast.
If you are interested in getting in contact with Calvin, you can visit his website https://blog.smartagents.com