Radio advertising is the most powerful, underutilized marketing channel in real estate, but if you don’t know how to navigate it, you will end up frustrated. Grace Mills is back today, bringing you a ton of value by compiling the biggest radio mistakes she has observed over the years. Avoiding these mistakes will save headaches, time, and money.
If you’d like to dive deeper and learn even more, do’s and don’ts from a radio expert, check out our REI Radio 2.0 training for more info on how to start using the power of radio today.
- (0:55) – Beginning of today’s episode.
- (4:39) – Mistake #1: Understand this first before getting into radio.
- (7:55) – Mistake #2: Avoid going into negotiations without this.
- (11:42) – Mistake #3: Why you need to keep things simple.
- (14:37) – Bonus mistake to avoid.
- Want to learn more? Check out our REI Radio 2.0 program.
- To speak with Grace or one of our other expert coaches, call (281) 835-4201 or schedule here.
How to Avoid These Costly Mistakes – Radio Edition
Every episode, my fellow coaches here and I love being able to provide you with value to help you achieve your goals and your desires, build the life you want and control your actual time and money that you’re making. In this episode, I want to do something a little different. I’ve talked a lot about my radio accomplishments. I want to be 100% transparent. I haven’t talked enough about my radio failures and all the mistakes that I made.
I’ve made plenty but I’ve narrowed down about three huge major mistakes that affected radio campaigns, especially early on in my journey. If I’m being 100% honest, I was so busy trying to generate leads that I kept things running longer than they needed to. It’s hard to see the mistakes you’re making when you’re in the thick of it. It wasn’t until I took a step back that I looked at everything objectively with the bird’s eye view. I went, “What is wrong? What’s going on? Why isn’t this thing working? What’s wrong with the station? Why is it not performing?
Almost certainly, it would always fall into the same category that I roughly didn’t vet the station properly. If vetting a station properly is not done right, especially in the beginning, you’re going to end up in the red. I’m not going to say I lost money. I burned out marketing budgets and I went, “This thing was supposed to work. Why is this not working?” I’m in the hot seat trying to figure out how to continue generating leads out of something that I am all in on the money and in terms of time. I spent a lot of time and money with those mistakes letting things run too long without going, “I didn’t properly vet.”
It’s really hard to see the mistakes you’re making when you’re in the thick of it. Step back and look at everything objectively. Figure out what’s not working.
I want to be able to share that with you because at a minimum if I can save you some time and money to avoid some of the mistakes that I’ve already made, that is exactly what I’m here to do on this show. I want to dive into the three terrible mistakes that I want you to avoid when setting up radio ads. If you can’t catch these mistakes quickly, they will destroy the success of your radio campaign. It will take way too long for you to realize that you did indeed make those mistakes.
To be honest with you, a sales rep’s not going to stop, be honest and say, “You’ve got some red flags here.” They’re not going to take accountability for helping you get into those issues either. Let me start by saying that the first major issue that I probably ran into and where I started realizing I didn’t properly vet a station is what I want you to avoid firstly is dismissing getting a basic understanding of the target market and the target audience.
Secondly is getting into negotiations with a lack of information. I jumped into negotiations to start talking numbers with the sales rep without properly getting everything that I needed as a full understanding of what was happening with the audience itself. Thirdly, it’s complicating a seller’s process unnecessarily. I want to dive into each point a little bit deeper with you.
First is the target market and target audience. This is super crucial. There is no point in you jumping into marketing or setting up radio ads if you don’t have a basic understanding of your target market and target audience, especially because target markets tend to create pain points. They’re creating sticky situations for your actual sellers. Counties can increase property taxes. State by state, they make it tighter or looser on certain property laws or the way tax liens are being dealt with. Every target market will create some situation that makes it a little bit more difficult for a seller to move around with their actual property.
You can even go a step further and think about homeowners’ associations and the rules and regulations that have come around there, creating more pain points for your actual seller. There’s no way for you to get and be in business to solve a problem if you don’t have an understanding of the problems that they’re dealing with. You don’t want all of your points to sound so generic like, “Sell me your home. I buy homes.” What type of homes? What type of scenarios do you work with? What type of sticky situations are knowledgeable about that you can help your seller through?
That’s what they want to hear. They want to know that you are knowledgeable about it. You don’t have to be an expert. They’re not looking for you to have a PhD or twenty years of experience helping or solving this problem. They want to know and will be comforted by you having knowledge of what is happening in the market in the area. You have knowledge about the problem that they’re dealing with and you are their solution to get their problem resolved. That’s what your seller wants to hear.
That’s impossible for you to do if you jump straight into setting up radio ads and you didn’t have an opportunity to sit down and say, “Hold on self, where do I know I can fit here? Who can I serve? How can I service them? What problems are they dealing with uniquely in this market?” That sellers are being forced their hands to go, “I’m getting back into a corner here with the way that the market is handling real estate in general or property laws.” They go, “I need help. I have to get out of Dodge and the situation.” You do not want to jump into radio ads without you having an understanding of that.
There’s no way for you to get in business and be in business to solve a problem if you don’t actually have an understanding of the problems people are dealing with.
The first absolute mistake that you could make here is jumping into radio ads without an understanding of the target market and the actual target audience. Avoid that at all costs. There’s a ton of information out there. I would make it a point to look up stats on the market and get a feel for what is going on in that market, especially if you’re looking to set up this business in a market that you’re not physically in.
You being physically in a market, you’ve already got an idea. You have your boots on the ground to see and hear everything that’s going around. If you’re potentially looking at a market that you’re not physically in, you want to take a second, become a student and get an idea of, “Here’s what’s going on with this actual market and how it’s affecting sellers so you know how to best come in and service that.”
Secondly, this is something I am guilty of. I did this early on and learned a lesson quickly. That is starting negotiations with a lack of information. Do not start negotiations for a station with a lack of information on the station. I didn’t mean to rhyme there but I want you to remember that. Keep that in the back of your head. If you are going to negotiate a station, you have to have some baseline of what’s going on with the audience.
Here’s why. Audiences vary across radio stations. It’s diverse. It’s a great thing about radio ads and advertising on radio. There are multiple audiences out there for you to hit on. That doesn’t mean that all of those audiences are your target audience or that are going to appeal to you or appeal to your actual message or are even remotely in need of the service or experiencing the pain points that you want them to contact you about.
With that, keep in mind that stations will vary. In terms of age diversity, some stations reach young listeners and listeners that are a little bit in the middle. Some stations perfectly hit a mixture of middle-aged and older. There is a mixture of education, household income, some a little bit lower class, lower income. Some stations attract affluent, highly educated individuals. The first thing you want to avoid is bypassing or not having an understanding of your target market and target audiences because this gets affected in the second point as well. You are operating and negotiating with little information to go off of.
Here’s where a sales rep would take the most advantage of you because you don’t know where you want to be or you have an understanding of who you truly service and the pain points that they’re experiencing. A sales rep’s going to recommend anything and everything under the sun. They’re going to tell you, “All of my stations work best for you. This is going to be a great option,” which 9 times out of 10 is BS. The sales rep has zero clue. Even if they say, “I have an understanding of real estate,” they don’t understand it to the degree that you need them to understand.
People want to know that you have the knowledge to help them, but they also want convenience.
Our sellers are different. They’re experiencing different things than what the sales rep is going to have an understanding of. You cannot take the sales rep’s word for it at all. You want to make sure that you go to that sales rep and say, “I am in the market looking for radio stations but I need to collect as much data as I can on the audience.” You need to get your hands on as much information as you can, at a minimum, to verify that your target audience who you serve best is listening to that station.
There’s so much diversity in audiences across radio stations so do not assume that this one genre or station that you listen to every once in a while is going to work for you. You’re not your target audience. You have to be careful there in terms of the selection process. Here’s our second mistake here. Avoid at all costs starting negotiations with the lack of information.
Do not go into it, start talking numbers and jump into a negotiation conversation with the sales representative when there was no information you were giving to verify that your audience was there. That is a pointless negotiation call at that point because you’re negotiating with them about a station that was never going to fit your needs. They’re not going to tell you that right off the bat.
The third piece is complicating a seller’s process unnecessarily. I’m not saying this to you because I’m throwing it out there. This is something that I learned the hard way. It’s looking at the process overall to make sure that it was simply stupid for the seller. People want to know that you have the knowledge to help them but they also want convenience. Convenience is big for them. Before you set up radio ads, I want you to take a second and start to think about the process. How are they going to contact you? How do you want them to get in contact with you? You want to pin down a call to action.
You do not want to complicate their process by throwing too many calls of action at them at one time. They will get overwhelmed with too many options to get in contact with you and too many calls to action. They won’t make a decision because they’re too overwhelmed. They will say, “I can do this later.” You want to feel like it’s urgent. There’s a sense of urgency here. You’ve got to contact me. Call me. Give them one call to action in a way to get in contact with you and leave it there.
Do not complicate their process with extra steps. That would delay them from getting in touch with you or reaching out to you. You want them to hear it and go, “I have a problem. This person is knowledgeable about my problem. I hear how they have solutions to my problem. I’m going to go ahead and contact them.” That’s what you want to drive them to do.
Do not complicate the process with extra steps that would delay people getting in touch with you.
The greatest thing about radio as a marketing channel is that this is an inbound marketing channel. There are sellers out there that are perfectly comfortable with calling you directly. The second piece of complicating that process that I learned the hard way is including a URL or a website in the actual ad itself. When you throw them an extra, “Here’s a phone number. Contact me. Here’s a website,” it takes longer for them to reach out to you. If you send them to a website, they are then looking at a URL or trying to find you on the internet. They’re trying to fill out this web form. You wait for the web form to hit your CRM and then contact them back.
That will slow down the process unnecessarily. What is great about this marketing channel is the fact that they will call you directly. Time is money. Do not slow them down from getting in contact with you by complicating their process unnecessarily. You want to keep it simple stupid, 1 call to action and 1 way to contact you. Make it clear for them to do so it’s super easy for them to reach out to you and get their problem resolved. I said that there were probably three major mistakes to avoid when setting up your radio ads but I’m going to sneak the fourth point in here.
It’s important but I’m going to leave it simply in this sentence. In terms of setting this entire thing up, I want you to keep this in the back of your mind. You need to avoid at all costs negotiating from a place of desperation. You can even apply this to your sellers but I want you to keep this in mind when you’re dealing with radio sales representatives. Never negotiate from a place of desperation. They’re good at what they do. That’s why they have a job.
They are well trained by ear to pick up loopholes. A huge loophole they’re going to listen for is if you are desperate, too excited to get it done to the point where you’re almost impatient. They’ll have a field day with that process because they’re going to rush you through making sure and properly vetting that this was indeed what was best for you on their side as well. They’re not going to pin down everything the way that they should and make this process seamless for you because you sound like you’re so excited or desperate to get this done. They’ll take full advantage of that.
Those are the three main points that I wanted to hit on and I snuck in that fourth one there. To summarize, I want you to avoid these things when you are setting up radio ads. Do not dismiss getting an understanding of that target market and your target audience and how your market is affecting that audience. Secondly, do not start negotiations with a lack of information. You have got to get an understanding of if your target audience is even remotely there before you bother negotiating with that sales representative.
Thirdly, do not complicate your seller’s process. You want to make it simple stupid for them. Pin down one call to action and a way for them to contact you. Write it down on paper if you need to before you set up your radio ads. Figure out how to make their process as simple as possible. People love convenience. You want to make sure that the experience that they’re going to have with you is knowledgeable but also convenient for them. They got in, had a problem and you resolved it. Done deal.
We always love to be able to hop on here and share as much value as possible with you but I’m going to leave those mistakes there. As a Marketing Director, I have played with all marketing channels under the sun. This is the best marketing channel out there. People will call you directly. You’re not sitting there having to chase people down and get people to try and return your actual calls or respond to you. You’re getting motivated people. Warm leads are all going to reach out to you to say, “I heard your ad. I have a problem. I hear you can resolve it. Let’s talk.” They’re happy to do so.
Hop over to the website. That’s WholesalingInc.com/Radio and book a call. This is exactly what your business is missing. What your business need is a marketing channel that will have leads calling you directly. We’re happy to answer any of your questions. I’m always happy to hop on here and share as much value as possible with you, especially when it comes to saving you time and money. Until the next episode where I can share even more value with you. It’s always a joy to be here. I’ll catch you on the next episode.
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About Grace Mills
Grace Mills is the coach of REI Radio. She has worked side by side with Chris Arnold during the initial program roll out, coaching & fulfilling student needs. For almost 8 years she’s managed and directed all marketing channels and split tested every element of Radio to help investors set up Radio in any market they choose. She has worked with investors & agents all over the United States and has helped many investors make thousands of dollars using Radio.