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Do you think I can sell this house on Facebook?

Facebook page

If I was to say I have a hobby it would have to be content marketing.

I enjoy learning how to write compelling content people connect with. I read blogs like The Story of Telling and The Middle Finger Project and they all say to engage your readers you have to write from the heart and tell a story… So when my 72 year old dad told me how homesick he was for Perth and how desperate he is to sell his ‘sea change’ home in Alford, South Australia I put my thinking cap on.

How could I use what I’ve learned to help my dad?

I knew his real estate agent was doing his best, but from what dad had told me, he wasn’t really thinking outside the box. He was doing what he was taught in Real Estate school… Take photos. Put on realestate.com.au. Put picture in office window. Say how many bedrooms and bathrooms it has…You know the drill.

So I thought I’d try something a bit different.

I created a Facebook page and wrote the story of my dad, from my perspective. To date, we have 31 ‘likes’ and I’m about to test some paid advertising so we can create some interest locally in South Australia. You’ll see we’ve not only been able to put dozens more photos of the house, but the local area too. I’ve even started re-posting  what the local pub has on the menu so people interested from afar can really get a feel for what it would be like to live there.

We’ve done a bit of a ‘deal’ with the real estate agent too.

Usually, Dad and Marjorie have to leave the house when the Agent wants to show people through. But I know I’d rather have the person who lives there show me the idiosyncrasies of the place. So I’ve set it up so my dad (Don) will show people around the house (and the whole area if they like), tell them all the fabulous features (and what still needs work on no doubt – he’s quite a character), but when it comes to the actual negotiating part – he’ll back away and let the Agent do his job. That’s not his forte… So, why am I writing a blog about this you ask? Like I said, I’m trying to help my dad move home. And all it needs is one person who wants to buy his house. Maybe you or someone you know is looking for this exact sea change… After reading my ‘story’ you’d like to help Don and his wife Marjorie move back to WA to spend their retirement around their family, please like the page and share it with your friends.

We just need one buyer…

At the end of the day, I seriously have no idea if this house will sell on Facebook. But I recon it’s worth a try. So tell your ‘story’ from the heart. Whether its about you, your business or your house and see what happens. People will connect and respond to what’s honest, real and spoken from a place of vulnerability… Wish us luck. I’ll let you know what happens… Cheers, Jodie

Online Survey – How I received a 32% response rate

Most people don’t like change.

But we really wanted to know what people thought of the changes we’d made in our business over the past 6 months or so.

We looked at having a telephone survey company call our customers…

…but (understandably) it was at least $50 per hour and was going to take some time.

Then I remembered that the bulk email company we use, Constant Contact had a survey add on part.

So I logged into my account and discovered I could add on the feature for just $15 per month, which was (financially) a lot more attractive.

So I hit the button and gave them the $15.

I had no idea where to begin, so I watched their tutorial, read some sample questions and quickly created my own survey. Actually, it did take me a few days showing others and getting opinions etc, but essentially it was pretty quick.

Once we had the survey questions figured out, we had a discussion about how to get people to actually do the survey.

We all said why we would and wouldn’t do surveys, and we all agreed on these two points:

a) We think what we say will be actually read and just might make a difference.

b) We get (or might get) financially rewarded for doing it.

So then we calculated how much we could’ve spent doing the telephone survey and worked back from there.

An important point to understand also is perceived value. To my customers, a $200 voucher was $200 they saved or didn’t have to spend and went directly into their back pockets.

It’s our cost price of the products they purchase with their $200 is our actual outlay.

That’s why you never give away cash or an item you have to go out and buy retail for to give away. i.e. an ipad or something.

So, we decided to give out 3 separate chances to win a $200 voucher – essentially $600 worth of vouchers.

To get respondents to answer quickly (actually click on the link in the email right there and then), I told them they needed to respond by the next day to have the most chances of receiving the $200 voucher – we received 19% ‘response rate’, which means 19% of the people I ‘invited’ to do the survey had done it within 24 hours.

I’ve got to say I was overjoyed! My research (two separate websites) said I should receive an overall response rate of between 5-40%, while the other said 10-15%… so my hopes weren’t that high.

Also, I’d left space for people to have their say below almost each question. I spent my weekend reading the feedback and taking notes!

This was better than I’d ever dreamed!

The final result was a 32% response rate, confirmation on what we’re doing right and the exact details of what my customers want from us in products, services and pricing!

Here are some snap shots of the data:

Level_Satisfaction

Less than 1% were ‘pretty dissatisfied’? I’m pretty happy with that!

AND we received lots of comments like this “I love how helpful all the team are and that nothing is too much trouble. I believe my business is based on customer service and because yours is too then we make a great team :)”

 Do_Business

 An incredible result. One I’m proud to publish (obviously)…

Website_ChangesSome people took so much time to tell us specifically where we’d gone wrong in the navigation etc of the website.

We began working on the design changes right away and have already implemented them! You’ll notice it’s more ‘logical’ to get around the site already, but we’ll keep going!

TNT_Shipping

 I have shared all the information gathered with the TNT State Manager who is reviewing and getting back to me…

Turnaround1

Customers are LOVING how fast we can turn around orders now!

Attributes1

Hmmm, we have some work to do here on improving our productivity and checking our costings to be make our pricing more competitive on some items.

Below_FeeClearly, this was a good decision.

EmailCommI received some really encouraging comments like this:

“I love the way Jodie communicates in the emails and blog. I always stop and read them no matter what I’m doing because they make me laugh as well as having really useful information. I really appreciated the story about the website development because I am currently going through this, and it has helped me understand and consider a few more things.”

SocialActually it was noted a lot of people didn’t know we posted on Facebook and Pinterest, so that affected the numbers, but I still need to get better at it :-)

So my report ended, I need to go back to the enormous list of suggested new products on my whiteboard (in red) and figure out what we can do and what’s worthwhile.

And how I received a 32% response rate? I believe it’s a combination of the following:

  • The opportunity for a high-value reward of a $200 voucher
  • I chose my audience well – I only sent the survey to customers who’d registered (and been approved) on peterkin.com.au
  • The people who responded get to benefit directly from any changes we make as a direct result from the survey – in other words they care

Regardless of why, I’m eternally grateful to the customers who took the time to participate and be rest assured, we’re onto it! There’s quite a few suggestions that we already do, so I’ll be pointing them out and there’s some that were already in the pipeline…

…So no doubt you’ll see lots of changes being rolled out at awesome speed!

I’m off to wrap chocolate bars (but more about that next week)…

Cheers, Jodie