Win Market Share in a SHIFTing Market

“Keep your eye on the ball and hit ‘em where they ain’t.”
— William “Wee Willie” Keeler

Win Market Share in a Shifted Market

Standing just 5-foot-4 and weighing a scant 140 pounds, “Wee Willie” Keeler was one of the smallest major league players in history. Yet, he played 19 seasons and entered the Hall of Fame with a remarkable .345 lifetime batting average. Keeler made a career of slotting batted balls through gaps. He could drop bunts in no-man’s-land. And he perfected the “Baltimore Chop,” where a batter chops the ball into the ground so hard they can leg out an infield single before the ball comes down. What did all of these legendary moves have in common? Keeler got the ball to open spaces. His trademark strategy of “hit ’em where they ain’t” is also how top real estate agents win market share in a shifted market.

During the Great Recession, I remember a friend sharing that he noticed that he stopped getting mailers from other agents. No “Just Listed, Just Sold” postcards. No neighborhood market reports. Nothing. As the market shift deepened, agents everywhere abandoned expensive mailers for email marketing. So what did my friend do? He ramped up his direct mail marketing. And with no competition, he started taking market share.

This idea isn’t new. Books like Blue Ocean Strategy and Becoming a Category of One have long championed the idea of positioning your business where there is little or no competition. This strategy is especially true in marketing. Faced with a recession, marketing is often the easiest thing to cut. (No employees were harmed in the cost-cutting move….) Any remaining advertising spend is often channeled to the same “safe” channels your competitors flee to. But if you want to out-market the competition, you have to lean in and advertise where they don’t!

A 2022 Gartner Study proves this point. In 2009, when US ad spending dropped by more than 15%, some companies maintained or increased their advertising.

Over the next seven years, these “efficient growth companies” broke away from their peers. They grabbed market share and profits when their competitors moved to the sidelines.

While the general economy has so far avoided a recession, the real estate industry is knee-deep in one. Chances are, your local competitors are feeling it. Now is the time to look for markets they are retreating from. Have they cut their Facebook advertising, their mailers, or local events? Be like “Wee Willie” Keeler. Take the marketing budget you’ve got and aim it where they ain’t.

One question to ponder in your thinking time: Where can I afford to lead generate that my competitors can’t?

Make an Impact!
Jay Papasan
Co-author of The One Thing & The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

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