It’s always exciting for us when somebody recognizes the significance of DreamDirt and how we conduct business for our clients. Recently we were able to visit with OZY, a popular news website that reports according to them “only original content, focused not simply on where the world is but, more importantly, where the world is going. And every morning, we set out to profile the people, places, trends and technology that are ahead of their time and worthy of yours.”
For us, the confirmation is a great independent voice by an evaluator that has no interest in what the result is. It remains a fact that we almost always beat the county average for farmland prices when we conduct a live auction with simultaneous online bidding. It keeps happening time after time after time and yet, at times we will run into a prospective client that can not see the value in technology. At times some prospective clients cannot swallow the idea that DreamDirt relies less on traditional advertising methods and focuses more on more modern advanced methods which are more precise, more efficient and result in a better yield to our clients. Now, don’t take that wrong, we still do use traditional methods with every auction. We are talking about direct mail, radio, TV, newspaper, and other non-digital methods but we use them less than the typical auctioneer, but we do use them to their full benefit. It is absolutely unnecessary to run a newspaper ad in a local newspaper for 4 weeks in a row before the auction. There is no benefit in it, we have measured it over and over and we know the results, we know where the buyers are coming from and we are constantly refining our system and methods to exploit the best sources of bidders.
The article very accurately identified changes happening in agricultural auction space. Much like changes in food production happen at the insistence of the consumer, consumer demands and consumer needs the same is true of the auction world. Consumers of agricultural machinery, farmland and supplies have demanded an easier and smoother experience. Innovative auctioneers today have exceptionally precise advertising tools and a technology system that provides a user experience with minimal impact on their time available for some bidders. Today’s DreamDirt auctions are a combination of the old-fashioned in person, on-site, raise your hand to bid auctions and a modern online, click here to bid auction. It’s really 2 auctions happening at one time and being synchronized by our staff as it occurs. Few people recognize the complexity of what DreamDirt does today because the user experience is so smooth from start to finish as a buyer or seller, you don’t see all of the moving parts as we react to human input into an electronic system.
When you look at the mechanics of competition that propel a farmland auction to the top prices possible you will understand why 4 weeks of ads at $1500 doesn’t make sense. The truth is, in most small towns on the Midwest where we sell farmland a sign on the property is enough for everybody to know the farm is for sale, word travels fast and a properly signed property is even more effective. I can bet you and be confident that I am right that when a person sees a DreamDirt sign on a property they pull over, use their smartphone to pull up the web address and view the details instantly. That was barely possible 15 years ago, 20 years ago it wasn’t and its only become mainstream in the last 10 years. Today, it’s absolutely the way things happen. Concentrating our marketing efforts on reality just serves our clients better.
For a moment consider the efficiency of a newspaper ads versus a digital ad. We can receive a contract to sell a farm today, use the photos we took when evaluating the farm, launch an ad in social media targeting our 3 demographics and drive traffic to the listing on DreamDirt.com instantly. We can pinpoint exactly WHO will see the ad based on many criteria or location. We can have the right people viewing the farm online in less time than it takes to design a newspaper ad. Now, with a newspaper ad, you’d have to pick up the phone, call the newspaper office, give them the information or email it to them. You would wait several days for them to prepare a proof, then you would email back and forth getting all the detail correct until you felt the ad was ready. Then you would wait potentially up to 6 days for it to actually be printed in the paper, then you wait for it to be distributed. Not everybody picks it up the second it arrives, then you have to hope they actually see the ad and hope they are actually a person that has the money and desire to buy the farm. From the moment you decided to run the ad to the moment the last person reads it could very well be 2-3 weeks. Digital advertising through search engines, social media, and network ads bring efficiency we’ve never had before and at a price per person that’s incredibly lower than print advertising. We still use newspapers as much as is necessary to receive their full benefit because there are some people that don’t use social media or search engines and will not be exposed to other advertising but we do it less than you’ll find with other firms. We think that’s a huge benefit because we know that’s what brings you more exposure.
Behind the scenes, for me it’s fascinating to watch it time after time create successful results. A successful land sales or estate campaign begins with research and culminates as a private offer or as a top auction bid. Every step of the way we are using technology to your advantage as a seller from the way we evaluate the property to how we reach the eventual bidders and then during the actual auction itself. When you are considering hiring an auctioneer you can’t afford to hire a firm that’s not deploying the latest technologies available, why would you?
Unless you are in the world of marketing it will take you longer to realize just how much the world has changed. You see it and you know it, but because things like newspapers are so familiar to you and so ingrained in your mind it seems they are absolutely necessary when in reality they really are. Because you spend the majority of your life listening to ads on the radio and its the way its always been done, it seems like its necessary. Some people began imagining what would be the ideal campaign to sell their farm years ago when media and communications were much different and settled on a plan back then but the world has advanced very quickly in recent history and our communications and advertising has gone right along with it. Like all things, it’s not something you can fight or control, you are best advised to leverage it and use it to your advantage.
As one final note, I want to address customer service. We live in a world where customer service is almost nonexistent. High tech companies have no contact phone number, you have to email and wait for a response, sometimes only to have to explain what you need all over again. DreamDirt provides the level of in person, on the phone, by email, by text communication you want. Some of our clients prefer we meet them face to face and we do. Some prefer a mix of all communications, we do that too. I have had clients that sold farms with me that talked to me on the phone once or twice and did all the rest by text message. We do that too. We provide the communication that fits you and I can say if you go back and read reviews about DreamDirt our clients tend to remark most on the customer service and communication we provided. We may be high tech but we will NEVER be to busy to answer the phone for the clients we work for or hop in the pickup and go see them face to face. Selling a farm is a big deal and we’ll treat you like it is. My wife has gotten used to my saying when a client calls me. I often put my finger up to interrupt whatever we are talking about and say “the boss is calling” She knows one of my clients is on the phone when I tell her that and I continue to build my business by treating my clients like they are my bossfree Market Analysis first.