Entering awards is an investment – both financially and the time required. Just like any other marketing effort, there needs to be goal, backed up with a well thought-out action plan. Sometimes I organize and oversee the entire process and, other times I incorporate my tasks into the company’s team effort. Either way, our 3rd Stakeholder, plays an important part in the process.
Stakeholder #3 – Finance Person/Department
Entering award programs have expenses attached to them and although I’d highly defend ‘the value’ of entering awards, I recommend that you prepare a budget to present to your financial gate-keeper!
Like everything else if you just guess a number with no breakdown of the plan, the number is going to sound expensive to them. But if you break down the costs and recognize that there are spin-off benefits, it will be easier to justify the expense.
Firstly, photography costs will include staging the home (i.e. furniture/accessories, models, flowers), plus the photographer’s fees. Make sure you understand what your photographer is including in their package as there may be additional costs for post-production and final images.
Don’t forget – these photos can be used on your website, social media, collateral, and more!
Then there are entry fees which are typically nominal but will add up with multiple entries.
Finally, the fees for professional writing/preparation. Recognize the ‘cost’ of your time (or your staff’s time) when preparing entries. My clients always appreciate my strategic advice as to what projects are the best ones to be entered in what categories. Once we’ve confirmed our list, I gather the information that I need from them and their team, either in person or by phone/email, and then I get to work. Just like any other task in homebuilding, I take care of this one, while they, and their team can get on with the tasks that they excel in. Delegation at its best!
Stay tuned for #4 next week!