Something I’ve noticed recently are the Top Grossing Apps in Apple’s App Store. As I’m sure you know, the App Store is where you buy games and other applications for your iPhone and iPad. Android and Microsoft users have equivalent online stores.

Whilst many of these apps cost money to buy, many are free to get initial access but then require, or at least encourage people to spend money through ‘in-app purchases’ whilst using the application. So these ‘free’ apps typically have a limited functionality for users who don’t pay anything, or they have full functionality but by paying money you can accelerate your progress through the game or application.

What I find interesting is that of the top 50 grossing apps – the ones that have made the most money – every one of them is a ‘free’ app. There is not a single top grossing app that people had to immediately pay to own.

Some of these ‘free’ apps are video or music apps like Netflix of Spotify. With these you usually get some limited free or ad-supported content, but can pay to get full access to their songs, movies and TV shows.

Most of the top grossing apps, though, are games. For free, you usually get a complete version of the game. What you can optionally spend money on are things that boost the game for you, but they are things you could get in the game without spending money if you were prepared to put in the time and effort.

For example, a lot of free games use a system where you earn ‘in-game’ currency (gems, diamonds, gold, etc.) as you play. You then spend this currency to advance in the game. Alternatively, you can spend real money to buy the in-game currency and then you can progress in the game faster, without having to do the more repetitive things to earn the in-game currency. For example, you might build a house in your game which you have to wait an hour to complete, or you can spend in-game money and it is built instantly.

Similarly, paying may be a way to remove advertisements that pop-up in the game, disrupting your game play and wasting your time.

Either way, the game designers are laughing all the way to the bank, by counting on you being impatient and lazy and preferring to spend money than expending time and effort. The results speak for themselves – ‘free’ games that upsell you make them a lot more money than they would have made by selling you the game outright for a fixed upfront cost.

Whilst many people don’t like the fact that ‘free’ games actually end up costing us the most, it has the advantage for the consumer of being able to try before you buy. It can be better than buying a game and then finding out you don’t like it — and you don’t have to pay for many of the ‘free’ games at all if you are prepared to put the extra time into them.

This also supports my marketing approach of giving people something for free to bring them into your circle of influence. Then, with a clear plan to do so, you can worry about making money from them. If what you offer is worthwhile, you will be profitable.

In the process of Mortgage Broking, many things are out of our control — the loans we offer, the documentation we need from our clients, the forms we need to fill in, bank servicing times, our client’s availability, etc. We can only control what we can control, but whatever we can do to speed up and simplify things, and show our clients we are working to that end, the better the service we are providing.

So in all cases, you should work with every client as if they are extremely lazy and impatient. If you do that, you can be guaranteed to exceed their expectations.