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Real Estate Marketing Ideas: Is your real estate marketing dumb?

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Oh No!

I received another one. Another stupid postcard from some real estate agent I don’t know, have never heard of and would never work with. I chuckle and cringe when I receive these kind of things in the mail, they are funny to me. Hey, at least I took the time to look at it. I bet 99.9% of the other consumers that received her postcard didn’t even do that.

Well, at least she had help in paying for it – from her title company and her loan officer. I have spent 10 years in the title industry in Phoenix, Arizona and it pains me to see that some things still haven’t changed.

I cringe because this agent is clearly doing something dumb. She is marketing to someone [me] that didn’t ask to be marketed to, that she doesn’t even know if iI have a need for her services [I don’t], and she is using a postcard to do it. As my 7 year old would say… awkward!

I laughed because her message was horrible – dumb. It was a glamor shot of her – arms crossed, looking presidential, smiling at me with the message “considering buying or selling, call me!” Uh OK, I’ll do that lady. I’ll choose you to represent me and my family in what is the largest financial investment of our lives because you demonstrated your superior marketing skills – with a postcard? Uh, NO.

I don’t get it. I wonder who convinced this real estate agent to use a postcard, [a general one at that] to target consumers. Must have been the title company or lender that partnered with her for this atrocity. I’m not sure but I bet she put more attention into the way she looked than the message her marketing conveyed “do I look fat?”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am totally against postcards or direct mail, there is a place for them in the real estate marketing space but they should be targeted to consumers that have a need for your real estate services – and there should be a compelling message with a concrete call to action - “visit my website for X”, “Call this number for your free X”, “get the 10 mistakes most short sellers make by emailing X, fill out the form below etc” etc. She had none of that. Just a glamor shot. Hey, at least it was “pretty”.

I think many real estate agents make real estate marketing harder than it needs to be. Part of the reason {I believe} is the “industry professionals” that have been around forever, are teaching other real estate agents how to market their services to consumers like me. Wait a minute…could that be part of the problem?

Many agents learn how to market from other real estate agents that have been in the business for 25, 30 even 35 years. It’s the agents that have been in the business forever that are typically the slooooowest to adapt to change. While it may be great to learn best practices related to writing contracts from someone who has been in the business for 25 years, it may not be the best idea – for marketing.

Real estate marketing has changed. Back in the days real estate agents got a majority of their leads from direct mail and sphere of influence. 2 problems with that today. 1) Consumer behavior has shifted towards the internet making [in many cases] a post card or flier as dated as the 3 martini lunch and 2) are people MORE or LESS social today? I find it ironic that social media has made us anything BUT more social. If you have children or clients of a certain age you are used to your call going to voicemail only to be followed by a text, tweet or facebook message. Sphere of influence IS very important for the people that KNOW YOU, but what about the 99.999999999 that don’t?

1st rule of sales [mine anyway] is BE WHERE THE FISH ARE and where are the “fish”? Online. There are many ways to help them find you when they finally have  a need to buy or sell real estate [WordPress, PPC, Landing Pages, Single Property Websites, Video, CraigsList, SEO, LinkedIn, Vimeo, Vidler, and on and on and on] You just need to learn HOW to create the content they are looking for and HOW to help them find you.

If you are a REALTOR® looking to grow your real estate business with awesome marketing, I go as far to say “stay away from other real estate agents. Don’t ask them what kind of marketing works and doesn’t”, [not that they would tell you any way]. You want to know what works? Look at your own behavior. Look at your ideal clients behavior. Look at consumers behavior. When you want information, where do you go – your mailbox, YouTube, CraigsList or Google?

If you were considering a short sale and wanted information about deficiency, is Arizona a non recourse state?”, where would you go, Facebook or Google? Whatever your answer is – go there. Be there. Live there! Be where the eyeballs are. My eyeballs, your clients eyeballs are not on their mailboxes, they are not on a print real estate publication or postcard or even on TV,  they are online. That is where the agent above should have been. This is where I would look for her when I have a real estate need. I don’t need to know here name either, I will find the agent I would work with when I am looking for a 4-bedroom-2-bath-home-for-sale-near-chandler-regional-hospital

Just for giggles, I visited her website. Horrible. Another glamor shot of her. Not really any value for me or any other consumer. So many real estate agents put their pictures on everything. Business cards, websites, magnets, coffee cups, etc. What you look like is irrelevant [within reason of course] the message, the VALUE you provide, HOW you can HELP me – does – matter.

If you want to grow your real estate business, stop talking about you. Your brokerage. Your statistics. Your sales. Your designations. Your awards. Stop talking about you and start talking about what consumers look for online. While a real estate agent is often a necessity in a real estate transaction, it is not the first thing consumers look for. Start creating valuable content, consumers actually look for online and you will start helping them find you – when they need you.

Want help?

It starts with a  website that works. Many real estate websites simply – don’t. With most real estate websites, the content or copy is all about the real estate agent or REALTOR®, there is usually no information of value for the consumer, and if there is, it’s often times canned, and not unique – meaning search engines like Google have no need for it. There is a method and a madness to real estate marketing. I can help.

If you are a Phoenix area REALTOR®, I will help you identify your ideal client and help them find you at the exact moment in time they have identified a need for your services. Am I good at it? Look at your behavior – you found me, didn’t you? Please fill out the form below. You buy the coffee, I will do the talking





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Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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