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17,000 Reasons To Change Your Real Estate Marketing

July and it’s hot here in Phoenix. 108 today – in the shade. You know what else is hot? Our real estate market. Homes are flying off of the multiple listing service at a record pace. Today, there are approximately 20,000 properties for sale. That may sound like a lot but when you compare it to the 50,000 properties that were on the Multiple Listing Service a few years ago you begin to realize – Houston. . .we have a problem.

Many of the real estate agents I speak with are telling me they have to write up to 8 offers to get one offer accepted. It’s crazy, the real estate investor, specifically the Canadian real estate investor is alive and well here in Phoenix Arizona. They are buying at the Arizona trustee sale, they are buying REO, they are buying short sales – they are buying – everything. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize representing buyers in this market may not be the highest and best use of your time – “List To Last” right? But how do you get sellers (listings) in this market? What should you do? Well let me tell you what you probably shouldn’t do:

Send out 17,000 postcards to a geographic farm. When the going gets tough, when stress kicks in we humans instinctively revert back to what worked before – in the past. But there is a problem, normally “the past” represents some similar attributes to the present – normally, but not in real estate marketing. For many real estate agents, the past was 2005, 2006, 2007 even 2008. A time when consumers responded to direct mail solicitations like postcards and flyers.

There has been a shift in the way your target audience (consumers) gathers information. Today, over 94% of consumers go to the Internet first when looking to buy a home – but not just to buy a home though, to gather information about buying a home or taxes or schools or lifestyle or commissions, or closing costs or crime or well – you get the point. Sending 17,000 postcards to today’s tech savvy immediate gratification “plugged in” consumer may not be the highest and best use of your time or money. This particular real estate agent was targeting sellers interested in a short sale.

I find that many real estate agents think like real estate agents when they market themselves. Before you spend a dime on marketing ask yourself: “Would I respond to the marketing method and message I am sending?” If the answer is NO, then Don’t Do It. I talked to the agent that sent the 17,000 postcards, he/she sent the cards last week and as of today has not received a single call from their cards. . . not unusual. The rate of return on direct mail is less than half of 1%. Under the best case scenario, half of 1% of 17,000 postcards should yield a phone call from 85 0f them – that’s calls, not closed deals.

If you needed to short sale your home where would you go? To your mailbox or somewhere else? I’m betting you would go to the Internet to gather the information. So Do IT. Type into Google,Yahoo or Bing what you would look for if you needed HELP to short sale your home. Once you know that, you can create content on your website specifically intended for consumers like you. Because whatever you typed into a search engine is also [most likely] what they will type in. We are really not that different ya know…

By the way, how much does sending 17,000 postcards cost anyway? I’m betting for that cost, the agent could of had an amazing WordPress for Real Estate site built. If you absolutely must use direct mail (which works in some situations by the way) make sure you have a STRONG CALL TO ACTION encouraging your target audience to visit your website or register for exclusive information about short sales, REO, foreclosure, homes for sale, you get the point.

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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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