The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Real Estate Marketing. The 800lb Gorilla In The Room

I had the pleasure of speaking at a rather large real estate brokerage on Wednesday. The meeting, it was a monthly sales meeting. The broker asked me to come in and speak about technology, specifically technology as it relates to real estate marketing. WordPress, Video, Craigslist, Screencast, Indexable IDX solutions for WordPress. That kind of stuff.

The broker knows me, He knows I can be a little controversial. By “controversial” I mean truthful. Too many people in the title industry, in the real estate industry do not or have not addressed the 800lb gorilla in the room. We will get to that a little later in this post.

When he asked me to speak I asked, “can I be honest with them?”. His words – let them have it. I did.

The broker spoke. Then a lender. Then, it was my turn. As he introduced me I could feel the mood in the room shift.

“Now I would like Stephen from Grand Canyon Title to come up and talk to you about real estate marketing” he said.

As I walked up towards the front of the room I could see, I could feel the real estate agents losing attention. Losing focus. They picked up their cell phones and started checking email, voicemail, facebook.

Those poor agents. They had no clue what they were in for.

The Beginning

I introduced myself.

“Hi, I’m Stephen, I’m the Director of Sales Technology for Grand Canyon Title”. 

I continued.

“I have good news and bad news for you”. I said

“The good news: I am not going to bore you with my escrow officers, how great they are, {they are by the way}, the financial strength of my company, that I have postcards or flyers or sports schedules”. 

They perked up. Real estate agents are used to hearing all kinds of “fluff” from title reps.

“What do they [title reps] offer you when they call on you? What do they say?”  I asked

“that they have postcards and flyers and sports schedules and the best escrow officers in the business”  one agent said

The rest of the agents laughed and shook their head in agreement.

“Do you see any value in that?” I asked?

“No, they all say that!”  The agent said

OK, well now to the bad news. I said

I let them have it

“You are a commodity. Consumers do not necessarily see a distinction, a difference between you {agent A} and him {agent B}. To make matters worse – THEY DON’T CARE!” 

Every agent in the room is now fully engaged.

“You have seen this before in your own business. You have showed buyers homes for days, weeks, months. In the 118 degree Phoenix heat. They said they were going to work with you. They told you YOU were their real estate agent. You worked hard for them. Research, Time, Phone Calls, Emails. And what did they do? THEY BOUGHT A HOME FROM ANOTHER REAL ESTATE AGENT – WITHOUT YOU!”

Why? I asked

Why did they do that? I asked again

“Because buyers are not loyal!” One agent said.

Yes. That’s part of it. I agreed

“Have you given them a reason to be? What’s your USP?”

“The reason”. And this is the 800lb gorilla in the room - “It’s NOT ABOUT YOU. IT’S ABOUT THEM. YOU ARE NOT THE PRODUCT!” {I’m yelling}.

Question for you. I said

If you were in the market for a new car, let’s say it is a LEXUS. Would you buy the GS300 for $45,000 or would you buy the exact same car for $43,000?

Do you really care who sells you the car? You have made up your mind. You are a good consumer. You have done your research. You know the colors. The options. Gas mileage. Safety features. Do you really care which sales person at the car dealership sells it to you?

NO! I yelled

It’s all about value! And sometimes, value is who gets there FIRST. At the exact moment in time the need is present.

I continued.

“Today, 94% of consumers start their home search on the Internet. 80% of them will choose the FIRST REAL ESTATE AGENT THEY – FIND!

You can be that agent. Not by mailing postcards or flyers. Not by sending personalized notes. Delivering door hangers. Not by sending annual calendars. SPAM emails about spring cleaning or HOW to improve the value of your home. Although they do have their place in your real estate marketing, their mailbox, their front door, their email is not where they are going to look for their next real estate agent. As a matter of fact, most of them will not look for you at all!

I continued. . .

They will look for a product. That product is often a home. They will go to Google and ask it a question. Not, homes for sale in Phoenix – it’s too broad. They will ask Google for EXACTLY what they want or at least, what they think they want. 4-bedroom-2-bath-home-with-pool-gated-community-near-Chandler-Regional-Hospital. You do the same thing. I said

they shook their heads in agreement

“You can be that agent.” I said

At this point I started Google’n.

“Ladies! How many ladies in here own a home? [most hands went up]. Great! Now, keep your hands up. Leave your hand up if you know what subdivision you want to live in next! [All hands still raised].

They laughed.

The Story

I told a story. A story about HOW my wife, Aracely, back in 2006 found the home we live in now. The story goes like this.

“I lived in a community called Brittany Heights in Chandler, Arizona. We had a new baby, Gabriella. While I was at work, my wife [Aracely] would make her weekly trip to Fry’s grocery store at the corner of Germann and Alma School. On her way from my house to Fry’s, there is a gated community, Germann Country Estates. I had NO CLUE that my wife wanted to live in this community. She didn’t tell me. On her way to Fry’s she would pass Germann Country Estates. IF while driving past Germann Country Estates, the gate was OPEN – she would drive in. She did this over and over again.


The visual

Fast forward to 2006. She leaves to go to Fry’s. She kisses me goodbye and heads out. She is normally gone for 30 minutes. She pulls out of the driveway and within 15 minutes is back. Screeching tires in the driveway.

“Honey, come on. Get in the car.” she said. I tried to ask why but she insisted. She turned left on Germann, drove .25 miles and turned LEFT into Germann Country Estates. There it was. The house I live in NOW. We bought it. An exclusive listing, not on the MLS. She found it.”

Today, consumers do not need to drive their favorite communities, they can simply Google It.”


I did just that.

Germann Country Estates

Search Results: Germann Country Estates


See for yourself Germann Country Estates search results


The future of your real estate business is being the solution to someone else’s problem. You can grow your business by not talking so much about how “awesome” you are. How many years experience you have. Your awards and designations. Your current status as the #1 agent or team in your office. “Search the MLS like a REALTOR!” Really? Consumers perceive, Trulia, Zillow, Sawbuck and Movoto to be the EXACT SAME THING! It’s not, but they do. Stop talking about things consumers could care less about and start talking about what they DO. Trust me, no one is scouring the Internet for an ABR, CRS, GRI, CDPE Chandler real estate agent with 25 years experience that is #1 in their office.



They aren't looking for you!

They aren't looking for you!


What are they looking for? Real Estate Market information. Subdivision information. Homes for sale. Short sale process. Bank owned process. Foreclosure process. Lifestyle information. Taxes. Buying process. Selling process. Luxury homes. Condo’s. Townhomes. Rentals. Commercial. Land. Homes under $200,000 with pool in Chandler. and on and on and on.

Learn how to leverage technologies like WordPress and Video. Screen cast and Indexable IDX. Learn how to create content a consumer would see value in. Content that will differentiate you from your competitors. You don’t need to be all things to everyone. The Internet is all about being something to someone. Come to my real estate marketing classes to learn – HOW. Not WHY you should be using these technologies, you already know you should be, I’ll teach you the HOW TO.

Grand Canyon Title can help. I have postcards and flyers. Sports schedules and labels. Geographic farms and buyers books. I have these things but the future of your business will rely heavily upon getting found on the Internet by a consumer at the exact moment in time that need is present. I can show you HOW. Because I do it day in and day out. I don’t chase real estate agents around like other title reps. I help them find me on the Internet when there is pain in their business. Pain is an incredible motivator. Most people will do anything to avoid it. That is when real estate agents are most receptive to CHANGE. No one likes to be cold called, SPAMED with emails, certainly not real estate agents, certainly not CONSUMERS! I can SHOW you HOW.

Are you ready to change your real estate marketing? Please fill out the form below.

By the way, I have 20 new clients…..

Need Help With My Real Estate Marketing

Whether you are a REALTOR®, Real estate agent or loan officer looking to grow your business, I can help. Please fill out the information below and I'll get back to you asap.
  • Feel free to tell me ahead of time what you want help with. I look forward to speaking with you.



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!

More Posts

Related Posts:

Real Estate Marketing
  • Justin

    This is a really good post, it’s really true how consumers buy… Just take a look at the way you buy… The car salesman analogy couldn’t have been more perfect. 

    • Stephen Garner

      So true. We are going to help them all change Justin. One agent at a time. “I’m the best car salesman in the world and I am FRT certified! Really?

      • Justin


  • Kirk Eisele

    So much real estate sales training is centered around having the confidence in your value to defend your commission that I think it is really hard for agents to understand how little value the consumer sees in them.

    • Stephen Garner

      I agree Kirk, you nailed it. There are a lot of great agents out there but the masses ruin it for the rest. This was in a big box store today, when I was checking out I looked up and saw that a real estate brokerage had set up shop inside the store. There were flat panel TV’s, white boards, desks, flashing lights and all kinds of other stuff. The big box store was PACKED! Guess how many consumers were inside the real estate company? NONE! finding an agent is not hard, making it convenient to find one will not create leads. Consumers look for homes , not real estate agents. They look for groceries at a big box store, not real estate agents