You’re so vain……..or not!

OK, this post was inspired by Chris Tesch’s post “A Note To My Competition”. If you haven’t read it take a minute to do so. Her post and the comments got me to thinking. I hate it when that happens!! I’m getting old and too much thinking hurts my head. BUT…..for you guys…..I will suffer.

I’m going to write a little bit about marketing/advertising and how it relates to our specific markets. As most of you know, I have written quite a few posts about the things I do to generate business and the ads that I run. I currently run three different print ads and spend about $1,000 a month to do so. Two are geared towards Sellers and are in monthly advertisers that are very specific to my market area and the third is a couple of pages in a “free home guide” and display my listings for Buyers.

Chris’s post was basically about how print ads are…well, here’s what she wrote, “Advertising in the magazine is, at best, fodder for the ego.” Now I guess the ad Chris was referring to was more of a “vanity ad” than anything else. By that I mean, a pretty picture of the REALTOR® and a short bio with achievements. These are agent centric ads and not so much consumer centric ads. Chris was making the point that this is old fashioned and a waste of money.

Now before I go any further, I want to say that I am NOT disagreeing with Chris. I don’t know Chris’s market and print ads, where she’s at, may very well be “fodder for the ego” but that brings me to the point of this post. ALL markets are different. What works for me, in Poinciana Fl, may or may not work for you. And what works in your market may or may not work in mine.

Let me give you a few examples:

  • Web sites and Internet advertising (Craigslist, etc..) According to statistics about 80% of home buyers start their search on the Internet. That certainly sounds like we all should be on the Internet. Well….I don’t work with Buyers and I don’t want to start. I do have a pretty big Internet presence but it is NOT a major part of my business. I only work with Sellers. Sellers, at least in my area, do not search the Internet to locate a REALTOR®. If I stopped all of my Internet stuff tomorrow it would NOT affect my business one iota. 50% of my Sellers, right now, do not even have an Email address. Your market may be completely different.
  • Print ads: In my market print ads are a must. The two monthlies I run are both “vanity ads”. Nothing in them but my photo, company name, my contact info and a very brief blurb about listing with me. That’s it. BUT they are both delivered to every residences in my market once a month. I’ve been in them for about 10 years. When folks want to list their house they pick up the ad and call me. My other ad in the “free home guide” has nothing in it but my listings and contact info. My market is 30 minutes from Disney. When folks are down vacationing they grab these magazines at the grocery stores and take them home with them. Then they call me and I pass them over to my Buyers agent. This magazine is my BA’s best lead generator. One closing pays for the ad for the year.
  • Open houses: These do not work in Poinciana Fl and are a waste of time. Poinciana is not a destination market. It is a price driven market. Most folks buy in Poinciana because they can’t afford to buy closer to Orlando. Folks do not sell a house in Poinciana to buy a bigger home in Poinciana. They sell to move out of the area. And because of this you just don’t get a lot of folks riding around attending open houses. This doesn’t mean an open house wouldn’t work in your market. I would imagine in a more upscale or desirable market they would be very effective. Have you tried?
  • Expired listings letter: This for me, is by far, my biggest money maker. I get tons of business off of my one simple little letter that I mail out everyday. My letter is designed specifically to address the concerns that Sellers, in my market, have told me over the years. My letter may look very simple and very basic but I can assure you it has years of experience behind it. Every sentence has a purpose. But…it may not work in your market.

The point I’m trying to make is, you must know YOUR market. There are NO one size fits all marketing plans. And if someone says there is, then they are trying to sell you something. You have to define who your market is and then personalize your marketing towards those folks. If you are trying to get listings then why are you spending all your money advertising houses for sale? It doesn’t make any sense.

Here’s a little tip for you: “Buyers are moving INTO  your market, therefore your marketing efforts need to be OUTSIDE(pull) your market. Sellers are moving OUT OF your market, therefore, you want to be marketing IN (push) your market.” Does that make sense? It does in my market. Does it in yours?

All content copyright © 2007 – Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

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