I am not sure about anything in Realtor marketing before the 70’s but I have been thinking over the last couple of days about what has been, and what is, and what will be in the future for Realtor marketing. This will probably be a multi part post as I am not sure exactly how long I will be able to go on for with each post.
First of all, back in the 70’s many Realtors where using geographic farming techniques or just talking to friends and neighbors. The real organized way to do Realtor Marketing at the time was to find a small geographic area and walk around knocking on doors. This was a very effective method that still works although the original idea was diluted by losing the knowledge of the area and instead getting a larger and larger farm market. There is nothing wrong with geographic farming and I know of many Realtors that make it work still although I believe that it is not nearly as effective as it once was for a few reasons.
First of all geographic farming is time consuming in an area of 500 homes and most Realtors have tried to increase the size but have to reduce their effectiveness. How do Realtors do this? Well most of the time the Realtor will instead of door knocking and getting their face out will instead phone through an area and either before or after send a newsletter or a notepad or some thing else. I know that it works but it the personal feel of the Realtor coming to the house has been lost in a way.
Second there are many more Realtors know then there ever have been. As home prices have skyrocketed the number of Realtors has skyrocketed as well. Trouble is sales have not kept up and the average Realtor makes just over 30,000 dollars a year. I know that becoming a Realtor is a bit of a fad and I am sure like any other market things will equalize over the coming years I am not really sure what is going to change that. If you are a Realtor now and facing this huge number of Realtor issue then you must set yourself apart by using Realtor Marketing in a different way.
In the 80’s more and more Realtors had started doing Realtor marketing by using the phone to do farming and databases were just starting to get into place so that Realtors could access past, present and future clients could be easily mailed to and contacted. Again this was a very successful method of marketing but as the 90’s started and especially late in the 90’s as Act, Maximizer and Top Producer became popular as Realtor marketing tools and cheap enough for many Realtors to be able to afford. The type of Realtor Marketing that had earlier been very successful become oversaturated and lost its initial effectiveness. I am sure that this method has become less and less effective but is still popular and easy to do for most Realtors. I know of some Realtors that will mail a letter a day to expireds for two weeks or Realtors sending some kind of mailing to past clients every two weeks.
Now that we are into the internet age and with access to MLS info only a mouse click away Realtor marketing has again changed. If you are looking to make a difference then you must again go back to the way that Realtors worked in the 70’s and that the most successful Realtors have worked over the last few years.. No, I do not mean go door knocking but instead make sure that you are getting into the customers head by being likeable, trustworthy and top of mind by being a person and not just a voice on the phone or a signature on a letter or email.
It is more important now more than ever to be sure to use technology and to personalize your service. I believe that the best was to do this is to have a website that speaks in your own words and follow that up with a weblog that talks about not only real estate and contains Realtor marketing but also personal stories that create an aura of being a real person instead of just a salesperson.