What a Few Minor Tweaks Can Do for Your Real Estate Biz

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

short sale expeditorI cannot remember the exact figure, but some Sandicor (MLS) mucky muck told me the average age of the San Diego Realtor® was somewhere between 55 and 65 years old. If that’s the case, then the average agent is probably addressing marketing and prospecting using many traditional methods such as direct mail.

Direct mail is a great form of advertising, but as the population grows and changes, the Internet and other forms of advertising should definitely be added to the mix. 

Here are two trends common to Generation Y (aka echo boomers): 

  1. Generation Y Doesn’t Leave (or Listen to) Voice Mail Messages. Since caller identification is part of everyone’s smartphone, you can see who is calling you when the phone rings. No need to listen to a message or to leave one. The individual on the receiving end saw who called and will respond accordingly.
  2. Generation Y Does Not Use U.S. Mail. All bills can be paid online. You can also opt to receive all bills online as well. All notes and messages are sent via text or email. Magazines and books are read electronically. So, there are very few items that actually come to Generation Y via U.S. Mail—except for a $25 check from Grandma on your birthday. And… nobody uses checks anymore. 

With those two trends in mind, it is important to consider the best mechanisms for advertising. If the echo boomers prefer texts and emails, are they going to check their mailboxes? Are the going to read the direct mail postcard?

In order to effectively market to Generation Y, you need to consider what they like and how they like their material presented. Using Youtube, a tablet, and text messages may go a long way towards finding a new niche in 2012.

Just sayin’.


(photo credit)


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Dagny Eason
Dagny's Real Estate - Wilton, CT
Fairfield County CT, CDPE Homes For Sale and Condo

LOVE it Melissa!   I am spending more time texting than on the phone by a long shot!!    Very few of my clients will call.....  Most text.   And I am one of the ancients ...    

Jan 22, 2012 11:47 AM #23
Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Melissa -- That pic is scary! I can't believe how many of the 'older' clients are texting as well.  I had a client in her 70s who preferred texting. I text excessively. Never thought I would.

Jan 22, 2012 12:04 PM #24
Chuck Ward Local Video Marketing
Florida Mobile Fusion Mobile, Marketing, Local SEO - Tampa, FL
SMS Marketing, Google Plus Local Pages

Melissa, I could not agree more!!!!

Jan 22, 2012 12:52 PM #25
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Melissa - LOL ..... it still surprises me the number who do not even have a web site ..... I may fit that age range chronologically but certainly not mentally.

Jan 22, 2012 01:05 PM #26
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Melissa - And, this is why we have to find a mix of different types of marketing.

That photo is quite something.

Jan 22, 2012 02:02 PM #27
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I'm 53 and I use all of the above. I'm pretty proud I have been able to incorporate so many tech-savvy devices into my business.

Jan 22, 2012 02:31 PM #28
Dawn Maloney
RE/MAX Haven - Northeast Ohio Real Estate Specialist - Hudson, OH
330-990-4236 Hudson & Northeastern Ohio

That picture is terrifying. The information isn't unscary either! LOL I do the same thing. Listening to the vmail takes FOREVER when you have 50-100 calls a day. I try to answer calls immediately when possible. And thank God less use of postal mail - you can go broke that way.


Jan 22, 2012 02:37 PM #29
Iris Stuart
none - Santa Rosa, CA

I always ask new clients how they prefer to communicate and am occasionally disappointed by one who wants telephone calls.  I'm not a phone person so email is my preferred form of contact and texting has come easily.  When it comes to important discussions though such as offers or negotiations, I don't use texting and will usually move to email so I have record of the conversation.  I'm almost surprised when either a client or an agent actually listens to my voice mail messages these days.  Most of the time they just call me back without knowing why I was calling.

Jan 22, 2012 03:13 PM #30
Donald Reich
Prudential Centennial - New Rochelle, NY

If you are going to communicate with Generation Y, know how to text!

Jan 22, 2012 03:26 PM #31
Christine Blaski
RE/Max Properties of the Summit - Frisco, CO
Frisco, Summit County CO Realtor

You are correct! I tend to ask what the clint prefers and adapt to their preferred system. I used to reserve texts for friends and family... now most clients and other brokers prefer the short and sweet text. I do prefer the texts that say... "I just emailed you an offer on listing XYZ."

Jan 22, 2012 03:38 PM #32
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Well said. Texting is huge with Gen Y, and although it isn't good for marketing in the traqditional sense, it is a great way to communicate with prospects and clients. Times they are a changing. 

Jan 22, 2012 03:46 PM #33
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

You are so right, along with all those commenting! Text messages are a good way tp communicate.  I always ask clients about their preferred method of communication.

Jan 22, 2012 04:35 PM #34
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I'm still trying to recover from the shock of that picture.  Now she would make some Realtor!

Jan 22, 2012 10:21 PM #35
Charlie Dresen
Steamboat Sotheby's International Realty - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

Wow...that photo was very eye-catching! Very good points as it's so important to communicate with buyers in the manner they want to communicate which means using a wide range of methods these days. While I'm definitely using texting more (with all ages), I still run across folks who want a phone call only...with a message. Yep, it's the older set mostly, but I'm surprised at how many younger gen Y folks want a phone call with a message when it's real estate they are conversing about. It's all about figuring out what works best with each client and then making sure that's how you communicate with them. It's great to point out that many gen y'ers do not listen to voice mail messages as I think that's still a shock to some people. Again, some will and some won't, so one of the questions to get out there right up front is how to best communicate with a new client.

Jan 22, 2012 11:22 PM #36
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo & Home Sale Specialists

We have found that they absolutely NEVER listen to the message. It's always I saw your number and called you back...ahhh that's a cutie in that photo!

Jan 23, 2012 02:46 AM #37
Former Agent
None - Adak, AK

It really is quite amazing.  People just don't want to pick up the phone anymore. 

Jan 23, 2012 03:01 AM #38
Christopher Leo
Status 5 Studio, Inc. - Sunnyvale, CA
Leading Agent Real Estate Marketing

While I think a bit of everything in moderation is generally a healthy approch to marketing, your post addresses a key point. Namely, "Evolve or Die".  THings are changing and you need to incorporate those changes into your business if you wish to remain ahead of the curve.  Good post!

Jan 23, 2012 04:30 AM #39
Jark Krysinski *PREC (Personal Real Estate Corporation)

Nice job Mellisa! I can't agree you anymore! I didnt know that there are a lot of people dont have their own websites. And it's true, the best way to communicate with clients is texting massage. Or we can askthem about their preferred method of communication.  

Thanks for sharing with us! You have a good day!


Jan 23, 2012 05:31 AM #40
Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Melissa, wow, that photo would definitely stand out in a profile pic on the internet. Gen Yers do not listen to voice messages. Text or email is the thing, many have smartphones so they can get information through email. I'm terrible at texting, I need work and practice. Do you know of any classes or training that offer texting to boomers like me? I do find direct mail does work, even with my tech savvy clients. 

Jan 23, 2012 07:06 AM #41
Dylan Taft
Dylan Taft Broker/Owner Taft Street Realty, Inc. - Woodstock, NY
Ulster County Area Consultant

I bet we could expand on this post and list even more ways we should be tweaking the way we market to consumers.  The average age of a buyer today is around 32-35 I think, and so it is this agent group who has seen the Internet blossom from the beginning.  They know what works and what doesnt.  They may not be quick to adapt new technology that comes out daily (as the 18-24 group does) but they are savvy enough to know how to search for the right agent.  I believe in the next 5-10 years buyers will do all the research and home searching and then find the best agent for them to make an offer.  We shall see...GREAT POST!

Jan 24, 2012 04:32 AM #42
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Melissa Zavala

Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
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