I got this ad recently based on attending a convention for Mortgage Brokers. The objective of the ad is clearly two-fold: to mock others' marketing systems and to promote their own marketing system. I'm quite sure there are similar ads regularly sent to Realtors as well... just with a Realtor-specific message.
I don't think they "get it" when it comes to efficient and effective marketing.
They're right, to a degree: People who are looking to refinance/buy/sell aren't interested in our expertise in the kitchen, nor our sports conquests, or gardening skills... they want to know about price, features, and service as they relate to loans and homes.
However, let's go through a simple series of questions, shall we?
Question one: On any given day, what percentage of the population is looking to refinance/buy/sell?
Answer: An extremely small percentage.
This is true for most any product/service.
Don't believe me? Try this: The next time you're going to go out, bring some (extra) pens with you. Then try to convince every person you run into to buy one from you without first asking if they have a need for one. Most people, I would venture, will be seeking to get away from you as fast as possible.
Question two: How can we assure that those we know who become interested in refinancing/buying/selling will remember us positively?
Answer: By staying in touch with them without beating them over the head as maniacal Lenders/Realtors.
Question three: How can we most effectively do that?
Answer: Regular contact that includes both interesting/informative "day-to-day" stuff as well as industry-specific information.
Try the experiment with pens from above a second time. This time, if people aren't interested in your pen(s) but also don't immediately run away, keep the conversation only about your pens - never waver to anything else - not the weather, not health, not sports, etc. See how long you can keep them engaged while only talking about your pens. Again, I would venture that of those few who were originally willing to listen to you, none of them will stick around to hear you go on and on and on about pens.
Same thing applies to your industry.
You see, if all you talk about is Real Estate or Loans, most people will shut you off. Sure, they'll know you at least think you know everything about Real Estate or Loans, but will they really want to turn to you? Will they really trust you to care about them, as opposed to caring more about your profit or product or worse yet, your ego?
On the other hand, if you never talk about your expertise, and only share recipes, sports conquests, and garden or pet stories, how will they know you know anything about your industry?
The key is to find the right balance for the people in your sphere of influence and/or the people you want to have in your sphere of influence.
It's not about your family recipes. Neither is it only about rates/terms or bricks/boards. It's really about people and how to most effectively connect with them on an emotional level (where all buying decisions are ultimately made) while reminding them that you can and will conscientiously serve their Real Estate and/or Mortgage needs.