A Business Without a Sign is a Sign of No Business!

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President

Flipping through September's REALTOR Magazine, my attention was drawn to a small box in the lower left hand corner of page 4 containing a Reader Poll.  This month's question:

"Have you cut back on marketing this year?"

Reader Poll

Is now really the time to be cutting back? 

Maybe spending gobs of money on full page glossy ads in local print magazines isn't a great idea any more, but it probably wasn't a great idea or good use of marketing dollars to begin with, buddy.

There's lots of real estate marketing that can be done for no or low-cost.  One that jumps to the top of my head is blogging and social media (which happens to be the cover story for this month's REALTOR Magazine).  It doesn't cost much in terms of dollars, but does cost time.  Knocking on doors takes time too, but which is more effective?

This poll is a perfect illustration of the 80/20 rule at play once again.  Fully 80% of those REALTORS surveyed have already or plan to cut back on their marketing.  The other 20% haven't and won't.

Which group do you think will continue to have a prosperous real estate career?

It reminds me of the sign salesman at the Chamber of Commerce meetings I used to attend and what he always had to say:

A Business Without a Sign is a Sign of No Business!


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Barbara Altieri
RealtyQuest/Kinard Realty Group, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

I have increased marketing in the last six months and it has definitely paid off. Persevere and keep smiling!

Aug 27, 2009 05:31 AM #36
Debbie Rumsey
HomeSmart Realty West, Carlsbad, CA - Encinitas, CA
Realtor, Green, SFR

I am spending way more than I ever have right now.  Still sending direct mail as well as social networking sites......

If your not marketing yourself than you may as well be handing out someone else's business card!

Aug 27, 2009 05:50 AM #37
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Brian, it is all about effective spending of your marketing dollars, not just cutting back or spending more. You have to be smart.

Aug 27, 2009 07:24 AM #38
Lorraine Bennett
Future Home Realty - Saint Petersburg, FL
YOUR Tampa Bay Realtor

When the going gets tough... the tough get going!  Cutting back is okay, but take the dollars that you are spending and use them more wisely.  See what works and cut out what's ineffective.

Aug 27, 2009 07:38 AM #39
Corinne Guest
Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
The Choice of Professionals for Luxury Home Buying

My last month has been so busy I have not been blogging much. My business sign has been out and my business has been climbing. Love your title! Now must catch up with my blogging.

Aug 27, 2009 08:07 AM #40
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

I have cut back a lot on my advertising but I have always tracked where business comes from.  When times were good I left some non producing advertising out there solely hoping for name recognition.  Now that times have tightened I have stopped paying for non income producing advertising.  I probably should have done it sooner but it was definitely time when I finally did.

Aug 27, 2009 08:31 AM #41
Suma Kakani
Northern IL Realtor - Keller Williams Success Realty - Prairie View, IL

I think I agree with Gary Woltal. It is not about cutting back or spending more , but to spend wisely. Great post

Aug 27, 2009 08:38 AM #42
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker

One of the best things we do on my team is to track the source of every single lead we get - whether buyers or sellers, how did they find us?  Then, at renewal time for ANY service, we take a look back at the last 12 months to see if it was cost effective and produced results.  If you can't measure it, you are throwing dollars away.  Oh, and I agree with other comments here too - there is a difference in cutting back on marketing and cutting back on the $$ spent on it.

Aug 27, 2009 09:21 AM #43
Jeani Codrey
The Learning Jeani - New Braunfels, TX
If you're not learning, you're not living!

Amen!!!  I teach MCE classes on marketing and advertising and when I show those who attend how much exposure they can get for FREE and Cheap...they are bowled over and vow to get back in the game and start marketing again!  Good points!



Aug 27, 2009 09:32 AM #44
Eric Middleton
Closer Look Property Inspections Inc. - Uniondale, NY
Professional Property Inspector

Hey Brian,

I come to realize that marketing is an art, and to master this art it takes time , persistence , and commitment. When I get calls to do a home inspection , I ask the person how did they find me. This is helpful because it tells me which of my marketing methods is working the most. Part of running a successful business is working on your business and in your business. Spending time with effective marketing is a must when working on your business.

Thanks for the post.


Aug 27, 2009 10:04 AM #45
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Brian - Right you are.  I haven't cut any of my marketing costs this year.  They are probably slightly higher than last year, although not much.  Great points here!

Aug 27, 2009 10:07 AM #46
Lisa Matykiewicz
United Brokers Group - Gilbert, AZ

Brian...you are right on.  Now is the time to market yourself.  I do agree being smart about the approach is critical, focus on good ROI marketing.  Is it a great opportunity to increase market share in your area.

Aug 27, 2009 10:57 AM #47
Vickie McCartney
Maverick Realty - Owensboro, KY
Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY

Hi Brian~ Now is NOT the time to cut back on marketing! So much of the Internet marketing is priceless!  It does take a lot of time, but not necessarily a lot of money!

Aug 27, 2009 11:17 AM #48
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

My focus this past year has been the internet, my website, and blogging and my business is thriving.

Aug 27, 2009 12:50 PM #49
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Brian -- Experienced and successful marketers know to increase advertising when things are tough, not all do, but success speaks for itself.

Aug 27, 2009 01:07 PM #50
Lane Bailey
Century 21 Results Realty - Suwanee, GA
Realtor & Car Guy

Brian... I wonder.  If we are ratcheting up our social networking presence and doing other things that cost TIME, not money, are we cutting back or ramping up? 

Aug 27, 2009 01:38 PM #51
Crystal Kilpatrick
Team Leader -Crystal Kilpatrick Group - Austin, TX
CHLMS,CNE, CRS - Austin & Central Texas Home Sales

Now is certainly not the time to cut back on marketing, atleast not for me anyway.

Aug 27, 2009 05:38 PM #52
Crystal Kilpatrick
Team Leader -Crystal Kilpatrick Group - Austin, TX
CHLMS,CNE, CRS - Austin & Central Texas Home Sales

Now is certainly not the time to cut back on marketing, atleast not for me anyway.

Aug 27, 2009 05:38 PM #53
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Cutting back may not be the right word. . .holding my money accountable is much better. A glossy ad in a magazine the has only 5 readers is not a great marketing strategy just like being with a broker that will nickel and dime you to death while taking a big chunk of your commission . . . with the  pretense of the "training" 

Aug 28, 2009 12:00 AM #54
Robin Rogers
Robin Rogers, Silverbridge Realty, San Antonio, Texas - San Antonio, TX
CRS, TRC, MRP - Real Estate Investment Adviser

Hi, Brian:

Great post! I haven't cut back; just the opposite. Although I have dumped a couple of things that don't cost much, but don't seem to be working either. I am also rethinking my business model. I'm doing better than I did last year so far, and I hope to get where I want to be in my business in 2010.

Happy TGIF,


Aug 28, 2009 01:12 AM #55
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Brian Block

Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate
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