Six Marketing Strategy Caveats for Real Estate Agents

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Marketing PlanAs a hard working real estate agent, you may find it easy to get wrapped up in the hype of a new marketing method that promises quick payoff with possibly little cash (or even a lot of cash!) 

With so many choices, so many ways of marketing listings and yourself, you may feel compelled to dump what you've been doing and jump right in to something new.  Tread lightly, make sure you have a plan in place moving forward.  Here are some simple tips for use when you are contemplating trying something new:

1) Have a plan for the plan.

Before you do anything else, map out how you intend to execute your new plan and how you intend on measuring results. Develop an entry and exit strategy for your marketing plan. Think of a few ways that you may be able to make slight adjustments along the way to maximize your effectiveness.

2) If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

If what you've got going is working well, why change?  I admit it's good to try new things, but be careful not to abandon what you've already got.  The saying goes, you don't know what you've got until it's gone applies.

As an alternative, test different approaches for a small segment of your marketing list.  I believe that 10% is a good number to test on.  Use 10% of your time and capital for experimenting, the other 90% for things you know work well.  Run a campaign and gauge the results.  If successful, apply this tactic to increasingly more of your list while not forgetting what already works.

3) Measure your results to determine what works best for you and your situation.

It is imperative with any marketing campaign to accurately measure results.  How could you possibly make a good decision as to what is and is not working if you don't have accurate figures?

Developing a Marketing Strategy4) Marketing isn’t just about the numbers.

Remember that sometimes a successful marketing campaign may not work immediately.  Patience is virtue, stay the course and give your plan time to play out.  Premature stops or changes can ruin something potentially good, and you may never know about it!  Even if you don't get more money from your campaign, ask yourself if it is helping in another area such as increasing the longevity of your business, or helping your clients in a big way.

5) If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you read testimonials on a marketing method, please take them with a grain of salt.  Testimonials are dime a dozen, can be fabricated and doesn't give you an accurate gauge of true success.   Unless you actually KNOW someone who has had success, don't trust testimonials.  Use common sense when gauging something new.

6) Try new things, but don't abandon past marketing efforts that you know get results.

The 10% rule mentioned above works well.  Spend 90% of your time and money on campaigns that you know do well, use the other 10% for experimental work.  This allows you to try new ideas without breaking the bank.

Helpful Links:

¤ How to Write a Marketing Plan

¤ Write a Marketing Plan

¤ Develop a Marketing Strategy

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Chris Brunner is an aspring real estate agent/investor and owner/developer of
GreatFX Business Cards
, a top destination for online printing services.

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Kay Van Kampen 11/27/2009 11:59 PM
  2. June Piper-Brandon 11/28/2009 12:13 AM
  3. D B 11/28/2009 02:18 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Mark Snyder

Thanks Chris.  This is like spring training and getting back to the basics of what we all need to do regularly.

Nov 29, 2009 11:57 PM #91
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

Mike Henderson: Correct, I am in Springfield, Missouri.  I'm sure the big small town has greatly changed since you were last here! =)

Nov 30, 2009 12:38 AM #92
Brian Hurt
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Inver Grove Heights, MN
ABR, E-Pro

Great post.  These are great tips for anyone in the business! 

Nov 30, 2009 12:51 AM #93
Brad Calef
Coco Plum Realtors - Key Colony Beach, FL

Nice reminder for all of us Chris, thanks!

Nov 30, 2009 01:06 AM #94
Jerry Hill, Exit Realty Deaton Group, Little Rock, AR

Chris, sometimes we all just need a reminder of simple things that we sometimes overlook in the rush of things.  The only thing that I would like to add to the list after developing your business plan, USE IT or CHANGE IT!

Nov 30, 2009 01:28 AM #95
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Chris...Great Post and Welcome to AR, you'll love the sharing that goes on here.

You might add Setting Goals to your list, I try and fellow my goals and then lay down a plan on how to achieve them..

Cheers, Congratulations on your Features right out of the Gate.

Nov 30, 2009 02:19 AM #96
James Wells
Honeycomb Properties - Zionsville, IN
Zionsville Indiana Real Estate


Your post was good common sense put down on in writing. I do think the 90%-10% split depends on the agent, the market, etc. I think your comment about instant gratification is key here...

Many marketing strategies won't produce instant results, they take time to grow and develop. It can be very challenging for new agents to decide what strategies to pursue. I recommend a mix of marketing strategies to achieve desired results: Like a shotgun vs rifle approach.

  1. Shotgun- Hits a lot of people with your message and normally returns a low response rate. (Mailers)
  2. Rifle- Aimed directly at 1 target and normally gets a higher response rate. (Calling FSBO's)

The old saying "You have to spend money to make money." is fairly true, but agents be careful of companies marketing to you to use their marketing service. You think you're the only agent they are selling to?

I get calls from SEO companies offering to help me rank my website higher on the search engines all the time. The 1st questions I ask them are: "How did you find me?" (the answer is always my website- so I guess I don't need your help after all) and then "What keywords did you use to find me?" (they then give me a keyword list that I don't really care about because it's not my target audience). Learn your business, stay persistent, and use good common sense and you will survive even in rough times.

Thanks again Chris.

Nov 30, 2009 02:32 AM #97
Kathy Opatka
Serving Ocean City, MD, & The Delaware Beaches


A very timely post, since many of us are now doing 2010's RE budget!


Nov 30, 2009 03:12 AM #98
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

James Wells: I do agree that 90-10 could depend on the agent/market however as a general rule of thumb that seems to work well, not just for agents but anyone in business.  I like your shotgun/rifle analogy.  Thanks for a well formulated comment.


Nov 30, 2009 03:22 AM #99
Scott Benson
Geneva Real Estate and Finance - Santa Monica, CA

Measuring your results is important and it can be difficult if you changes too many things at once so careful planning is always key

Nov 30, 2009 05:13 AM #100
Lee & Carol Barbour, REALTORS
Murphy and Hayesville, NC; Hiawassee, Blairsville, Blue Ridge GA and Copperhill TN - Murphy, NC
Mountain Living Team in Murphy NC and North GA

Perfect timing in planning for 2010. Congrats on your feature.

Nov 30, 2009 10:57 AM #101
Eugene Adan
Adan Properties, Carlsbad, CA (760) 720-9710 - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate


Just because someone has a great deal of success with one method of marketing does not mean that the same will work for you equally well.  We all operate with some difference.  I believe you need to stick to what works for you and be true to yourself.

Nov 30, 2009 06:00 PM #102
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Nice job with this article Chris! I am always looking for ways to improve my marketing along with repeating what I already know works:)

Dec 01, 2009 02:53 AM #103
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

I agree local markets vary and what works for one may not work for another.  If at first you fail, try try again!

Dec 01, 2009 10:01 AM #104
Dana Devine
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Apollo Beach, FL

I hope #4 is the truth,, and hope is not a marketing statergy....but I have been here on AR and in a year have not gotten a lead

Dec 01, 2009 11:29 PM #105
Chris Brunner
GreatFX Printing - Springfield, MO
GreatFX Printing

Dana Devine: Sorry to hear you haven't gotten leads from AR.  What about local search rankings, have you seen an improvement there?

Dec 02, 2009 02:20 AM #106
Martin Kalisker
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS - Boston, MA
Professional Standards & Legal Assistant

These are all great tips.  Thanks for sharing


Dec 02, 2009 04:41 AM #107
Bill Saunders, Realtor®
Meyers Realty - Hot Springs, AR

Hi Chris,

Congrats on the feature! Thanks for such informative posts! Even if you don't get a lead directly from AR, your name is out there again with every comment, plus the information is this post!

all the best...

Dec 02, 2009 06:49 AM #108
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

You've really been writing some great posts lately so I've subscribed to your blog!  Thanks for sharing your insights.

Dec 04, 2009 03:04 PM #109
Julianne O'Reilly
Syracuse Listings - Fayetteville, NY
Syracuse New York Real Estate

I agree with and need to ... create a plan for the plan.  Thank you for taking the time to put this together!

Mar 14, 2011 10:33 PM #110
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