Empty Flyer Boxes Everywhere

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Wright 01235358/ 01240571

Is it just me or does the sight of an empty flyer box on a For Sale Sign make you crazy?

In Temecula Wine Country I pass 7 For Sale signs on my drive into town, 6 of the boxes have been empty Forever.

For some reason I take it personal.  These are my peers.  My profession.   

1 of the listings has flyers nearly every day.  I'm impressed by that agent.

And really, this should not have that kind of impact.

There is the option to leave it off the sign completely and then the Potential Buyer has to call you.

Okay, I get that.  I totally get that.  It's called a strategy.

But what I don't get is the strategy of the empty flyer box.

Nope.  Can't even come up with one.  Not one.

So if you are going to go through the trouble of putting one on there.  Fill it.

Oh yeah and check it once in awhile....in case you need to fill it again.

If you are a Seller....don't you feel anxious when you run out of flyers?

If you are a Buyer....aren't you exasperated by the empty box?

If you are an Agent....why do you or don't you use a flyer box on your For Sale signs?




Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Trumps Elite 02/05/2010 03:05 AM
  2. Sidney Kutchuk 03/15/2010 05:14 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Tarbell, Realtors Group
home selling
customer service

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Roxy Van Bockel
Century 21 All Islands - Kailua-Kona, HI

Aloha:  I have flyer boxes and multiple listing flyers.  It's been my absolute best SOURCE of business for the past 5 years.  I get more buyers and listings because of it than any other advertising I do!.  The secret is: make a trip once a week and fill all the boxes the same day (my husband does this for me).  I've had people call me to say they are having me do the listing because my signs are always UP and the boxes are generally full.  I've had buyers contact me because they decide I MUST know the area if they keep seeing my name everywhere!  I've also had neighborsor kids who remove all my flyers every week (I finally gave up on the box and the sign and the owner understood).  But overall....it's the cheapest way to get your name out there.

I let clients do whatever they want with the flyers.  They can copy and insert them or not, however I've never requested it.   In the tropics when it rains it pours and so the flyers are apt to get damaged anyway.  The secret is to get the right flyer box that doesn't leak.  The best one I've found is the cheapest (win/win) ones that are plastic and not the hard kine of plastic.  Less than $7 each and do the best job.

Feb 05, 2010 08:19 AM #39
Brad Yzermans
First Time Home Buyer & Down Payment Assistance Specialist in So Cal. - Temecula, CA
Temecula-Murrieta-Menifee FHA/VA Mortgage Lender

I have text call capture to be way more effective than a color flyer.....and less expensive (free).  With text call capture you stick a rider on your sign with direction to text #99999 to #88888 to view photo's and see price.  With-in 15 seconds the photo's are sent to their cell phone and your contact info ends up in their cell phone.  THEN, you instantly get an email alert that someone requested info and you 'capture' their phone number and can call to introduce yourself!!!  Free lead....or an opportunity to set a showing apt..

70% of all people buying a cell phone in next 3 months are buying a smart phone with Internet access.  If you aren't adapting to the technology and using it to your advantage then you stopping yourself from being successful.  paper flyers are OK, but TEXT call Capture is better...in my opinion....and you can claim to be 'green'.

I offer this TEXT Call Capture service to my Realtor partners to use for their benefit.  You should all be talking to your Loan Officer about this as well.

Feb 05, 2010 09:11 AM #40
Austin Smith
Goomzee - Missoula, MT

Great post Gary & April!

I work for a company called Goomzee, one of the nation's leading text-message marketing companies for real estate.  Many of our top producer clients still prefer to use flyers for the exact same reasons mentioned (branding yourself as the local neighborhood expert).  We have, however, seen a growing trend amongst tens of thousands of agents we service around the US who ditch their flyers altogether, and they don't look back.  Many report that the money they're saving more than pays for our solution (twice over actually) and they are still revered as the sophisticated neighborhood expert,  often moreso.

One solution that was mentioned was to make sure you always have one permanent flyer in the box, just in case others are all gone.  This can solve a lot of problems as well.  I'd be curious if any of the posters above keep track of time, fuel and paper/printing costs and can share some ballpark estimates of flyer costs.  If anyone has questions for me, shamelessly of course, please let me know.

406.542.9955 (office line)

Feb 05, 2010 09:12 AM #41
Jack Maxwell
Great Spring Real Estate - Houston, TX

I've tried just about everything I can think of to keep flyer boxes full short of driving by my listings every day (not an efficient thing to do in a city as large as Houston where listings can be miles apart). 

I've tried driving by my listings once a month, once every two weeks, once a week, giving my clients hundreds of copies for them to refill when the flyer box gets low.  I send them a .pdf file so they can print and fill the box with their own when the supply gets low. 

I beg my sellers to tell me when the flyer boxes are empty.  They rarely, if ever, call to tell me they are sans flyers.  Somehow they just expect me to know that the box is empty and complain later that I didn't fill it often enough.  I think it is a valuable tool for buyers and for listing agents, but at some point the home seller needs to take a more active role in selling their home and pick up the phone when they run out of flyers.  I'll be happy to bring some by or put some in the mail.

Feb 05, 2010 09:22 AM #42
Vickie Nagy
Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate - Palm Springs, CA
Vickie Jean the Palm Springs Condo Queen

I personally think the call for info or text for info is much better than a flyer box, especially here in the rainy season.

Feb 05, 2010 10:23 AM #43
Jenna Dixon
DRA Homes | Cobb County Real Estate - Marietta, GA
Empowers You With a Better Real Estate Experience

Selling a home is a cooperative venture with the seller.  Every time.  Whether it is giving them the option and ability to re-fill an empty flyer box or expecting them to make their beds every day.  I see no difference.  And I think when you engage the seller client to take an active role in the process, they feel more in control and are less apt to be hyper-critical about things such as an empty flyer box.

Feb 05, 2010 10:37 AM #44
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

I'm with Vickie on this.  I gave away all my flyer boxes.  It's hard to keep flyers dry in rain or snow.  You give away too much info that causes potential buyers to decide against exploring the property further.  You can't create quality brochures with beautiful photos because they are too expensive, since you have to keep tossing out soggy flyers.  It just makes you look bad and beside they are kind of tacky.  I think they cheapen the look of the home.  A For Sale sign with my name and cell phone number is all I put out.  If they call me, I have a much better chance at marketing the home than any flyer can do and I can send them gorgeous photos of the home, if they give me their e-mail address.

Feb 05, 2010 11:35 AM #45
George Belleville

It is NOT a flyer.  It is a giant business card with your name on it!  Why wouldn't you want people to take it with them?

I have flyers printed by Expresscopy on Bright red paper (so drivers can see there is something in the box) drop shipped to the seller.  The seller feeds the box, and lets me know when we are getting low, and I order more.  Neighbors take them and call me, buyers take them and call me, and some don't call me but call the 800#.

I spend a bit more on the nice flyers, but it is a good point in the listing presentation, the sellers like it, I don't include the price so they never become obsolete.  

Why not use flyers, and 800# and text?  I want all the leads I can get!


Feb 05, 2010 11:06 PM #46
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

Wow - it's obviously NOT 'just you'! My favorite is when the empty flyer box is attached to a sign that's leaning over, about to fall down. Somehow, that seems more ridiculous than when they've already fallen.

Feb 06, 2010 01:01 AM #47
Aaron Silverman
SuccessfulRental.com, Bluewater Property Management, LLC and Lowcountry Turnkey Properties, LLC - Charleston, SC
Improving Real Estate Experience through Education

I am an Investor, so I am a buyer and seller.  I never want to see an empty box.  Gary/April stated a flier is the equivalent of a business card, and they are exactly correct.  People are more likely to keep a flier than the piece of paper they wrote your website on. 

I am also a business consultant.  What gets me is too many people commented about what works for them.  I agree fliers are dated, and I personally would rather not have them.  What works for you and me is irrelevant.  What does your customer want?  What does your buyer base want? 

Someone said "94% of 1st homebuyers search online."  Of course, everyone searches online, but we do not buy online.  We buy in person. 

Someone else said "80% of buyers buy because of the MLS."  Yes, people use Realtors and Realtors provide listings from the MLS.  The thing is homebuyers drive around by themselves.  They drive around before and after they select a buyer's agent.

A Realtor is like a small business owner and should conduct business as such.  Think about what your customer wants.  Save money, but not at the cost of potential leads. 

Drive them to a website or force them to call for information.  Why?  To capture their information?  All because they want to know the price of a house? 

Concerned about wasting paper?  Print on recycled paper.  Print less in your office.  Recycle at home.  Find out ways to make a difference, but not at the cost of losing business.

What does your customer want?  You should provide fliers, websites, automated numbers, texting, blogging, etc.  Do you want to reach the entire market or just a segment? 

Several people commented it is too much effort to drive and view your properties?  To those people I ask, do you care what the house looks like?  Check up on the property.  At least call your clients and give them a status update.  While talking with them, ask about the flier box.  Do not leave it on them to call you. 

Who is the client and who is the one working?  Do not say you have too many houses to service.  Take on less business, become more efficient or hire help.

Can you imagine if McDonald's stop supplying ketchup, because the owner does not feel enough people use it? 

Sorry I went off topic of the blog, but the point of my rant is look at your customer and give your customer what they want.  Forget statistics, ask your clients.  Someone above commented that her clients ask about and want fliers, so she has them.  My hat off to her.  She listens to her customers and gives them what they want.

Feb 06, 2010 04:35 AM #48
Tom Bailey
Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc. - Oak Island, NC

There are points to be made for and against flyer boxes, but If you have them keep them filled. If you believe in flyers an empty box is worse than no flyers.

Feb 06, 2010 02:23 PM #49
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Flyer boxes may be "Oh so 90's" but so are some buyers. Not everyone texts, and not everyone uses a computer. And not everyone answers their phone immediately when a potential buyer happens to be sitting in front of a house and wants to know more.

Also, some signs just lead buyers to an office phone number. I've called on signs and talked with people who couldn't even figure out what house I was talking about, let alone give me any information.

Why not use a box that has a place for one permanent flyer with the loose ones behind it? The buyers couldn't take a copy, but at least they could find out something more.

Feb 06, 2010 06:13 PM #50
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

I HATE empty flyer boxes, but I've been there. I had a house that was just a few blocks from where I lived so I drove by it daily and it was still empty a few times. I started wondering if kids were taking them. I only keep them up for about 2 weeks when I use them and I only use them in certain "walking" locations.

Feb 12, 2010 11:39 AM #51
Matt Robinson
Professional Investors Guild - Pensacola, FL

If you have more than just a few listings, filling flyer boxes is absolutely exhausting.  I'm surprised agents use them at all seeing as this is the 21st century.  We use a 1-800 # sign on each listing, which captures the caller ID, and allows us to follow-up.  We also use a texting service which allows them to text for more info, also capturing their info for follow-up.

Feb 13, 2010 06:47 AM #52
Kathie Burby
Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate - Sonora, CA
REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide

I couldn't agree more - if you are going to use a flyer box KEEP IT STOCKED! I do use them occasionally (depends on the property) and I never use them in the winter because they get ruined from the weather. That is annoying also when you a flyer box with wet matted paper.

Feb 13, 2010 07:27 AM #53
David Monroe
Keller Williams Realty - Kirkland, WA
Short Sale Real Estate Agent

I think a combination of flyers and higher-tech strategies like a 24-hour 800# or getting information via text message would be good if you can keep the flyers stocked.  This way you get both the tech savvy buyers plus the old school buyers that don't utilize high-tech.

A big problem here is wet flyers, since we have only a couple months of dry weather each year.  Has anyone had any experience with water-resistant paper?  I know there are products out there, but I haven't had experience with them.

Feb 14, 2010 09:11 AM #54
Barb Szabo, CRS
RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio - Cleveland, OH
E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes

I just chuckle when I see those empty boxes. I personally don't use them. I used them long ago and would see 60 flyers disappear within days and no phone calls about my listing. I used to joke that they were taking the flyers so that they could have a piece of paper to write down addresses of the homes they really wanted to see LOL

Feb 25, 2010 12:55 AM #55

i will have to agree....empty boxes look bad and what about the agent taht got the listing and now does not care enough to keep the box filled...how do these worthless agents get this business

Mar 03, 2010 05:15 AM #56
Gary & April Greer
Century 21 Wright - Temecula, CA
Real Estate Professionals

Sounds like we should invent a flyer that can withstand weather!  Here however it just doesn't rain enough to warrant weather as an excuse.  Sunny So Cal!

Mar 10, 2010 02:50 AM #57
Gary Swanson
Century 21 Harris & Taylor - Grants Pass, OR

Gary and April.  I make it a habit to make sure there are flyers in my box, even though listings that are miles out of town.  Shame on agents who don't keep their flyer boxes filled.

Mar 15, 2010 05:37 PM #58
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