How Effective is Traditional Marketing?

Real Estate Agent with ERA Joyner Realty 331464

How Effective is Traditional Marketing?

Times have changed and traditional marketing is no longer affective plus it is very expensive. Print advertising (one of the most expensive modes of advertisements) has gone by the way side, open houses no longer attract the crowds that they once did, and agent caravans no longer attract other agents without some sort of gimmick.

Print advertising: is no longer an effective marketing technique. According to the The National Association of Realtors (NAR)  a 2009 survey reports that a whopping 90% of homebuyers start their search with the Internet. That is an astounding number of buyers, and if that is where they are heading to start their home search, wouldn’t it make sense for your property to be there?

Open Houses: these use to bring in the crowds, this no longer holds true. For me, as an agent I consider it a waste of time. More often then not  over the past two years I have sat at an open house and not had a single person come through. And, if you are fortunate enough to get someone it is usually just a nosey neighbor wanting to take a look at the house and find out how it compares to theirs.Marketing

Agent Caravans: In real estate a caravan refers to a showing method that some listing agents will use when selling a home. A caravan involves inviting real estate agents into a home listed for sale in hopes to achieve higher visibility and marketing. The assumption behind this method of marketing is that other agents will know what their buyers are looking for or may know of an interested buyer. Unfortunately, in some areas these too are becoming a thing of the past (mostly due to the high inventory levels), More often than  not, in order to get agents to attend these caravans and visit your property it is going to require some sort of bribery. I have witnessed too many times, that the only houses getting looked at on the caravan list are those that offer food or a cash drawing. Enticing the agents to come for a peak. Which in turn makes me wonder exactly why it is that they are attending the the viewing of these homes in the first place, are they truly interested in the property or are there other ulterior motives at play here?

So my next question is, what does it require these days to promote and market your house or property? How do you get  the very best exposure possible? One of the most important things I have come to rely on when it comes to marketing is the creation of an Internet presence. Today, in these economically stressful times it is important to place your advertising dollars in those venues that get your property the most exposure. The competition is fierce, so aggressive marketing is necessary.

In fact, my two top priorities when it comes to marketing is:

  1. price, which plays an integeral part in the selling your home, and…
  2. marketing and exposure

The key to affective marketing is of course, as mentioned above price and exposure. Even if the price is 10K above fair market value you will have a hard time selling. It is just as important to have your house priced right as it is to have great exposure for the property. Buyers are well educated these days. It’s a bit difficult to “get one over” on them.  It is essential to combine both price and marketing skills when placing your house on the market. The right price will come into play immensely in the sale of your property, then comes exposure. The more avenues you go down to market a home or property the better. There are so many paths you can take when marketing to get the very best exposure possible.

Those days of simply placing  a property in the mls and putting a sign in the yard and selling the next day are long past gone. Even though this is in fact your very basic marketing, you can get this from any agent with any company. You need an agent who will go above and beyond the basics. Not only should an agent strive to meet expectations but they should strive to exceed them in every way.

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If you are interested in BUYING or SELLING a home in Lowndes County or the surrounding area and want a professional consultation on current market conditions, please contact me at 229.834.0946  or e-mail me at or visit my website at



Janice MacMillan, Associate Broker


Re-Blogged 2 times:

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  2. Cliff Kavanaugh 05/11/2010 02:19 AM
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June Tassillo
Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty - Franklin, NC
Let me help you with the next phase of your life!

Jan Marie ~ I do think most people today go online to start.  Living in a small town with a ton of second homes and its a vacation area, people love to pick up the buyers guide that is all over town in different areas.  I have to have a presence there but do most of my advertising on the net.  I do Open Houses and lately not many have been showing up.  It is a hit and miss.  Our regular Opens are for Brokers during the week and I do some on weekends and get the buyers.  I think what it ALL boils down to is Price, Location and does it fit their needs. They will find it, there is no magic way or wrong way but you better be on the inter-net. 

Congrats on your feature!

May 11, 2010 03:17 AM #43
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON

Interesting comments and I respect them but here is something I have been following for the last 3 years. In our board there are 1523 licensed to sell real estate and I have been following the top 50 in income and units sold, I am in that 50 and here is a fact.

All have a great web presence, all do open houses, all farm, all use direct marketing of some kind and only 1/2 use the local newspaper but all use a real estate magazine or a local neighbourhood publication.

Each to their own and I advocate being in your comfort zone but if you want to be in the top 5-8% in your area, market smart and track your results. Success leaves clues.


May 11, 2010 03:52 AM #44
Joetta Fort
The DiGiorgio Group - Arvada, CO
Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder

I recently listed a house for an ex-real estate agent who insisted I hold it open. Luckily, we got an offer before I had to do that!

May 11, 2010 03:52 AM #45
Deborah & Steve Love
Salt Lake Homefinders at Aubrey & Associates - Salt Lake City, UT

I think Bob's (#39) response was the best I have read....get a plan! Perhaps it is not that the tools available to us no longer work, but that we need to revamp them, to change how we use them in a systematic plan for marketing. Maybe we should be having That discussion!


May 11, 2010 04:12 AM #46
Morris Massre
Pembroke Pines, FL
Real Estate Instructor Broward County Florida

It certainly isn't what it used to be.  The public has moved toward the internet in a big way, so print has fast become obsolete.

May 11, 2010 04:38 AM #47
Bob Willis
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Orange, CA
Orange County & L.A. County Real Estate Agent

Online marketing brings people to my open houses, where I get a chance to meet them and have a conversation with them.  Open houses are still a very big part of marketing a property in my area.

May 11, 2010 04:47 AM #48
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I would tend to agree with you.  However, open houses can be effective at capturing people that might otherwise over look the house.  Say a house that is "too small" or "too expensive" well they might come in on an impulse if it is open and decide they want it.

At one open I go on they have a list of homes and everyone goes to every home on the list.  The advantage of this is you see homes you might other wise bypass and sometimes find things that surprise you.

May 11, 2010 05:38 AM #49
Jirius Isaac
Isaac Real Estate &TriStar Mortgage - Kenmore, WA
Real Estate & loans in Kenmore, WA

you are so right.  The only things that work are great internet marketing and the 24/7 Reallty info signs so I can capture the phone number and sell the house myself!

May 11, 2010 06:25 AM #50
Scott Smith
Market Leader - Bellevue, WA

I agree with Karen in post #42.  We should all look at our own behavior in how we do things.  Do you use the classifieds (are they getting smaller every week).   Do you even have yellow pages in your  house anymore?  When you hear of a new product do you try to go to the store or do you first look it up online?   Chances are if you do it in your daily life, it might be a safe bet that others do as well.

I am a firm believer that any marketing can be good marketing (online, traditional, open houses, etc).  All can work in some form or another with variations depending on the market you serve.   The question I always ask is this:  "Is my marketing cost effective, timely, and a good use of my time".  I have to be able to afford it.   It needs be timely (real-time is the best!).  And I need to be able to manage it without requiring I put in double the hours just to get my marketing done.

Online is: 

  • Timely - A listing or Just Sold notice can be communicated to my network, sphere, database, farm, etc within minutes of taking place.
  • Low cost (free through Natural Search, Craigslist, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) or Pay Per Click getting exposure on Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc
  • Effective use of time - there are incredible tools for everyone to use for having an online presence with advertising.  (this one can seem daunting at times but it's not really). 


May 11, 2010 06:53 AM #51
T.Neathery, appraiser

I agree with some of the posts, but as an appraiser I see mainly successful agents that have sold something or are looking for a realistic value for! I see their names in ads in our paper, on open-house signs as well. Agents must realize they are in a service business, not a sales business, no service, no sales, particularly repeat business over many years.  No matter how many designations or electronic gadgets you have, buyers still deal with people, not ghosts on the WWWeb.

May 11, 2010 06:57 AM #52
Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN
HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578 - La Quinta, CA
I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!

Here in the Coachella Valley, California, I mix up my marketing.  Yes, internet is HUGE and essential.  I blog almost every day.  I update my website which is actually a blogsite almost every day with some local info.  I bought a large ad in Palm Springs Life because it is also digitally posted online and the magazine is SOLD, not given away.  People tend to hang onto that print media mag for at least a year.  I did generic advertising..not a property, just about me and what I specialize in in the Coachella Valley. 

I also love my jumbo post cards and continue to get results.  It helps me keep my past clients in touch.  I always hand write a note specifically for them on the bottom.  Takes many hours, but is effective. 

I hold Open Houses the first several Saturdays for new Listings, and do buy a box in our company double truck in the local paper for my listings.  I get calls from them every single week. 

I have just begun blogging for both Los Angeles and also Desert Area online newspapers..both by requst of them to me. 

It ALL matters and is time consuming and critical.  Welcome to the world of work..I was successful as a polo professional because I worked doubly hard.  I like to think that happens in real estate as reading all the different responses..

May 11, 2010 08:25 AM #53
Damon Gettier
Damon Gettier & Associates, REALTORS- Roanoke Va Short Sale Expert - Roanoke, VA
Broker/Owner ABRM, GRI, CDPE

You are so correct!  Pricing is #1 by a big margin!

May 12, 2010 05:29 AM #54
Graig Ponthier
Homes & Land of Greater San Antonio - San Antonio, TX

Print Marketing still works as long as it is distributed properly. I hear success stories all the time. Our publication is up 35% over the past 12 months becasue it has been working for our advertisers. Most agents that say that print does not work, say this because they do not want to pay for it. But done right and in the right places, still very effective

May 12, 2010 09:58 AM #55
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Price and exposure.  These will determine whether or not a property sells.

May 12, 2010 08:24 PM #56
Bill Travis
Captain Bill Realty, LLC - Gilbert, AZ

In California where I used to live they did Realtor open houses, but here in the Phoenix they don't do that. And I also find that open houses are not productive for me.

May 13, 2010 12:55 AM #57
Alice T. Chan

I think in today's market, there is a need for flexibility and an open mind.  Putting a modern twist on traditional marketing methods like open houses can make them very effective.  Open houses can be an amazing tool but it's the execution that needs help.  Most realtors fail to market their open one's going to show up if it they don't know that it's happening.  This goes beyond putting signs up at the last minute. Also, having neighbors come through is very powerful.  You never know who they know wants to move into the neighborhood.  I also think that exposing your listings to colleagues is important.  It's unfortunate that it does require "incentives" to get visitors, but that's part of the marketing and sales process...making your product so irresistible, that folks can't help but be intrigued and want to learn more, see more, etc.  Your jaded perspective is not uncommon.  I think if you open your mind to redesigning some of these more traditional strategies and combine them with newer strategies, amazing things would happen for you and your clients.  This exact subject is why I'm hosting the Home Selling Success Telesummit this summer.  I invite you to join can get a basic pass absolutely FREE and you can participate in all of the live events.


Alice T. Chan


May 13, 2010 06:52 AM #58
Matt Sweeney
Rich Kids Real Estate: The Brokerage - Beverly Hills, CA
Rich Kids Real Estate

I disagree with this post. I have to admit that I have been drinking the Kool Aid a bit since joining Keller Williams, but I reread "MillionDollar Agent" by Gary Keller and he feels the whole, "that will never work in my market" excuse does not fly. Broker's Open/Caravan is imperative for every serious agent to attend as it gives you first hand knowledge of what's available and whether it could work for a client. Nothing is worse than a property looking amazing in pics only to show as a dump when you are out and about with clients. Some of you are lucky to be in small towns where perhaps there are a small pool of agents and everyone knows each other. Beverly Hills/The Hills/Greater LA is a shark tank. Buyer's are extremely savvy and real estate is a pass time for many of them. If you can't dialog with them about a property they say while chatting them up at an open house, you are dead in the water.

This leads me to open houses. I don't know how one could get away with not doing opens. Is it the best way to get leads, not always. It is an awesome way for people to check out your listing, meet neighbors, and have your branded Open House signs placed throughout the neighborhood for visibility. I try to hold two opens a week, even if the traffic starts dying. It's free and you never know who walks through the door. Plus, the seller loves it.

I am even doing door knocking, which I hate and is really not well received in LA. BUT, you never know where that yes will come from. Getting their email and plugging them into an 8x8 automated drip system keeps them constantly reminded of your presence out of the million agents out there.

My last point is that I think the true key to success is an integration of old school tried and true integrated with technology, blogging, web presence, etc. It's all about funneling leads into your pipeline to produce listings on a daily basis.

This was kind of a rant-ish response, so no offence. Again, it could be that LA is just so cut throat that you have to work extra hard to get a piece of the buy. I am probably jealous of those who just have leads funneling in through solely referrals and online lead capturing.

May 14, 2010 06:46 AM #59
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

It seems that there are two things being marketed:  Properties that you are listing and YOU.  Each of those may require a different approach.  Whereas a person might be satisfied doing internet searches for properties. they still are going to want to talk to friends, family and neighbors to get recommendations on a great Realtor who can help them with the process.

May 16, 2010 04:31 AM #60
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

While I agree that online marketing is definitely important, in Willimasburg some agenst have a lot of success with open houses.  I closed a house last November from an open house lead and just listed a house from an open house lead.  When this house sells I will sell them a house.  The three transactions will total close to a million.  A couple of years ago I have about a million in production from open house leads with four transaction sides in less than 3 months from open house leads.  I don't have a lot of open houses because I try not to work a lot of weekends and I used to hate open houses.  Maybe it is just your area. I was an agent in Fernandina Beach, Florida and I never got a lead from an open house there.

May 28, 2010 04:50 PM #61
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

A lot of good comments but it looks as if we are all still divided on what works.

Oct 02, 2011 01:09 PM #62
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Janice MacMillan

Associate Broker
Want to know more about what Valdosta has to offer? Email me!