You're so vain........or not!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC BK607690

OK, this post was inspired by Chris Tesch's post "A Note To My Competition". If you haven't read it take a minute to do so. Her post and the comments got me to thinking. I hate it when that happens!! I'm getting old and too much thinking hurts my head. BUT.....for you guys.....I will suffer.

I'm going to write a little bit about marketing/advertising and how it relates to our specific markets. As most of you know, I have written quite a few posts about the things I do to generate business and the ads that I run. I currently run three different print ads and spend about $1,000 a month to do so. Two are geared towards Sellers and are in monthly advertisers that are very specific to my market area and the third is a couple of pages in a "free home guide" and display my listings for Buyers.

Chris's post was basically about how print ads are...well, here's what she wrote, "Advertising in the magazine is, at best, fodder for the ego." Now I guess the ad Chris was referring to was more of a "vanity ad" than anything else. By that I mean, a pretty picture of the REALTOR® and a short bio with achievements. These are agent centric ads and not so much consumer centric ads. Chris was making the point that this is old fashioned and a waste of money.

Now before I go any further, I want to say that I am NOT disagreeing with Chris. I don't know Chris's market and print ads, where she's at, may very well be "fodder for the ego" but that brings me to the point of this post. ALL markets are different. What works for me, in Poinciana Fl, may or may not work for you. And what works in your market may or may not work in mine.

Let me give you a few examples:

  • Web sites and Internet advertising (Craigslist, etc..) According to statistics about 80% of home buyers start their search on the Internet. That certainly sounds like we all should be on the Internet. Well....I don't work with Buyers and I don't want to start. I do have a pretty big Internet presence but it is NOT a major part of my business. I only work with Sellers. Sellers, at least in my area, do not search the Internet to locate a REALTOR®. If I stopped all of my Internet stuff tomorrow it would NOT affect my business one iota. 50% of my Sellers, right now, do not even have an Email address. Your market may be completely different.
  • Print ads: In my market print ads are a must. The two monthlies I run are both "vanity ads". Nothing in them but my photo, company name, my contact info and a very brief blurb about listing with me. That's it. BUT they are both delivered to every residences in my market once a month. I've been in them for about 10 years. When folks want to list their house they pick up the ad and call me. My other ad in the "free home guide" has nothing in it but my listings and contact info. My market is 30 minutes from Disney. When folks are down vacationing they grab these magazines at the grocery stores and take them home with them. Then they call me and I pass them over to my Buyers agent. This magazine is my BA's best lead generator. One closing pays for the ad for the year.
  • Open houses: These do not work in Poinciana Fl and are a waste of time. Poinciana is not a destination market. It is a price driven market. Most folks buy in Poinciana because they can't afford to buy closer to Orlando. Folks do not sell a house in Poinciana to buy a bigger home in Poinciana. They sell to move out of the area. And because of this you just don't get a lot of folks riding around attending open houses. This doesn't mean an open house wouldn't work in your market. I would imagine in a more upscale or desirable market they would be very effective. Have you tried?
  • Expired listings letter: This for me, is by far, my biggest money maker. I get tons of business off of my one simple little letter that I mail out everyday. My letter is designed specifically to address the concerns that Sellers, in my market, have told me over the years. My letter may look very simple and very basic but I can assure you it has years of experience behind it. Every sentence has a purpose. may not work in your market.

The point I'm trying to make is, you must know YOUR market. There are NO one size fits all marketing plans. And if someone says there is, then they are trying to sell you something. You have to define who your market is and then personalize your marketing towards those folks. If you are trying to get listings then why are you spending all your money advertising houses for sale? It doesn't make any sense.

Here's a little tip for you: "Buyers are moving INTO  your market, therefore your marketing efforts need to be OUTSIDE(pull) your market. Sellers are moving OUT OF your market, therefore, you want to be marketing IN (push) your market." Does that make sense? It does in my market. Does it in yours?

All content copyright © 2007 - Broker Bryant Real Estate Ramblings

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 Tutas Towne Realty, Inc handles Florida real estate sales, Florida short sales, Florida strategic short sales, Florida pre-foreclosure sales, Florida foreclosures in Kissimmee Florida Short Sales, Davenport Florida Short Sales, Haines City Florida Short Sales, Poinciana Florida Short Sales, Solivita Florida Short Sales,  Orlando Florida Short Sales, Celebration Florida Short Sales, Windermere Florida Short Sales. Serving all of Polk, Osceola and Orange Counties Florida. Florida Short Sale Broker. Short Sale Florida.

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Colleen Kulikowski
The Griffin Team @ Keller Williams Realty - Buffalo, NY
Creative Real Estate Solutions...
BB -- Great post...   I really enjoy this one!
Sep 06, 2007 07:32 AM #46
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

BB: I love the song. It reminded me of the days when my mom drove me around town!!!

On a serious note: I've never been really comfortable with vanity ads. I want my record to speak for itself but I guess if I dont get out there, it will be difficult to know me in this market (swarming with agents like bees)...

Sep 06, 2007 08:37 AM #47
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Bob, when we first opened Tutas Towne about 9 years ago I had a TV commercial that was on out local cable network. It played about 10 times a day on USA, ESPN, Lifetime and a couple of other channels. I got so much recognition from that I had to stop it. I couldn't even go into the grocery store without folks coming up to me. I loved the commercial but did not like the attention. We moved out of Poinciana 7 years ago for the same reason.

Great story Debbie! I guess you will be scheduling a few more of those open houses. Things change. While they didn't work before they are now. I think I'll stick to my "don't work" story though:)

Jeff, You have to stick with an expired program for a lot longer than 1 month. Commit to a year. You will get results if you do that. I make better than 6 figures off of expired listings alone! I mailed out 70 letters this morning. If I did nothing else I would solicit expired listings. Don't forget to hit the withdrawn listings as well. Keep it simple and keep at it.

Leah, good to see you. I hope all has been well with you.

Thanks Colleen. How are things with you?

Loreena, You have to be comfortable with your marketing. If you are not comfortable with it don't do it. BUT remember you have a gift and can help folks. However, you can't help them if they can't find you. Sometimes our discomfort is for the benefit of others. But you know that:) Look at this way, if you are confident in what you offer and know you can help people achieve their goals THEN you are doing them a disservice by not making them aware of that. Make sense? That is also an excellent train of thought to have when cold calling.

Sep 06, 2007 09:29 AM #48
Robert Schwabe
EXP Realty - Orange Park, FL
Orange Park Real Estate
BB- I'm still sticking with the expired letters so far I only had one response. I'm also getting some returned letters. The property appraisers website does not show their mailing address. I'm also thinking about a news letter. What are you thoughts on that? Did you ever hear of a news letter that works?
Sep 06, 2007 09:42 AM #49
Christopher Walker
Mission Grove Realty Inc. - Hemet, CA
Local Broker and Realtor - Hemet & San Jacinto, CA

Great inspiration for all of us to revisit our marketing efforts. Not all things do work in all areas for sure. Interesting to hear what does work in a different market. Thank you.

Sep 06, 2007 10:44 AM #50
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Jeff - Bryant is so correct about the expireds. You must commit to one year. You will most likely not get results in one month. Like Bryant- If we do nothing else, we do expired mailings. Like Bryant- we make over 6 figures on expireds. It is a great niche if you do it right. Katerina
Sep 06, 2007 12:03 PM #51
Chris Tesch
RE/MAX Bryan-College Station - College Station, TX
College Station, Texas Real Estate
Broker Bryant, ya' schooled me!  Truthfully a had an ephihany when I read Missy's comment.  We have smaller markets abutting us.  Those markets, I'll bet, will respond to the print ads like a charm!  We don't sell much there, and listings are on the market longer.  I'm thinking they are in for a growth spurt soon though.
Sep 06, 2007 12:57 PM #52
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Well Chris that made it worth it. I knew when I wrote this post that folks would chime in with what works for them and it would open my mind to new ideas. That's always my goal when writing. The market around you would probably be good areas to start an ad campaign of some sort. Maybe there are areas that have a good size HOA with a newsletter you could get in. I pay $225 a month for a 1/4 page ad in our monthly HOA paper. It is mailed to every property owner in Poinciana. That's about 70,000 people!!!

Robert, Stick with it. An expired program is a long term plan. Just make it a habit and it will payoff.

Katerina, Of course you and I agree completely. I LOVE expired listings. I listed two of them this week and have only left my house one time.

Hi Christopher thanks for stopping by.

Sep 07, 2007 01:08 AM #53
Jeff R. Geoghan
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Lancaster, PA
REALTOR, Marketing Manager
Thanks for the tip, Bryant.   Do you really have 70 expireds at one time?  Hopefully that's not one week's worth.
Sep 07, 2007 02:37 AM #54
Scott Cowan
RE/MAX Professionals - Olympia, WA


Thanks for another great post. I have recently moved offices. The offices are only 15 miles apart but they are worlds apart when it comes to the way business is conducted. I am now in a small community and I have to establish myself as someone the locals can trust. I grew up here (many years ago) so I know the basic lay of the land and some of the more established businesses etc. This is mostly a high touch personal connection market. Meeting people on the streets etc. My previous office was more hands off on a 2nd floor of a strip mall little interaction with the public. Email, Internet, and Farming worked much better there. Personally I like the high touch face to face marketing better. Even though I am more comfortable in some ways behind the keyboard like on AR.


Please keep posting. I am always learning something from your posts.



Sep 07, 2007 03:40 AM #55
Gary Bolen
McCall Realty - South Lake Tahoe, CA
CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information

Right on. As usual.

Always thought the some was about Mick, but have also heard it was Warren Beatty. Have met both of them, but never Carly, and would have asked her if I did. Bet she wouldn't tell though, she hasn't yet.

Now on to see what foolishness Bertha is up to.




Sep 07, 2007 01:41 PM #56
Allison Stewart
St.Cloud Homes - Saint Cloud, FL
St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904

Hi Bryant

I have to agree with you on all points.  There are so way many to advertise, but when you scutinize the yield vs the money expended the numbers speak volumes. As the market changes we must adapt our advertising methods to change with them.  The Internet presence is vital.

 Print Ads often draw in tourists and do not generate the calls they used to before the Internet took over.

Letters still have good bang for the buck.

Word of mouth... speaks well of you.

Open Houses... Nap time.

Thanks for the words of wisdom they are gems! 



Sep 07, 2007 11:51 PM #57
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
Broker Bryant...This is what I love about real estate...There's room for a lot of different approaches to the business, but ultimately there is very limited room for what makes sense in each unique situation.  The key is to figure out what works for the particular situation that I am working in...not what works for someone else. Great post and enjoyable reading as always.  Thanks.
Sep 08, 2007 10:48 AM #58
Ann Heitland
Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties - Flagstaff, AZ
Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales

I think everyone in my market has finally caught on that print ads do not work (here at least). There were NO ads for open houses in today's paper. Unheard of! I track advertising results by asking people who work with me -- how did you get to me? It's that simple. Keep track. After two years of tracking goose-eggs for the print ads, I had the courage to drop them. Now, two years later, everyone else is too. If you're doing to do something other than internet in my market, it's got to be TV.  That said, 25% of our market is second homes, so it may be a lot different from your market.

Sep 09, 2007 11:45 AM #59
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
You hit the nail on the head  (or the coffin depending on your market:) regarding marketing.  I was a listing agent working with many top listing agents while in CA and farming, referrals and a physical presence in the print publications conveyed to sellers that we knew our market and were the neighborhood experts.  Now that I have had to start from scratch in NC and because we are a magnet for relocating buyers due to a great job market I have even dropped my farming efforts and am focused almost entirely on the Internet.  It's all about knowing your personal target market.   Thanks for the great does appear that Bertha has borrowed a lifestyle from the Beatles:  " Blog with a little help from your friends:)
Sep 10, 2007 01:31 AM #61

First time reading your blog....LOVED IT....I think I'm an addict now..Could you send me your autograph...Seriously tons of useful information...I'm also a stricly a listing agent so all the stories and useful knowledge really hits home.  I'm sure you have tons of fans but e-mail me somtime...I'll be subscribing to this blog for a long time


Thanks for doing it right....

Sep 11, 2007 10:45 AM #62
Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Hey looks like I abandoned this post. Sorry about that. OK the comment above this on is NOT me. But, whoever it is......thanks for stopping by!

I hope eceryone is having a busy and productive week!!! Thanks for taking the time out of your day to stop by and read and comment. It's always appreciated.

Sep 11, 2007 11:06 AM #63
"The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW.
President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc. - Kissimmee, FL


I hope he comes back and tells us who he is.


Sep 11, 2007 11:38 AM #64
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
You are right on target and clearly have an excellent understanding of your market, hence your success...which will continue through any kind of real estate market.
Sep 12, 2007 04:05 AM #65
Debbie Hodrick, PMP
Crystal Coast - Salt Lake City, UT

I have been getting alot of sellers from Active Rain. Yes!!! I have testimony. I didn't read all of the responses that you got I don't know if you have been asked 100 times. Would you mind emailing me a copy of your expired letter? I would so much appreciate it. It is fun to read your blogs. Keep it coming!!!

A Fan Debbie

Sep 24, 2007 08:39 AM #66
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