Self-Promotion for Real Estate Agents: "I Wanna Get My Name Out There!"

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Education & Training with Sell with Soul

marketing"What's the best way to get my name out there?"

I hear this question a lot. Agents, particularly newer ones, ask it wanting to know how they can best spread the word that they're open for business.

Usually, they're looking for advice on the best places to advertise - should they take out an ad in the newspaper? Issue a press release? Buy a promotional panel on the side of a bus or a magnet for their car? Or maybe they've been offered a great "opportunity" to include their personal brochure in a neighborhood mailer or door-hanging promotion. One guy wanted to know if he should pony up $1000 to advertise on a banner at his health club.

I always ask the same question of these hopeful agents. "What do you expect to accomplish with your investment?"

They always answer: "I want to get my name out there."

Um... Out WHERE? Out there in the universe of people who don't know you, don't care about you and wouldn't dream of remembering your name, much less calling you for real estate service? Seriously?

Would YOU call a total stranger whose face you saw plastered on the side of a bus or smiling out at you from your shopping cart? Would you run screaming for the phone to hire someone who hung a HIRE ME brochure on your door? Do you really care that so-and-so just joined such-and-such firm and is now happily accepting referrals?

Of course not. And even on the off-chance that someone might respond to this sort of thing, the chances are far too slim for someone on a limited budget to risk the expense.

My point is that "getting your name out there" is a concept promoted primarily by the industries who have something to gain by helping you "get your name out there." And they prey on the "young" (i.e. the rookies) and the desperate.

If you're wondering how to "get your name out there," you probably don't have the budget to do it effectively. And that's okay! Getting Your Name Out There is overrated anyway. Focus your efforts (and marketing dollars) closer to home, literally and figuratively. Before you spend a dime on self-promotion-to-strangers, make darn sure everyone you know knows you sell real estate (without pestering them for referrals, of course). Every day, go forth and smile - that is - go out into your world with the sole intention of making others' days brighter.

Don't worry about competing with the heavier-hitters in your market; there's no need. Real estate business comes in one client at a time. When you run into someone who has a real estate need, all you have to worry about is being the Best (Wo)Man for the Job, which has nothing to do with advertising or marketing or branding... it has everything to do with knowing your stuff - and knowing you know your stuff.

THAT's the best way to get your name out there!

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Rainmaker
1,027,000
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Get out there with your antennae up!  is one my favorite JA phrases...that's the best way to attract people to you, and eventually business, as well.  Business begets business!

Dec 28, 2010 01:24 AM #14
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Susan - you forgot the part about having a "smile on your face!" And yes - to respond to Sally's request to blog about meeting people... it really is much easier to "meet people" than we try to make it. People are everywhere and the beautiful thing about our business is that any one of those people could be or lead us to our next client. Our future clients aren't all hanging out in one place or in one industry, or only available to be "met" via open houses, floor time or Chamber of Commerce events.

It's SOOO easy for new (or desperate) agents to fall back on tried and UNtrue strategies for promoting themselves, forgetting to ask themselves that magic question - "Would I respond to this particular strategy if it were used on me?"

Dec 28, 2010 01:30 AM #15
Rainmaker
91,326
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

When I think of all those precious first and second year $$ I spent on postcards to the apartment complex down the street...*shudder*.

And "Go forth and smile" is what my dentist says after every checkup!  :-D

 

 

Dec 28, 2010 02:01 AM #16
Ambassador
779,627
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

When I started I made a bunch of black and white photos of myself (too cheap for color) and hung in the post office. Not my best marketing strategy...

Dec 28, 2010 03:25 AM #17
Rainmaker
566,023
Diane McDermott
Realtor®, GRI, Landis e2 Real Estate, LLC - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte NC Real Estate Market

None of that gimmicky stuff would ever work on me and if I saw my real estate agent's face plastered on the back of a bathroom stall door (my personal favorite "how could that possibly be effective ad placement"????) I'd seriously reconsider working with them! 

Dec 28, 2010 03:50 AM #18
Rainmaker
91,326
Sue Gabriel
Cleveland, OH

LOL@Doug (#17). I hope you weren't wearing horizontal stripes!

Dec 28, 2010 03:50 AM #19
Rainmaker
149,563
Ann Cordes
Century 21 Randall Morris and Associates, Waco - Waco, TX
Home Ownership is Not a Distant Dream

I tried all those chamber of commerce luncheons and after hours mixers. I decided I didn't like being part of the 10% of the crowd who were also realtors.

Dec 28, 2010 03:51 AM #20
Rainmaker
76,693
Kelly Cordova-Armer
Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals - Ogden, UT
Selling with Soul amidst the Utah Mountains!

JA - As always you hit the nail on the head.  ;0 )  Selling soulfully in UTAH ..when is the next book coming out?

Dec 28, 2010 04:06 AM #22
Rainmaker
1,009,601
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

JA - Charlie #12, has the least expensive tip.  That plus your name tag almost always generates inquiries whether good or bad.  Know your stuff and they'll remember you, nearly everybody has a question for us, especially now. 

Dec 28, 2010 04:48 AM #23
Rainmaker
752,086
Ritu Desai
Samson Properties - Ashburn, VA
Virginia Realtor-Fairfax/Loudoun/PW-703-625-4949

JA - you hit the bullseye!! Referral is what going to get your name out.

@Sally, I like your idea of community face book.

Dec 28, 2010 04:59 AM #24
Rainmaker
603,953
John Marshall - FORE!
LoKation Real Estate - Cherry Hills Village, CO
Specializing in Golf Course Properties

Jennifer, when I got into this industry I was blown away by how many marketers there were promoting the next great real estate marketing tip, ploy strategy etc. I recently wrote a blog about where my business came from this past decade, 83% came from people that knew me and referred me, of the remaining 17% about half were sign calls, a couple were open houses and a couple were floor calls.

Only 1% of my business in the past 10 years came from marketing or "getting my name out there", and that was for a discount service I offered. I quit spending money on marketing and started focusing on those that already know me.

Dec 28, 2010 10:52 AM #25
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

All good stuff!!! Funny thing is... while I figured this stuff out in my real estate career, I fell into the same traps when I started writing. Pretty much bought one of everything offered to me for promoting myself as a writer/trainer! It's SOOOO easy to do when you're not yet confident in yourself.

Kelly - the book is at my editor's now! Yay! I'm guessing it will be out in the spring, but there will be some review copies floating around before then ;-]

Dec 28, 2010 11:38 PM #26
Rainer
24,009
Lauren Briles
The Briles Company - Greenville, SC

Jennifer, thanks for all of your posts!  Currently, I am trying to brainstorm the best way to get my client's listings "out there" to the right buyers...any thoughts?  There are so many places to market the properties, but trying to find the right place for the right home is the most difficult!! 

Dec 29, 2010 05:25 AM #27
Rainer
43,428
Renée Montgomery
Century 21 New Millennium - Warrenton, VA
Northern Virginia Real Estate

New agents are always asking this of me, I just tell them to tell every single person they know that they are a realtor. That's what "out there" is all about.

Dec 29, 2010 10:12 AM #28
Rainmaker
431,726
Frances C. Rokicki
Fran Rokicki Realty, LLC - Bolton, CT
Broker-Mentor,CRS

Jennifer, I would add, take some real estate courses, ie., GRI, e_PRO, ABR.  These courses are invaluable to a Realtor. My production, doubled, the year that I attended the GRI course.  The more knowledge that you have, the better you are at this profession.

Dec 29, 2010 11:07 AM #29
Rainer
132,918
Roseanne Campagna
John L. Scott RE Maple Valley, WA - Maple Valley, WA
Kent/DesMoines/Blk Diamond/Renton/Maple Valley, WA

Hi Jennifer, You were my first real helper in this business when I purchased your book in May 2010! If it is okay, I'll download the digital copy too - and let other's know they should signup for AR and hook up with you too! Thanks for all the tips and Happy New Year! Roseanne

Dec 29, 2010 02:10 PM #30
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Lauren - to answer your question about getting your listings Out There - it's actually a somewhat similar answer! Well, sorta. There are lot of companies offering to help you market your listings, but the truth is, in most markets anyway, the MLS is by far the most effective marketer of your listings. BUT (and this is a big BUT), your listings must be priced right, presented well, and easy to show. If the MLS description is accurate and appealing, if the photos are good and the price is right... and there aren't any unreasonable showing restrictions or requirements, your listing should sell IF there are any buyers for it.

Real buyers and their agents go to the MLS to find houses (which of course, feeds to many other portals automatically) - if your listing is there in all its glory, priced and presented better than all the others... that's really all you need.

I've written a ton about this - let me know if you want me to dig up the links!

Dec 29, 2010 11:28 PM #31
Rainmaker
76,693
Kelly Cordova-Armer
Cornerstone Real Estate Professionals - Ogden, UT
Selling with Soul amidst the Utah Mountains!

JA  - How does one get their hands on a "review" copy?! :)  I could go for some good reading right now! 

Dec 30, 2010 04:04 PM #32
Rainmaker
484,257
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Kelly - The trick is probably to ask/beg/bribe someone in charge. If you can find that person in the SWS conglomerate... ;-]

Dec 31, 2010 12:07 AM #33
Rainer
24,009
Lauren Briles
The Briles Company - Greenville, SC

Thanks for the tips!  I apologize for the delayed response!!  I agree with you, just thought I would see if there was anything new I should explore!  I try to update remarks and pictures to keep things "fresh" as well!  Again, thanks for the advice!!

Jan 04, 2011 06:31 AM #34
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