Print Campaigns. YUM!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services 0514644

With a friend divorcee. She said to me, "So... What's up with your football schedule magnet on my ex's frig?" Ummm.... Is this a trick question? "Donno. Ask the X?!" More on that one later...

OK... I admit it. I haven't done much in the way of print ads in a while. And I also admit it. I can't tell you why I haven't done any ink lately. Here's why: It works!

As much as we have worked hard on our blogs, our websites, our SEO, our social media... have we focused so much online that we have lost touch with traditional means that could prove to be equally as effective in time? And lasting? Maybe even more effective and more lasting? Time will tell as we enter, for the first time, a 2nd generation of bloggers! Perhaps I have lost focus on print ads. And we may be losing a huge market that isn't as plugged in as we are by focusing online. Or losing the people who lose our printed giveaways in their divorce (there is a funny to go along with that) or hand down to their kids? And their kids' kids....

Here are my experiences, recent and old, with print ads. Funny stuff first...

So back to the friend divorcee... who found my ad on her ex's frig... like a good friend would, she asked him about it. He said to her, "Yea, that came in the mail addressed to you (to the girl) but I could see through the envelope and I could see it was something you wouldn't really care for, and I liked it, so I opened it and kept it...

"Please don't hate me!"

Thought bubble: "I LOVE HIM! Glad that worked out! Glad I sent something someone liked and wanted. Glad you asked me before you ex-friended me over a boy you don't even like! Glad I'm not the one in the doghouse!"

Lesson learned: Items in print, mailed, should be items of value, things that will be opened, kept, things they will reference for months or years later, things people will commit crimes for and open mail when they are not the intended recipient, things people will fight for in the divorce! Kidding...

Same lesson. Item of value. Something appealing. Exposure time. Something you can pass on to a child! No kidding, I was sitting in class at Coldwell Banker many years ago and it struck me! I remember how I know the agent who's been teaching my new agent classes! I have seen her name! At home! Not my home I have now, my HOME home. My mama's home!

Martha Malone, a seasoned agent in my hometown, did cookbooks many moons ago. Somehow, my mom was a recipient. That cookbook with her note, "Happy Thanksgiving from Martha Malone 498-1732" sat in my home at 128 Navajo my whole life. It has my first spaghetti in it! Now it is a treasure of my daughter's! What I learned on the "How to" side of this one is it definitely "got kept" but what I learned on the "How not to" camp is that she didn't say what she did for a living. See her sweet note on the front? My mom, when she gave it to me, didn't know Martha was a real estate agent. She didn't add that to her personal note on the book. Print ads should have a definite call to action and a number to call for the action! It should be apparent who it is from and what you do for a living. Otherwise, I can promise you, we will eat a lot of fine meals, giving thanks to some God named Martha Malone, who we don't even know who she is and what she does besides eat well?!

What other print advertising works? Get yourself in the news! Not a paid ad. An expert opinion! It works!

Keep stationery and business cards in stock and use them! There is nothing like a hand-written noteEspecially now! When is the last time you received a Thank You note? Goodness... I can't recall. Gratitude is a lost art. It works.

Balloons! I had an open house visitor once. Had no intention of buying a house that day whatsoever. I hadn't seen her since Kindergarten. That balloon took her back... She saw it, recognized the married name, brand name, and stopped in. Until that day, we hadn't been in touch and she would probably never know or buy a house from me. But today she is a referral source. Printed on a balloon... got her attention like a five-year-old. It works!

Just Listed, Just Sold postcards. Repeat. Repeat one more time. Works!

Mixed the print with the tech by getting some QR code stickers and QR code signs made. My QR code stickers and signs are links to my Virtual Tours and to this blog site! I also add them to my property fliers. Works...

Business Card Magnets. They work.

Summary of Top Print Ads:

1. Stationery and business cards and business card magnets!

2. Items of value that will be kept over time like sports schedules for him and cookbooks for her (ok, I realize that's old fashioned and stereotyping, but you get the point!)

3. Just Listed, Just Sold postcards sent to the same farm more than once!

4. Specific branded signage, balloons with brand, open house signs with brand!

5. QR code stickers and QR code signs and QR codes on property fliers - Mix the old with the new, the tech with the print!

Posted by

Kristen Correa Real Estate

Comments (45)

Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

A lot of  realtors are getting stuck on their  computers & not getting to meet people face to face. It is a lost art since Realtors got so sophisticated. Good old foot work & printed materials still work.

May 17, 2013 11:00 AM
Kristen Correa, Broker
Kristen Correa Real Estate & Reedy Creek Realty Services - Keller, TX
I love coffee & real estate. I am out of coffee!

Jimmy, I think this computer time with folks like you is fun, too, but I can't sell you a house in Florida, can I? Have to weigh what is fun vs. what is productive and balance it out.

May 17, 2013 11:27 AM
Angie Johnson
RE/MAX Luxury Real Estate - Scottsdale, AZ
Angie Johnson

Thanks for the wealth of information that was very well written and entertaining...:)

May 17, 2013 11:55 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale
Kristen, it's finding the right mix of Internet and print. Sometimes finding something of value can be difficult. We need to be creative.
May 17, 2013 12:02 PM
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services


"Keep stationery and business cards in stock and use them! There is nothing like a hand-written noteEspecially now! When is the last time you received a Thank You note? Goodness... I can't recall. Gratitude is a lost art. It works."  This is great advice.  I just got a hand written thank you and it really touched my heart!

May 17, 2013 12:33 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Kristen, print media combined with online presence will bring sellers and buyers rolling in!

May 17, 2013 01:29 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I came across some of my old print campaign material awhile back.  One of my favorites, was an amortization chart, for interest rates between 6% and 18%.  It was printed up in the early 1980s.

May 17, 2013 02:23 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Kristin, it nice to see people fighting over your magnets,  I always enjoy it when a client pulls out their property folder and I see a brochure that we sent out 20 years ago, and was saved all these years.

May 17, 2013 03:32 PM
Sonsie Conroy
I serve buyers and sellers everywhere in San Luis Obispo County - San Luis Obispo, CA
Energetic, Enthusiastic, Knowledgeable Realtor

I try to write at least aa couple of notes a day . . . congratulating a friend on a promotion, thank-you notes, notes with an interesting newspaper clipping, and so on. I think it works; people always remark on them. Keeps us in touch in a really personal way.

May 17, 2013 05:28 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great advice here.  We just started using the magnets, too.  We've been using more with past customers, but may try as a lead generation, tool in the future, too.

May 17, 2013 07:09 PM
Aaron Hofmann
Atlanta Communities - Smyrna, GA
aka Mr. Smyrna Vinings

Excellent ideas, but I still love online. Those items of value are great. I always love seeing the magnet calendars or sports schedules from other agents on the refrigerators of a home I'm listing. I always explain to the sellers that it's always important to de-clutter, so those magnets will have to come down.

May 17, 2013 08:11 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

The right mixture of print and online marketing is key.  I'll let you know if I ever find it!  Excellent post.                                    

May 17, 2013 09:14 PM
Fernando Herboso - Broker for Maxus Realty Group
Maxus Realty Group - Broker 301-246-0001 - Gaithersburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Is all about who you are trying to attract. . in some cases print is the only way. .

May 17, 2013 09:35 PM
Bob Ratliff
Robert Ratliff Realty - San Antonio, TX
"Sold with Bob"

Kristen, I'm a big believer of print mailing and you're right there needs to be value in what is mailed. I like Randy's blog a few days ago about sending our Christmas cards in May... catch them off guard to remember you or give them that one item of value to remember you. Thanks for sharing your great blog.

May 17, 2013 10:02 PM
Ray Stockwell
ZipperAgent - Boston, MA
Director of Marketing



Thank you for reminding me to send to the print media I have been postponing. I will get on it today!

May 17, 2013 11:33 PM
Michael Blue
Home Smart Realty West - Encinitas, CA
REALTOR - 760-889-8877, Encinitas/Carlsbad
Always a key word, something of value. But that has different meanings for different people.
May 18, 2013 03:20 AM
Team Honeycutt
Allen Tate - Concord, NC

You gave us a lot to think about.  I really liked #5 of your summary. Mixing the old with the new seems to make sure we cover all of our bases.  Good Blog.


May 18, 2013 04:21 AM
Keith Lawrence
Christie's International - Mahwah, NJ

You are correct.  It is a mix of the new technology with the olds ways that works.  All the old ways that you mentioned still work today.

May 18, 2013 04:26 AM
AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS
Keyes Co. - Davie, FL
Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL

Funny to read this now.. I sent out two thank you cards this week.... Good to know that I'm in the right direction.

Have a nice weekend.... Thank you again!!!

May 18, 2013 05:26 AM
Kimberly Tapscott
Keller Williams Prestige Properties - Stamford, CT
Giving you the service you deserve!
Kristen, great ideas and yes they all work when done consistently. I try to send two notes cards each day. And I LOVE the QR code stickers.....thank you for sharing.
May 19, 2013 04:51 AM