What an Enormous Waste of Money! Newbie Agent, You Have a Lot to Learn

Services for Real Estate Pros with Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing


I waited a while before posting this blog because I wanted to be sure this agent was done... totally. Well, he is. This is more of a rant but also a lesson to those new in the business and maybe even those new to online marketing. Don't make these mistakes and live to regret them.

real estate marketingI got a client last year that was a new agent as of 2014. He signed up for a website that charged him way to much ($200 a month just for an IDX site with content) and wanted to get information on it as fast as possible. He hired someone at first that wrote for him but then he discovered that she used the same content on multiple sites, which only harms his site. So then, sometime in summer he decided to go with me. I started blogging for him and promoting the content on various social media. He was on everything; Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Linked in, etc... Then he wanted more content (once he realized it was original and good) so he increased the blogging to one a day. A blog EVERY DAY about his area. Great information about local news, events, real estate tips, condo buildings, mortgage news and a great blend of all topics that really enhanced his website and created an awesome resource for information. 

Then he put money into Facebook ads. I am in support of these as you can target your audience and build your fan base as fast as you want depending on how much money you want to throw at it. Within 3-4 month he had over 3,000 likes and followers, hundreds of blogs, a great basis of followers and online exposure; probably much more than most real estate agents ever do. 


Real estate marketing dollarsHe wasn't getting any leads to begin with but then started to get calls about a blog we wrote here or there, information on a topic they found online, or a lead from a social media. But again, nothing to the extent of what he wanted - YET. I even suggested scaling down the operation to a couple blogs a week and just promotion of the content.... nope. He wanted more, more, more... and you know what that meant....  $$$$$$. Thousands of dollars in social media promotion, blogging, extra work on maps, custom pages, community landing pages and promotion. For a few months he would call me almost every day with questions or suggestions on building his business. 

Because I was an agent once upon a time he would even ask me real estate questions as if I was his broker. I said, this is something your broker should answer and he would always say they were terrible and not helpful. Maybe look into a new brokerage, I would suggest. 

But regardless, after not quite a full year of blogging every day, promotion, social media and PPC, he felt he didn't get enough to justify it. I begged him to just scale down but one day out of the blue he said, close it all down. WHAT? I said. He said, this isn't working, I'm shutting down my website and closing my social media accounts. AGAIN,,, WHAT? Are you not going to be an agent anymore? He said yes but the site was costing him too much. I suggested moving it to a Wordpress site with an external IDX for far less money.... nope. I suggested leaving the social media sites up.... nope. He said he didn't want people scrolling through the site and finding dead links. I said we can fix this... but PLEASE don't waste all this time and money! 

It didn't matter. He just pulled the plug on it all.Bad real estate marketing decision

Now.... the moral of this story is slow and steady wins the race. He went at this online marketing thing like the hare... fast and ran out of steam (and money) really fast. At his pace for several years could potentially yield dozens of leads but hard and fast for less than one year may not offer the return you need. 

I HATE wasting time and product. I felt all this amazing work just got deleted. For Heaven's sake he could have sold the site and the Facebook page to another agent willing to work it, but nope. Just shut it all down. 

I'm proud of my work and even though he was happy with my work and I did everything that was asked, he didn't listen to my marketing advice. I really wanted him to save money and do this slow and steady. He could have reaped a great reward in the future. 

The point is, don't waste your money. Don't waste your time. Use your marketing dollars carefully and wisely. Slow and steady builds your business, reputation and online exposure. Hard and fast burns up quick.

I'm lamenting all that great work......

Posted by

Personal SEO Tim and Tammy Emineth

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Tim and Tammy Emineth have owned Personal SEO since 2004. We focus on SEO first whether it's blogging, images, website design, IDX solutions and calls to action. We operate with a Storybrand philosophy to encourage more traffic to your site, more eyes on your content and more leads to your business. Call us or email us for a free website audit.

Tim: 425-443-8372  Tammy: 425-344-0677

Comments (57)

Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Tammy Emineth - sometimes some people want to achieve everything overnight! One must understand, one needs to be consistent and not over-do anything that may harm the business, too!

Jul 20, 2015 02:37 PM
Dinah Stallworth-Lewis
Priority Real Estate LLC - 318.332.8281 - Natchitoches, LA


It is sad that he didn't listen to good sound marketing advice.   That was money gone down the drain.  

Jul 20, 2015 02:43 PM
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

What a shame that he didn't listen to your wise advice, Tammy!! In the end he only hurt himself.

Jul 20, 2015 02:50 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Tammy - This sounds like it was a frustrating experience for both of you. It's unfortunate that your client didn't listen.

Jul 20, 2015 04:34 PM
Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team
Ken's Home Team LLC. - Vancouver, WA

I completely get what your saying here, and i get your blowing off steam, however, you say you wasted time and good material, as a business owner i want to point out that he did pay you for your services and what he chooses to do with the material is up to him.

I am sorry that this happened and he was not willing to take your advice. 

Jul 20, 2015 09:19 PM
Heidi Kelley
Keller Williams Realty Leading Edge - East Providence, RI
Your Rhode Island Real Estate Connection

Tammy- This is a great "life lesson" post for all agents. 

Jul 20, 2015 09:22 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

The other take away is that if one is paying a professional, they should be willing to listen to the advice of that person!

Jul 20, 2015 10:22 PM
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Just sounds to me like he wanted to be king of the road immediately and we know blogging takes time.  He'll probably be selling cars next year.

Jul 20, 2015 11:32 PM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Sounds like he thought it was all about instant success like business incubation is as simple as a microwave!

Jul 20, 2015 11:39 PM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Ken 360.609.0226 Portland OR & Vancouver WA Real Estate Broker  - Oh, right, I agree with that. It's a pride thing for me more than anything. ha.. But yes, he can do whatever he wants and yes, he was great at paying on the dote every time and even in some cases BEFORE work was done. I certainly won't complain that he was a good client. Very nice person, I just feel so bad that it was all for nothing.

Thank you for your comments. I just think this is a good reminder for all of us that this SEO stuff DOES work but it's not an overnight thing. 

Jul 20, 2015 11:52 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Under that little head hat of yours is a brilliant light Tammy Emineth 

Jul 21, 2015 12:11 AM
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

I had a similar situation last year with an agent. She had contacted me for advice. When the work didn't get the results she wanted, she pulled the plug. Building an online reputation takes time and a lot of work but very little money. If agents can't do both, they are doomed for failure.

Jul 21, 2015 02:49 AM
Mike Frazier
Carousel Realty of Dyer County - Dyersburg, TN
Northwest Tennessee Realtor

If he would have listened to you from the beginning he would still be in the game I am sure.

Jul 21, 2015 08:23 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Broker
Elizabeth Anne Weintraub, Broker - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Oh, this is such a sad and pathetic tale. Why didn't you offer to buy the site and then you could have sold it for a pretty penny to somebody else? That would have made more sense. It took me about 18 months to see results in Google, and now it just doesn't stop.

Jul 21, 2015 11:56 AM
Tammy Emineth
Personal SEO - Website SEO and Real Estate Marketing - Frenchtown, MT
Content Marketer, SEO Teacher, Website Fixer

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents  - I suggested that on the Facebook page for sure... 3000 likes is a lot and takes either a lot of time or money to get there but he just kept shutting me down. Ugh.. 

Jul 22, 2015 01:02 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

It happens... and if you can not make him see the light, move on to those that see the end of the tunnel.

Jul 22, 2015 05:35 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Sometimes you learn more from people's mistakes than you do from any success.

Jul 30, 2015 01:11 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

You can lead a horse to water, you know? I would never try to force him at all. It's just not worth making an enemy.

Jul 30, 2015 01:13 PM
Maureen Fukumoto
Help-U-Sell Realty Pro - Mililani, HI

Tammy, from the first time you took over my website developement and maintenance I have been thrilled with all that you do. 

Oct 07, 2015 10:51 AM
Cesar Bautista
Keller Williams Realty Central Coast ~ Pismo Beach - Santa Maria, CA
Your Central Coast Area Realtor 805.264.1646

Tammy - I feel your pain.  Sometimes people need to slow down, take a step back and weigh their best options.  With a little time, patience and budgeting his resources, he could recoup some of this ROI.   Your client could have easily scaled down but I see he didn't see the big picture.  I'll try to learn from his mistakes...

May 20, 2016 03:25 AM