Marketing Strategies - The Good, The Bad, The Possible

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Aspen Lane Real Estate Colorful Colorado CRE# 40005863

This month we are asked to write about our marketing strategies and share what has worked and what has bombed.


I have tried just about every flavor of marketing.


A few that I have tried which I won't do again are following.


Mailings to renters.  I spent lots of money mailing postcards to renters every month to try and encourage them to call and see what they could qualify for in hopes of buying a new home and exiting the rental market.   


This was a huge BUST!


I also spent lots and lots of money purchasing marketing leads in specific zip codes.  My name and number would pop up when someone searched homes in a specific zip code one out of 5 times.  Leads would also be emailed to me so I could be the first to respond.


This required lots and lots of effort on my part.  I really had to kiss a bunch of frogs to find any princes.  Yes, I did close a few deals off of this, but I really don't think it was worth the time and money.


Another not so effective marketing campaign was mailings to FSBO's.  I designed a piece to go out to FSBO's in hopes of converting them to listings.  Never once did I get a response from this campaign.


A marketing campaign that has worked well for me over the past few years is a direct mailing postcard which is sent to my sphere each month.  The postcards offer special deals which are geographic for establishments in town.  Some offer a free meal when you buy one, or free admission to an event.  These are super simple to implement with the company I use and are automatically sent out.


This Spring, I am planning on offering some First Time Home Buyer Seminars with my preferred lender emphasizing a unique program they offer which they have labeled HomeFundMe.  It is an approved loan whereby the borrowers can receive gift funds for down payment via a Fund Me page on their Facebook page.  


We are also scheduling booths at upcoming bridal shows to feature this product.  That way if a couple about to be married decides they would love a house rather than a toaster as a wedding gift, they can encourage people to contribute to their downpayment fund which can now be used in their mortgage.  This is a Fannie Mae approved program.


I hope you have found my thoughts on marketing useful.  You just never know how something is going to work until you try!




Comments (20)

Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Belinda

Many of us had tried certain mailing programs that do not work. I especially like the one you are using for your sphere that DOES work. What company is that?

Thanks for some great learning. Best of luck with your seminars! I hope you can report back they were a huge success!!


Feb 02, 2018 11:00 AM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good evening Belinda -  I am not surprised that the purchased lead program did not work.  Seems that is the result every time.

Feb 02, 2018 05:35 PM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I have often thought about sending postcards to renters, but based on what you have said, it seems like perhaps renters are renters, haha.  Would you mind sharing with me the company you use to send postcards to your sphere?  That sounds like something that I should look into.

Feb 03, 2018 05:54 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Belinda Spillman - I like your idea about giving seminars for 1st time buyers and the bridal show idea as well. Real estate is local and neither would work for me. Sedona is a destinatination wedding venue and our market is geared to second home or vacation home buyers. 

Feb 03, 2018 06:31 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I remember in my beginning years in real estate, marketing was more an act of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick.  I like your idea of first time buyer seminars.

Feb 03, 2018 03:57 PM
Erika Rae Albert, Austin Real Estate Expert
E*Rae Realty - Austin, TX
Exceeding Expectations in Every Transaction

Hi Belinda Spillman I'm also curious to know what compnay does the post cards with coupons.  Your idea for targeting new homeomwners through bridal shows is great also.  Have you heard of the downpayment registry site  They have advertising programs that may align nicely with your goals.

Feb 04, 2018 03:00 PM
Belinda Spillman

Hi Erika Rae Albert, Austin Real Estate Expert 

The company is Boomerang Direct Marketing.  They aren't in every state so check their website to see if they are in yours.

Thanks for the other tip.  I will check it out.

Feb 07, 2018 11:35 AM
Debbie Reynolds, C21 Platinum Properties
Platinum Properties- (931)771-9070 - Clarksville, TN
The Dedicated Clarksville TN Realtor-(931)320-6730

Lead gen programs have not worked for me and when the company told me it was me not knowing how to develop them I wanted to tell them what crap they wereand I did and cancelled.

Feb 04, 2018 06:11 PM
Lisa Von Domek
Lisa Von Domek Team - Dallas, TX
....Experience Isn't Expensive.... It's Priceless!

Great information, thank you for sharing Belinda Spillman tips like these save everyone time, money and headaches in their marketing plans.

Feb 04, 2018 07:06 PM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, Belinda, for sharing some of your marketing experience.

Feb 07, 2018 05:19 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Belinda Spillman - I wish I had known this long before I wasted my time and money too! You did an excellent job providing great information that is wise to know, especially for those just getting started. 

Feb 07, 2018 10:24 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Belinda for some reason  I commented on your post the other day, but it did not take.... anyway what I was saying I agree with you Renter Targeting is a waste...especially here in my market.... people who have Champagne taste and beer money live in nice rental locations that are very high priced... and because of that they can not afford to save for a Down payment.... and become life long renters or move out of the area...Endre

Feb 10, 2018 09:04 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

Well, nobody can accuse you of not trying! You have put in the time and learned from experience. That is always a good thing!

Feb 12, 2018 11:22 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Belinda Spillman, I've also wasted a lot of money and time going after renters, gave up on that years ago.  Good luck with the First Time Home Buyer Seminars.

Feb 15, 2018 06:08 AM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Love your bridal show idea! I'm looking forward to hearing how successful it is!

Feb 16, 2018 07:38 AM
Joyce Godwin, Realtor, CRS
RE/MAX Elite Properties; Serving Cypress, Spring, Tomball, NW Houston - Houston, TX
RE/MAX Elite Properties

Hi Belinda, I guess most of us have spent our fair share of money on lead generating companies!  I've often thought the people making the most money are the ones selling us this stuff .  It sounds like you have some good plans in place for the spring!  Hope they are all productive - I'm betting they will be!  It sounds like several people will be checking into the direct post card company you use (including me - so thanks!) - I hope you get some sort of referral or bonus from them!

Feb 23, 2018 11:27 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Hi Belinda hope all is well it has been a while missed you on the platform, Endre

Mar 30, 2018 10:40 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Belinda Spillman  - you are missed! I hope you are okay. 

Thinking of you and sending you good wishes. 

Apr 22, 2018 08:16 PM
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Las Vegas, NV

Hello Belinda,

Wonderful post and I have spent many years with mail outs and I do believe the times are changing.

Please stop by my latest post about reaching out to ActiveRain members that are following me at the AR network, your name showed up #211 on my list ;o) 


Please not: The number order has nothing to do with who's my favorite, I am going from the first page of followers and I am on page 62 and there approx 12 members per page.

Jun 02, 2018 04:13 PM
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

You make me laugh about kissing a lot of frogs and not being worth the effort. That happens not only in real estate but in life, too! I hope everything is great for you in Colorado. Would love to hear from you soon.

Aug 18, 2018 11:47 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Belinda, I find it interesting...agents know companies like Zillow/Trulia are doing everything within their power to put Realtors out of business, yet agents continue to give them money so, I suppose, they can accomplish this goal? 

Aug 22, 2018 08:13 AM

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