Ask An Ambassador: Watch For Suckers

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747


"We've ALWAYS done it this way!"

"It's not how much you make, but how much you keep."


Most of us have certain ways of doing things.  The tried and true, methods that have worked for us for years, so we keep doing them.

But sometimes we need to reevaluate.

For the last decade we've paid for a certain program with that allowed us to enhance our listings.  Add extra pictures, customizing the marketing remarks, etc.  When we started it made sense and it was a good listing tool. 

Would you rather have 6 photos of your home for sale or 25? 

And as part of that program buyer leads on our listings would (sometimes) be routed directly to us.

But each year the price climbed and the value declined.  Eventually EVERY listing was getting dozens of photos pulled in, with or without that enhancement service.  And those "leads"?  Most wouldn't respond even if you tried to reach them within moments of the contact form in our inbox.

The return on investment just wasn't there.

So when this year's renewal notice arrived, I canceled.  Take a look at your annual expenses as you're doing your taxes and you might find other suckers.  Monthly charges that are no longer earning their keep.


The same type thing can happen with our blogging

We can keep doing things a certain way, or recognize our posting is sucking away our time without results. 

Once upon a time I used to blog quite often about local events.  The logic behind it seemed sound (attract people to our market and ultimately us), and while it was making my phone ring, it wasn't the kind of calls I wished for.

"I'd like to get a table for the craft festival."

"Where's the best place to watch the air show without having to pay for the $20 ticket?"

While these calls COULD potentially turn into customers, it just wasn't happening. 

While those type of posts might work great for you, they weren't for me.  The effort involved to produce them wasn't a good return on my time. For me, those posts were time suckers. 

I needed to adjust.

So I shifted focus.  More pure real estate themed posts.  Posts that were focused on particulars that weren't generally available.  Subdivision posts.  Long tail search posts.  New construction posts.  More market reports.  Lots and lots of patio home posts.  I STOPPED the distressed property reports because that wasn't a niche I wanted to work.

The net result?  My phone rang more with the type of calls I wanted.  Home buyers closer to acting.  Sellers that wanted info on their subdivision and found our posts.

Not all of those calls turn into business.  Some are just brain pickers.  They're sticking with their agent even if the agent doesn't know the niche.

But enough do turn into clients to make this regular blogging worthwhile for me. 

Blogging isn't a perfect fit for every agent.  Some have personalities for Facebook or Instagram or some other social media venue. 

We each can find the path that works best for us.

For me, blogging doesn't suck :)



Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help!

Bill of Liz and Bill aka BLiz 


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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

The new year and tax time, in particular, is a great time to review expenses and cut out what isn't a good ROI. 

I know you'll find this shocking but I've always been a bit of a contrarian... always looking for new, out of the box, ways of enhancing my business.  

Feb 26, 2019 12:17 PM #4
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good afternoon Liz and Bill Spear ,

I love your statement "Monthly charges that are no longer earning their keep." A review of  how you are marketing can lead to finding suckers that need to be removed. Good reminder Bill!

Feb 26, 2019 12:27 PM #5
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Re-examining one's marketing is something that needs to be constantly reviewed, and also planning for long term business.  A

Feb 26, 2019 01:22 PM #6
Mike Cooper, GRI
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Bill, it sounds like a lot of us are re-examining our ROI. I've had a great time cancelling marketing that just wasn't producing. It was time. Actually, it was past time. 

Feb 26, 2019 01:58 PM #7
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

I still question FB boosting and related advertising.  I have seen zero ROI.  I think direct mail is probably better and picking up the phone and getting personal best.  Not sure, but I am going in that direction.  Thanks for the thoughts on this subject.

Feb 26, 2019 02:14 PM #8
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear 

Bravo! I'm glad to see this one featured. You express so much wisdom! I noticed that when I first started blogging, there were many contests and challenges to get us motivated to write on topics you mentioned. As you said, I found them to be utterly useless. For example, I also received many telephone calls about whether or not I was taking applications for new businesses in my community, for directions to special events, and other questions that made me realize, it wasn't helping me to grow my business. 

To tell the truth, I am very grateful for you and how you always share the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Feb 26, 2019 07:38 PM #9
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - I'm a day late; however, I wanted to congratulate you for being featured on ActiveRain and The Bananatude Group! 

Feb 26, 2019 07:47 PM #10
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667 (MT), 914-419-0270 (NY), Broker in NY with Grand Lux Realty and in MT with (coming soon!) - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Absolutely, we have to reevaluate our business on a regular basis and get rid of anything that isn't working for us. Regarding localism posts, I received a call while on vacation from someone who wanted to know if the town event was going to be canceled because of the pouring rain. I looked around me at the absolutely gorgeous day wondering what the heck they were talking about, until it sunk in that I wrote a post about a festival in my town which was that weekend. Haha.  

Feb 27, 2019 03:55 AM #11
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Its like your cable bill. Pause and assess what you are getting for that amount of money that goes out every month like a car or a house payment does. 

The culprit in all things is the dreaded "automatic" response to life instead of the spontaneous one. Its is a form of Hypnosis and is always lurking about

Feb 27, 2019 06:16 AM #12
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I came to the same conclusion on that listing enhancement package a few years ago.  Also the same conclusion about localism posts that weren't real estate related.  No time, energy or money should continue to be expended on things that don't give you a return on investment.

Feb 27, 2019 07:45 AM #14
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Feb 27, 2019 07:46 AM #15
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I find myself doing the same. Stopping to pay for what is not working and not paying any more for the sites that have increaed their fees so high, it is not worth it to use them for the little to no results they produce. 

Feb 27, 2019 02:58 PM #16
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

In 2019 I made the decision to stop purchasing the newsletter I had used for 12-15 years and simplify my own version. It would have been easy to keep doing what I had been--my VA and I had it down pat. But--times change, demographics in my business change, so we did, too. It takes more time, at least these first couple of months, but it's stimulating and I can use it in additional ways that I never did before.


Feb 27, 2019 08:31 PM #17
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Bill you are so right some things worked five years ago, and now they do not... with that said it is a trial and error type concept and sadly some times the trial is expensive... like you I have cut out the blood suckers... but there is always something new to spend my hard earned money on:)Endre

Feb 27, 2019 10:20 PM #18
Stu Dye
Mortgage Network, Inc. NMLS #2668 - Portland, ME
Senior Loan Officer

It can be challenging to be authentic AND efficient, at the same time. (And not take things for granted.)

Feb 28, 2019 09:02 AM #19
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Change is coming but exactly what it is I have not figured out yet.I will continue to Blog because readers like to know what going on in the marketplace. I do think we need to be on many different SS media sites. It was nice when the buttons worked here in the Rain and we could share our blogs everywhere with a click of the button. Very well said Bill as always. I have eliminated the bloodsuckers long ago

Feb 28, 2019 09:24 AM #20
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I'm with you. I answered a number of calls about kayak shop rentals, and restaurants, and...not a one turned into a sale. 

Our videos do work though...and I'm sure they found them through the type of blogging you're talking about...niches and razor focused material seems to have the greatest chance of connecting us. 

Mar 02, 2019 08:11 AM #22
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Refocus is always good!

More pure real estate themed posts.  Posts that were focused on particulars that weren't generally available.  Subdivision posts.  Long tail search posts.  New construction posts.  More market reports.  Lots and lots of patio home posts.  .

Mar 02, 2019 01:06 PM #23
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Oh boy, you are singing in my choir. I got calls completely unrelated to real estate from all of the contest posts I wrote.  No mas! 

Things have changed and will continue to change and we either adjust or become irrelevant in our business. 

Mar 02, 2019 07:43 PM #24
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I have resolved to stop paying for leads that are sold to fourteen other agents at the same time so I gave up too - $1000 a month was just too pricey- Interesting about your experience with local event posts- I think the real estate based ones are the way to go too 

Mar 28, 2019 03:54 AM #25
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