As I walk the dogs I ponder... do YOU have Scotoma?

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

I was at a mixer the other day at West Palm and my high school buddy was there and we started talking about marketing.  It apparently was difficult for him (in the cabinet business) to 'break in' to the local market.  And he had been there for over 15 years!  More about that later...

He asked me this: "Do you notice that you are bombarded with many forms of advertising, especially print or billboard ads, and that they typically do not make an impact on you.  But if someone mentions a business to you and you recall their name for some reason, you can't say where you saw that, but as soon as you drive around again you start noticing that name EVERYWHERE.

This is a form of Scotoma.

From Wikipedia: A scotoma is an area of partial alteration in the field of vision consisting of a partially diminished or entirely degenerated visual acuity that is surrounded by a field of normal – or relatively well-preserved – vision.


The term scotoma is also used metaphorically in several fields. The common theme of all the figurative senses is of a gap not in visual function but in the mind's perceptioncognition, or world view

You never know the effectiveness of much of your advertising at first.  It comes into play as a reinforcement to a suggestion or reference and then the light comes on in someone's mind.  That person, since your name has been cataloged in their minds, will be more likely to call you and use your services now. 

I think that any form of advertising is useful to keep your name out there.  I believe that the sign on the lawn is the most effective way to make visible your name.  It says that you are real, you are currently in business, you have been cutting deals, you are a Player.

I went to Naples a couple of months ago to see what was the latest being built.  There is an area south of downtown on the Gulf coast that is filled with $15 to $55 million properties.  The houses under construction have some combination of signs of the Realtor, Builder, and Architect.  If someone was planning to build in that area -- they understand immediately who KNOWS what they are doing, WHO is creating and selling product NOW, and WHO should be contacted above the other players.  This is the first string.

Maybe you need to be in the first string by pondering the above story...

Like myself, I was interested in the area, I drove by, and took photos of the signs.  I plan to call on them shortly.  People looking for houses to buy or build especially will drive in neighborhoods of interest and see the signs and undoubtedly do the same.  Will they search online for these professionals?  My guess: no.


Sorry, I can't ponder any more today.  I had promised to discuss how to break into a market at the beginning of this article.  I will save that for the next time I walk the dogs.  The photo at top is one of two pugs that are being used as lovable props to market retail goods in Winter Park  -- and will be in a movie shortly.  The owner has posed them with handbags, wedding dresses, jewelry, etc. and it has been a novel hit.  There are several books out in fact!  I will not be doing a cameo appearance though...

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JOHN HENRY ARCHITECT  Orlando Florida Custom Home Designs

Beautiful European and American classical period luxury homes and plans created by premier residential Architect John Henry has been a passion now for over 30 years.  Inspired by old world archaeology and medieval to Renaissance architecture -- and having lived in Europe and the Middle East-- John Henry is widely known for the romantic and period details that make his work breathe a certain soul and drama. Striving for world-class results, his award-winning work reflects the details and proportions of luxury real estate plans in historical European and American traditional styles. Attention to detail and continuity mean that the architectural interiors should also be integrated properly.

Portfolio of Luxury Homes:

Office on 7491 Conroy Road Orlando, Florida  32835

Tel: 407.421.6647


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Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 03/17/2019 11:21 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
marketing and scotoma
a sign is the most valuable asset

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Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Different things work well in different locations...there are many luxury homes who do not want signs in the yard and depend on the listing agent's  marketing skills to secure a buyer.

Mar 17, 2019 03:12 PM #4
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

John,  what a great post thanks to our friend Barbara Todaro  I am here. I love Yard Signs unfortunately 90 % of my land listings I do not put yard signs out , because the neighbors love to become the Spoilers in order to prevent someone building...Endre

Mar 17, 2019 03:12 PM #5
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

John Henry  Love the dog adorable. I agree signs are so important and always encourage my sellers. If they like the outside may be the best buyer thus the best form of advertising. My problem selling many condos signs not allowed. 

I am also adding glad I also have many of my older Re/Max signs as the newer design I have trouble identifying the phone numbers. Like the older designs better.  caught this post on Barbara Todaro  re-blog  

Mar 17, 2019 05:19 PM #6
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yard signs are good - but not enough all by themselves. I just read a good article on MCM - multi-channel marketing - and I believe it's what we all need. The more they see your name, the more they come to believe you are "the one."

Mar 17, 2019 07:53 PM #7
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Precious pooch, John! 

I'm with you - one sign turns into multiple signs and keeping them out there is key to keeping ourselves in business. It's not that simple but, it's certainly the foundation on which we build our marketing business...and thus, our business.

Perception IS reality...well, most of the time!  

Mar 17, 2019 10:09 PM #8
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Signs are but one part of successfully marketing, but certainly not the only one.  When sellers or communities allow signs I definitely put them up.  The exposure is good for the seller and for the agent.  I had a sign call from a seller this week who saw my sign in an adjacent neighborhood and called me to sell her house.

Mar 18, 2019 06:21 AM #9
Ken Jones
Ken Jones Real Estate Advisor - Toms River, NJ
Real Estate Advice & Training

John Henry I seldom comment on blog posts. But, this one was so relevant that I couldn't let the opportunity pass.

Thanks for verbalizing what I (and, I imagine others) have been trying to communicate to others for decades.

Great observation.

Mar 18, 2019 06:56 AM #10
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning John. I think you hit this well. I am sorry the pug isn't yours though.

Mar 18, 2019 06:59 AM #11
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Nature does this all the time everywhere. Man caught on....

Mar 18, 2019 07:42 AM #12
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I thought I developed Scotoma since I lost my glasses Sat. Sunday I found them sitting outside in a public pool table. So the corrective action is get a neck lace. For men store offers just black color. Ladies had 5 choices. 

Paying $15M for an estate is insane. I know Donald can afford one or a few. 

Mar 18, 2019 08:43 AM #13
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Wonderful post, very true as others have mentioned about a car and seeing it everywhere. Taking a listing to get your sign out and visible is fine as long as it is not visible too long or else they can think you cannot do your job. There is a fine line. But like the post and the idera, much of the reason behind all that on line advertising that hits you as you browse.

Mar 18, 2019 09:15 AM #14
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

totally true.  You don't really notice the typical "chevy volt" until you're considering buying one... and then you see ALL of them.

Mar 18, 2019 10:17 AM #15
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Yeah, John. The car thing. I bought a certain car and one of the factors in my decision was that the car seemed to be less common although it is a high quality vehicle. You know what happened, of course. I came to see the same car, same model and same color multiple times every day whenever I ventured out.

Mar 18, 2019 08:17 PM #16
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

repetition is everything in advertsing 

signage is good... signs on the home or property you are selling are allowed 

In Alaska Billboards are not allowed anywhere.... anytime 

you can have political signs during elections but they have to come right down after the election 




Mar 19, 2019 12:07 AM #17
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I didn't know that effect was called scotoma. I noticed this when my son got a job at our local post office. All of a sudden, I saw mail trucks everywhere, around every corner. I never really noticed them, and now, BOOM, we have a plethora of mail trucks.

Mar 19, 2019 03:03 AM #18
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Henry - Very early on in life, I was attracted to Muscle Cars. I always wanted to be the only one with '67 Gold GTO Convertible, or ''69 Dodge Blue Metalic Corona, or the '73 Black Challenger with black leather interior, etc. Each and every time, it was the same... the cars I chose seemed to multiple everywhere I went and I was nobody special.

LIke now! I'm no longer feature worthy but I sure am happy for you!

Mar 19, 2019 11:12 AM #19
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

John- what an excellent feature-worthy post!!!! We all have it (scotoma) I remember when my sister-in-law bought a certain SUV. When they came to visit us, I'd never really known they existed, But as soon as I saw theirs, it was as if everyone in Palm Beach County was driving one. 

Mar 19, 2019 07:29 PM #20
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Yard signs work if they're not up too long when selling a listing. The longer it remains up, the listing hasn't sold, the more resistance you'll receive from your sign.

IMO, placing your name in your prospects hand 4 times a year or more is probably more effective as a subtle reminder that you're in the business of real estate. Regardless, as long as your marketing produces positive results, who cares? 

Mar 20, 2019 01:08 AM #21
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

Creating a niche market with which to be the only one inside of, helps with those pointed searches.  

Mar 20, 2019 12:54 PM #22
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

So I learned a new word today - thanks!    Now you've got several of us clamoring to see photos of Your dog!

Mar 25, 2019 01:42 PM #23
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