Endre Barath, Jr., challenged us to recount the things we did or changed in the past year or two that worked for us. I'm not sure I could put all of the changes in a single blog, but let me share a few things that have changed for the better.
One, I took a blow torch to my marketing over the past two years. It's funny. As I'm writing this, a Zillow rep just called. She was sweet and obviously trying to sell their services. One of the things I did in the past two years was drop Zillow. There was a time in the past when Zillow was a primary lead supplier. I paid a boatload of money to them, but they also provided me with 85% of my sales one year. I didn't flinch at the dollars going out because they came in twice as fast during that period. And then, nothing.
I guess it was 2017, I noticed the quality of the Zillow leads diminished drastically. Most of the folks contacting me couldn't buy cat carrier, much less a $300000 house. I told myself month after month to drop them, and finally I listened and did. Ironically, I've sold more homes from Zillow leads since I stopped marketing through them than I did the last year I was with them.
But, Zillow wasn't the only boondoggle in marketing. I also dropped disappointing websites, blog-sites and marketing programs. Ironically, business didn't go down from the absence of those things. It actually increased, and my SOI referrals increased, and my available cash increased. Don't waste money on hype. Too many online marketing companies are like clouds with no rain. They make big promises but deliver very little.
I did pick up one marketing practice that I continue to do today, thanks to Barbara Todaro. Barbara is a postcard marketing wizard, and I adopted her idea and I've put it in practice. The first few rounds of marketing with postcards didn't produce anything, but based on Barbara's success, I didn't quit. Then, a listing resulted. I took that location and turned it into a farm, and I get a listing nearly every time I send out a postcard to that market. I believe we took on 5 listings last year in that market area alone based on postcards.. It was the result of Barbara's postcard marketing practice.
Another change took place on the health front. I have had knee issues since playing football in high school, so I've dealt with them for a long time. I previously ran 6 miles a day for nearly six years, but the pounding on my knees ended that. I picked up cycling and it doesn't negatively affect my knees at all. So, when I have the opportunity to cycle, I do. In the interim, I still needed something to help with the knee pain. Mid-year in 2019, I started taking a daily dose of CBD oil.
I really didn't imagine it would make a difference, but within a week or so, I had no knee pain. That was the first time in decades. I ran out one month and my knees didn't hurt until about the fourth week. I picked up another bottle of CBD oil and within 24 hours, I was back to no pain. It appears to affect different people in different ways, but it has been incredible in my life. I incorporated turmeric late last year, and it has also helped maintain a pain-free status.
Those are a few of the bigger things I've done in the past year or so. In each case, they have brought awesome benefits to me and I haven't looked back. My marketing is more simplistic and consistent and it is also more effective. My health is solid and I continue to do whatever I want to do, including extreme sports. It really is true that age is just a number, and I choose to identify as a 35 year old *-). So, fun and challenges are seldom far away. Have a great 2020, and I look forward to seeing what the rest of the great group have done.