If your marketing isn’t working, is this the reason why?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

This morning I started looking back through quotes I’ve collected, and I found this bit of wisdom:

"90% of marketing doesn’t work because it doesn’t get done."
Neil Bradman

It reminded me of someone I worked with once upon a time. He came into the office and consistent marketing keeps you employedfound me typing prospecting letters. (Yes, this was years ago, and I typed them one by one.) He asked if that’s what I was doing and when I said yes, he said “I’ve tried it. It doesn’t work.”

I went on with my typing, and later learned why it hadn’t worked for him. He wrote one letter and sent it to one homeowner.

There are other reasons why marketing doesn’t work, of course. Some of them are:

  • The marketing message could be wrong – perhaps it’s “all about you” instead of “all about the prospect.”
  • Your list could be wrong.
  • The method of delivery could be wrong – perhaps you’re relying exclusively on social media when you should be mailing prospecting letters and using email to follow up with Internet leads. Perhaps you’re placing ads in publications your target audience doesn’t read.
  • Perhaps you're blogging about the wrong topics.
  • Continuity could be missing. I think the message in the words “it doesn’t get done” includes “it doesn’t get done with regularity.” Marketing must be consistent, or people forget about you between messages.

You may be busy – I hope you are! But… failing to market in busy times means enduring weeks without income.


Failing to market consistently is the primary reason why so many real estate agents have a keep marketing to avoid a roller coaster incomeroller coaster income. When they’re busy, they run from one appointment to the next and finally (Yay!) from one closing to the next. And then… they wake up one morning unemployed.

With no buyers eager to look at homes and no sellers eager to list, they get to start all over again.


That said, what have you done so far this month to keep your pipeline full?

  • Have you mailed prospecting letters?
  • Have you followed up via email with buyers or sellers who filled out a capture form on your website?
  • Have you written and distributed a market report?
  • Have you written a thank you note to anyone?
  • Have you made contact with past clients and those in your sphere?

So – you know it's a good idea, but where will you find the time?

If you’re prospecting by postal mail or email, you can automate your systems. This page will give you ideas on how to do that.

If you need to make phone calls or write thank you notes, make use of those little bits of time between appointments.

Calling someone when you don’t have much time is actually a good idea, because you can say “Hi George, I have to run out to an appointment in ten minutes, but was thinking about you this morning so decided to use the time to check in.” Then add something that shows you know George. For instance, “Are the kids home for Spring vacation?” Or “How’s that new puppy?” Or “Is Jane enjoying her new job?”

Then watch the clock and when it’s close to your ten minutes say something like “I wish I could visit for an hour, but better run. There’s a couple just like you two who is counting on me to find them a new home.” Then, with a reminder to “Call if you need me,” sign off.

Remember, I've got more than 40 sets of pre-written prospecting letters than can save you time - and I'm always happy to write custom letters.


Roller coaster Image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Marketing signpost courtesy of Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net


Comments (35)

Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love it Marte Cliff , excellent points. The hard truth is today's marketing brings tomorrows clients

Feb 15, 2020 06:05 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Consistency is the key, that is very true. Nice reminder to do the things we all know work to bring in the cleints and the dollars.

Feb 15, 2020 06:30 AM
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Thanks for that Shot In The Arm!!!!  So much to do...

Feb 15, 2020 08:25 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Good day to all, what a beautiful week it has been. 

Thankful for a bit of sunshine after so much rain. Staying on target is very important. Set the target and keep on shooting. Have a blessed day.

Feb 15, 2020 09:04 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Grant Schneider If you're doing things correctly, you're busy - and happy to be busy!

Matthew Klinowski, PA A fantastic weekend to you as well! Thanks for stopping by.

Feb 15, 2020 09:18 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kat Palmiotti Thanks. I think it feels really good to use those little bits of time that would otherwise be wasted.

Scott Godzyk Exactly. If you don't take time to market today, you'll have MORE than enough time to market next month.

Feb 15, 2020 09:20 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 One thing I'm good at is nagging, er... reminding.

John Henry, Florida Architect There's always more to do, isn't there?

Feb 15, 2020 09:21 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Laura Filip Glad you got some sunshine! We had a couple days of sunshine early in the week and it felt so good. Our grocery store manager told me everyone who came in on Monday was in a good mood - he credited the sunshine. That "lift" makes it easier to keep on keeping on.

Feb 15, 2020 09:23 AM
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Great idea to start talking to someone as if you're in a hurry. You get the message in but they don't worry that you'll be droning on forever.

Feb 15, 2020 02:41 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Margaret Goss You are so right - that's an advantage I hadn't thought about. I know there are some people who call here that I dread talking with, simply because they go on and on and on.

Feb 15, 2020 04:28 PM
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

What an excellent post. Two stories came to mind . . . the doctor who said the reason birth control often fails is because women leave it on the bedside table. The other was recently when a friend and I were leaving am amazing conference and I said, I wonder how much sales will soar when we implement what we just learned? She smiled and said, I wonder if anyone in that room besides us will actually do the work the speaker suggested?

Feb 15, 2020 06:28 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hi Marte Cliff - I had to chuckle when I started reading and came to the part about one agent, one homeowner; one letter. Once is not enough! Your messages are always worth paying attention to and you are very informative. You're like a Teacher in the Rain!

Feb 16, 2020 04:43 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Mimi Foster I love your two stories - oh so true!

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP He was an interesting guy. His wife used to come to the office and sit at his desk - with kisses and cuddles - for hours every day - strange. He did go on to get a broker's license, but never had much success. Finally left town with the second wife...

Feb 16, 2020 08:41 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Marte:

I love that quote which no doubt rings true with many.

There is some terrific advice here - bookmarked since I think I need to ramp up my game. I especially liked the idea of making a quick call when time is limited.

Thank you!


Feb 16, 2020 09:21 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jeff Dowler, CRS - I enjoy collecting good quotes. Many of my favorites are from people who are long gone - like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Mark Twain.

Feb 16, 2020 11:35 AM
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

If you fail to plan, you plan to fail and if you plan and don't execute, which 90% of planners don't do, then you'll know why only 10% are successful? Activity breeds success and when it's planned  for execution, the opportunities abound. 

Feb 17, 2020 10:58 PM
Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson
Century 21 Doug Anderson - Lancaster, CA
Glad to be of Service 661-714-1643

I truly believe that consistency is key to maintaining and growing your business. Doing this and you never run out of business. Treating your former clients as friends has many advantages too.

Feb 19, 2020 04:56 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Eva B. Liland Century 21 Doug Anderson I agree. Treating former clients as friends has advantages on both a professional and a personal level.

Feb 19, 2020 11:22 AM
Anthony Kirlew
Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices

The good old, "try." Whenever anyone uses this word, I dig deep to find out what they are seeking to convey. In marketing (and real estate) there is no "try"... we persist until it happens. Keep on going until we figured it out... ask questions of those are having success... or... we leave the business (as so many do.)

Feb 23, 2020 06:24 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Anthony Kirlew I agree - you just have to keep on. Many do leave the business because they don't have the stamina - or because they didn't realize how much work is involved.

Feb 23, 2020 12:31 PM