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The January 2023 AR Challenge to Succeed in Marketing

Real Estate Agent with Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 CA BRE# 01261476

The Thomas J. Nelson Playbook for Marketing

  • Schedule It & Calendar It!: You do not have a marketing Plan if it's not written down and integrated into your weekly calendar.

  • Calls: The number of calls you make are determined by your income goal which begets your transaction goal which begets your activity goals. I have to make 6 calls (that create conversations not message) per day to accomplish my goals
  • Notes: Write good old fashioned personal notes (aka Thank You Notes) after every referral received, opportunity given and special moment experienced. Bless their day with your words in ink!
  • Pop-by's:  "I was in the neighborhood and wanted to say hello."
    I'm not coming in, just wanted to knock on the door, hug some necks and move on. Doesn't matter if the house is a mess, I'm not coming in. But I am bringing a fun thought gift!

  • Video: Localism, Real Estate, B2B Interviews: On my new dedicated farm website for Mission Bay Park, San Diego, Ca - Bay Park (click me)
  • Create a Niche - Specialize in a neighborhood, property type, industry, client type, etc. Click the "specialize" link to learn more.
  • Social Media: Comment, congratulate and express interest in all your connected peeps! Use Social media for reasons to call or send a personal note! Their kid graduates, their new puppy, their big vacation - all great reasons to connect. I also use social media to "talk" to my peeps, market updates, state of the market, hot tips and funny or inspirational antidotes.

  • Blogging: Active Rain - enough said! 😁 Become your local expert through the power of your blog. Connect with other agents and build referral relationships. Educate yourself! I learn so much here from you RainMakers!

  • Direct Mail: I mail 900+ postcards per month. 50% is my database and 505 is my geographical farm. I mail 100 Items of Value to my top 100 clients per month too. Branding, gentle reminders and keeping in touch when most others do not! This creates an edge!

  • Client Appreciation Parties: OMG I love these. My favorite thing to do is host my Gratitude Gathering every year and love on my peeps!

  • Networking Groups: I love, love love to network, but mostly because I love to serve good people and connecting other entrepreneurs to good ideas, solutions and referrals is the best! Give It Out In Slices and It Comes Back In Loaves!

  • BONUS TIP - My Custom 12 in 12 Plan: This is simply, putting out 12 items of value/marketing pieces in 12 weeks. Once per week, something gets emailed, mailed, posted, sent via text or delivered in person. No two weeks are the same, but some things repeat-eventually.



Cover Photo by Antoni Shkraba: https://www.pexels.com

Posted by

Thomas J. Nelson
REALTOR®, CRS, RCS-D, CDPE, e-Pro, Certified Military Home Specialist, Luxury Home Specialist, Author, Keynote Speaker and  Podcast Host 

Serving Coastal San Diego from Carlsbad to Coronado, Downtown, Balboa Park Area,
La Jolla/UCSD & Mission Bay Park Areas
I Offer Rebates to Veterans
& Active Duty

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(858) 232-8722
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RCS-Divorce     Southern California Chapter of Certified Residential Specialists (CRS)

Disclaimer:  Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, medical advice or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice, health or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

I guess it’s smart to avoid sitting in the office. No one there is going to buy a home from you

Jan 29, 2023 02:35 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

My calendar looks like that as well and I try to color-code things as well, haha.

Jan 29, 2023 04:18 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

As Brian said, my calendar looks a lot like that as well! Thank you for sharing what you do to succeed in business - great tips!

Jan 29, 2023 04:49 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Thomas... this is the Buffini program on steroids. I don't do quite as much as you do... but a lot of it... and it works.

Jan 29, 2023 05:40 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Ha Ha I knew you'd recognize it Nina Hollander, Broker as it is mostly Buffini & Company but there's also some Ninja and Darren Hardy mixed in there too. I've really had to step it up since 2020. The sponges joined real estate in droves because it was "easy money" but now that you have to work for it they seem to be leaving a little - but I'm turning up the heat to put some distance between myself and the next wave of bandwagon-agents.

Jan 29, 2023 07:00 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker

Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets loved those expressions "sponges" and "bandwagon agents." We've had our share of those in Charlotte, as well. I'm so ensconced in working with repeat and referred clients, I hardly pay attention to them. And many are gone by the time I take notice!

Jan 29, 2023 07:12 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Kathy Streib you are so correct, I could have stopped with that first point but I'd be short on words for the contest Ha Ha! But, without a plan and a schedule, the whole thing is just unboxed theory.

Jan 29, 2023 07:07 AM
Kathy Streib

I had to come back and mention your point on calls. When I managed a placement agency, I once had the consultants figure out how many calls they had to make to get a Job order, for example. Each consultant had a different number but this number gave them something to reach for other than "make a lot of calls."

Jan 29, 2023 09:38 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Jeff Masich-Scottsdale AZ Associate Broker,MBA,GRI and Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP Thank you so much for your words of encouragement!

Jan 29, 2023 07:09 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Brian England and Kat Palmiotti I love my rainbow calendar because at a glance, I know by color what's next and then the details are within. It's also my Time-Blocking that allows me to check a few to do's off the list each day, otherwise it would be client chaos!

Jan 29, 2023 07:10 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Edward Gilmartin exactly right! Although there is office time built in to each day, it's productive CEO-time. The office is where I wear my Rainmaker hat and create pipelines for my business.

Jan 29, 2023 07:12 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Thomas and thank you for sharing your information with us here in the Rain.  I am with you on most of your blog.


Jan 29, 2023 08:31 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Great post, Thomas. As I have been told many times: "If it is not on your calendar, it does not exist."

Jan 29, 2023 09:40 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

True, true!

Jan 29, 2023 11:24 AM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

That is a great post, Thomas; a well-deserved Feature!

I agree the marketing plan is essential. Your dedication, follow-up, and follow-through are noted. 

In my business, a well-thought-out marketing plan is essential in seeking investment loans for multifamily projects; private lenders are often investors. They want a detailed marketing plan and are interested in how the builder/developer will make money to make their investment worthwhile.

Jan 29, 2023 10:20 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Thank you Aura Alex and understood yes. When I used to "bird dog" for developers, we were tasked with providing very detailed projections and due diligence.

Jan 29, 2023 11:24 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

KW has been teaching “ Master your Mornings” . 8-12 Time Blocked M-F  to make your calls to your SOI/ Past Clients , FSBO & to Newly Expired and 1 yr old expired . We are coached to get 2,000 emails in our Database . At a 50-1 Ratio a well cultivated Data Base will produce 40 Closed Sides per year

Jan 29, 2023 10:39 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Great info Michael J. Perry thank you for sharing that data.
Understood and agreed with your comments too.

Jan 30, 2023 06:18 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets

Michael J. Perry KW is a company I respect so I'm curious if your experience is that are you yielding those projected results? 
I did the opposite in Q4. I weeded out over 500 names from my CRM, bringing it down from 1800 names to a more manageable 1300 relationships.

Jan 29, 2023 11:23 AM
Michael J. Perry

I had a Market Leader Data base 10 yrs ago with nearly 3,000 names in it .

But it was almost like buying fake friends/likes  from FB. I also did not have a good cultivating program so my results were probably barely 5% 

To cultivate KW is encouraging us to do Monthly MLS Reports to our Target Market ( usually a School District) Via our database . But we are still following Keller’s Touch 33 ., so we have to shake it up ( besides Emails ) . We’ve placed a high priority on our SOI/Past Clients and are attempting quarterly phone calls to them during Time Blocked Mornings.

Personally I’m an unofficial By Referral Only at this point in my career 

( 60’s) and will soon have to decide on my Succession Plan ( < 5% ever do)



Jan 29, 2023 11:45 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Hi Thomas!  Great entry for the January Marketing Challenge!  Your play book sounds pretty much like the one I've had for  years - and your motivation is spot on.! And who did I learn all this from!  You know who way back in the early to mid 90's!!  

I'd also add that your infectious enthusiasm and sincere love of new challenges and ideas makes you a stand out!

Jan 29, 2023 12:41 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski
Coldwell Banker Realty - Woodbridge, VA
Helping agents live an exceptional life!

What a list! Absolutely love everything you share! So extensive and incorporates follow through, consistency, and accountability.

Jan 29, 2023 01:42 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Some great ideas and for sure they would bring results. If I were 30 years younger, I would be on top of it.

Jan 29, 2023 04:44 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Anna Banana Kruchten Phoenix Broker that is high praise coming from you...thank you for your encouragement! 😌

Jan 30, 2023 06:18 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Thank you for popping by my post Chrissi Chapman Topoleski and Ed Silva - I appreciate your comments and encouragement!

Jan 30, 2023 06:19 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Wow, what a terrific marketing "how to" post! Thanks for sharing what you do that is leading to success. This is such a well-deserved feature and a wonderful entry for the January marketing challenge!


Jan 30, 2023 07:55 PM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

Thank you Jeff Dowler, CRS and thanks for being a mentor in AR, it's bloggers like you that helped set a standard I felt I had to aspire to here in the early days and continue to work on my craft because of.

Jan 31, 2023 06:01 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Love, love, love the way you operate, TJ! I'm a NINJA graduate, a Buffini 'graduate' and now, moderator and a HUGE fan of Darren Hardy, thanks to the introduction to him by RE/MAX's CEO, who is personal friends with him! We are definitely on the same trajectory! 

Thank you so much for your January challenge entry. 

Feb 04, 2023 07:47 PM