Marketing with Promotional Items

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Real Estate Agent with United Realty Group, Inc. BK641413
Marketing with promotional itemsAs real estate agents, we have to market ourselves regularly so that we're "top of mind" whenever someone is considering buying or selling a property.  Aside from the typical just listed/just sold (or other) types of postcards, some agents use give-aways such as calendars, magnets and pens to promote their services to their family, friends, neighbors, farm areas, etc.  To the right is a photo of a sampling of promotional items I've picked up over the years at the state and national real estate conventions I've attended.  This includes an assortment of pens, rulers, calculators, note pads, sticky (post-it) notes, magnets, mouse pads, letter openers, stress relievers, cell phone holders, message holders, coffee mugs, and can holders/koozies, and jar openers.  Others not included in the photo are key chains, tape measures, mini-tool sets, write-on/wipe off memo boards, canvas bags, business card holders, paper weights, air fresheners, bookmarks, and more.

What promotional items (give-aways) have you tried marketing yourself or your company with?  Have any of these been successful... or better yet, which was the most successful?  Which ones do you appreciate the most?  ...use on a regular basis?  ...would never order again?

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Rainmaker
169,169
Linda Davis
RE/MAX Home Team - Gales Ferry, CT
Magnetic School Schedule Calendars have been a big hit for me!  Also the Melco Marketing magnetic calandar pads are a winner.  Only downside - once you start giving these away, you need to continue because people ask for them now every year.  And that is actually a good thing!!
Sep 20, 2006 07:40 AM #12
Rainer
488,776
Teri Isner
Keller Williams Realty at the Lakes - Orlando, FL
GRI, CRS, CIPS
Umbrellas, childrens night lights, T-shirts and teddy bears with a kw t-shirt.
Sep 20, 2006 08:40 AM #13
Rainer
48,480
Lisa Dunn
Edina Realty - Minneapolis, MN
www.TwinCitySeller.com

An agent in my office has frisbees printed up with her name and number and she whips them out of her car window into parks and just leaves them out there for the kids to pick up.

 

I do yearly pumpkin and christmas tree giveaways, and they go over well.

 

Sep 20, 2006 01:41 PM #14
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Elaine: thanks for your detailed input.  I think you've made some wise investments in the promotional items you've chosen over the years.

Susan: leaving pens behind at various places where there's the potential for many to pick them up to use is a wonderful idea.

Linda: the Melco calendars are very nice, but also among the more expensive giveaways but, I do know of agents who have people who ask for them again each year so they're obviously useful and keeps your name in front of them throughout the year, which is part of the point of giveaways.

Teri: I never would've thought of children's night lights!

Lisa:  The pumpkin & Christmas tree giveaways must get a wee bit expensive, not to mention time-consuming, though I'm sure they are a success.  Also, leaving frisbees in local parks (similar to leaving the pens behind) sounds like a good idea.  Rick & Ines... maybe you can hand out additional frisbees this way!

Personally, of all the giveaways I've picked up or been given/sent over the years, I'd have to say the ones I get the most use out of on a regular basis include the letter openers, calculators, things to do/memo pads and chip clips.

Sep 21, 2006 03:14 AM #15
Rainer
5,663
Kerri Brencsons
Lift Interiors LLC - Scotch Plains, NJ

As a home stager I like to give out magnets to realties.. I figure if theyre on the file cabinets they wont get lost and an agent will see it each time they pull the drawer open.

Sep 27, 2006 11:58 AM #16
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Keri, that's why I think it's important to choose promotional items that people are likely to either use or see on a regular basis.
Sep 27, 2006 02:02 PM #17
Rainer
58,089
Christine Adler
FindAHomeWithMe.com - Fort Lauderdale, FL
SE Palm Beach, Broward & NE Miami-Dade Counties FL
Pens and pads are good. How about a water bottle with your label on it. SO when you take someone in your car you can give them a cool drink.
Sep 28, 2006 01:46 AM #18
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Christine, I definitely use the pads I get mailed to me or left at my front door (or pick up at conventions, etc.)... they're ideal for jotting down notes, to-do/to-buy lists, grocery lists, etc. so this falls under the category of "use and see on a regular basis".

Pens are good, too, but I'd either buy the less expensive (but still nice-looking) ones so that I could do what Susan Milner suggested... leaving them at banks, restaurants, stores, etc. -OR- buy the more expensive, nicer ones and give those to your past/present clients, family & friends.

I hadn't thought about the water bottle, but sounds like it may be a good idea.

Sep 28, 2006 02:38 AM #19
Rainmaker
1,514,096
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
I put a lined notepad in every envelope I mail out, including my bills.  3 1/2" x 8 1/2".  I also use bookmark size business cards.  Everyone loves them.  
Oct 04, 2006 03:08 PM #20
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Carol, that sounds like a good idea!  Do you include the notepad even when paying bills that go outside your area (like I would think most credit cards do)?

I've seen the bookmark-sized business cards in a catalog and have seriously considered ordering some in the past -- now I will.  They're different than every other biz card out there... and useful, too.

Oct 04, 2006 10:02 PM #21
Rainmaker
1,514,096
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

Hi Leanne,
No, I don't include the notepad with out of town mailings, but I do insert a little bright yellow piece of paper with my blog and my website addresses.   It says: "For the latest Wenatchee Valley real estate news, info and trends visit:  www.CarolsWenatchee.com  AND "To search for homes and land visit:  www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com 

I don't know if it generates any additional traffic, but I suspect it does.  I do know since starting my blog well over a year ago, my website traffic (linked to and from the blog) has exploded and so have my out of town inquiries.   

Oct 05, 2006 02:51 AM #22
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
That is wonderful news, Carol, and thank you for sharing that with us.  I just took a look at www.CarolsWenatchee.com and must say that I love that top photo... it looks so inviting!  I was also quite impressed with a few other things I found while perusing your sites.  You certainly seem like the "go-to" agent in the Wenatchee, WA area!
Oct 05, 2006 03:24 AM #23
Rainmaker
1,514,096
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
Leanne,  Thanks for visiting my blog!  I have fun doing it, but it does take time.  Your webste is much like my www.TopPropertiesWenatchee.com website... lots of links to additional info. 

I highly recommend the bookmark biz cards.  Most of the franchises won't allow them because they aren't from their "approved supplier" inventory.  That is just fine with me.  My favorites are the flowers and the flag but I also have the golf scene and Fall scene.  When everyone else starts using them, I'll have to figure out something else.  :-)
Oct 05, 2006 03:59 AM #24
Rainer
71,971
Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio
Real Living HER, Powell Ohio - Powell, OH
Carole, the bookmarks were one of the first promo items I ordered. I take them to open houses, along with several of my other items, but find that not many people take them. They'll usually take the memo pads, pens and magnetic rulers. My take on that is that people don't read books as much any more.
Oct 05, 2006 05:01 AM #25
Rainer
18,713
Eli Allen
Keller Williams Realty Boise - Boise, ID
I like the pumpkins and christmas tree idea. The trees are a higher dollar item, but the impression that could make would be unforgettable.
Oct 09, 2006 02:47 PM #26
Anonymous
Michelle

My cousin owns an auto detailing business & he gave me a wonderful idea:  He gives his clients detailing discounts for placing his bumper sticker on their cars.  Some of his clients even tell him, " I saw your bumper sticker on a car."

I thought: Maybe I could offer a free cleaning/detailing in exchange for clients placing my logo on their cars!

 

(Of course, I hand out the plastic mortgage wheels all the time; people love and refer to often)

Oct 10, 2006 05:33 AM #27
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

Elaine:  I have that same experience with open houses.  Perhaps at first glance they don't realize what they are.   But, when I actually hand them one they look at it and comment about what a great thing it is. When I hand it to them I say "Here is my business card".  They are unique and don't get thrown away.  How about paper-clipping a card onto the listing detail sheet?    AND, I've had other agents tell me their clients use MY bookmarks.   

Michelle: This auto detailing comment gives me all kinds of ideas for possibilities.  Thanks!

Oct 10, 2006 05:46 AM #28
Rainer
509,220
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
Michelle, having been in the real estate business since the late 80s, I recently came across a mortgage chart booklet that started around 10%! Who knew?
Oct 10, 2006 05:50 AM #29
Rainmaker
93,817
Bill Sauneuf
John L. Scott Real Estate / Yelm - Mount Vernon, WA

I use pens... Bic Tri-Stick pens specificly... They are a 3 sided pen (not round). 3 faces.... My name. My Web-Site. My Phone Number.

These have been excellent promotional material... I've even had a few requests for more after a closing...

Nov 02, 2006 08:09 PM #30
Rainer
22,109
Misty Thomas
Houston Realty - Crosby, TX
Realtor Crosby, TX
I am always looking for ways to get my name out in the public. I love giving out tshirts with my information on it. I am in the process of having a website designed and once it is up and running I plan on having shirts made with just my web address on it.
Apr 11, 2008 02:37 AM #31
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Rainer
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S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL

Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist
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