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Business Marketing

You Look… Familiar…

You know that look you catch, when you are standing in line at the grocery store, or at the bank. The head cocked to one side, looking at you like they want to say something. And when they do, it’s something along the lines of “You’re that Realtor, aren’t you?”

Smile and Wave, Boys, Smile and Wave

Priceless. Face recognition, name recognition, brand recognition. It’s more than the ad in the newspaper with your face in it. It’s more than the oversized, glossy postcard with your name, face, and website address on it. It’s more than the long tail search about your town’s weekly farmers market that caused him to trip over your blog. It’s that, plus that, plus that, plus a million other little things that you can’t measure.

Like a Choreographed Dance

That’s the most infuriating thing about good public relations and marketing: it’s non-quantifiable at best. You can’t put your finger exactly on what is going to stick in a consumer’s mind. Frequently it takes a ton of little things, which is why the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” theory particularly applies. I’ll be the first person to tell you (and back it up with actual transactions) that internet marketing is a very profitable way to brig in clients. I’ll also point out that my website traffic typically doubles the day after I run a color ad in the local paper. And, that I have great success getting people to register on my static website using postcard mailers with individual registration codes. The quarterly market update letters I send out also include an invitation to visit and participate in my blog.

During a slower market, it’s a great time to take a bird’s eye view of your marketing efforts and see where you are weak and where you are strong. How are you blending ‘traditional’ marketing methods with your web 2.0 efforts?

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Written By

Heather is a Realtor with Century 21 Redwood Realty in Ashburn, Virginia. She's also the 2008 VARBuzz Blog Brawl Champion, mom to four fantastic kids, and the wife of a golf professional. If she had free time, she'd probably read a good book or play golf. You can find her on twitter, @hthrflynn, or writing on her blog,



  1. Linsey

    December 2, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    Heather – when you run an ad in your local paper, what is the content of the ad? I’m curious about what you’re finding that successfully drives traffic via print advertising (newspapers, postcards). Is it listing information, free offer, content?

    I’ve been so internet focused lately and I’m just reviewing my marketing plans for the coming year. Good reminder to review ALL our marketing.

  2. Elaine Reese

    December 2, 2008 at 1:51 pm

    I frequently get “those looks” as well at the grocery or gas pump. It’s pretty cool!

  3. Missy Caulk

    December 2, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    …gosh Heather I haven’t done any print ads in so long. Like Linsey, what do you do to drive them there?

  4. Dave Turnquist

    December 2, 2008 at 9:10 pm

    At least once a week someone in town approaches me in line somewhere and says “I shop with you every week” and then they laugh. The reason, my face is on the front and back of every shopping cart in the 1 and only grocery store in La Porte. Thousands of people recognize me and feel like they know me, just from my face on the shopping carts ad.

  5. Ginger Wilcox

    December 3, 2008 at 11:09 am

    It IS very hard to quantify the results of our marketing sometimes. From my experience, people hire me because of multiple touch points. They may have had a referral from a friend, they saw an ad in a magazine, they checked out my blog and they saw me at the park. Everyone knows 20 different Realtors, but it is easy to forget what people do. The more visible I am in lots of different areas, the more phone calls I seem to receive.

  6. John Wake

    December 8, 2008 at 1:34 am

    “I have great success getting people to register on my static website using postcard mailers with individual registration codes.”

    That’s new! Can you explain how it works.

  7. Fred Glick

    November 14, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Make sure your picture is current, though.

    There is nothing worse that a 40 year old, previously photoshopped picture in an ad and a 40 year older, un-photoshopped real person.

  8. David Pylyp

    November 14, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Thats Great!

    business card, letterhead, daily newspaper advertising all had different deadlines.
    we delivered a Photo t be included with the artwork

    because of different ordering and stock on hand we happen to have different (years) generations on our marketing material.

    Thats a recent photo and I’m sticking with that story. My forehead is just umm larger.

    Thanks for the laughs!

    David Pylyp
    Play Work and Living in Toronto

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