I started real estate shortly before the business model changed from agent centric to client centric. Old school marketing was taught at my first brokerage and I had no reason to doubt it worked. In the five years previous to becoming an agent, there was one REALTOR responsible for 90% of the sales in my neighborhood.
I literally bought into sending thousands of postcards, delivering flags in the front yard on holidays, pumpkins in the fall, magnetic calendars, note pads and of course, the Forget-Me-Not flower seeds delivered door to door with a smile and a business card, hoping that when those little seeds began to produce flowers, surely they would remember me.
Back then, everyone needed a logo design and branding to guarantee success. And…….there were plenty of companies just waiting to help you conquer your market with a perfectly designed logo, including letterhead, envelopes, web site, etc., for a price.
Most agents were just beginning to get their own website and domain names were easy to get. Try finding a great domain name today!
Information was safely guarded and agents were the gateway to the information.
Fast forward, only six years, to a client centric business model where information flows freely; everyone has a website and a potential client can find us anywhere online. Clients rarely, if ever, walk in the front door of a brokerage looking for an agent. Today, we do business from our laptop in the local Starbucks.
We manage our own branding fairly well (without the high cost, I might add) and our marketing, but very few neighborhoods have a dominate agent doing business there.
It was actually easier to send thousands of postcards than it is to maintain a web presence. With blogs, websites, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social networks to manage, we are wired 24/7. I am willing to bet most of us are never away from our email for more than eight hours at a time. That’s only so we can sleep 😉
Much has changed, yet some things remain the same. Old School required a personal touch; today we need to have both. We can’t exclude the personal touch at the expense of technology. I don’t know many agents who send postcards as a regular part of their marketing; I haven’t seen a pumpkin delivered to my door in years or flags on Memorial Day. I don’t have extra note pads from agents lying around or a calendar on my fridge.
The one old school marketing tool we should still be using is the Forget-Me-Not seeds.
Of course, the seeds are new and improved, producing referrals from clients who love us. These are the seeds we plant throughout every transaction and interaction we have with our clients. It consists of the little and “not so little” things we do everyday to ensure our clients never forget us. Not because we force our marketing on them, but, simply, we are remarkable and unforgettable.
What Forget-Me-Not seeds do you plant? What makes you stand out? What makes you great?