5 marketing tactics Realtors commonly use that can HURT their business (Part 5)

Real estate agents, you’ve got it tough. Many markets are crowded with agents and all of them offer exactly the same service at exactly the same price. Every agent seems to use calendars and bus benches to advertise.

If every agent is saying exactly the same thing, how do you differentiate? How do you position yourself as THE agent to call when someone wants to list?

This week, we’re looking at the different ways that Realtors try to attract attention from their prospects. All of these ideas will be familiar to you — in fact, you might even use some of them — but I’ll show you why these common real estate practices might be keeping you from success.

The marketing idea that can hurt a Realtor’s business:


The idea: Agents promote themselves as expert of a certain area or of a city.

My opinion: I’m torn about this one. I do see the value of promoting how well you know the area. However, thinking of the times that I have looked for an agent, I’ve never thought to myself, “I need to find someone who knows the city better than me!” Maybe that’s because I’ve never had an agent show me around town before — they’ve only ever driven straight to the houses that they were showing me.

I think there’s value in marketing yourself as a city expert when you’re marketing outside of the city you work in (i.e., to people moving into the city) but otherwise, it doesn’t make much sense. The average joe is just as much a city expert as the Realtor.

And, city expertise is targeted to buyers, not sellers, and unless that local expertise gets you a big list of hungry buyers (thus making you more attractive to sellers) then it doesn’t help you list homes.

So, should you use this? I wouldn’t use it as a differentiator unless your market is those who are moving to the city. Like your ability to give good service, it might be something you want to mention, but you shouldn’t create a tagline around how well you know the city.

Aaron Hoos

Aaron Hoos is a writer, strategist, and investor who builds and optimizes profitable sales funnels. He is the author of The Sales Funnel Bible and he's a real estate investor and a copywriter for real estate investors.

6 thoughts on “5 marketing tactics Realtors commonly use that can HURT their business (Part 5)

  1. Incorporating PR techniques along with the standard template website can set the progressive realtor apart from the rest in the eyes of the prospect.

    3 Things that a PR campaign should have:

    1. Satisfied customer testimonials – As clients close on their homes, the agent should ask for a small sentence or two outlining their experience and satisfaction with the agent. Placing these testimonials on their website can provide some instant credibility to the agent and their ability to service the customer.

    2. Promotional video – A small 60 second video can be created in a professional studio for less than the cost of one direct mail campaign. Using an unbiased spokesman touting the agent’s strengths and experience can go a long way toward building an impression that can stay with the prospect for weeks or longer.

    3. Real Estate Newsletter – Creating an e-mail subscription campaign to distribute information about the real estate market will continue keeping the agent in front of potential buyers and sellers over time. The agent is more likely to be contacted when the time is right as they have built a rapport over time.

    Realtors need to do more than the traditional business card at the grocery store bulletin board to get new clients. Creating a PR campaign that creates a web funnel of prospects to your door is not as hard as it sounds and can cost a great deal less than the traditional marketing most agents are following.

    Gravity Gardener


  2. Perhaps it’s better to advertise your competence with a more specific area. Saying that you have experience with an entire city is almost always transparently false because it’s next to impossible, depending on the size of the city. Claiming experience in a selection of neighborhoods however, might be more realistic and appealing.

    1. Mike, you’re right that proclaiming expertise about an entire city is usually always false. And the more granular “neighborhood-based” expertise can be better… but only if you market to neighborhoods OUTSIDE of the one in which you’re an expert. (At least, that’s my opinion).

      In my case, I’ve lived in one neighborhood for the past 6 or 7 years and some of the Realtors who market to me proclaim their expertise in this neighborhood… that doesn’t make sense. I already know this area pretty well and when I’m ready to move, I want to find an expert in the area I’m going to move TO. The Realtors who should be marketing to me should be the ones who are experts on other neighborhoods in town.

  3. Again, this shows how hard it is to find a UVP for a realtor. Along with the city expert idea you could find ways to align yourself with local businesses. The agent I am working with now offers $500 worth of free painting labor with a local painting business here in MN. He pays the painters $250 which gets the homeowner 10 hours in either a buy or sell situation. Don’t know the results yet, but it is a unique value.

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