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ALLEN
Buzzer
reply 178 vote 51
 

Realtor junk mail

I am not a realtor, but I find it really annoying that I get a lot of unsolicited junk mail from realtors on a regular basis. Most of them are the typical post cards showing their latest listings or sales with a large picture of themselves, and sometimes I get the stupid fridge magnet or desk calander which is even more wasteful. This is the kind of crap I don't need and always throw it in the trash, or recycling bin if it could be recycled.
The trash and recycling bin in my condo is always filled up with the same junk mail as it is being distributed to everyone's mailbox.
I think this kind of marketing is actually working against most of these realtors as I find the practice very annoying, wasteful and inconsiderate. Not everyone is interested in buying or selling real estate and to those who are probably already know of an agent to use.
I don't choose my dentist, lawyer or other professional from a flyer, so why should I choose an agent the same way?

It seems that sending such mass marketing would cost a lot of money and with not much return, not only that it is environmentally irresponsible.
What are your opinions on this?
28
Ontario / General Chit-Chat
 
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 
1 BEST REPLY
There are many skills realtors do not have especially for today's new internet realities. Many realtors can not market, can not write, can not manage the teams they put together etc. This is because the education level required to be a realtor is a joke.I suggest the real estate industry elevate its standards and enforce a higher education policy to become a realtor and I also suggest the penalties for misconduct imposed by our governing body (RECO) be much more severe. We are helping consumers make major financial decisions on a daiily basis and many realtors wouldn't pass a grade 9 math test.
 
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2199 vote 127
 
 
Couldnt agree more, in 99% of the cases.

That said, there are 1 or 2 Realtors in my 'hood that put together great newsletters, showing what is happening in the area.

I enjoy reading this to keep a pulse on the market.

But, again, in 99% of the cases it is direct into the garbage.
 
 
CONDO CHRIS
Buzzer
reply 99 vote 51
 
 
1
...And the one or two who put out great newsletters had them produced for them by the same company.
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 
I can fully understand why Allen and Matthew think this practise is annoying and you are right - it is expensive and not environmentally friendly. I limited the annoying flyers I sent out for awhile except, if your competitors are bombarding the area with flyers and you are not, you are at a disadvantage.

It's just another way of putting your name out there in conjunction with all the other marketing efforts. Although you may not find it useful, it reaches the absentee landlord, the children who don't live in the area and are deciding which agent to use for the estate sale, the elderly client who is not internet savvy etc. Many times these  potential clients do not know who to call in an area and defer to the flyers to decide which agent to call. 

Sometimes flyers are also used by buyers when they are solociting for a private house for sale in a low inventory market. So they do work.
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2199 vote 127
 
 
Just a note: the flyers that I read (mentioned above) are @Josie Stern's flyers. Very well done.
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 
Thank you @Matthew Slutsky. I appreciate it.
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 

btw I never use a third party for any of our marketing materials.

 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2199 vote 127
 
 
1
@Josie Stern ...it shows, and that is most likely why I really like it. It is never the traditional "fluff", and is full of well curated information that actually interests me.
 
 
GORD SMART
BuzzStaff
reply 215 vote 35
 
 
Any realtors out there have any data on conversion rates for these type of flyers ....
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 
The only thing I can tell you for sure is that they only work if they are sent out consistently for name recognition for at least 12 months. If an agent sends out one flyer here and there, that is useless. But a consistent flyer for an extended period of time usually gets a few phone calls. Ultimately, though, in order to cement yourself in a neighbourhood, requires a great deal more effort than that.
 
 
GRACECONDOS
Buzzer
reply 53 vote 4
 
 
@allen Would like it if the flyers only ever had information about suites in your building and helped you get a feel of the market prices for your condo?  Or would any flyer be an annoyance?
 
 
ALLEN
Buzzer
reply 178 vote 51
 
 

@GraceCondosI actually find the Remax monthly reports interesting, and when I was living at Cityplace I remember getting a postcard from an agent on recent sales in the Cityplace/Lakeshore area which shows averge prices according to size and bedrooms and also average DOM, which I also found interesting.

Unfortunately you can't opt out of the other realtor junk mail unless you opt out of all junk mail altogether, which may be the I want to go. 

I could always pull this stuff from the recycling bin in my mail room.
 
 
GRACECONDOS
Buzzer
reply 53 vote 4
 
 
Yes, too bad you can't be more selective with Canada Post.  If you want specific updates, message us and we can always send your market info to you, addressed, so you will receive it.
 
 
GORD SMART
BuzzStaff
reply 215 vote 35
 
 
1
The mail just came at my house. Hmmmm "Selling a house" is "as easy as a walk on the beach" Not sure realtors want to be saying that or everyone will go FSBO!!


 
 
THEREDPIN
Buzzer
reply 23 vote 5
 
 
1
That's one of the biggest problems with the traditional model of selling real estate. Realtors® are asked to market themselves but that is simply not part of a typical realtor®'s core competencies (nor should it be!). Marketing pro's spend years learning and practicing different advertising channels; they learn how to monitor their efforts; how much they should spend and where they should spend it.
 
 
THEREDPIN
Buzzer
reply 23 vote 5
 
 
@Josie Stern I definitely agree that it should take a lengthy and comprehensive certification program, along with significant experience, that would allow a professional to assist others in the biggest purchase of their lives. Respectfully though I disagree with how much marketing should be involved in that program. In the age of internet the brokerage should be responsible for much of the marketing and lead generation. The brokerage should advertise, should manage budget, should generate leads, should start nurturing programs and educate the leads, and get leads close to where they would need the skills of a Realtor® to finalize a purchase. Realtors® being out there on their own printing flyers, is just not the right way of going about this in 2013.
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 
@TheRedPin Most brokerages will not take that responsibilty because their focus is on hiring new recruits and increase the bottom line.Also brokerages do not offer a standard pay structure to each agent and some agents opt out of any services offered by the brokerage. There are a few brokerages in Toronto who provide great marketing support but it's still the agent's choice to opt in our out. It woulld be almost impossible, considering the advent of independent contractors, to enforce a rule that the brokerage take responsibilty for the marketing program. Decades ago Royal Le Page had a standard marketing program but this all went out the window when they allowed their agents to become independent contractors.
 
 
THEREDPIN
Buzzer
reply 23 vote 5
 
 
@Josie Stern Agreed. The problem is that most brokerages opt to follow the traditional model and hence cannot sustain the winning formula of 1- making sales 2- providing their Realtors® with a great life (both financially and by taking tasks such as marketing off their plates) 3- Empowering buyers in the process. TheRedPin's changing all that :)
 
 
JOSIE STERN
Buzzer
reply 106 vote 52
 
 
1
I wish @TheRedPin all the best then.
 
 
THEREDPIN
Buzzer
reply 23 vote 5
 
 
Thanks @Josie Stern.


On another note, it's a great space @BuzzBuzzHome Team's created here.  Looking forward to chatting with you and others.
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2199 vote 127
 
 
1
I think Sage Real Estate does a lot for their agents with regards to marketing and branding. True? / @Brad Sage 
 
 
ANDREWPAOLONE
NewBee
reply 5 vote 1
 
 
1
I wrote a blog about this recently. I agree with what Josie is saying. So much of this industry is built around part timers. http://torontorealestate4sale.ca/index.html/does-it-matter-what-brokerage-my-real-estate-agent-works-for-2299718
 
 
ANDREWPAOLONE
NewBee
reply 5 vote 1
 
 
I don't think or expect a traditional brokerage offers much of marketing anymore. Like Josie said it is all about the new recruits. Training and education needs to improve greatly, I am kind of embarrassed.
 
 
THEREDPIN
Buzzer
reply 23 vote 5
 
 
Good blog post @AndrewPaolone. In fact as many as 85% of realtors® are part timers I believe. When we were studying the market to come up with a business model we realized that people were craving the Starbucks model of not having to take a leap of faith when it came to their real estate (you know how it doesn't matter which Starbucks you go to, you never wonder whether you'll get good service?). On the other hand pros who really cared about customer service felt handcuffed by the system.

Till now that's what was missing in the industry.
 
 
JAMIE K.
Buzzer
reply 142 vote 39
 
 
I'm just a student at this point, but am very interested and driven to carve out a career for myself in real estate.

Everyone here has made some great points.

I personally believe that there are two classes of junk mail that we all receive from Realtors

1st) is the pure junk.... I'd consider what @Gord Smart posted to be pure junk. Within a few seconds of looking at it all I can see is a mess of information. None of which provides me with much real data.

2nd) There are Realtors who send out letters/postcards/flyers that provide REAL information that benefit and educate people on the state of the market in someones neighbourhood.

The second type of junk mail is good for people to get as it provides them with information in a concise form. The 1st type isn't worth the paper it is printed on.

----------------------

I'd also like to address the points about education in the real estate industry. I agree with @Josie Stern that the educational requirements are far to relaxed. I think it would be fair to say that going forward anyone looking to write the exams should be required to have a minimum of a 1 year College certificate in business or a relatable subject matter. That the current requirements only require a high school education is just setting the industry up for troubles. To put it in perspective I'm personally going to be completing a 2 year business diploma in April and will be looking to complete a BComm in entrepreneurship or real estate after that (maybe part-time, open to advice on this!) 

----------------------

@TheRedPin I totally agree that your business model serves a place in the market, but just like any other marketplace there is normally room for independents and different business models. I definitely agree that the "standard" brokerage businesses need to seriously evaluate how they operate in todays rapidly changing market. There are several players in the real estate market that have built successful brands around themselves and have separated themselves from their brokerage enough that, if they decided, they could easily move to a new brokerage without damaging or affecting their brand reputation and recognition.


 
 
BRAD SAGE .
Buzzer
reply 10 vote 1
 
 
1
@Matthew Slutsky You are right on the money. We spend a lot of time and dedicate a lot of our brokerage resources to help our agents brand and market themselves. Our philosophy is quite simple. Help our agents do more business. We also execute an integrated marketing campaign for each and everyone of our listings. That way it frees up our agents to focus on the highest gain activities.
 
 
MATTHEW SLUTSKY
Senior Buzzer
reply 2199 vote 127
 
 
@Brad Sage ...are Realtors at Sage allowed to brand on their own, or must they use your marketing division?

What if someone wanted to do their own direct mail newsletter on their own, with just the Sage logo at the bottom?
 
 
BRAD SAGE .
Buzzer
reply 10 vote 1
 
 
@Matthew Slutsky Its totally up to them. But because its included in the split and we have a killer marketing department agents dont tend to.
 
 
 
 
 

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