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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
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    103

    Default Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Since most agents I know anyway in my area all contain business email addresses to contact them at on their website has anyone ever tried sending out mass emails with any success? I am curious because I was thinking about creating a visually appealing flyer/informative peace suggesting my use for the area and the things we can offer to them and there clients and know that most of them get it. I know this is a very effective marketing tool for other businesses but my feeling is that it may piss some agents off. Any thoughts?? If anyone has ever tried this method or have any input this would be much appreciated I am curious what people think before even attempting to try this. If anyone has used this method with success please place your input. Thank you again in advance!!

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    Certified Master Inspector CMI

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Email marketing is nice because it's super cheap. I know some guys in my area have done it but it seems like it tends to be the newer/desparate crowd.

    I've never done it, mainly just because I don't want to be a 'spammer' and I think there's the possibility of annoying some people.

    There is certainly a case to made for doing it though. Let's face it, you could annoy someone and they won't call you... But, they probably aren't calling you anyhow so some would say all it can do is help.

    If nothing else, it's getting your name out there.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    57

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Randy,

    I have been conducting a consistent email campaign since I've been in the business. Will it bring you in a ton of business? No, but you will provide name recognition for your business on a consistent basis. I probably would not send out a flyer on yourself/company, strive to become an informational resource and send out emails that provide information to the agent.

    Have I bugged some people? Probably so, but I've gotten a lot more positive feedback from agents saying that they enjoy the information and to keep them coming. Try email fusion if you don't want create your own content, try Constant Contact if you want to provide your own content.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Randy,

    I can tell you this because I have realtors in my family so I hear about it quite often.

    First, most of the emails they get are deleted without giving them a second look.

    Secondly, all the business cards and flyers put in their mailbox at the office are trashed without a second look.

    They receive so much of this stuff and honestly get tired of dealing with it.

    So why not find another way or source to get the business. Go after the buyers directly.

    I've mentioned before, that the best advertising I've done is marketing to sellers of homes in your area. First of all we know that their going to be moving and will be needing an inspector. Sure some will move out of town and you won't be able to help them. Ask them to leave your card out on the table with the realtors flyers or marketing material.

    Marketing to realtors is not the only way to get business, and as most will tell you cannot rely on them as an only way to make your business work.


  5. #5
    imported_John Smith's Avatar
    imported_John Smith Guest

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Randy, I can only speak from my experience in Texas, but the real estate agents very seldom read this type of email advertising. Maybe they are too busy eating donuts these days.

    All kidding aside, they dont seem receptive to this type of marketing. Minnesota may be another story, and I sure wouldnt try to talk you out of doing it. You dont know til you try.

    You may be asking how do I know the agents arent reading the email? I was using a really good service (Constant Contact). They let you try it free for a while and it makes some excellent mailers. Plus it shows you who opened it, forwarded it, or didnt read it, or searched your web site, etc.

    Try it, I dont think you will be disappointed.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    Randy,

    I can tell you this because I have realtors in my family so I hear about it quite often.

    First, most of the emails they get are deleted without giving them a second look.

    Secondly, all the business cards and flyers put in their mailbox at the office are trashed without a second look.

    They receive so much of this stuff and honestly get tired of dealing with it.

    So why not find another way or source to get the business. Go after the buyers directly.

    I've mentioned before, that the best advertising I've done is marketing to sellers of homes in your area. First of all we know that their going to be moving and will be needing an inspector. Sure some will move out of town and you won't be able to help them. Ask them to leave your card out on the table with the realtors flyers or marketing material.

    Marketing to realtors is not the only way to get business, and as most will tell you cannot rely on them as an only way to make your business work.
    Rick that's good info. I don't market to Realtors either. But I've been too lazy to get off my backside and market to sellers or ask if I could place info at their home. thanks. Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Oregon
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    2,365

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Rick touches on a valuable piece of info. A contact in the real estate profession can be a great asset in keeping your ear to ground as to what your competition is doing.

    I particularly like the donut comment a few posts up... According to the agents I talk to, it's reached absolutely sick proportions. That and stopping by open houses with 'gifts' are at the top of the list of ways to annoy a realtor.

    Whatever you do, the best chance for sucess is something that nobody else is doing. Getting noticed, in a good way.

    None of us have all the answers.... if we did we would have done it and retired by now


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    375

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    As Rick said, leaving your cards at a listing can be effective. Whenever I inspect a house I typically leave my card on the counter alongside the agent's cards and other info. I have gotten business from both the home seller and potential buyers, as well as referrals by this simple act. It certainly will not hurt anything.

    Eric


  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tyler, TX
    Posts
    719

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    That is good. I appreciate you sharing it.

    Thanks,
    Bruce

    Bruce Thompson, Lic. #9199
    www.TylerHomeInspector.com
    Home Inspections in the Tyler and East Texas area

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    103

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    That is much appreciated very informative and I can see why you have had a good response from most. I have done alot of different marketing schemes and it seems that most agents in my area since I have started are very unresponsive to marketing directly at them. I have been in the biz for under a year but I also have a sales/marketing degree and what I have noticed is thus far (for my area any way) is the best thing is to offer very informative advise that will help agents and market at home buyers and sellers directly as many have explained already on this board. However with that being said I think we can all agree that having agents on your side(or recomendin you) is hands down the best way for referral business. So does anyone else have any ideas/flyers that they would be willing to share that has gotten a good response from agents? I think everyone should post something great that has worked for them and we may start seeing some neat trends. Any ideas anyone???


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,332

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    I was chatting with an agent yesterday while confirming an inspection for next week, and she shared the following.

    1. Her office only had 4 closings in January.
    2. Another small office in the same area had only 1 closing.
    3. Only about 1/2 the agents in her area have renewed their RE Board dues, etc.
    4. Her office has been inundated with HI flyers. The most desperate was one had "$100 off the each of the next two inspections and the third one is free".
    Now THAT is a desperate man.

    JF

    Maybe it's just me, but I just delete and report spam on all of the stuff I get that is "junk" mail. I know I used to get so pissed off at ProLab because of their junk e-mails and junk phone calls.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    I keep all clients and Realtors emails handy. I sent them a email BCC about changing there batteries in there smoke detectors when the clocks changed.
    I had dozens send me a reply thanking me for that advice and felt it was personal because it was directed to them.

    This once in a blue moon approach keeps you in the back of there mind.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  13. #13
    Patrick Norton's Avatar
    Patrick Norton Guest

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Great idea! How often do you send emails? Do you only send emails for replacing the smoke detector batteries? Do some people tell you to take them off your email list?


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    I have only just started, I don't want to become a spamer so I am targeting possibly email each quarter or so. Nobody emailed me back saying take me off but I'm sure someone might. If the information is useful they might not. For instance in your area you might shoot them a email reminding them to shut the water off to there hose bib's when it gets cold. You get the idea..........

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  15. #15
    Patrick Norton's Avatar
    Patrick Norton Guest

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Mike, thanks for the feedback.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mustang
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Randy, I just got my latest bright idea back from the printers. It is a binder with my companies cover sheet on the front with my pricing information on the inside with a copy of my certifications and then a copy of the states home inspection licensing act inside. This has the SOP and all information about home inspections from the state and I have just started to pass them out to all the Real Estate Companies through out my area. So far the response has been Great, and I have been invited to come back and speak on the SOP to a couple of weekly meetings. Most of the Real Estate Companies are not aware of the SOP and are interested to hear more about them. Be careful if you take this approach because you will have to make yourself available to answer a lot of questions.


  17. #17
    Eric Russell's Avatar
    Eric Russell Guest

    Default Re: Advertising Idea, Suggestions

    Here's a couple of ideas that seem to work for me. First, I bought some postcard stock at Walmart for my printer and used Microsoft Word or Publisher (Wordperfect will work, too) to create a message on the back like, "Happy birthday," or "congratulations for being the top seller for July." Our local paper has a weekly section called, "Real Estate Times" that is nothing but Realty news, listings, and top-selling agents for different firms. It costs only pennies for the card, and 23 cents for the postage. Also, if you advertise in the papers, see if you can work out some kind of deal for a weekly column on home maintenance in lieu of payment for advertising. Sometimes they're looking for filler, and y'all sound like you're rather knowledgeable in the area of home maintenance...y'all could each keep a newspaper in HM tips for several years. It gets your face and your name out there. Worth a try! works for me.

    Eric Russell


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