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RISMEDIA, July 27, 2010—Marketing. Advertising. Promotions. Don’t let these three words scare you. Though integral to making connections and winning over buyers and sellers alike, many real estate professionals don’t think they have the time or know-how to develop a cost effective, thought out strategy. With a rocky market and ever-growing pressures and demands, who could blame them?

Fortunately, the following four promotional strategies require little time, effort, and investment. What’s more, they are proven concepts that’ll increase your name recognition, pool of customers and bottom line.

Forget handing out regular business cards
Guess where the majority of your paper business cards spend their lives? Here’s a clue: not in front of your customers and prospects. As at least 80% of U.S. households have business card magnets on their refrigerator, why not take advantage and have your name and contact information stick around for the long run? Bonus points for clever and interesting designs.

Send a direct mail piece with a branded magnet
Fact: direct mail pieces accompanied with a magnet are 60% more likely to be opened and read than a mailer without a magnet. Indeed, this reason alone explains why many real estate professionals mail branded magnets to households in their local market. Not only is it cheaper and more effective than placing an ad in the phonebook or in the newspaper, it guarantees your contact information remains in plain sight (on the cherished fridge, nonetheless) when a buyer or seller needs your service.

People love free things
Who doesn’t like getting free stuff? What’s more, who doesn’t like getting useful free stuff? Although the New Year just passed, it’s certainly not too late to send your customers and prospects a free custom calendar magnet or even a baseball schedule magnet of your local team. Add your contact information, company logo and/or photo and you have a free and useful item that’ll stay in your customers’ view for a long while.

Get viral
Get your name and contact information out in the community and create some word of mouth. For example, drop off a handful of creative, outside the box magnets (perhaps even include some sort of interesting offer on them) at your community center, chamber of commerce, local hardware store, church, etc. and watch how quickly word spreads. Similarly, take your offer online via Facebook, Twitter, and your blog.

What are you doing to increase your name recognition, pool of customers and bottom line?

Eric Bogard is the marketing manager of Magnets.com, a leading designer and manufacturer of custom promotional fridge magnets. For more information, visit www.Magnets.com.

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