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RISMEDIA, July 5, 2008- A good marketing plan is the key for real estate professionals to catch the eye of potential customers. With the ever-increasing shift toward the Internet, it is important that real estate professionals tailor their marketing plan and market themselves through the avenues in which customers will reach them. Here, Michelle Futch, Realtor, Coldwell Banker Sunstar Realty discusses how she puts her best foot forward when it comes to marketing.

Q. What marketing strategies do you have in place that have produced the most quality leads?

futch_michelle.JPGA. The postcards that I send to homes in areas that I have just listed or just sold have provided me with many quality leads. In addition, working for a full service brokerage with name recognition creates both trust and credibility which has been beneficial in providing quality leads as well. I top off my marketing strategy by offering superior customer service, which provides me with referrals, which are priceless.

Q. How do you tailor your marketing strategy depending on the customer you are working with?

A. The written marketing plan that I offer my customers is typically sufficient enough to appease even the most discriminating seller. However, if additional tailoring is necessary, I am not afraid to think outside the box. My number one priority is to provide the seller with as much exposure as possible, giving them more opportunity to sell.

Q. How have you changed your marketing strategy to keep up with the industry’s ever-increasing shift to the Internet?

A. It is a well known fact that over 80% of buyer’s shop online and it has also been proven that media advertising is “old school” as it provides very few responses. With real estate’s increasing shift toward the Internet, I have turned my focus to Internet exposure, “Just Listed” and “Just Sold” postcards, as well as maintaining strong relationships with past and present clients.

It is difficult for sellers from the older generation to understand this shift in marketing and to get them to believe that Internet exposure is the leading source for buyers. Getting rid of this technology gap is crucial, so I try to educate the seller with statistical studies that provide percentages of lead generation sources such as the yard sign, open house, media advertising, etc. Internet presence gives me the ability to do business in today’s challenging market far beyond “old school” marketing.