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RISMEDIA, Dec. 17, 2008-Many agents make the same mistake when they get into this industry. They look around at what all the other agents in their office are doing and copy them. You probably know what that means: spending your days and nights cold calling, door knocking, doing duty time and more cold calling.

Needless to say, this is a demoralizing process. Many agents who follow this regime end up hating the mind-numbing work and repeated rejection. If you’re like many agents, you originally got into this business with the idea that you’d be able to spend time helping people buy or sell a home, but instead you find that the majority of your time is spent chasing people, not working with them. Most importantly, a real estate business run this way most often doesn’t generate enough income.

Many agents get so sick and tired of nauseating and highly inefficient prospecting that they decide there has to be a better way, and turn to advertising reasoning that by promoting themselves in newspapers and other vehicles, prospects will now come flocking to them.

If you’ve tried this route, you know that this isn’t what happens. You see, again, when they turn to advertising, most agents simply copy what those around them are doing. You know the kind of ad I’m talking about: a big picture of the agent with some catchy slogan to grab their prospects’ attention and make them pay attention. That’s what most agents think advertising is all about: simply getting their prospects’ attention. You see ads like this every day in your own real estate paper, and you might ask yourself “What’s so wrong with these ads?” Well, the problem with self-image advertising is that the focus is on the “agent” when it really should be on the “customer.”

Image ads like these won’t get you much business because they don’t offer prospects anything they care about. In other words, they don’t offer any meaningful customer benefits or reasons for a prospect to make contact. Whether you know it or not, your prospects are all tuned to the same radio station: WIFM (What’s in it for me). If you can’t answer the question “Who Cares?” to the ad you’re running, chances are your prospects never bothered to even look at it let alone respond to it. You see, just because prospects know who you are, doesn’t mean they’ll call you.

The fact of the matter is, the most effective and least expensive way to generate leads is to offer prospects something they want and make it easy and non-threatening for them to get it. Every single ad and marketing communication you run should make the offer so appealing and so easy to get, that the right prospects unfailing respond by contacting you to do business.

Here are two ads that do a great job of what I’m talking about.


Now I want you to notice a few things about these ads. Firstly, each ad offers something we know buyers and sellers want. For example:

Sellers want to make sure they’re getting the most money when they sell their home, and by giving them an easy way to understand home prices in their area, you give them a sense of how much their home could sell for

Buyers want to get the best deal possible when they buy, and the offer of a free list of real estate deals such as distress sales speaks directly to that desire.

But more than that, notice that none of these ads directs prospects to call “you.” In every case, you need to give prospects a non-threatening way to get the information you offer by driving them to either a website and / or toll free telephone number (which I call a hotline) with a pre-recorded message to get the information they want. I call these my automated robots, because they automatically handle the prospect inquiry for me.

There are several important advantages to driving prospect inquiries to automated robots such as a hotline or a website.

From a marketing perspective, it has been proven that three times as many prospects will respond to your ad if they don’t have to speak with a salesperson to get the information they’re after. If you make a great offer but tell people they have to call you directly to get it, you’ll significantly lower your response. Also, these robots give you the important ability to scientifically track every ad you run.

In addition to these marketing advantages, there’s a huge lifestyle advantage to driving prospects to a website and or hotline – one that will change your whole way of doing business. You see, with this type of advertising, the prospect is not actually calling to speak with you. Instead, they’re calling to get the information offered in the ad, so they’re not actually even expecting a call back from you. It is important that you follow up with them so you can convert this inquiry into a face-to-face appointment, but now — instead of you taking a prospect’s call when it’s convenient for them, you simply call back your prospects when it’s convenient for you.

With simple, inexpensive little ads like these, you will generate so much business that you can pick and choose who you want to work with.

“I’m a big believer in classified advertising as a source of good quality leads, especially for those buyers moving to a market and first time buyers. Why? Because it works. And it is still the least expensive way to generate leads from people ready to buy real estate now. This is especially true if your major newspaper also posts your classified ad on their website. Now that’s the best of both worlds. Over the years, I’ve found that many people moving to our market not only search online, but either subscribe to the major newspaper or buy it on newsstands. And Craig’s classified ads are designed to get those buyers to raise their hands and contact you for more information.” – Lester Cox, Tempe, AZ

Billion Dollar AgentTM Craig Proctor has been in the top 10 for RE/MAX Worldwide for 15 years and is the only real estate trainer who actually does what he teaches. Craig consistently sells over 500 homes per year to earn almost $4 million in annual commission. Over 25,000 agents nationwide use Craig’s system to make more money in less time. To learn about free Craig Proctor workshops held year round in cities across the country, visit: These three hour workshops coach agents on the essential success strategies for this market, including free lead generation, short sales, bank foreclosures and reverse prospecting.