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RISMEDIA, July 9, 2009-When you ask Top 5 Member Sandra Simmonds from Orlando, Florida, what type of marketing is most effective with consumers, she would undoubtedly respond with interactive tools. “Interactive tools give [consumers] instant results. Consumers today are very spoiled with how quickly they can get information and responses. You have to be able to get them information immediately,” she says. In this week’s Best Practices from Members of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, meet Simmonds and learn what smart investments she’s making in today’s tough market.

914s-simmonds-0010Sandra Simmonds
Prudential Florida Realty
Orlando, Florida
www.orlandohomepartner.com
Average sales price in your market
: $200,000

Has your marketing budget changed due to market conditions?
It’s actually not so much my marketing budget that has had to change but my business model. That has really changed. My marketing budget has always been lean, about 10% of my business. This year, though, I have added to my business model by learning about and targeting market areas that will produce results, i.e., bank-owned properties. I changed my business model to coincide with the market.

How do you determine which areas are okay to cut back on?
I evaluate my marketing. I implement my business plan at the end of the year based on the results I have had during the year. I no longer do any print advertising. I’d say 99% of my marketing today is online.

What areas are most important to continue to invest in?
The Internet is the place to be, so I try to develop more sophisticated tools on the Internet for my clients. That’s why I joined Top 5. Top 5 is a great tool for agents and adds one more element of professionalism to the arena because of the knowledge that consumers can tap into.

Where do agents usually go wrong in terms of marketing?
I think where agents get into trouble is marketing without measuring. They have to know what the return is.

What do you believe some of the greatest benefits of Top 5 will be?
I think the leading benefit of Top 5 is that it’s going to show that agents are professional and that they have a wealth of resources for consumers. I also think the networking with other agents is a great asset.

What was it about the Top 5 concept that most resonated with you?
It’s a one-stop shop. You can come to my website and find priceless information. This is an amazing value. The cost to acquire these resources from a credible source would be virtually impossible.

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