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To reach your future clientele, it’s important to go above and beyond. In the following interview, David Caveness, President of Carpenter REALTORS® in Indianapolis, Ind., takes us inside the world of top notch real estate marketing.

Caveness_DavidDavid Caveness
Carpenter REALTORS®, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Indianapolis, Ind.

Region served: 13 counties in central Indiana
Years in business: Since 1970
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 620
Biggest challenge in your market: Finding quality, capable management at both the local and regional level.
Can’t live without tech tool: Our mobile/tablet app suite with proprietary content developed for us by MRA (Mobile Realty Apps).
Best tip for dealing with difficult customers: I assure them that they’ve reached the right person, then encourage them to tell me their side of the story. I also take notes, review key points and promise an approximate follow-up time. Then I handle the issue.

What strategies are most effective when it comes to recruiting?
We’ve built a culture that offers our team members things that none of our competitors do, such as paying for marketing that delivers tangible results. We also provide advertising through multiple vehicles, including magazines, online, TV and direct mail. This systematic exposure to the public is instrumental when it comes to making calls and inquiries pop. In addition, our hiring center—run by Tidemark—is one of the best partnerships we’ve ever formed. They handle all the back office mechanics and bring in candidates who are not only perfect for our company, but also match our cultural profile.

How does your marketing spend break down between print and online, and how has this ratio changed in recent years?
Print is not dead for us. In fact, we own the major metro Sunday Real Estate section and have for years. Not only are we on the front cover, we also have a presence on the following three or four pages every week – in addition to ads that tease the real estate section, driving people to us. Today, local papers, our own magazine printed by the paper and outside ads command about 45 percent of our budget. We also co-brand the “Good Morning America Home of the Day” and host a weekly television Showcase of Homes on Saturday mornings—initiatives that we devote 20 percent of our marketing budget toward. This ratio has been consistent in recent years.

How do you deal with the negative effects of the media?
We’re known for being transparent, which begins with showing our team what’s happening when they start seeing negative publicity. In addition, we update our sales force monthly about trends in the marketplace, and we counsel our agents weekly through meetings with up-to-the-moment knowledge so they can counter uninformed reporting and inaccurate analysis of real estate data.

How do you keep your company top-of-mind in the eyes of clients and in the communities you serve beyond your own self-generated ads and promotion?
Our premier philanthropic initiative, which is 20-years strong, goes a long way toward supporting our sustainability in the community. A faith-based medical and dental care network, Gennesaret Free Clinics started with one doctor looking to provide medical health support to the homeless community in his spare time. Now they have six locations and a mobile clinic. In our 21 years hosting a golf tournament for them, we’ve raised over a million dollars, and many of our team members volunteer their time and financial support to the agency.

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