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direct_mail_conceptSitting at my desk going through the mail, I noticed the most beautiful marketing brochure, titled “Everything a Man Could Want for Christmas.” Out of curiosity, I began to thumb through the pages of golf clubs, tools, fishing gear and many other items that actually did appeal to me. Wondering what store I had to visit to purchase any of these items, I turned to the back page and the simple marketing statement says it all. “Find all of this and more at!” I was blown away and surprised. Isn’t eBay an e-marketing company? Aren’t they masters at driving Internet traffic? And right here in my hands, a full-color, print marketing brochure from this Internet giant.

As a technology speaker and sales guru, I pride myself in using technology to accomplish my goals and simplify my life. This “a-ha” moment came at a time when I had just eliminated much of the print in my own real estate practice. As I pondered what I perceived was a conflict in marketing philosophy, this question came to my mind: Why would eBay use direct mail to drive traffic? The answer was just as simple: Because it works.

We market because we want to be at the front of the minds of our potential clients at the very moment they’re considering buying or selling real estate. This happens by having a variety of methods to reach out and touch clients, both online and offline.

Marketing is not about having one or two methods of driving traffic or generating leads. Marketing is all about using a mix of tools, systems, processes and methods to reach different consumers in a variety of ways. There are so many ways of generating leads today that there’s no reason to struggle in this business.

Here are a few lead-generation methods:

  • Geographic farming (direct mail, door knocking, community Web-blog sites)
  • FSBOs and expired listings (call, mail, call campaigns)
  • NODs
  • Divorce and probate attorneys
  • Sign calls (call capture systems, 1-800#)
  • Open houses (signs, postcards, door knocking, make it an event)
  • New construction (market to builders, investors, first-time homebuyers)
  • Billboards, shopping carts, moving vans
  • Home and garden shows
  • SEO and PPC to drive Web traffic
  • High-volume Internet lead systems (Commissions, Inc.; BoomTown, etc.)
  • Company-branded websites (make sure your profile, pages and information are updated and correct)
  • Marketing to your sphere of influence, past clients and friends (the No. 1 lead source)

These are just a few ways of generating leads—a combination of both online and offline marketing systems working together to create amazing results. So many agents have eliminated print from their marketing that the mailers we send get a much higher return than in the past.

My advice is to simply choose four pillars of income and focus on those areas. Once you establish your four pillars, don’t be distracted by other lead sources. Put into place different marketing strategies and incorporate print brochures or postcards. Track your results from each marketing strategy so you know where to spend your marketing dollars. As you dial in your marketing strategy, you’ll see an increase in your leads. Put solid systems for lead follow-up in place and watch your business grow.

Verl Workman is president of Corcoran Consulting, Inc.

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