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Discover Publications generates listings for top agents, eliminates stress

Between going on listing appointments, negotiating sales and converting leads, real estate professionals have their hands full. But for those dead set on dominating the market, a well-rounded content marketing strategy is key. With multi-channel marketing innovator Discover Publications, real estate professionals can reap all the rewards without doing any of the heavy lifting.

Discover Publications was founded over 25 years ago by former real estate agent Leo Zupan. “Leo did well in real estate, but in 1993 became a single father of four,” says Catherine Sylvester, Leo’s daughter and CEO of Discover since 2015. “That was back when agents had to constantly be in the field. Leo had to figure out how to stay in the industry he loved and also be home when my siblings and I got off the bus.” Carrying on the values upon which Discover Publications was founded, Sylvester explains that the motivation behind the creation of the company has everything to do with Zupan’s experience as a real estate agent.

Drawing on the difficulties he faced when trying to find good marketing that didn’t require a large time commitment, Zupan developed a direct mailer that was unlike anything else on the market at the time. While the original iteration of the piece could best be described as basic—with inside pages that were all the same—the real winner was the fact that the front and back covers could be customized. “Leo understood the importance of positioning oneself as a local market expert, but this wasn’t an option for the agent that wanted to do content marketing because the internet didn’t exist at the time,” says Sylvester.

Fast forward 25 years, Sylvester notes that while times have changed dramatically, content still reigns supreme. “The world has changed, and Discover has evolved accordingly. What hasn’t changed is that content is still king. It drives web traffic, boosts SEO, and positions real estate professionals as the experts in their local market,” says Sylvester, who can’t say enough about the importance of focusing on content as the marketing strategy path forward.

But for real estate professionals across the board, sticking to an effective marketing plan is easier said than done, which is why Discover designed its program to ease the burden, making the process as simple as possible. “We’re their No. 1 advocate, and their own personal marketing department,” says Sylvester of the busy—yet successful—real estate professionals who have turned to the company to take over their marketing efforts, including print, online and social media.

In addition to a customized, regularly scheduled 12-page direct mail publication targeted to a specific community that highlights the individual’s business, Discover Publications also provides online and email marketing services. Upping the ante even further, clients are provided a custom blog that’s attached to their site and updated with articles and features, as well as a dedicated copywriter and marketing manager to assist with content creation and distribution.

While Discover Publications covers all the bases, Sylvester notes that direct mail remains the cornerstone of what they do. “In fact, it’s become increasingly powerful over the last few years as digital marketing has become saturated. We market for our clients across multiple channels, and are always researching the best ones to develop. We know things will change with direct mail, but today, it’s very effective. Our clients get leads and listings every day from their farming efforts.”

Created from scratch, the Discover publication features two custom stories a month, which typically include a local market update and a piece pertaining to local community events. The publication is then rounded out with syndicated topics that are of interest to homeowners, from decorating, home improvement and personal finance tips to recipes.

Although Discover takes great pride in building publications, the company is all about results. “Clients are looking for a return on their investment; they want to get leads, listings and calls,” says Sylvester, who goes on to explain that Discover Publications has a great track record of producing those results. “Over the last two years, we’ve done multiple surveys and case studies. Clients report an ROI of 150 percent or better, on average, within six publications,” adds Sylvester.

In addition to ROI, real estate professionals also get branding and increased awareness as the community begins to regard them as the go-to expert in the local market. Staying top of mind among their sphere and within their geographic farm goes a long way toward laying the foundation for an increase in referrals.

“In today’s environment especially, real estate professionals must treat the business like a business. The winners are selecting marketing channels based on effectiveness, not technological advances, and they are showing, not telling. It’s incredibly important that agents focus on multi-channel content marketing, as it’s the way of the future,” concludes Sylvester.

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Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at

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