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Have you ever heard the old saying, “He’s the jack of all trades and the master of none?”

With all the great new gizmos and gadgets consistently being thrust at real estate agents these days, it’s easy to make the mistake of chasing them all. However, if your goal is to make a lasting, positive impression on the people most likely to fuel your success, it’s time to STOP trying to be the jack of everything and START being the master of a few proven strategies and tools.

If being the jack-of-all doesn’t work, neither does putting all of your eggs in one basket. Depending completely on traditional offline tools or going exclusively after online leads are a few examples of a flawed approach. Did you know that, according to research from several major online lead companies, only 1 percent of online leads convert to a sale? What you need to do is STOP consolidating those marketing eggs and START combining online and offline media for the greatest return.

Here’s another interesting did-you-know: Direct mail offers the highest response rate of all marketing media (9 percent, according to the 2018 ANA/DMA Response Report), but when you combine direct mail with online media, that response rate more than doubles. Add variable data to personalize those messages, and the response rate goes even higher, approaching a five-fold increase, according to a Merkel, Inc. and DMA study.

Finally, people want to be talked with, not talked at, yet many agents use their websites, Facebook pages, Instagram posts and other marketing to talk about, and to, themselves, leaving existing clients and prospects completely out of the conversation. In this interrelated digital world, you must STOP marketing at people and START connecting with them. Here’s a quick testimonial from an agent who came to just that realization:

“I’d been looking at Instagram as a way to market myself. In reality, I should have been thinking ‘How can I use this platform to connect with others?’ I now spend more of my time interacting with other users’ feeds than I do creating my own content to push.”

This agent currently has 11,000 followers on Instagram. By focusing on other people—not yourself—you forge the all-important interpersonal bonds that can spur marketing success and eventually lead to increased business and profitability.

In marketing, as in life, principles never change while tactics and tools do. Find what works best for visibility and connection and negate the rest.

Brian Wildermuth is senior vice president, Real Estate Services, for Deluxe Branded Marketing. You can count on Deluxe Branded Marketing for easy-to-use marketing tools, sophisticated technology platforms and flexible services and solutions that will help you get and retain customers for life.