When Real Estate Postcard Branding Goes Bad…(part1)

by Lisa Shaw

I think we’ve all heard a hundred times how important it is to stand out and create a memorable brand… however, there are limits on what’s considered effective and what’s downright cheesy and tired. Here are 5 of the most common branding mistakes I’ve seen agents make over the years…and for some, even cost them their business.

1) Home holding needs to be dropped
Wait…let me think on what’s being said here, “My home is in good hands with you?”, “You build model homes?” or better yet, “You passed GO, collected $200, and want to place a house on Boardwalk.” No, but seriously, the home holding images are one of the most overused images to date in real estate. Prospects are numb to its meaning and it carries to “pop value”. To prospects, it’s just another quick give way sign of a “real estate person trying to sell me something.” Brand building is not built on commonality…it has to have pop.

2) Trash the recycled messages
I’ve seen them, you’ve seen them…you may have even used them. The “card board-cutout” messages of five and ten years back. Sorry, but they don’t work in today’s market. A free consultation is NOT an offer, it’s expected. Asking someone to call you if thinking about “buying or selling”…….
One question?

WHY SHOULD THEY CALL? You’ve told them nothing.

Branding is NOT blending in.

3) Branding without borders
Kids cover your eyes!!! And yes, this is a real postcard. What are we saying here?! “I’ll present your open house half nude and bring Bruiser with me?” There are standards in NAR, remember?. If you care to show yourself down-to-earth and adventurous you can, however, marketing is for the prospect, NOT your ego. Most prospects care about the bottom line, “What can you offer ME that others aren’t?”

4) Out dated photos are out of style
Ok, so you put on a few pounds over the years or managed to pick up a wrinkle here or there. It’s natural. But don’t resort to using your high school photo to cover your shame. Over the years I’ve seen agents use photos that clearly misrepresent what they look like. The problem here is that some prospects, after seeing you in person, may feel a sense of disappointment and equate your slightly dishonest representation with the type of service they might come to receive as a client. You might find yourself asking, “ What happened…everything seemed to be going good by all signs?”.

Get a nice photo that represents today’s YOU and get it retouched if you care to. Remember, honesty builds rapport.

Recipe marketing gets cooked
They say the way to some peoples heart is “through their stomach, however when did this apply to real estate? The common misplaced belief when marketing with recipe postcards is that “perhaps the prospect will remember me by offering something useful. Come on, do you really think people would make one of the most important financial decisions of their life by referring to a recipe? Also bad, is its natural ability to eliminate possible business by discrimination. Look, I love Sloppy Joe, however, my mother doesn’t and she’s not alone, vegetarians don’t like it either. Get the point?

October 23rd 2007

Tags: Mortgage Marketing, Real Estate Postcards