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October 11, 2018

Shhh, It's a Secret

On tour of my new marketing book, Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa: 9 Secrets to Put the Bite Into Your Marketing, I am constantly asked two questions; “What’s the best secret I’ll get from your book?” “What is the most effective marketing solution for real estate agents?”

The Best Secret

Two great questions and I can and will answer them. However, would like to preface it with a qualification, there are nine secrets and each one is very important in answering the second question.

It’s in the Title

Original my book was titled 9 Secrets Advertising Agencies Don’t Want You to Know. A great title and to this day I believe it would sell more books. However, prior to publication ten thousand copies were pre-sold to a company to be used as the ‘sweetener’ (promotional giveaway) for an infomercial generated by an Advertising Agency. You guessed it. The ad agency didn’t feel the title was apropos. They felt it was disrespectful to their industry, so they asked if I would change it. I did and now you know the rest of the story and the proof that they really don’t want you to know the 9 secrets.

First Question Answered

“What’s the best secret I’ll get from your book?” has to be Secret #5 “Stop It! Stop Spending Marketing Dollars that do not Produce Results!” I am constantly amazed at the numbers of clients I coach that spend major dollars on marketing and cannot account for the results.

Coaching Encounter

Here is a dialog from one of my coaching sessions: “Margo (fictitious name), looking at your financial accounting you spent $7,640 (actual number) on classified advertising over the last 12 months.” 

Margo, “Wow, I didn’t know it was that much!” 

I then asked, “What was your return on this marketing investment?” 

Margo, “What do you mean?”

 “Well, Margo you spent $7,640, what did you get out of this expenditure. How many listings, sales, closings, or how much money did you put in your pocket.” 

Margo, “Oh, I don’t know.” 

“Ok. It says here that you spent $13,950 on web site design, activation, maintenance, and search engine placement. What was your return on this investment?” Margo, “Really great! Everybody tells me how good my site looks and I get tons of hits.” 

“Ok, but Margo how many listings, sales, closings, or number of new clients/customers did your site generate?” 
Margo, “I don’t know, a lot.” 

“Ok. Using your log of closings let’s identify which ones were a result of classified ads or website.” 

Margo, “Oh, I don’t know… several I guess.” 

Rossi, “Ok. Let’s go over each and you tell me the source of each transaction.” 

Margo, “Rossi, I would rather spend your time coaching me on how to improve my marketing. Instead of wasting time on the past.” To learn more, go to Dog Eat Dog And Vice Versa


You can’t improve what you can’t define. How could I coach Margo on how to do a better job when she doesn’t know how she’s doing now? Compare it to the store locator map in the Mall. If you didn’t have a “You Are Here” arrow, you wouldn’t know how to get where you’re going.
Not Unique

The discussion with Margo is not unique; I hear the same answer over and over again. Oh, and the excuses are always the same: My broker doesn’t do it. I’m too busy selling real estate to analyze it. Who has time for that? Even if I could I don’t know. If my business is good, then I just keep doing what I’m doing.

Wasted Dollars

Literally, billions of dollars are spent annually by real estate companies and individuals on marketing, whose results are unaccounted for. Monies spent on classified newspaper ads, phone books, brochures, flyers, magazines, direct mail, bus benches, TV/ radio, pens, hats, jackets, shirts, Internet, billboards, logos, slogans, and blogs. The real estate industry is a GIANT target for active marketing sales people selling the latest and greatest passive marketing solution. STOP IT! Stop spending money without monitoring and evaluating the results of every marketing dollar you’ve spent and are going to spend!

Question Two Answered

“What is the most effective marketing solution for real estate agents?” Without a doubt, direct mail. As spelled out in Chapter 11 of my book which is also Secret #9 “It Doesn’t Have to be Expensive to be Effective!” And a good direct mail campaign can be just that.

What Kind of Mail Campaign?

Not letters! It’s the opinion of many that letters don’t work. Why, because we don’t like junk mail anymore than we like junk email. I watch you open your mail over the shredder; most of you only open it because your shredder is not strong enough to take it unopened! Catalogs work, but they are far too expensive. So what does work?


Postcards accomplish exactly what a good direct mail campaign is supposed to do. Gains attention and makes an impression – that’s it. All too often I see people attempting to sell with direct mail. It’s improbable and may be impossible. I have yet to know of someone that looks at a picture of a house on a postcard and says, “I’ll take it!” At most, you can possibly define a solution and trigger a call.

Cost Effective

The most important feature of a direct mail postcard marketing campaign is the cost, even if you do it yourself. Take the picture, write the copy, have it printed (full color both sides – no faded blue tone perforated edge cheap paper thing), standard size, print and apply labels, apply first class postage, sort and deliver to the post office. Figuring your time at $50 an hour (hopefully you’re worth more) the cost of doing it yourself is about $92 per hundred, time-consuming but not expensive.

Thank Heavens there is a better way, use an online printing solutions company. Example for a modest amount per hundred, express copy will handle it all online. They even have templates where all you have to do is click in your photo and done. And 24 hour turn around time.

(Rossi, Certified e-PRO Trainer, Master Neuro Linguistics Practitioner (NLP), Edutainer, Humorist, Coach, Bon Vivant, owner of ROSSI Speaks, Inc., delivers presentations, facilitation, education, coaching, and management consultant to companies, corporations, associations, builders, and sales associates. Author of Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa: 9 Secrets To Put The Bite Into Your Marketing. RealTown, Broker Agent News, Agent Direct News and Realty Times Columnist. Certified e-PRO trainer and GRI instructor. Past NAR CRS Senior Instructor and Course Creator, National Assn. of REALTORS® convention presenter twenty-two consecutive years and author of Dog Eat Dog & Vice Versa: 9 Secrets to Put the Bite Into Your Marketing.)

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