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Real estate marketing and leads: a rent-vs.-own analysis

Letters From the Home Front

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Warning: This column includes words such as "lead," "convert" and "prospect," and, as such, may not be suitable for all audiences -- particularly those who remember that there is a real, live person tethered to the end of the real estate transaction.

"You vill buy zee ad!" said my account executive. Suddenly overcome with a sense of unease, I pictured a shadowy, underworld figure who just might have access to weapons of mass destruction -- like my mother-in-law's turkey meatloaf.

"I will buy the ad or what?" I thought. My business will vaporize? I will live out my golden years in a miserable vortex of anonymity? The hostages will die?

Ah, the advertising conundrum. There are an ever-increasing number of opportunities to promote my services and my brand -- opportunities that are expanding exponentially while my advertising budget is sadly somewhat finite.

So, on a daily ...