Are you getting the results you want from your marketing efforts? If not, retooling and retargeting your marketing can help you hit the sweet spot that generates more leads and allows you to close more deals.

At a recent conference, I met with one of our one-on-one coaching clients to figure out why her marketing campaign wasn’t working well. Over the past few months, she has knocked on over 1,700 doors. She is also mailing to her targeted area plus doing everything she should be doing to produce great leads. So why isn’t her marketing working?

1. Undefined target market

An undefined target market is the biggest challenge facing most agents today. They lack a clear target market including messaging designed to fit that specific market. In the case of the agent above, she was having success generating probate listing leads. On the other hand, her geographical marketing wasn’t working.

2. I- and me-focused marketing

We began by looking at three postcards from her print marketing campaign. The challenge with the first postcard was that it was entirely “I” and “me” focused. It was about her, not about the person receiving the marketing piece.

She signed the card, “Your Realtor,” and her name. My question was, “You’re their Realtor when you haven’t met them yet? Did you know that the typical homeowner knows 12 agents?”

In terms of your marketing, go back through your marketing materials and diligently scrub all first-person pronouns, I, me and we, and replace them with a you-focused approach.

3. “Just Listed” cards sell the broker rather than the agent

Sending out “Just Listed” cards is an important marketing tool. Nevertheless, unless you do something funny or memorable, the odds are the person viewing the card will remember your broker’s name, not yours. The following example illustrates how to market effectively with postcards.

Several years ago, an agent in California created an extremely effective “Just Listed” postcard campaign. She specifically targeted homeowners who lived near her listings.

The front of her postcard had a picture of people partying. The caption was, “Guess what your neighbors did last night?” Most people would turn the card over to see the answer: “They listed their house at 123 Main Street.” The agent followed up by inviting these neighbors to a private open house with refreshments.

Her winning formula that will also work for you is:
Specific Target Marketing + Unique Approach + Strong Offer of Service = More Leads

If you send this card to 50 neighbors, approximately five to seven of them will be moving in the next year. All you have to do is stay in touch and see them face-to-face periodically.

Remember, they’re most likely to list with the agent that they have seen most recently face-to-face.

Also, many experts suggest that you send out five “Just Sold” cards for every “Just Listed” card. The reason? “Just Sold” cards show that you got the job done.

4. Lack of a clear offer of service

The second marketing piece was an attractive postcard with a unique marketing idea. The presentation, however, was confusing. The offer on the back of her postcard said, “Have a complimentary appetizer on me.”

There were two primary challenges with this particular marketing piece. First, the coupon required the recipient to buy an entrée. Second, the attractive marketing piece looked as if it was an advertisement for the restaurant, not for a real estate agent.

5. Lack of benefits in the call to action

Agents have spent millions of dollars marketing their services by offering a complimentary market analysis. Instead of using the same call to action that everyone else uses, identify how your offer will benefit the consumer. For example, you could offer information on how homeowners can receive substantial rebates for appliance purchases. You could also offer a property evaluation that could assist the homeowner in lowering their property taxes.

6. Failure to embrace what you are attracting

Our client has a strong background in high tech. Agonizing over paint chips is not her style. She was also frustrated that she was attracting moms when she wanted to work more with investors, working professionals and probates. The big breakthrough occurred when she realized that most of her “moms” were high-powered career women with children.

That realization allowed her to reframe how she was approaching this group. We worked on creating a new value proposition and niche, which included targeting this group and creating a new door knocking script: “Good morning. I’m Sally Agent from ABC real estate. I specialize in assisting professional women with their real estate needs, whether it’s investing, handling a probate for a family member or their sale or purchase. Is there someone you know who could use my services?”

7. Way cheaper than ZTR leads

Our client’s next question is, “Where do I go to find these targeted leads?” The answer is simple. Contact your local title company about REI Source. REI Source will generate a list for less than 10 cents per name that meets your criteria. The more detailed you can be, the better your results will be. Some items to request include age, geographical area, income, marital status, children, career, recreational interests, and even the magazines they read or the schools they attended. REI Source will put together a list of homeowners (or renters) that meet your criteria.

If you’re ready to hit the sweet spot in your marketing, targeting using these strategies is the secret to success.

Bernice Ross, CEO of, is a national speaker, author and trainer with over 1,000 published articles and two best-selling real estate books. Discover why leading Realtor associations and companies have chosen Bernice’s new and experienced real estate sales training for their agents at and

Email Bernice Ross.

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