Los Angeles-based Corcoran broker Peter Lorimer argued Thursday that agents who use generic campaigns are signaling that they’re generic professionals.

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The last few years have seen the rise of practically innumerable tech solutions for real estate marketing, but Peter Lorimer thinks there’s an important truth that sometimes gets lost in all that “sizzle.”

“At the end of the day we don’t sell houses we sell trust,” Lorimer said. “People want to look into your eyes and know they can trust you.”

Lorimer — who with his 200-agent L.A. brokerage PLG Estates joined Corcoran Global Living Wednesday — made the comments during a marketing and branding workshop at Inman Connect Now, a virtual event that took place Thursday. And throughout the workshop, Lorimer urged agents to zero in on the marketing strategies that work best for them — even if the payoff isn’t immediately apparent.

“We have to trust in the universe to offer something of value with zero expectations,” he said.

Valerie Garcia, left, and Peter Lorimer at Inman Connect Now Thursday. Credit: Inman

One way Lorimer specifically recommended doing that was by creating “evergreen, original content that I can then push out” to contacts.

In recent years, Lorimer has specifically leaned hard into video content, and during the workshop he described getting into the medium after meeting RE/MAX Executives team leader Jesse Peters. The two men first ran into each other at an Inman Connect event, at which time Peters quickly pulled out a phone and started live streaming to Facebook.

Lorimer’s point in telling the story was to emphasize that video doesn’t have to be highly produced — or even planned out in advance — in order to be effective marketing. Rather, it should be personal.

Clockwise from top left, Valerie Garcia, Peter Lorimer and Jesse Peters at Inman Connect Now Thursday. Credit: Inman

Peters also briefly joined the workshop Thursday, and agreed that good video marketing “doesn’t have to be polished.” In fact, he explained, more spontaneous video can even “allow you to connect with humans more.”

“I really think all the social platforms have really set it up to make it easy to put yourself out there,” Peters continued. “And I do think society is looking for more authentic connections.”

He added that in some cases, lower quality video even “has the highest return.”

Aside from creating original content, Thursday’s panelists also had suggestions for what agents shouldn’t do in their marketing campaigns. For example, Lorimer said that for him cold calling and door knocking just isn’t worth the time it takes to do.

“I’ve always found door knocking to be the most futile waste of time,” he added.

Lorimer also cautioned against generic drip campaigns. The problem, he argued, is that consumers can see through them, and agents who use them will consequently “drown in the endless vanilla ocean” of real estate marketing. In his own case, when he gets a generic campaign he immediately thinks, “generic agent.”

“If you’re going to do drip campaigns make them original,” he said, adding that agents could put pictures of themselves cooking, of their kids, or of anything else that conveys a sense of personality and individuality.

Valerie Garcia, left, and Peter Lorimer at Inman Connect Now Thursday. Credit: Inman

Valerie Garcia — a consultant and vice president at software firm Realvolve who was also moderating the workshop — agreed that marketing can’t be generic. She argued that “the important thing is being yourself.”

“I think there’s really something to be said for having your marketing have your personality,” she said.

Garcia added that it’s also only through getting out and doing things that agents will ultimately figure out what works for them.

“My best advice is fail faster, fail smaller and take more risks,” she said.

Lorimer had similar advice. He compared marketing to learning to play an instrument, noting that no one goes out and buys a piano and immediately becomes a virtuoso. The point, he explained, is that marketing is a skill that agents get better at the more they practice.

“You’ve got to keep practicing and seeing what your people react to,” he concluded.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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