September is Marketing and Branding Month at Inman. Tips for better branding and in-depth features on how to take advantage of marketing tools provided by Zillow, Redfin and other platforms are all in the works in addition to insights from experts. You’ll find it all at Inman, as well as our two-day virtual, flagship event, Your Playbook for the Fall Market, in October.

Pulse is a recurring column where we ask for readers’ takes on varying topics in a weekly survey and report back with our findings.

Marketing is part art and part science, and everyone has their own formula for success. For some, it’s the grind: Make those calls every day without fail, follow the pattern month in and month out, and you’re sure to see success.

For others, there’s the ever-changing landscaping of content marketing, including blogging, video, podcasting and social media.

Along the way, there’s plenty of room for error. That’s why we wanted to know: What’s the biggest marketing mistake agents make? Is it a failure to launch a marketing plan in the first place? Switching horses in midstream? Maybe it’s chasing the latest marketing scheme without really devoting themselves to effective follow-up.

Below are your answers, edited for length, grammar and clarity.

  • Lack of consistency (many, many responses)
  • The biggest marketing mistake is relying on only one marketing strategy to produce all of their leads. The most successful agents use a combination of proactive and passive marketing strategies in multiple mediums. Relying on one strategy, even if it is working well, can lead to serious pain when leads from that source dries up.
  • Focusing too much on mediums that have no engagement
  • Sending out mailers with the focus on them being No. 1. There’s one in our market that starts the new year out sending out mailers touting “Again … No. 1 and counting.” Ego-driven marketing eventually backfires. I’m hearing the rumble.
  • Failure to ask for the listing
  • Self-centered
  • Waiting until the plan is perfect
  • Not following through
  • Failure to launch. As a mentor I have these new agents thinking okay, I got my license, now where’s the beef? (Some of you oldies will get that.) They come in never launching because they don’t realize this is about business ownership. And with the last hit market they think, I put it in the MLS and it’s sold. They are failing to launch not only a market campaign but a business.
  • With brand new agents, it seems like a lot with meeting new customers. Before I sold real estate; I used to sell cable door-to-door for a small cable company. What he told me about selling cable is that selling cable is a “number’s game.” The more doors you knock on, the more people you talk to, the more deals that you will have. What I’ve found is that the same goes for real estate; as well. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have but you have to be knowledgeable about real estate (to impress prospective customers). Becoming knowledgeable can be done by either taking classes, networking with more experienced agents, or by reading daily news stories that pertain to real estate. 
  • The biggest mistake I see is agents relying on marketing to compensate for the poor support they provide their clients during a transaction. If you have been in the business for more than five to 10 years and still need to do a lot of marketing, then you are not making a positive impression on your clients and thus not getting any referrals. Maximizing client satisfaction during every transaction should be the top priority for every agent.
  • Spending too much on marketing to strangers. Keep yourself top of mind with the people who you know and success will build.
  • Bad photos

Now it’s your turn! Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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