The vicious circle called marketing…(a.k.a. spam)

This post was inspired by Inna Hardison of HA Media in her post “Do consumers think Real Estate is a Relationship business? – one consumer’s perspective….”

Quote from Inna’s Blog:

Dear Future Client….
Upon a successful closing, I will be sending you cards, making phone calls or otherwise contacting you about 33 times a year, as it is my hope to become your Agent for LIFE!  I may also friend you on FB and follow you on Twitter, to keep in touch…
And please remember that I LOVE referrals.
Sincerely, Your Agent for LIFE!

Which begs the question….Why are real estate agents so pushy?

This is an issue that I have wrestled with as we are always encouraged to “touch” clients and prospective clients 33 times a year.  One of my problems I have with this notion is that I don’t want to be touched that much by anyone except the closest of friends and family.  Why on earth would I consider that an appropriate thing to  do to a former client?

Further, if I perform flawlessly for that client – I should be remembered when they have a friend who is looking to buy or sell and when the time finally comes for them to move? Right?  Well……the reality is not so much and that’s the problem.

Our business is high-touch, labor intensive and low volume.  So each referral is very, very important.  Repeat business is vital for our success – so if we don’t get it- we are out of business.

But I think that this brings to mind one unfortunate fact about the industry.   You see, in an industry  where  all you have to do is throw a rock to hit your competition – you’ve got a built in problem.  There are too many bloody agents to assume that past performance will yield repeat business.

For example – I had a buyer that I performed flawlessly for.  She was thrilled with what I did, but when the time came to sell her home – her friend who had just gotten he license got the listing.

THAT’S the problem.  There are so many agents ready willing and able to snatch the client you worked blood, sweat and tears for   that  keeping  said client becomes a massive undertaking.  Further  the sheer volume of agents breeds enough contempt within the public so that they see us all as pretty much interchangeable.  After all, if we make it look EASY, the public will think it IS easy.  So easy in fact that playing arm-chair Realtor® is a favorite indoor sport.  So easy even a cave man can do it….

The Vicious Circle….

We do our job, make it look too easy, which makes people feel we are  interchangeable, this increases contempt for what we do, so the repeat business goes to the client’s best friend,  this forces agents to market themselves like maven, which increases contempt for what we do, so the business goes to anyone who can scream the loudest……so we do more marketing…..well – you get the picture….

I can shout anything LOUDER than you…..

© 2011 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – http://thewestchesterview.com

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