I Don’t Market My Listings to My SOI… Unless…


posted by on Prospecting & SOI

Thanks to everyone who responded to my question yesterday “Do You Market Your Listings to Your SOI?”

I used to. As Susan H. said, I wanted my SOI to know that I was active and successful, and heck, who knows? Maybe one of them would want to buy the house or know someone who does. Couldn’t hurt, right? Besides, I was one of the first agents in Denver to do my own virtual tours (as opposed to hiring out IPIX – yech), so I was able to really WOW my SOI with such advanced marketing techniques!

But today… eh…. I dunno. The last thing I want to do is train my SOI to ignore my emails because they’ve learned there’s nothing “of value” there. There’s a fine line between staying in touch and being a nuisance. Once you hit the “nuisance” list, there’s not much you can do to earn back your credibility. I think people today are much less receptive to receiving unsolicited marketing emails than they were ten years ago when email was still a novelty to many.  And besides, do you REALLY think your social network cares that much about your listings?

I think Ruthmarie nailed it when she said “I would not want overwhelm their email or snail mail with an unending stream of listings. I think its common sense. Not only is it annoying – it would lose its effect in short order.  It’s like any other form of advertising.  The more the public is bombarded, the more they tune out. They HAVE to – its survival for God’s sake.” 

I like to approach my SOI as an interesting, reliable, intelligent, caring PERSON first, and a real estate agent second or third or fourth. If I use my listings as my main excuse to communicate, that’s sending the wrong message (to my way of thinking). I want people to know that I’m a real estate agent, of course, but I think it’s more important that they think I’m a generally cool person, as well.

On the other hand, my seller client didn’t hire me to worry about my SOI; he hired me to sell his house. So, is it my DUTY to expose his home to my SOI, at the risk of turning them off?

I don’t think so. The chances that my SOI will bring the buyer to the home are slim. Do you think anyone is sitting at their computer, reading your mass-email and suddenly exclaiming “Eureka! I want to move and this house is PERFECT for me!” Probably not.

The exception is if you have an unusually interesting listing, such as a historic property, a cash-flowing investment or even your own home. I always send out the virtual tour of my own properties when I sell them. Does that sound contradictory? It’s not. I believe mass-emails should still be interesting and personal, and I believe most people ARE interested in seeing the price, photos and description of the home of someone they know. (Which is why I always encourage my sellers to send out my virtual tour to THEIR friends!)

Heather Oberhau commented that she uses direct mail to market listings to her SOI and I think that’s just fine, as long as you can afford it. I just don’t think we should risk losing our email rapport with the people we know… since that’s FREE!

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