Marketing experts warn REALTORS® against using gimmicks, offer tips

In Part 1 of this series, we looked at eight unique ways REALTORS® have sold houses in Canada. These real estate professionals stepped away from traditional marketing tactics and embraced their viral moment.


Food trucks, singers and clowns, oh my!

Marketing experts warn against relying on gimmicks to close a deal.

“A viral sensation should never be part of a marketing strategy,” Ron Tite, Founder and CEO of ad agency Church+State said.

These moments are tough to predict, but more importantly they often have little to say about the services and knowledge a person possesses and are inconsistent with the rest of their marketing strategy, Tite explained.

That’s not to say they should be avoided completely, says marketing expert Elle Campbell with Elle Connects.

“Marketing gimmicks will always have their place. There’s something about the wow factor of something new, funny, timely, or even outrageous. However, the success of its execution often hinges on the timing, delivery and the source. While it’s good to be creative, it’s most important to be authentic,” Campbell said.

“People can tell if a marketing approach is contrived or inauthentic. Plus, if your gimmick is a one-off, the likelihood of you following it up with similar messaging and campaigns for brand cohesion is unlikely,” said Campbell.

Tite echoes that sentiment, “Authentic communication is really what’s going to cut through the clutter.”

Tite encourages REALTORS® to make sure their marketing strategy aligns with “what they think, do and say.”

“REALTORS® have to stand for something more. Any REALTOR® can sell any house, but what do they believe in beyond that? What do they fundamentally believe in?” Tite said. For their marketing strategy they need to figure out how they can reinforce those beliefs and how they can convey those beliefs to potential clients in an authentic way.

Tite says REALTORS® still need to find ways to be creative because, “Billboards and bus shelter ads are just going to get lost in a sea of clutter. Across the board, if you crunch those numbers … I don’t think that those are going to win the battle for time.”

If REALTORS® do want to use those traditional methods, they must be strategic with their message and position–no cookie cutter ads.

Tite points to a Toronto REALTOR® known for specializing in a specific neighbourhood who saturated that neighbourhood with traditional advertising.

“In that case it totally works. With quantity it can certainly be effective,” he said.

That’s not to say you can’t have fun with your marketing, according to Campbell.

“If you want to do something fun and unexpected, I suggest you keep an eye on your content calendar and stay tuned in to what’s happening in the news and pop culture. This can give you insights to any spontaneous moments that could be worked into a fun marketing campaign,” she said.

Do you have a marketing tip for your fellow REALTORS®? Please share it in the Comment section.

Sarah Doktor brings her experience as a small-town journalist and national online editor to the Canadian Real Estate Association as a Communications Advisor. Sarah helps facilitate conversations between CREA and our members, boards, associations and the public via our online communities. She also helps coordinate the content presented to you here on the CREA Café. In her spare time, Sarah can be found at the gym, running on a trail or watching Netflix with her cat, Libby.


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