Note: This post was initially published elsewhere four years ago. I found it today and couldn’t resist publishing it again — the lessons still apply.  My sincere apology to quality real estate professionals everywhere.


I’m being overrun with a parade of some of the worse marketing I’ve ever seen. It’s really bad. Maybe not a coincidence, it’s all coming from the real estate profession.

It sucks.

Here’s the short story

For the past several months we’ve had our house for sale. It’s a slow market. We let our listing expire.

For the past week we’ve been receiving a steady stream of letters and phone calls from new agents and brokerages wanting to renew our listing.

This is the sucky part

I received such a contact from yet another Realtor today – a one page, four paragraph letter with a smiling person on the letterhead and a magnet for my refrigerator. The broker is nationally known.

The letter states the Realtor is contacting me because my listing expired and goes on to make the offer to list my house for sale – I believe I can help you in achieving your goal.

The letter tells me this Realtor will answer their phone 7 days a week, work with me directly, and give me personalized care. Interestingly, the letter is addressed to Homeowner and isn’t signed. So much for personal care.

The third paragraph says a listing with this broker gets me exposure around the world and that the Realtor will take care of all my needs. I’d settle for an MLS listing, inclusion to, and local promotion. Mainly, I’d like to know what this Realtor is going to do to sell my home. It’s a point that seems to be forgotten in the letter.

The letter closes by saying if any of this (letter) is of interest, I should feel free to contact the Realtor. The closing statement claims the real estate market is fast paced and no home should go unsold. I still haven’t been told why this Realtor is the one I need.

That’s it.

Nowhere in the letter did the Realtor tell me why or how they’re going to do a better job than the last person who listed my home. I wasn’t offered one single reason to believe they could sell my home in a month, a year or ever. This person has no idea why my home didn’t sell and no clue as to how they’re going to sell my home when the last person couldn’t. BTW…my last Realtor is a gem.

Here’s the lesson

Why am I ranting about this? Two reasons: 1) this literally is one of countless such solicitations I’ve received from realtors in the past week – they’re all this bad 2) this lesson can be extended to many professions and markets.

If there’s one thing you should take from this post it is if you can’t tell your prospective customer why they should give you their business as opposed to your competition, your odds of winning the prospect are close to zero.

Maybe there’s anther lesson here as well:  if you’re a Realtor, there’s a great opportunity to crush your competition. Just stick to a simple message of how you’re going to make the sale. Make me believe that and you’ll get the listing.


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