3 Creative Selling Strategies Your Competitors are Using

It’s a tough market out there, and the invisible hand is pushing many REALTORS® to innovate their sales strategies accordingly. Here are three excellent marketing angles I’ve seen recently:

3: “Free iPod for your Referral!”

Okay, so it doesn’t need to be an iPod, but a number of REALTORS® I know use the “referral giveaway” to drum up business from time-to-time during slower months. Some things your competitors have considered with this strategy:
  • Make it a “Monthly” draw – giving away an iPod for every referral can get expensive quickly. Entering people into a draw is a great way to reduce this cost.
  • If the quality of the referrals is very high, consider making the prize more expensive, like a vacation, or house-cleaning for a year…
  • Make sure to advertise who you gave the gift to – if it’s a draw, make sure EVERYONE knows who the lucky winner is!

2: “Customer appreciation BBQ”

I’ve seen several REALTORS® host annual customer appreciation events for all past customers. They’re a lot of work, but they’re a great way to keep in touch with clients and keep your name fresh in people’s minds. Some of the angles to consider include:
  • Location: if it’s outside, make sure there’s a roof somewhere in case it rains. Also, public parks a notorious for filling up during peak hours, so get there early.
  • Vegetarians: they’ll feel awkward about you feeling awkward… make sure there are vegetarian options.
  • Kid-friendly: If they bring their kids, make sure there’s something to do (badminton, soccer balls, movie, etc).

1: “Your home sold in 180-days, or I buy it!”

I’ve always liked this one – it’s straightforward and sounds awesome! Whenever I’ve seen this done properly and honestly, it pays dividends. Unfortunately this strategy isn’t always kept “above board” – here are four ways I’ve seen REALTORS® ruin this approach:
  • They may require the seller to buy one of their other listings
  • They may predetermine the “guaranteed price”
  • They may charge an additional fee
  • The may have a maximum allowed price
REALTORS® I’ve seen who are successful with this type of campaign adhere to the following:
  • Full disclosure – if you are going to list at a price that sells immediately, let the prospective customer know upfront.
  • Don’t be afraid to single-out the right sellers – make sure prospective customers know that this “deal” is for them only if they are “highly-motivated” to sell.


Here are some “creative” approaches that I’ve seen fail time and time again:
  • List on the MLS® for only $495! – I must admit that when I first saw a REALTOR® doing this I was intrigued. The problem is that it always fails, no matter what. The only REALTORS® who should offer this are those that are willing to move back in with their parents and wear the same clothes for the next decade.
  • 1% Commission! – Here’s another bad idea – this might be a good way of bringing customers through the door, but once they’re there you’ll be Bad-News-Betty: “it’s 1% PLUS the buyer’s side commission, or your house probably won’t sell… Sorry.”
  • Free Video Tours! – If you’ve read my other posts you know what I think about online video. If you offer free video tours you’ll: 1. be on the hook for $500, and 2. need to be EXTREMELY careful that the tour looks good or the house won’t sell.

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