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"Low-Cost but High-Powered Marketing!"

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10/2/09 Interview with Pat Zaby

Seminars & Systems Inc.
5023 Sea Pines Drive
Dallas, TX 75287

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Low-to-No-Cost Marketing Tips

  1. Marketing drives business to agents, so marketing cannot be sacrificed; fortunately, tools and resources are available that are free or cost little.
  2. Among the best offerings are those in the "Right Tools, Right Now" program from the National Association of REALTORS® ; e.g., the 2008 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is free this year (past issues cost $50)—the report can arm agents with valuable information.
  3., another NAR web site, also has useful information, including dialogs and sample scripts to use with buyers and sellers; NAR commercials contain good dialogs that agents can use.
Customer Appreciation Program

  1. Agents can create their own Customer Appreciation Program (CAP) to promote customer loyalty with almost no cost by packaging services they generally do for free; giving services a name and putting some limits on them, gives them value.
  2. Possible benefits that do not cost money but have perceived value are one hour of complimentary consulting per year, an annual comparative market analysis, a homeowners’ tax worksheet, a home inventory form and contractor referral services.
  3. Ask people to enroll in the CAP every year—customers are reminded each time of the benefits they get and the fact that their agent remains interested in them.
Permission Marketing

  1. Zaby believes in permission marketing—getting people’s permission to send them email messages occasionally; as part of the enrollment process for the Customer Appreciation Program, capture email addresses and permission to send information.
  2. Indicating that the information will help people be a better property owner and reminding them that email is a green way of communicating are good incentives to gain consent.
  3. Existing customers are sources for repeat business and referrals; it costs less to keep an old customer than to get a new customer one.
  4. Another way to build an email list is to call past customers and during the conversation ask permission to send them occasional email information.
A New Postcard Strategy

  1. Postcards are another way to stay in touch with customers; email is a less expensive mode of delivery than using regular mail.
  2. Create a postcard in Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, or other software of choice; then use a screen capture program—such as SnagIt, Jing or SnippingTool (in Vista)—to take a picture of the document; to send one copy, embed the postcard image into a regular email message.
  3. To send multiple copies through a mail merge, put the image into a new Word document and then do the mail merge through Outlook; each recipient gets an individual postcard, not an attachment or a hyperlink.
  4. Zaby has converted all the postcards in his marketing library to work for this delivery; he has created new e-cards under the same method.
Social Networking

  1. The Real Estate CyberSpace Society remains on the forefront of employing technology and using the Internet to collaborate with other people with its own social networking site dedicated to RE professionals; the Real Estate CyberSpace Network is already fully functioning.
  2. Social media is a means for agents to use permission marketing because participants have to ask to be a friend; once in the loop, they can be sent messages.
  3. Social media sites are another way for real estate pros to stay in touch with their contacts.
How to Make Money from Social Networking

  1. Use the opportunity to communicate with people; just as at a party, start interacting with strangers in having fun; business talk may evolve.
  2. Agents need to have a blog and a good web site so that people have a way to find out more about what they are doing.
  3. Status updates are important because people like to keep track of their friends; regular postings about business and social activities allow that to happen; sometimes a non-business posting attracts genuine interest.
  4. Write postings with your primary audience in mind; for example, to interest potential buyers and sellers, you might give a quick synopsis of the best home you saw when you were out on tour.
  5. Post a more generic version weekly of the market update that you do for your listings; you will start to build your reputation as an expert on the neighborhood.
  6. Share your enthusiasm about a property that stands out for location and/or price or for some other reason.
Where to Find More Tips

  1. Sign up for Zaby’s email newsletter, which has more than 100,000 subscribers, at; the newsletter contains tips for using Microsoft Office for business, low-cost marketing ideas, ways to motivate buyers and sellers, etc.
  2. Marketing visionary Seth Godin puts out an excellent blog every day; he may post a full article or just a brief thought or comment.
Marketing with Microsoft Office

  1. Zaby presents a one-day CRS course on how to use Microsoft Office software to run a real estate business; a 200-page workbook covers details that real estate professionals need to know about using Outlook as a contact manager and preparing marketing pieces in Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  2. Each month, Zaby does a webinar on this topic; information is available at his web site.
Favorite Web Sites

  1. Loot is a site that sells one product a day at a very good price—the item changes at midnight and might sell out by 1 a.m.; is another site that promotes daily specials.
  2., an excellent and free mobile search site, can be useful for real estate agents who encounter unexpected questions on the go; unlike Google, ChaCha uses people to respond to questions.
  3. GoToMeeting is a sales tool, not just a webinar resource; it is a solution to overcome time and distance problems in reaching customers; the cost is modest relative to its benefits.
Contact Information for Pat Zaby:

(v) 972-407-1337
(f) 972-407-0780

Real Estate Sites & Tools in this Briefing:

Seminars & Systems by Pat Zaby:
Right Tools, Right Now:
Screen capture tools: Snipping Tool (in Windows Vista)
Real Estate CyberSpace Network:
Seth Godin’s blog:
Daily shopping specials: