Old School Marketing Tactics That Still Work

Old School Marketing Tactics That Still Work

 May 24, 2017

The digital side of marketing is as important as ever, but nothing beats a referral or live introduction. Make yourself known in your community, build a reputation, and you’ll start earning new business the old fashioned way.

Door Knocking

Door knocking isn’t dead, although it may feel that way. The important thing is to establish trust with the person at the door. You need to look professional, wear your nametag, and know what you want to say. The hardest part is not coming across as the “typical” salesperson. John Gualtieri shared a process with Inman that helped a real estate close 83 sales: Build their trust.

Pull up around dinner time. Leave your car running so that it’s obvious you’re not staying. When someone answers the door, immediately apologize for the intrusion. Once you see they’re receptive, go into your 90 second elevator pitch. The point is to build enough rapport to be invited back at a better time. Practice it enough times so sound natural. Sounding rehearsed is the easiest way to lose someone.


Postcards can be a great tool for gaining name recognition in a neighborhood or community. Someone has to be “touched” by you at least six times in order to make contact. These multiple touches shouldn’t all be the same and instead should work in conjunction together. Your ad on Facebook, your blog, your face on the side of a bus or bench, and a radio commercial all count. Postcards shouldn’t be your only marketing tactic but they have a place in an overall strategy.

When you want to make your marketing really local and hit people where they live, postcards can be an inexpensive option (per piece). You’ll see more success – and make your budget stretch further – if you focus on a small area. Pick a neighborhood where you just sold a listing and send out “Just Sold” postcards. Farm a single community with multiple expired listings, especially if you’ve done business in the area. Send out a “Just Listed” card to the neighborhood.

A few things to remember:

  • Include a call-to-action on your postcards that points to your website, social media, or other place where they can register for information, download a report, or simply contact you.
  • Don’t send out the same postcard every time. After the first one or two, people will tune you out. Make it different each time.
  • Include market data for the neighborhood where appropriate. Are prices up in the neighborhood? Are homes selling faster than average? If it works with your postcard, include good info.

Community Involvement

Not all of your marketing will cost money. Sometimes, as with community involvement and door knocking, you have to spend time doing it. Getting involved with the community isn’t something you should do just to build your business. People can tell when you’re dialing it in and only there to pass out your business cards.

Instead, pick something that’s meaningful to you. You may become highly involved in the Chamber of Commerce and help other small businesses. You may have a passion for cats and dogs and help fundraise for the local shelter. Whatever is meaningful to you, find a way to get involved so that you are visible in the community.

Your neighborhood may be your passion. Be the person who organizes block parties, community events, and meetings for homeowners about safety. You don’t have to tell everyone you meet you’re a real estate agent in the first 30 seconds. They’ll figure it out. After a while, you’ll be the person they think of when it’s time to sell or buy.

Marketing is a big part of any real estate professional’s life. You’ve got to have your name out there in multiple spaces and in a variety of ways. Digital is great for reaching more people, but it’s not a perfect solution. Real estate is a business about the people (not just the houses) and sometimes, you need to find ways to connect one-on-one with buyers and sellers. When used together with your online marketing, these old school tactics can definitely help build your business and generate leads.

Michaela Mitchell

By Michaela Mitchell

Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.