This all came about with a phone call a few days ago from a real estate lender whom I have never met, don't know from Adam and whose company was unfamiliar to me.
This is one of those "tricks" in the real estate game. Call under a "false ceiling", I thought for a moment, "Heck - the police unions run the publications, if someone else enters in it's best for the membership."
Apparently, as the conversation went, he obtained a copy of one of the police union or sheriff union publications where Paris and I advertise with full page and color ads.
We do this primarily for the benefit of our Real Estate Sellers, it keeps our Paris911 Brand on top of the buyers minds, that are working within a Law Enforcement Capacity, it also obtains a focus from the other "advertisers", "publishers", and the friends and family of all.
So, the reach is not just LEO's(law enforcement officers), but much larger.
After he explained, he wanted to know how it was "going". I asked him which publication. He did not know. I asked him what the ad looked like, he did not know. I asked him who gave him the article/magazine and who he/she worked for, and he did not know.
I also explained that it did not matter what publication he was referring to - it took over 3 years of continued advertising in a full page capacity, for us to start to build our brand and traction with regard to the inquiries and phone calls received to use our Los Angeles area and Santa Clarita Valley real estate services.
I was confused. You call me, telling me that he wants to know how "it's going" advertising in a particular publication that focuses on Law Enforcement officers and deputies because you are "considering" entering that same publication with a Group of Realtors you are working with, and you cannot tell me what publication it is?
My continued research since 2007, within the internet circles, listening to thousands of hours of podcasts, reading over 100 books on the subject, and spending days on end attending the Blog, Content Marketing and SEO conferences all over the country, would be a piece of cake to share to a competitor. :)
And, you want to know "how it's working"? I did not know what to say except I became a little short. I said, why don't I go ahead and offer to give up my marketing strategy to the online portion of my real estate business and brand. Heck, I can even show you how I achieve page 1 google results for my Brand and our Sellers real estate listings.
He suddenly got it, but then started to pitch me about him, his mortgage company, length of time in the business and how his realtors love him. I suppose his Realtors do love him, he said he was about to spend at least $1500.00 a month on a magazine ad, for their benefit.
This is not the "right way" to market yourself. If he would have called and been upfront to me about wanting to see if there was any to earn my business, I would have been all ears. I know that people want to work with those lenders in the real estate profession that are "local", I happened not to have anyone in his area code - which was about 90 miles from the Santa Clarita Valley.
It may have worked out fine. But in this case, if he is treating me this way, I can imagine that his clients are not much different than he views me. With dollar signs in his eyes.