Thursday, July 2, 2009

Let's make them true "news" letters

I continue to subscribe to newsletters done by realty agents and mortgage lenders who are not (advertising / marketing) clients of mine from around the country. These can be an interesting resource for ideas (and columns). At least, they should be.

This morning, the morning of July 2, I received "my July newsletter" from a realty agent in Chicago. I have found his previous newsletters to be well presented even if the content has been inconsistent over recent months.

Thinking I'm going to truly see a "July" newsletter, I open it, and note that the first story is about home sales in April. Yes, April. I didn't check to see if it was April 2009. It didn't have to be. Geeez. This is July. I should have been reading about April during April or at the very latest within the first 10 days of May. Two months ago.

I take it this guy has nothing current and topical to write about for his "July" newsletter. He might have been better off not to send it out. The "lead story" was already outdated, no matter what the information it contained.

If I was a client of his, I would not be pleased that "my" agent is providing me with information that is no longer timely. I also find that a lot of the sales statistics we are bombarded with as it pertains to real estate is not pertinent either. I would let him know that I am interested in what is happening in the local market "today" and that I will start looking for someone who can tell me that on a regular basis. As it is, I preach about how realty agents do not provide enough information which is specific to local home owners, and examples like this only add fuel to the fire.

Why am I reacting so heavily to one newsletter from one agent that I don't even know?

There is an answer for that. In this marketplace, everyone associated with the real estate community needs to work harder in order to survive and hopefully thrive. Even one agent sending information from more than 2 months ago as their "current" newsletter gets a few people to think that there is no progress and little hope for the real estate market to rebound.

In all likelihood, based on its overall appearance, this agent is using one of those services that composes and sends the newsletter out for different agents around the region or around the country. My hunch is that this newsletter isn't just going out in the Chicago area today. But if I were a realty agent that was considered responsible for having sent this out, I would have already canceled this service and be putting out my own retraction.

My point of contention is that if this agent "doesn't have time" to compose his own newsletter, it would mean he is making a ton of sales. If he is making sales, THAT should be what his newsletter is all about. He should be describing elements of his successful sales (which can be done without naming names, etc.) and showing what a good month June was and what he hopes to accomplish during July. This would make an appropriate July newsletter.

If this agent did not generate any sales during June, he should not be going back to April for content. Frankly, this sort of newsletter could very well be a reason he did not generate sales, since he offers not one compelling reason to contact him today.

You see, I have no idea if he even got a sale during June, or if he made several and raked in thousands of dollars. Yet, I still don't know this minutes after reading HIS newsletter.

Earlier today, I took steps to bring two realty agents together from different parts of the country to try and bring a couple of properties to auction before the listings expire. My hope is that this story will result in another property being sold as a result of the listing agent's effort prior to the expiration date and from a winning bid solid enough that the seller didn't refuse it and move on.

Hopefully my client could use that success story in her newsletter within a matter of days. It could help the real estate market one property at a time.

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