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June 07, 2005

Promotional products help realtors distinguish themselves from the competition.

With an abundance of corporate and homegrown Realtors vying for properties in today's highly competitive and fast-paced real estate market, agents need to identify themselves in a way that truly distinguishes them from the competition. If the success of The Leslie Company—an Olathe, Kansas-based manufacturer that has been supplying the real estate industry for close to 30 years—is any indication, promotional products are one of the best advertising vehicles used for setting real estate agents apart. "Promotional products help give agents an identity and help their names be remembered down the road when a Realtor is needed," said Kendra Byrd, The Leslie Company's director of marketing.

Michelle Michelsen, marketing manager at Dard Products, Evanston, Ill., agreed. "To be successful in the real estate market, or any market, a company must have good brand recognition," she said. "In real estate, this brand recognition is your name, and the more your name is out there, the more it will be remembered, and the more likely your brand will be chosen in the home-buying process."

Magnets are some of the most effective products for ensuring brand recognition in the real estate industry. "Magnets that a real estate agent mails out will be thrown on refrigerators, and it could be months or years later, when homeowners are moving, that they see the magnets and call the agent," explained Byrd. "The name stuck in the homeowners' minds because they saw it each time they opened the refrigerator."

Dard Products, which attributes approximately 15 percent of its total sales to the real estate industry, has found unmatched success with its Pop Ads House Shape Magnets, selling more than 250,000 each year. "The real estate market is a traditional market," noted Michelsen. "Anything with a house or building motif works great."

Michelsen added that the House Shape Magnet is ideal for direct mail campaigns because it is both lightweight and flat. "Magnets hold favorite photos or important lists well into the future," she said. "The House Shape Magnet produces brand recognition (realtor's name) on top of mind when it comes to selling or buying real estate."

House and business card shapes are Realtors' top choice when it comes to Washington, Missouri-based Magnet's flat, flexible magnets. "Magnets hit a good price point for the agent, and are items that receive a great deal of exposure, last a long time and are seldom thrown away," said Darryl Haddox, vice president of sales.

Promotional products are key at each crucial stage of buying a home—from walking through potential properties to closing, which is arguably the most stressful element of the mortgage process. The Leslie Company's Portvelopes can ease the tension at settlement by allowing the agent to securely store all closing documents in one place. "This is a very functional and useful product, as well as one final lasting impression of the home-buyer's Realtor and overall experience," said Byrd.

Follow-up thank-yous are another major component of the realtor's return and referral business. Many agents use The Leslie Company's monthly pocket planners, which conveniently fit in a letter-sized envelope, as either thank-you gifts for customers post-closing or as giveaways during the holidays.

Repeat Business

Dard Products has received a lot of steady, repeat business in the real estate market, prompting it to add more house-shaped products, including a bank and a keychain with an LED light. "Our products are used primarily for advertising to new customers or keeping current ones," explained Michelsen. "Items can be used to thank people for their time and remind them to remember the agent when it comes time to buy, as well as recommend the agent to someone else who is selling or buying a home."

The majority of manufacturers agree that fluctuating mortgage rates, changes in the real estate market's dynamic and location of sale have no bearing on which promotional items will be successful in that industry. "Our products are office-related," explained Byrd. "We have a wide variety of products to accommodate any need that real estate companies might have, regardless of the state of the market or location."

In fact, The Leslie Company is constantly growing its real estate product line, either by enhancing existing items or introducing new ones, including calendar proportionals, vinyl Portvelopes, on-demand printing, and binders with index tabs or coil-bound books for internal meeting and training sessions. "All real estate agents must promote their businesses to gain new clients and keep a positive image to existing clients, but many of them are using generic products that they can find at any store," said Byrd. "Talking with agents, and showing and educating them on why Portvelopes, calendars and pocket folders will help them sell more houses, improves their credibility. Earning a higher commission will make a difference for distributors who are selling real estate products."
By Jennifer Hans

Farfromboring Promotions has a wealth of knowledge in real estate promotional products. Contact one of Farfromboring account managers 561-999-9097 for some great promotional products ideas.

Real Estate Promotional Magnet Call Farfromboring Promotions 561-999-9097 for this and 1,000's of other great ways to distinguish yourself from the other Realtors in your area.

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Posted by farfromboring at June 7, 2005 02:24 PM

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