I used to edit a segment of a website where agents sent in their most highly leveraged marketing ideas…where the investment is very low and the return relatively high.

postcard on windshieldOne strategy was the windshield postcard strategy. For every dollar the agent had spent ($35), it returned $321, for a 1:321 ROI. In this case, an $11,235 commission.

When the members of the group saw this strategy, they dumped tons of paper onto car windshields all over the country trying to emulate it.

Agents were attracted to the returns, but most didn’t understand why it worked and weren’t able to get the same results. Many were fined for littering. They quit doing it after one try, so they had no way to test how to improve their results.

The biggest problem was that they used the wrong kinds of offers for the prospects that this technique is geared towards. Here are two examples, one that worked and one that didn’t:

  • One agent got a return by using it in a neighborhood grocery store parking lot to advertise a contest related to a house for sale in that neighborhood. She put out 55 flyers and gained two clients.
  • Another agent used it in a downtown mall parking lot to offer a free hot-sheet of low-priced listings. He put out 300 post cards and got nothing. (But he was asked to go to the parking lot and remove all his cards.)

The Power of Guerrilla Marketing

I’m a big believer in Guerrilla Marketing. So much so, that I collected some of the best ideas in my book of 32 Proven Real Estate Marketing Ideas on Amazon.) But just because something is a Guerrilla tactic doesn’t mean it can’t be strategic. Guerrilla tactics need to be planned and executed as part of a systematic strategy, just as any marketing efforts. (By the way, another book I like for inspiration about leveraging limited resources is The Power of Broke, by Daymond John of Shark Tank fame.

But before doing any kind of Guerrilla marketing, ask yourself:

How and why does this technique really work?  (Don’t do it just because it sounds good. Understand it first.) Can I do it consistently? Does it make sense with everything else I’ve got on my plate? What else can I do to get more out of this marketing tactic, so I’m better leveraging my time? Here’s what I mean by that last question:

If you’re farming a neighborhood by door-to-door canvassing (door-knocking), then you can also hand out a monthly newsletter, you can also notice a well-kept house and send the owner a hand-written note complimenting them, and you can also do a walk-around video on your phone to use in a blog post. These are all great ways to establish a neighborhood profile.

Anyone else love Guerrilla Marketing? What are you doing?

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Linda Schneider
Linda Schneider

Linda Schneider, a real estate marketer, author, and former agent for 30 years. She thrives on helping agents make money using creative and affordable prospecting tools and real estate newsletters. Get her latest book, Door to Door Real Estate Prospecting on Amazon.com.