Marketing Challenges and How to Overcome Them


ll marketers face challenges, and real estate marketing is no different. But sometimes we have a way of letting our challenges grow "too big for their britches." In our minds, hurdles can become impossibilities, when in reality they're anything but impossible. To overcome a real estate marketing challenge, you simply have to look at it with a fresh perspective, ask the right questions, and then charge ahead. With that in mind, here are some of the common marketing challenges I've heard real estate agents express over the years, as well as ways to overcome those challenges: Marketing Challenge #1 - I don't know anything about marketing. Every marketer approaches their first project with little or no practical experience. Practical experience comes from, well, practical experience. So in your real estate marketing endeavors, start by gaining a knowledge base through reading and research. Then build on that base through actual experimentation. "Analysis paralysis" affects a lot of would-be marketers. This is the condition where every element of a marketing campaign is analyzed, scrutinized and conceptualized -- to the point that nothing actually gets done. Learn as much as you can about a particular marketing

channel or tactic by studying what others have done. Then get out there and do it for yourself. Sure, you'll make mistakes. We all do. But that's part of the learning process. Marketing Challenge #2 - I don't know where to start. If you're new to the world of real estate marketing, start with the basics. First determine your goals. This will make the entire process easier. Too often, I see people define marketing goals that are overly vague. "I want to grow my business," is not a marketing goal -- it's something we all want. Of course you want to grow your business. But to gain any direction from this step, you have to get specific. For instance: "I want to create an educational website with free downloads and reports, and promote the site with direct mail. Using this system, I want to capture 20 new leads per month." Now that's a goal -specific, measurable and directional. Marketing Challenge #3 - I don't know anything about technology. Technology. The word alone scares people. But in truth, marketing technology has evolved to a point of userfriendliness that it never had before. Today's marketing tools -from website creation to list management -- are more usable than ever, even by people with little to no technical skill.

And even when you can't find user-friendly technology to help you with a certain marketing task, you can bet there's a vendor willing to step in. When researching technology, break the process down into simple parts. First, refer back to your goals from Challenge #2 above. What technology can help you achieve those goals? Once you've answered this question, you'll have taken an ocean of technological possibilities and narrowed them down to a channel that best applies to you. And always remember: technology can deliver the message, but it can't create the message. It can help you show the value of your services, but it can't create that value in the first place. That's your job. Marketing Challenge #4 - I don't have time for marketing. This one is simply a matter of priorities. If your marketing is a top priority, then you can make time for it. Here's an easy way to do just that: Start small, with just an hour a day. Spend 15 minutes reading up on a particular marketing tactic, and 45 minutes actually practicing it. The 15 minutes of research also helps reduce Challenge #1 (not knowing anything about marketing). Marketing Challenge #5 I'm new to real estate. Every expert from every industry was the new guy or gal at some point. They


managed, and so can you. Even if you're new to real estate, you're still a professional, right? You'll find that people judge you by your personal behavior as much as your credentials. When it comes to your marketing message, this means being knowledgeable and professional. Proper spelling, relevant information, professional design and delivery -- these factors add up, and they'll help you make a strong impression regardless of how long you've been practicing real estate. Reprinted from www.armingyour, article by Brandon Cornett


Pickford Escrow Company, Inc. 25909 Pala Drive, #150 Mission Viejo, CA 92691 Phone: (949) 586-2700 Fax: (949) 206-1259 E-Mail: m or

Real Estate Tax Tips for Sale of Residence
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ou may qualify to exclude from your income all or part of any gain from the sale of your main home. Your main home is the one in which you live most of the time. Ownership and Use Tests To claim the exclusion, you must meet the ownership and use tests. This means that during the 5-year period




is taxable. Report it on Schedule D (Form 1040) Loss You cannot deduct a loss from the sale of your main home. Worksheets Worksheets are included in Publication 523, Selling Your Home, to help you figure the: • Adjusted basis of the home you sold • Gain (or loss) on the sale • Gain that you can exclude Reporting the Sale Do not report the sale of your main home on your tax return unless you have a gain and at least part of it is taxable. Report any taxable gain on Schedule D (Form 1040). More Than One Home If you have more than one home, you can exclude gain only from the sale of your main home. You must pay tax on the gain from selling any other home. If you have two homes and live in both of them, your main home is ordinarily the one you live in most of the time. Example One: You own and live in a house in the city. You also own a beach house, which you use during the summer months. The house in the city is your main home; the beach house is not. Example Two: You own a house, but you live in another house that you rent. The rented house is your main home. Business Use or Rental of Home You may be able to exclude your gain from the sale of a home that you have used for business or to produce rental income. But you must meet the ownership and use tests. Example: On May 30, 1997, Amy bought a house. She moved in on that date and lived in it until May 31, 1999, when she moved out of the house and put it up for rent. The house was rented from June 1, 1999, to March 31, 2001. Amy moved back into the house on April 1, 2001, and lived there until she sold it on January 31, 2003. During the 5-year period ending on the date of the sale (February 1, 1998 - January 31, 2003), Amy owned and lived in the house for more than 2 years as shown in the table. Amy can exclude gain up to $250,000. However, she cannot exclude the part of the gain equal to the depreciation she claimed for renting the house. Information taken from the Internal Revenue Service website,


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