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MARKETING DARWINISM: How To Avoid Being The Biggest Loser In 2016

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In today’s changing marketing landscape being eaten alive by your competition – Big or Small – is a distinct possibility.  How a sole practitioner — and I include teams here, too — can survive is everything.

Yet, exactly how – when only the fittest survive – can you avoid becoming the biggest loser in today’s life-or-death game of Marketing Darwinism?

First we must believe: Prospects haven’t stopped responding to marketing. They are just consuming marketing differently. The issue isn’t: Should you stop marketing? The issue isn’t: Can the little survive amongst the big? The issue is: How to adapt to this new environment and thrive by being the most direct.

5 Facts Of Real Estate Marketing Life

  • Fact: 60-70% of real estate business comes from people you know.
  • Fact: 70% of sellers and 67% of buyers only contact one agent (NAR’s 2014 Profile of Buyers & Sellers).
  • Fact: 90% of buyers, who used the Internet to search for homes, also purchased their home through a real estate professional (again, NAR’s 2014 Profile).
  • Fact: 53 is the average age of home sellers (“Younger Boomer,” born 1955-1964), and lived in their house 10 years before deciding to sell (NAR’s 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends).
  • Fact: Internet leads are very perishable. Even with virtually instant response, online prospects are already clicking through that Mega Portal to visit your competitor’s listings.

The secret isn’t beating the Mega Portals at what they do best: Traffic. Let them use their online traffic domination to link the online search prospect with you — the live real estate professional — when they can. Trying to beat Portal websites at their own game is what odds makers call the “short end of the stick.” Why? Because quantity without quality is not the best use of your marketing time – and money.

The solution is to be direct. Rather than running after a stranger online, the best way a real estate professional can beat the competition today is to treat strangers as dessert. Instead, focus first on the main dish of people you know and the people they know…who live or want to live within your sphere.

5 Things That Make Direct Marketing Powerful

Why direct mail marketing is so powerful compared to digital marketing channels:

  1. Direct mail is the only channel that can reach everyone in your database. Let’s face it. Most contacts don’t want texts, phone calls, visitors, updates, tweets or pins…and they tend to route marketing e-mails and social media to oblivion. Direct mail gets delivered.
  2. Customer home-address lists are the most stable. Email lists degrade eight times faster than postal lists. Why? People live at the same address for years. Not so with email addresses. Better still; the property located at that postal address is the very essence of your real estate business.
  3. Mailboxes are less crowded than they used to be. Messages can be lost in the bombardment of daily emails and flash-and-gone news streams. Whereas well-designed direct mail jumps out and commands attention.
  4. Direct mail positions you as the expert. Information, tips, current market trends, all create conversations and top-of-mind awareness with past and future clients who appreciate the human connection that direct mail provides.
  5. Direct mail is the most compelling messenger. Prospects touch it. Feel it. Respond to the richness of color, images, design. Tangibility, credibility and trust are the best friends of your relationship marketing.

Even in the digital age, with direct mail marketing you don’t have to be the biggest. All you need to be is more direct and consistent than your competition. Or, as that marketing master once said, “You don’t have to out run the bear. You just have to out run your competition.”

Dan Gooder Richard

Dan is the President/Founder of GOODER GROUP - RAINMAKER LEAD SYSTEM. He is also the author of two successful Real Estate books: REAL ESTATE RAINMAKER: Successful Strategies For Real Estate Marketing (Wiley) and REAL ESTATE RAINMAKER: Guide To Online Marketing (Wiley).

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Yogi Berra’s Most Memorable Real Estate Quotes

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I grew up with Yogi Berra. Not literally, of course. But as a boy in Davenport, Iowa, it was the Yankee’s legend – along with Stengal, DiMaggio and Rizzuto early on and then Ford, Maris, Mantle and the rest of the Boys in Pinstripe – that we listened to on our new transistor radios win world series after world series in the 1950’s and 60’s. Yogi was a three-time MVP and 18-time All Star who won the World Series a record 10 times. His Yankees won the American League pennant 14 out of 17 years.  He died September 22, 2015 at the age of 90.

Yogi’s “Yogi-isms” – goofy, one-of-a-kind quotes — live on. It is striking how some of Yogi’s colorful witticisms are especially apt for real estate.

Here are 20 of my favorites.  Share with us your experience of how these Yogi-isms (or others) apply in your real estate marketing experience. With your comments Yogi will live on in our real estate hearts…as well as baseball’s Hall of Fame. Batter up!

  1. CPlVH3oUAAAVLaEMarketing Plan: “Make a game plan and stick to it. Unless it’s not working.”
  2. Lead Generation: “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”
  3. Farming: “It’s déjà vu all over again!”
  4. Internet Leads: “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.”
  5. Website Traffic: “Nobody goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”
  6. Social Media: “The future ain’t what it used to be.”
  7. Referrals: “It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”
  8. Prospecting: “You can observe a lot by watching.”
  9. Duty Desk: “If you ask me anything I don’t know, I’m not going to answer.”
  10. Advertising: “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”
  11. Sellers: “All pitchers are liars or crybabies.”
  12. Overpricing: “Congratulations. I always thought the record would stand until it was broken.”
  13. Open Houses: “If the people don’t want to come out to the ballpark, nobody’s going to stop them.”
  14. No Call To Action: “We made too many wrong mistakes.”
  15. Client Follow Up: “Never answer an anonymous letter.”
  16. Lost Listing: “You wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.”
  17. Sales Production: “Slump? I ain’t in no slump…I just ain’t hitting.”
  18. Real Estate Sales: “If I didn’t make it in baseball, I won’t have made it workin’. I didn’t like to work.”
  19. Lead Follow Up: “I usually take a two-hour nap from 1 to 4.”
  20. Closings: “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

Farewell, Yogi. To borrow one of your Yogi-isms: “I want to thank you for making this day necessary.”

For an outstanding illustrated slideshow of Yogi Berra’s greatest quotes don’t miss the Yahoo Sports slideshow designed by Amber Matsumoto at :

UPDATE: 09/30/2015 5:00pm EST
Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at, also assembled a list of Yogi Berra’s most appropriate quotes that can be applied to real estate. Smoke’s insightful comments are worth a read:

Dan Gooder Richard

Dan is the President/Founder of GOODER GROUP - RAINMAKER LEAD SYSTEM. He is also the author of two successful Real Estate books: REAL ESTATE RAINMAKER: Successful Strategies For Real Estate Marketing (Wiley) and REAL ESTATE RAINMAKER: Guide To Online Marketing (Wiley).

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How Smart Parents Can Cut The Cost Of College

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Every fall about 20 million college students go off to school in the United States. That means paying for college is just around the corner for many parents. Yikes! Yes, if parents put aside $250/month for the last 13 years they would have nearly $44,000 socked away in a college fund (assuming average growth of 2%/year)…or almost $90,000 if they put away $500/month for the same period. But admit it. Not every parent has done that for each of their kids.

It’s never too late to cut the cost of college

Now there’s another way to cut the cost of college…especially for parents whose savings is a bit short (or their offspring chose an expensive out-of-state or private university): Invest in college real estate.

studenthousingTiming is everything, say the experts in college rentals. First, be sure your scholar has settled into their university for the long haul (41% of entering first-time, full-time students at a 4-year institution don’t complete a bachelor’s degree at that institution in 6 years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics). Let them scope out their college town and be your eyes and ears. Some neighborhoods make better rentals than others (such as bus routes, parking or walking distance to the right side of campus). Other college towns allow rentals more than others.

Second, use your savings (or equity in your home) as a down payment for a college-student pad with extra bedrooms. Those extra bedrooms (ideally 3-4) can be rented to other students to offset the mortgage payments if parents don’t buy all cash.

Third, use a top local agent to find a perfect property (ask your hometown agent to refer you to a quality agent in the college town through their affiliate networks).

Fourth, hold your investment for the long term.  Picture this scenario: Invest $23,500 in a $100,000 college rental. Then, assuming 3% appreciation and rent of $1,000/month to pay expenses, your equity position could be about $83,000 after 13 years. Not to mention all the dorm fees and housing expenses you’ve avoided. Of course, real world results will vary. No question managing student rentals requires parent/investors to expect needed repairs, and the risk of rental properties is higher than regular savings.

The key is – even though your savings are not what you hoped – you can still cut the cost of college with some savvy investing. To maximize your chances of good results, read Smart Essentials For College Rentals by Dan Gooder Richard (available on to get the inside skinny on exactly how you can beat college costs with a student rental…even if you haven’t saved enough in the meantime. Then contact your local real estate professional and get a referral to a top agent in the college town your scholar has chosen. You’ll go to the head of the class.

Smart Essentials For College Rentals: Parent and Investor Guide To Buying College-Town Real Estate

By (author): Dan Gooder Richard

List Price: $19.99 USD
New From: $11.56 USD In Stock

Amy Hausman

Amy Hausman is the Marketing Manager at Gooder Group. She’s worked in publishing, non-profit, market research, retail service and education-based companies.

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