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Homes.comThese days, it seems like all of the focus is on internet marketing for real estate professionals. Internet marketing, including email campaigns, social media and promoting your listings through websites like Homes.com, is a highly effective means of connecting with modern consumers. Did you know that around 90% of buyers used the internet during the course of their home search, according to the 2010 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers? Internet marketing should constitute a major part of your marketing strategy—but don’t forget to take your efforts out of the virtual realm now and then.

Summer is a great season to focus on your direct marketing efforts. People are out and about and active so they can be easier to reach. Here are some creative ideas to beef up your direct marketing strategy.

  • Is there a dog park in your area? If so, make customized Frisbees and hand them out at local parks. Dog owners (and their dogs!) will appreciate the fun game of fetch the Frisbees provide, and the owner will be thinking of your business every time they take their pooch out to play.
  • As we’ve discussed in the past, cause marketing is a fantastic way to connect with your local community and build a good name for yourself and your business. Major outreach efforts like sponsoring a charity event can be costly, so if this is out of your budget, consider sponsoring runners in a local race. Recruit some community members or talk to the charity hosting the event to see if they have any runners in need of sponsorship and then pay for their registration fee, offering them a T-shirt with your info on it to wear during the race. While you’re getting involved, you might even think about running the race yourself! To learn more about cause marketing, click here.

  • The effectiveness of direct mailing in reaching consumers has been questioned before, but as with many other branding efforts, the key is to be useful, not just promote your own agenda. Send out mailings that include a calendar of local events, information about local restaurants or community directory with your branding and contact information prominently displayed and you stand a good chance of having your mailing displayed on the refrigerator or office bulletin board, because it contains information that is useful.

These are just a few of the marketing ideas we’ve been tossing around. What are some direct marketing strategies that have been effective in your community?

Image source: Chris Hau on Flickr