Industry News April 28, 2013

Marketing Wars in the Twitterverse

Inman News, the nominal online trade publication for the real estate industry, ran a contest last week for innovative marketing ideas on Twitter under the hashtag #MadRESkillz. It sounded like a bit of fun, and at the encouragement of Inman reporter Teke Wiggin, I offered a few of my own suggestions; I wrote about using a QR code to have consumers see a video of a listing on their cell phone right in their car without having to call or text anyone, and several others. 

One idea, the concept of pricing property with a crooked number at the end instead of -900 and -000 was selected as a finalist. 


The other finalist was a brokerage in New York City that stated that 36 of their agents had the firm’s logo tattooed on their body. 

The body art won. 

This week, I was encouraged to participate again, and I did, but was not selected as a finalist. The selections were a flirty yard sign and a photo of a presumably dead bare foot sticking out of a doorway. The screenshot is below. 

Inman Twitter contest

Inman ran a story about the contest a few days ago and none other than Ann Faranda was quoted, saying 

“Tattoos are nice and fun on their own but within the real estate industry I’m not sure that send the right message or image out to potential clients — kinda like seeing your attorney with a tattoo of his/her firm on their arm,” wrote Ann Lee Faranda, co-owner of J. Philip Real Estate.

But Faranda is not exactly an unbiased source. Her husband Phil Faranda, the other co-owner of J. Philip Real Estate, was Rapid Realty’s opponent for this week’s #madREskillz. He submitted the marketing idea opricing listings according to their area codes.

I seriously doubt that if I were a consumer that I would care about my agent having a tattoo of their brokerage on their body, and I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t want a photo on my listing suggesting that someone is sleeping in the buff or demised in my bedroom. But I do appreciate that some brokers have some creative ideas for making their listings stand out, and it is clearer still that things have improved in the market enough for some of us to have some fun again. It has been a rough 5 years, and morale is up. And if the licensees are happy, I am sure their clientele is doing better as well.