My New Outside Blog: How To Market Yourself In a "Behind The Times" Town

How To Market Yourself In a "Behind The Times" Town

How to market yourself in a "Behind The Times" town. Marte writes for a living, as it were, and always has something interesting to say on the subject. This post is no exception.

I'd love to have the opportunity to be first in placing myself in a great position in such a town.

Marte's idea of the newspaper "articles" system is spot on. And a small town newspaper is always looking for local content. That could be you.

When I got this email I had to look twice to make sure the lady wasn't writing from my own home town... because we're always ten or fifteen years behind times.

Here's what she asked...

Dear Marte,

I’m a real estate sales person in a small town that hasn’t caught up to the current century. Instead of searching the Internet for homes and agents, residents still read the local weekly newspaper and call on the phone or just walk into our offices.

I get a few leads from my website, but they are from out of town buyers.

I mail a quarterly newsletter to past clients and my sphere of influence, and I get a few referrals from those sources. But I want to reach the people in my town who don’t already know me.

Every agent in town runs ads in the weekly newspaper, and I’m afraid to stop doing that for fear everyone will think I’ve quit. But I don’t really feel like the ads are doing much good. It seems like we’re all just “there” saying the same things.

What can I do with these ads to make them stand out from the others and get prospects to pick up the phone?

Here’s what I told her…

As long as you feel that you need to advertise in the local newspaper, change the content of your ads.

Instead of placing the same old ads that say “I’m a Realtor, hire me,” place a short article about something of importance to your market. For instance, write about getting ready for your first meeting with a lender. Taking the right paperwork along on the first visit will save your customers time, so your article will be seen as valuable.

If you try, I’ll bet you can think of dozens of short topics that would give real information to the newspaper’s readers.

An article in place of a block ad is better for two reasons:

  • It positions you as an expert
  • It will have a larger readership.

Think about your own habits - don’t you usually read articles and skip ads? And don’t you assume that people writing articles know something you might not know? Most people do.

Of course, don't forget to allow space for your name and contact information at the bottom! And if there's room, include a small photo. Make it a good one, so people who see you around town will recognize you from it.

A bonus benefit to placing short articles is that before long your local newspaper might decide to publish your articles for free if you promise to submit something every week, or every other week. Becoming a recognized “real estate columnist” will reinforce your expert status in the eyes of the readers.

Talk about a win-win situation!

Call on Copy by Marte for:

Custom Web Copy....Agent Bios....E-mail Campaigns
Newsletters....Postcards....Custom Prospecting Letters
Articles....Blog Posts....Print Ads


Pre-written real estate letters that save you time and money -
and keep you in touch with your prospects.


Want a great REALTOR in Tucson?

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Jon Quist, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI


Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Agent


Tucson, AZ 85715

520-850-5995 Direct

800-557-9798 Toll Free

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Comment balloon 6 commentsJon Quist • January 30 2011 01:23PM


There are many loyal newspaper readers in my area, and submitting informational articles still plays an important role in my local marketing plan.

Posted by Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities, Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A. (Charlemagne International Properties) about 9 years ago

Jon, this is great advice, even in a high-tech town! Thanks for the re-blog! I'm calling the paper next week!

Posted by Don Wixom, "Looking out for your next move..."tm (RE/MAX Executives Nampa, ID) about 9 years ago

Thank you so much for the re-post! Will have to take a look at Marte's work. Brilliant input.


Have a Perfect Week!

Posted by Julia Hull, Realtor Modesto, California (California Real Estate Mart, Inc.) about 9 years ago


An article in place of an ad ~ sort of like "blogging for business."  This is an excellent post.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) about 9 years ago

Yeah, that's what blogging is! Though the astronomical price of a newspaper ad in my town would mean it would have to be a very short blog!

Posted by Liz Lockhart, GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate (Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO) about 9 years ago

Jon -- thanks for posting this as I missed it the first time.  It's interesting to see, in some cities, that reports of the death of the newspaper is highly exaggerated.

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 9 years ago

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