Match Your Marketing to Your Skill Set

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Heather Elias is a social media and blogging whiz. Brian Copeland gets many of his clients through videos that highlight neighborhoods in his market. The Corcoran Group has effectively used geolocation apps to raise its business profile.

Does that mean you should be using Facebook, video, or location technologies to boost your business? Maybe — it depends on your own unique interests and skill sets, said Jeff Turner, president of Zeek Interactive, who presented at the MRIS Xplode conference in Silver Spring, Md., this morning.

Most real estate professionals have probably felt a bit overwhelmed at some point in the past decade by all the technology tools that have been introduced over that span. While they should be open to trying new things, they shouldn’t feel the need to do it all, Turner said.

“Marry the tech that works with your specific skill set,” he said. “That’s what will make you successful.”

For Elias, a journalism major, writing is a natural fit. And she uses it in a purposeful way, crafting effective Facebook posts to drive people from her profile on that social network to her blog. Why? Because she can convert them there.

“Is everyone going to succeed with Heather’s strategy? No, because you can’t write as well as she can,” Turner explained.

Instead of copying what other successful practitioners are doing, you should figure out what combination of solutions works for you (and it may not be a suite of cutting-edge tools), then throw yourself into it completely.

“You want to think bigger? Then start thinking smaller,” Turner said. “Find your unique place, do it consistently, and commit to it.”

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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  1. Thanks for the shout out! Jeff is a great champion!

  2. Honored to be mentioned in such great company!

    And yes, having a journalism degree does make the blogging easier. I found a way to marry my love of writing to my love of real estate.

    Thanks, Jeff!

  3. I heard that was a great session. I also heard a few other people were highlighted too… 😉

  4. Brian Summerfield

    Indeed, Jay. You were mentioned as an exemplar of blogging (500 leads a day? Seriously?), and Jeremy Hart (@NRVLiving) was cited as someone who’s using Twitter effectively as a learning tool.

  5. This is one of those messages that is incredibly important, yet often ignored. I’ve seen far too many people give up in frustration because they tried to do too much, or tried to do things that sounded great, but weren’t part of their skill set.

    This is great advice. The examples that Jeff gave are all great examples of people who have found tools that enable their strengths to shine through. They didn’t do this by accident, they chose tools that play to their strengths and put them in a better position to succeed. Their success is the result of strategy not of using any particular tool.

    The goal for others shouldn’t be to emulate their tools, but to emulate their strategy.

  6. Brian – 500 – 600 per *month*, not per day.

  7. Brian, thanks for a great write up. I’m honored. And I hope what i said was that Jay’s blog generates 500-600 leads per month, not per day. That’s still considerably more than the four per year average stated in the NAR 2011 profile.

  8. Brian Summerfield

    Ah, OK. I knew that didn’t seem right. If that were the case, I’m don’t think there would be any other agents working in Phoenix! Not sure how I got that stat, but thanks for clarifying.

  9. Brian, thanks so much for being with us at Xplode DC!

    So glad that Jeff was there too – and these examples were so perfect.

  10. Great little write up Brian. Honored to know all the people mentioned in this piece. A basic philosophy is concentrate your efforts where there is a passion and amazing things can happen.

  11. Mr. Rothamel’s statement needs to be carved into stone somewhere:

    “The goal for others shouldn’t be to emulate their tools, but to emulate their strategy.”

  12. Great article. Not a week goes by that there is not some new technique or platform. It would be impossible to implement all of them effectively, but as stated in the article, if you find the one that is the best fit for YOU and implement it, you will do so much better than trying to spread yourself across every platform. Thanks for the reminder

  13. Thank you for this post. This is very helpful information. I am currently looking for Maryland Realtors.

  14. Properly assessing your skill set is critical to developing a marketing plan. But I’m not convinced you have to be a great writer or even like to write to have blogging work for you. How many people are good at anything they try the first time they do it?

    I think it’s human nature for someone to think they aren’t good at something they have never tried. If an agent would start out on the right blog platform with a little guidance from someone who has had some success, many more would realize they have the skill set or can quickly acquire it to produce results far beyond what they could imagined.