Learn how to boost your brand using custom tumblers. This informative guide illustrates the importance of client gifts and how to use personalized tumblers and other kitchenware to generate referrals and get real estate leads. Plus, discover industry information that demonstrates their effectiveness and return on investment.
Why Is Branded Merch Important?
Gifting custom branded merchandise is an important part of any real estate marketing plan. While it may seem more expensive at first glance, it is actually less expensive than other forms of both traditional and digital advertising.
Based off the increased number of impressions promotional products receive as well as the recipients’ behavioral responses, agents experience a much lower CPM and higher ROI when incorporating branded products into their advertising strategy. This in turn generates quality leads and increased referrals.
Real Estate Marketing with Promotional Drinkware
Promotional products, such as our personalized drinkware, are effective because they work! However, the more useful a product is, the more likely customers are to hang onto it. People keep and use promo products when it’s something they already incorporate into their daily lives.
Branded tumblers and even promotional pizza cutters are a great examples of personalized kitchen gifts that get used frequently. With regular use, the real estate brand who supplied the product gets repeat exposure.
On the off chance a client decides not to keep the branded merchandise they receive, it’s often given to someone else rather than being tossed out. This furthers the marketing lifespan of your promotional products. It also allows you as a real agent professional, along with other service and sales related businesses, to reach people you may not normally engage with or who aren’t already aware of your services.
Why Do Promo Products Work?
In short, branded promotional products work because they do the following:
Industry Statistics on Marketing with Branded Merchandise
In order to illustrate the benefits of marketing with promotional products, or more specifically custom drinkware and other kitchen tools, we’ve compiled statistical research to show you their value. This information exhibits how you can make a solid return on your investment as a REALTOR® when marketing your services.
Custom Tumbler Marketing Benefits
Following are the benefits of using custom drinkware tumblers to market your brand:
Marketing Advantages of Gifting Promotional Kitchenware
Custom drinkware and other kitchen related products also have these advantages when it comes to marketing your real estate services or business:
Generational Demographic Statistics on Promotional Tumblers
Custom tumblers are an excellent choice for marketing yourself as a real estate agent across every generation. However, each generation does have a preference about the branded products they receive.
Here are the basics on how baby boomers, Gen-x, and millennials respond to promo merchandise and what catches their eye:
What to Consider When Personalizing Tumblers
Once you’ve decided to use custom tumblers as a part of your marketing plan for real estate, there a few other things to consider.
Client demographics are an incredibly important consideration when personalizing branded promo products. For best results with this form of marketing, real estate professionals should examine their key demographics.
Different designs should then be chosen for the different demographic groups based on their interests and other data. This makes the product feel more like a gift rather than an advertisement.
How to Gift Branded Tumblers to Clients and Leads
As initially indicated, nearly everyone uses tumblers or similar drinkware in their day-to-day lives. In business, logo tumblers are great for client gifts. Agents can gift them for:
However, custom tumblers also make wonderful gifts for people in the community. Think teachers for back to school.
How to Use Custom Tumblers for REALTOR® Marketing
Here are some of the ways businesses and real estate agents can use custom tumblers for promotionally branded marketing:
We hope the insights we’ve provided help you when creating a 12-month real estate marketing plan that includes promotional tumblers.
Should you need help with your marketing or need additional product information, we offer a high-level concierge service at no cost to all our customers. Let us assist you on branding and design. Or offer additional options that suit your advertising needs for lead generation. Simply call us at (800) 869-7562. Or visit us online at either Magnets USA® or LifeLong Gifts™.
You can also subscribe to our newsletter. Or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more great marketing tips and product highlights.
Pop-By Ideas for Real Estate
Touted as one of the fastest and most effective ways to generate leads by real estate guru, Brian Buffini, these pop-by ideas for real estate are a win for both you and your clients! Learn how these small gifts of appreciation can help give your business a boost by making real and lasting connections.
What Are Pop-Bys for REALTORS®?
A term coined and popularized by Brian Buffini, pop bys are small, inexpensive client gifts used for real estate marketing. Real estate pop-bys are used as a way to reconnect with existing or past clients in order to generate quality referrals and to get real estate leads.
Typically, these gifts are given in person, in which the agent pops by a client’s home to say, “hello.” As you are showing up with something special for your clients, it’s easy to open the door to further communication. This in turn makes it almost effortless to ask for referrals. As there’s often a feeling of reciprocity when receiving a gift. It also helps to nurture your existing relationships and ensures that you aren’t forgotten.
A practical gift-giving strategy, these small gifts are also a great way to build your brand. Promotional gifts with your logo and contact information make it easy to reconnect and reinforce your word-of-mouth marketing message as a real estate professional.
Often these gifts are combined with an amusing pun that relates to the gift in some way. While optional, using puns as part of your marketing message is another great way to reinforce camaraderie and open the door to referrals.
Benefits of Using Pop-Bys for Real Estate Marketing
These are the benefits of utilizing pop-gifts as part of your real estate marketing plan:
What Small Gifts for Pop-Bys Work Well in Real Estate?
Whether you’re looking for ideas for small, seasonal gifts for spring, summer or fall, or need Christmas REALTOR® pop-bys, we have solutions for every occasion! While we delve deeper into specific pop-by ideas for real estate below, here are some other common suggestions on what to gift your clients:
You can also pair these pop-by gift ideas with cute slogans or pop-by puns to make your gifts fun! For example, some agents will give a container of mints with a pop-by tag that states, “This home was mint to be.” Or they may gift a package of marshmallow Peeps with phrasing such as, “Have your peeps call my peeps.” for the perfect spring pop-by!
Pop-By Gift Ideas for REALTORS®
There are so many great pop-by ideas for real estate! If you’re looking for the best suggestions for your gifting strategy, then be sure to check out our top ideas for REALTORS® and agents below. We’ve even created a list of fun puns you can use for each gift type.
Promotional Pizza Cutters
We introduced our promotional pizza cutters at this year’s industry trade shows, and they were an instant hit! One of our top pop-by ideas for real estate, agents and customers alike are totally in love with this product.
Here’s what makes this marketing item so successful:
These branded pizza cutters are great for closings! Bring these custom pizza cutters with a pizza to when your clients close on a home. You can also include a gift card for a local pizza joint inside the box!
You can explore our designs as well as learn more about these pizza cutter wheels here.
Real Estate Pizza Puns
Once you have your promotional gifts in hand, consider pairing them with one of these fun real estate pizza puns:
Custom Seed Packets
If you’re in the market for spring pop-bys, custom seed packets are an affordable and effective option to grow your business through referrals! Customized with your business information, our bulk wildflower and forget-me-not seed packets deliver your marketing message with a lasting experience in tow.
No time to “pop-by” with a gift? We can also deliver these for you! Simply take advantage of our direct mailing services to reconnect with existing clients or reach new prospects in your farming area.
Spring Seed Packet Pop-By Puns
To assist you with creating the perfect spring pop-bys for your clients, we’re providing messages you can use on this marketing. Here are some ideas for cute real estate puns you can use:
Custom tumblers are one of the hottest pop-by ideas for real estate right now! These laser engraved travel mugs are the perfect way to display your real estate branding and generate leads in real estate.
As a promotional product that is used regularly, you’re practically guaranteed repeat exposure. Drink ware has an average of 1400 impressions over the product’s lifetime. Couple that with the fact that 78% of USA consumers own personalized drinkware, and you have a winner!
Gift recipients love the double-walled, vacuum insulation that keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for up to 6 hours. In addition, the upgraded, air-tight snap lid that prevents leaks and accidental spills makes all the difference.
Real estate professionals, on the other hand, love the high return on investment as well as the increased brand likeability and visibility this product provides.
If you’re looking for a pop-by gift that delivers, you simply cannot go wrong with our engraved tumblers. They make a wonderful addition to gift baskets for a home anniversary or closing gift. Or partner with a local coffee shop to provide these with a bag of specialty coffee or even a gift card.
REALTOR® Puns for Tumbler Pop-Bys
Some coffee and tea related real estate pop-by puns you can use are:
Stainless Steel Soap
Stainless steel soap is a fun and unique pop-by gift idea for real estate! If you want to get creative with kitchen gifts, then this option is a must. These customizable gifts are a must for every kitchen as they deftly remove odors like garlic, onions, and fish from hands.
Personalized metal soap bars can be included as part of a gift basket. Or gift them individually with a custom GiftNote™.
Soap Puns for Real Estate Pop-Bys
You can also include one of these fun soap puns with your pop-bys:
Magnetic Bottle Openers
Magnetic bottle openers also make great pop-by gifts for REALTORS®. Customize these stainless-steel bottle openers with your REALTOR® branding and contact information. Then simply pair them with a six pack for the perfect presentation.
Beer Real Estate Puns
Want to make this real estate pop-by even more unique? Couple these bottle openers with magnets with one of these real estate beer puns for a fun marketing twist:
Need ideas for summer pop-bys? This engraved, metal watermelon slicer is the secret ingredient for all your spring and summer closings. Designed by LifeLong Gifts™, this revolutionary kitchen tool beautifully slices watermelon, honeydew and more. Your clients will wonder how they ever made it through backyard barbecues without one.
Watermelon Summer Pop-By Puns
Here are a few ideas for watermelon puns for your summer pop-by gifts:
How Often Should I Do a Pop-By?
While some real estate agents tackle their gift giving strategy with monthly pop-bys, you don’t have to go overboard. We recommend that you deliver one of our real estate pop-by gift ideas at least once per quarter.
You can save money on these small gifts by purchasing in bulk. Reserve the more expensive gifts for clients who deliver qualified leads. Then give smaller client gifts ($5-$10 in value) to customers who do not engage with you as often.
To help you make the most of this real estate marketing strategy, you can also use a pop-by tracking sheet to help you gauge your return on investment (ROI) so you know where to focus your efforts.
What If No One Is Home When I Deliver My Pop-By Gift?
While the goal of a pop-by is to deliver it when the recipient will home, sometimes this isn’t always the case. In this instance, you want to be prepared to attach your gift to the client’s door.
In order to prevent someone accidentally tripping and falling over a gift left at or inside a door, we recommend that you keep door hanger bags with you in your car to attach your REALTOR® pop-bys to the door knob of your client’s home. Not only are these bags a convenient way to secure your gift, but they also help to protect your marketing products and materials from the elements.
More Ways to Distribute Pop-By Gifts
Alternately, we have an amazing solution for sending pop-by gifts by mail. If you can’t visit every home that you’d like due to time constraints, you can send a pop-by gift through the postal service.
Our greeting card service, Minute Mail Gifts, is a fast, fun and easy way to deliver small gifts by mail. Our mailable greeting cards with gifts are a great way to stand out from the competition. They are also a timely solution to sending gifts on the go!
No time to head back to the office? No problem. Schedule a home anniversary card the day you close a sale right from your phone. You can include a photo of the listing right in the card and send it with a gift of your choosing!
We hope these pop-by ideas for real estate help forge the way to building successful, long-term relationships with clients. You can explore more ways to say thank you for a referral here. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Magnets USA® newsletter. Or give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Whether you’re a new real estate agent or an established REALTOR®, generating leads is paramount to your success. This article delves into proven, quality real estate lead generation ideas that don’t require cold calls.
What Is Lead Generation in Real Estate?
Real estate leads are potential clients that have need of your services. Therefore, lead generation in real estate is the process of attracting these prospects in order to convert them into customers who will rent, buy or sell land or property through you.
What Are the Types of Leads in Real Estate?
There are numerous ways to get leads for your real estate business as a new or established agent. These include the following:
How Do I Determine the Quality of Leads?
Another important factor to consider with real estate lead generation is the quality of those leads. After all, you want to invest the most effort into qualified leads — those that are most likely to result in conversions.
A qualified lead consists of individuals who have done the following:
In addition, you can also use what is called BANT methodology to help further prioritize the real estate leads you generate. This sales qualification method is designed to save you time. It consists of four things to consider in order to help you shorten your sales cycle:
Once this information is determined, outline a system to score your leads in order from most qualified to the least.
What Do You Do with Unqualified Leads?
At the end of the day, most real estate agents find that the majority of the leads they generate aren’t qualified. Meaning they aren’t yet ready to buy or sell a home. However, that doesn’t mean you should disregard them.
Nurturing your leads with regular contact results in an average of 20% more sales opportunities. While 80% of your leads will close after being contacted approximately five times. Not only that but taking the time to grow those relationships also results in 47% higher sales purchases.
Ask if you can opt these potential clients into your email list. Then contact them digitally once per month. You should also call these prospects at least once per quarter to follow up and see if their needs have changed.
Additionally, we also recommend that you follow up with either a personalized greeting card or marketing magnet each quarter. (Be sure to check out our real estate marketing plan for product tips.)
Real Estate Lead Generation Ideas
Most of us aren’t a fan of making cold calls to generate leads. While cold calling can assist you in finding potential clients, it does take a thicker skin. So, how do real estate agents get leads without making cold calls?
To assist with all the ways you can find fresh prospects for your business, we’ve compiled an extensive list on how to get real estate leads without cold calling.
Whether you’re looking for new ways to generate online leads or find new prospects without spending any money, we have the tools to help you achieve your sales goals. Following we’ll explore ideas to help you reach more qualified leads than ever.
How Can I Get Real Estate Leads Online?
There are lots of innovative ways to get real estate leads online. Some of these lead generation ideas are free and cost you nothing but time. While others may involve a nominal fee. The key here is to choose the methods that work for your budget and provide a high return on your investment.
If you’re a new real estate agent, you may want to try several strategies at once until you find the solutions that work best for you. Here are some of our top online lead generation ideas to help you find new prospects both online and on social media.
Run Facebook ads.
Rather than running ads that direct consumers to a listing or your website, try running lead generation ads. These ads require visitors to fill out a form so you can capture their information prior to sending them to a landing page designed with additional information.
When creating these ads, make sure you utilize captivating visual content in addition to your message. Include a visually engaging image or video. Also be sure to limit your form to no more than five fields for best results.
Join Facebook groups.
Local groups on Facebook are an effective way to increase your online presence as well as your reach on this popular social platform.
While real estate agents use Facebook groups to get leads on new listings, they’re also a great way to garner community support from like-minded professionals, discover top tips and best practices, network, share engaging content ideas, and just get advice.
The most important part of these groups, however, is the relationships you build through participation. As an agent, you can use your expertise and knowledge to educate those in your community as well as help plan events that keep your services at the forefront of people’s minds.
Examples of the types Facebooks groups that are useful for REALTORS® for generating leads online include:
To find groups to join, simply type your city name into the search bar on Facebook, then click on Groups. From there, you should request to join as many local groups as you can find in your area. Ideally you want to find a way to integrate your services into each group. Therefore, not every group will be the right fit.
Once you’ve joined relevant groups, here are ways you can use them to get real estate leads on Facebook:
Generate real estate leads using LinkedIn.
Like Facebook, LinkedIn is also great for exposure. Designed for businesses as a professional networking platform, they also have groups that can be used for successful lead generation. In addition, this platform also provides a space to showcase your expertise and is a great place to contact people with a high net worth, especially when paying for a business or premium account.
Basically, a digital version of a cold call, LinkedIn provides a way to generate leads in real estate on a professional level, rather than through a personal relationship.
Moreover, LinkedIn also introduced LinkedIn Audio in 2022. This live audio room, which is comparable to the social audio app Clubhouse, allows you to host live audio events. With video also being added, this opens up many new opportunities to connect with your audience.
Here’s how to get leads in real estate using LinkedIn:
Start a real estate podcast.
Share your expertise and show off your skills with a podcast! While this method of promotion does require more extensive planning, it’s a great way to not only reach interested parties but to also show clients they can trust you to get the job done.
When planning out your podcast material, be sure to include a call-to-call action at the beginning of the podcast as well as the middle and the end. You should also promote your podcast on your website as well as across your social media channels.
Write guest posts.
Sharing your home buying tips, market insights, or other professional real estate information as a guest writer on a blog with some authority is another viable way to get real estate leads.
Be sure to provide information that your target audience will find valuable as well as taking SEO into account. You’ll also want to include a bio at the end of your article along with backlinks to your website, social media links, and a strong call-to-action.
Use video and drone footage.
Real estate video marketing is incredibly effective at increasing the number of leads you get from your listings. Industry studies indicate that 73% of homeowners are more likely to list with an agent who uses video to sell their properties. While 70% of buyers watch video tours prior to choosing an agent.
Additionally, agents who use video for their real estate marketing find that real estate video attracts 30% more views than static listings. This translates roughly into 403% more inquiries on the listed property.
Further, 86% of home buyers research neighborhoods through real estate videography prior to deciding where they want to move. This makes drone footage even more valuable as it provides a quick look at the overall area. Drone footage also results in 3.5x more leads than other types of videography used to sell real estate.
You can learn more about using videos to promote your business as well as find tips for making real estate videos here. And don’t be afraid to try new social media networks. Share your video shorts (1-minute or less in length) as reels on Instagram as well as TikTok to branch out and expand your reach with younger generations.
Share real estate tips.
Sharing tips for buying or selling a home or other related real estate information on social media is another great way to generate leads. We recommend sharing your tips in a weekly video to help create a personal connection between you and your audience.
Further, when planning out social media posts to share online, be sure to use static images that are unique and inviting. Viewers assign value to pretty and eye-catching photographs. Therefore, keep them warm yet professional. If using headshots, take care that they accurately reflect your brand. The key is to build trust with your audience.
Don’t be afraid to play off your strengths. Why not highlight your local expertise with the best places to dine out. Or share your daily experiences to show your personality.
Need other ways to get real estate leads on social media? Be sure to check out our real estate social media post ideas.
How to Get Real Estate Leads for Free
If you’re looking for additional ways to get real estate leads for free, here are ideas to assist you with the process.
Short form videos and clips are huge right now and great for engagement. Rather than sharing a static image with a testimonial, ask past clients to give a video testimonial that you can record on your phone.
Then share the video across your social media platforms as well as on the testimonial or real estate bio page on your website. Not only will this increase interest, but it also helps to put a face to a name and goes a long way toward building trust.
Ask for referrals.
Customers who are referred to you from past clients have an overall 16% higher lifetime value than those who weren’t referred. Therefore, asking for referrals from the people you’ve done business with in the past is a great way to build confidence in your abilities as a real estate professional.
While not everyone is comfortable making a referral, industry studies show that 83% of clients are willing to do so. In addition, 21% of REALTORS® get 50% of their business using this free lead generation method.
Include a call-to-action.
Include a strong call-to-action (CTA) n both your website and blog. You’re likely already paying for hosting. Why not improve the return on your investment? Having a CTA on your sites encourages prospects to make contact and supply their information so you can follow up.
Make sure that all your top pages include a call to action. This could be an email sign up or a request for more information. You can also create a lead magnet or landing page in which you provide information on a topic relevant to your target audience upon sign up or an email submission.
90% of sellers also want to buy another home. Therefore, targeting motivated sellers is an effective way to generate two deals from a single prospect when you need additional leads.
Search FSBO (for sale by buyer) listings.
You can use resources such as Zillow, Craiglist and local newspapers or websites to find free leads for real estate by searching FSBO listings. Also be sure to keep an eye out for FSBO homes when you are out and about in the neighborhoods you service.
We recommend that you have a script ready for contacting prospects with additional scripts for follow-up based on the responses you get. If you aren’t sure how to get started, this post has several script ideas you can utilize when getting your feet wet.
More Ways to Grow Your Real Estate Business
In addition to free and online lead generation, there are also other ways to find new customers to grow your real estate business.
Mail out promotional postcards.
Sending out custom marketing postcards to your prospecting or farming areas with a handwritten message is a great way to reach new people.
Using self-mailers as well as direct mail marketing services is a convenient and affordable way to generate new leads and reconnect with past clients.
Engage in circle prospecting to generate real estate leads.
Similar to prospecting through direct mail, real estate circle prospecting also involves targeting an audience located within a specific geographic area. In this instance, however, you make cold calls to the individuals in the neighborhood to inquire whether they are planning to move or know of someone looking to do so.
While this seller-focused lead generation method does require making calls to unknown individuals, it can be incredibly effective when done properly. We recommend you create a reliable script when getting started. In the end, you’ll be amazed by the rapport you’re able to build with clients while at the same time strengthening your brand.
Even if you don’t convert leads right away, what you are doing is planting the seeds for their business in the future. So don’t forget to follow up with interested parties, even if it’s automated through text, a phone call or email.
Sponsor an event.
Event sponsorships are a great way to show your involvement as well as your investment in the community. It can also help improve your real estate branding.
When choosing a charity or event to sponsor, be sure that you’re able to measure the impressions the sponsorship will yield so you can best gauge the return on your investment. You should also choose a brand that maintains a positive image in the community it represents.
Event marketing is a great way to get off the internet and do what you do best -- engage with people! So, don’t forget to get involved and show up. Have a clear objective and don’t forget to collect contact information.
Host an open house.
An open house is a great way to find parties who are ready to buy! Liven up your event with a fun theme, favor bags with your contact information, and a giveaway.
Don’t forget to promote your event on social media and other relevant spaces. Also be sure to use balloons and pointers in the days leading up to, as well as the day of, your open house to bring in additional foot traffic.
You can find more ideas on how to generate real estate leads at an open house here.
Try text marketing.
Automated text marketing for REALTORS® is a simple yet effective way to reach prospects to share new listings or other relevant information. Text messaging provides an additional channel to reach clients and leads so you stay connected and build relationships that convert.
Research indicates that 80% of professionals now use texts as part of their business. And they use it because it works! 90% of all texts garner a response within 30 minutes or less. They also have a higher open rate than email — by around 134%. Moreover, 62% of home buyers prefer to have their property information sent via this method of communication.
Real estate professionals use text marketing to make communications efficient and effective. It’s great for:
If you’d like to use text marketing to get real estate leads, here’s how to get started:
To assist with your goal of generating leads, you’ll want to ensure that your texts are short and provide information of value to your target audience. Also, include a strong call-to-action and perhaps offers an incentive to reply, much like a lead magnet on a website.
Join your local Chamber of Commerce.
While there is a small yearly fee to join this association, it does come with benefits. The goal of this network is to help with exposure for your business so that you can find new prospects to grow your business and increase revenue.
Historically, your local Chamber of Commerce helps business professionals make new business contacts, brings credibility to your business or services, increases your visibility in the community, provides networking opportunities, and helps you find customer referrals. In addition to helping you generate real estate leads, it also gives you a voice in your local government.
Form local partnerships.
Partner with a local business to find new prospects. Whether it’s a local wine or gift shop, a florist or a coffee shop, you can each provide referrals to one another thereby expanding your realm of influence.
For example, if you give wine and a custom wine box for closing gifts, you may partner with a local winery that you regularly use when purchasing real estate closing gifts. In turn, the winery agrees to refer your services and may also offer you a discount.
We recommend that you provide your business partners with point-of-purchase marketing materials such as tear off calendars or other magnets for marketing.
Ideas for local business partners include the following:
Knock on doors.
Old fashioned canvassing is another way to get real estate leads. Not only will you meet the people in your community farming areas, but you’ll also have the chance to let your personality shine and expand on your skills. Even if someone isn’t looking to buy or sell their home right now, there’s a good chance they know someone who does.
Just say, thank you.
Thank your referral sources with a handwritten card and gift. Referral thank you notes are a great resource for real estate agents. They offer a personal way to reconnect and thank clients for their support. By utilizing a greeting card service for business, it’s easier than ever to gain customer loyalty and generate fresh, new leads for your real estate business.
Give REALTOR® pop-by gifts.
Pop-by gifts are another wonderful way to introduce yourself to new prospects or reconnect with leads who may previously have been unqualified. If you need pop-by ideas for real estate, then be sure to check out our line of promotional pizza cutters, personalized fridge magnets, real estate calendar magnets and custom magnetic bottle openers.
We hope you found these ideas on how to get leads in real estate useful. For more helpful ideas and advice, be sure to also explore our other real estate marketing strategies here. Or discover additional tips and techniques via our 12-month real estate marketing plan.
For more tools to help you execute your real estate marketing plan, subscribe to the Magnets USA® newsletter. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
With regular maintenance, it’s easy to take care of your knives. Discover our top tips for knife care along with a handy guide for sharpening and honing your blades for the best performance.
How to Take Care of a Knife
The quality collections of kitchen knives from LifeLong Gifts™ are carefully crafted from high-carbon German steel to last a lifetime. Superior to stainless steel in that they hold a sharper edge and resist deformation, the blades of carbon steel knives do require regular care and maintenance for the best performance.
Learn how to care for a knife the right way with these kitchen knife care tips. Plus, discover how to sharpen and hone your kitchen cutlery to keep the blades sharp and in premium condition.
Kitchen Knife Care Tips
Regardless of what type of kitchen knives you own, basic knife care and maintenance is paramount to extending their life and keeping the blades sharper longer.
Following are our top knife care tips to keep your blades in optimal shape. Whether you own Damascus kitchen knives, Chef’s knives, Santoku knives, an Ulu knife, or simply an everyday set of kitchen knives, these valuable pointers will ensure you always make the perfect cut!
How to Keep Knives Sharp
A sharp knife is a safe knife. In addition to the knife care tips previously mentioned, you can also keep your knives in tip-top shape with regular honing and sharpening.
How to Hone a Kitchen Knife
You may recall having seen professional chefs using a honing steel. This rod is made of either steel, diamond-coated steel or ceramic. Unlike a knife sharpener, a honing steel won’t sharpen the knife blade. As no steel is removed from the edge when it is used. Despite this, honing does play an important role in regular knife maintenance and care.
So, what does honing do? And why is it associated with knife sharpening?
With regular use, the edge of your knife blade will start to bend. A honing steel straightens the edge back to the correct angle for proper alignment.
To hone a knife blade, place it against the base of the honing rod. Then place the blade along the steel at a 20°-22° angle. Slide it diagonally away from yourself while holding the honing rod in a fixed position. This action is then completed between 5 and ten times per side of the knife blade.
Using a honing steel correctly, however, does require some level of both skill and practice. For this reason, LifeLong Gifts™ offers an everyday sharpener for your kitchen knives. This tool hones the blade of your carbon steel cutlery. It also sharpens the blade at the same time, by removing a very small amount of steel to account for small nicks.
How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives
The everyday knife sharpener makes it a breeze for even beginners to sharpen a knife. This fool-proof method eliminates the need to hold the blade at a precise angle. It also takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out the proper way to use a whetstone.
To sharpen a knife with a handheld knife sharpener, follow these easy steps:
Knife Care and Maintenance FAQ
Have additional questions on how to properly take care of a knife? We’ve got you covered! Following are answers to common questions on knife care and maintenance.
Why Won’t My Knives Stay Sharp?
There are several reasons that your knives won’t stay sharp. The angle you use when making cuts as well as the surface material you are cutting on both determine how quickly knives may dull.
When sharpening knives on a whetstone, it’s important to sharpen them at the proper angle. Otherwise, your kitchen cutlery may take longer to sharpen. There's also the potential to dull the blade. If the angle is too high, it will take longer to sharpen the blades. Additionally, if you rock the blade during sharpening, you’ll end up with a dull rounded edge.
Likewise, not using a cutting board, or using the wrong type of cutting board, can also dull the blade faster. We recommend using a wood cutting board, like these cherry cutting boards, to extend the life of the blade between sharpening.
Further, the materials in which the blades are made also impact how quickly it dulls. Stainless-steel knives, for example, dull faster than carbon steel knives which are made from a harder material than stainless.
In general, knives forged from harder materials hold an edge longer. Therefore, if you find you are having to sharpen your stainless-steel knives more often than you like, consider upgrading to a higher quality set of carbon steel kitchen knives.
Will a Dishwasher Dull Knives?
The harsh detergents, water and extreme temperatures of a dishwasher will not only damage the handle of your knives, but they can also dull and warp the blade. We therefore recommend that you always hand wash your kitchen knives.
Do Knives Dull in Water?
Leaving your knives soaking in water is never a good idea. Not only is it dangerous to leave a knife in a sink, but the water also has the potential to damage the blade. Not only is there an increased possibility of the blade rusting, but it will almost always cause the handle to degrade. In addition, most stainless-steel blades result in microscopic loss of metal when left to soak.
Leaving a knife in water may cause the blade to dull more quickly. However, it can also cause more serious damage — and safety issues — that you want to avoid.
Should I Oil Kitchen Knives?
It’s a good idea to oil your carbon steel kitchen knives a few times a year to help prevent rust and corrosion. Oiling knives can also help to condition the metal and keep the blade sharp depending on the type of oil used.
How Often Should You Oil A Knife?
To properly maintain an expensive kitchen knife, it’s recommended that you oil carbon steel knives after each use. Stainless steel knives, on the other hand, can be oiled once or twice weekly.
What Oil Do You Use for Knives?
There are several types of oil you can use on your kitchen knives. We recommend that you use synthetic oil as it lubricates the blade, resists dust and won’t go rancid like natural oils, such as olive oil. Food grade knife oil is non-toxic, odorless, and flavorless, making it the best option. You can also use food grade mineral oil.
If you prefer to use a natural oil, then we suggest using camellia seed oil. This natural oil is similar in composition to fractionated coconut oil. It is odorless and flavorless and has a lengthy shelf-life. However, unlike other natural oils, it won’t make the blades feel greasy or go rancid. Nor will it leave behind a sticky residue.
Are Dull Kitchen Knives More Dangerous?
Using dull knives can be more dangerous than using a sharp knife. While you can get cut with a sharp blade, these wounds are generally not as deep or as serious as those caused by a dull knife. The reason being is that you need to use more force than usual when making cuts. Therefore, should the knife slip, the resulting injury is more severe due to the additional pressure that was used.
Can You Clean a Knife with Rubbing Alcohol?
As most steel is non-porous, it’s not necessary to sterilize a knife after use. Typically, rinsing and drying a knife before food has a chance to stick is sufficient. However, you can use 70% isopropyl (or rubbing) alcohol to clean and sterilize the blade if desired.
To clean a knife with rubbing alcohol, just wipe the blade with alcohol, then put it away. There’s no need to rinse or dry the blade afterwards.
However, it is important to note that alcohol is a solvent. As such, it will remove any oils from the surface of the steel blade. Therefore, you may want to oil your blade after sterilizing to help prevent corrosion.
Why Do High Carbon Steel Knives Discolor?
The blades of carbon steel knives tend to tarnish and develop a blue-gray or purplish patina over time. This happens when the blade is exposed to either air or acids. This type of oxidization is common and no cause for concern. While rust will damage your blades, patina does not. It can also aid in the prevention of damaging rust.
Foods that promote discoloration include fatty fish and meat, fruits and acidic or alkaline vegetables.
How Do You Remove Oxidation from a Knife?
Sometimes, despite all precautions and proper knife care, high carbon steel knives do rust. If your blades develop rust or tarnish, there are several methods you can employ to remove oxidation from your knives.
Here is how to remove oxidation from a knife:
Regardless of what method you choose to remove oxidation from a knife, we do recommend that you apply a lubricant to the blade afterwards. Oiling your knife is an important step in knife care and maintenance to help prevent future or further rusting.
Where to Buy Custom Kitchen Knives
We hope these knife care tips instruct you on the proper use and care of a kitchen knife. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a new kitchen knife set, or if you need personal or corporate gift ideas, be sure to check out the line of custom kitchen knives from LifeLong Gifts™.
Just as the name implies, LifeLong Gifts™ offers superior-quality, heirloom-worthy products designed to last a lifetime. Fall in love with our engraved kitchen cutlery, custom cutting boards, wood wine gift boxes and more! Shop this unique line of luxury gifts today. Or sign up to receive the latest deals and promotions.
Like any business, you need a solid marketing plan to flourish. This can be a challenge for both new and established agents. However, once you understand how to create a real estate marketing plan to grow your business, you’ll quickly realize how effective it is to make advertising a priority.
Marketing Plan for Real Estate Agents
The adage that you must spend money to make money still rings true regardless of your industry. But how and where is that money best spent? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the advertising choices that now exist with the ever-evolving digital age. That’s where we can help!
Our step-by-step 12-month real estate marketing plan instructs you on how to use print media marketing to grow your client base. So, you make real connections that generate referrals down the road. By automating your real estate marketing strategy using our magnets for marketing, tools and tips, you can effectively advertise your real estate business without taking on more work than necessary.
In addition, you’ll also learn how to incorporate print media into a simple marketing plan for real estate agents that works! Our direct mail marketing methods have a proven success rate with a high ROI (return on investment.)
Let us put our 30+ years of real estate marketing experience to work for you! Keep reading to learn more about how to develop a real estate business plan to strengthen your marketing. Plus, discover our easy, print media marketing template that spells out when to connect with your target audience and what to send them.
What Is a Marketing Plan in Real Estate?
A real estate marketing plan is an outline for a course of action to promote your real estate business. It details your annual sales goals and growth opportunities. In addition, this guide also describes the specific steps to take throughout the course of the year to advertise your services, develop new leads and gain referrals from your existing client base.
As real estate marketing is heavily dependent on referrals from word-of-mouth endorsements, it’s important that your business plan gives you credibility in addition to familiarizing others with your brand.
How Do I Write a Real Estate Marketing Plan?
This overview guides you on how to create a real estate marketing plan for your business. We also provide information on how much to spend on your advertising when formulating your advertising budget.
Research Your Industry
Research your industry and review your competition. Then identify your target audience and farming areas. (Real estate farming is also known as real estate prospecting.) You want to consider demographics, or who your customer is, as well as psychographics, the reasons why your client base may buy or sell a home.
Once you’ve done this, use this information to help you develop a strong mission statement that speaks to your core audience and helps you stand out from your competitors.
Some of the questions you should ask yourself include:
Determine Sales Goals
After you’ve researched your target audience, you now need to set a sales goal for the year. (You can also set monthly and quarterly goals depending on what works best for you.)
To do this, look back on past years sales as well as the current market. Then use this information to make an estimated guess as to the sales volume and commission you think you can make over the course of the year.
Set a Detailed Real Estate Marketing Budget
Once you’ve set a sales goal, it’s time to determine an advertising budget for your real estate marketing plan. Figuring out how much your annual sales revenue should go toward your marketing budget may seem daunting at first. However, there are basic guidelines to help you get started.
The average amount most businesses spend on advertising is between 2% and 12% of net revenue. Small businesses typically spend a smaller percentage of their net income on marketing. However, if you are a new business trying to gain traction, then you’ll want to spend more on advertising while you work toward becoming established.
The amount spent is also determined by your industry. B2B (business to business) companies generally allot 2-5% toward advertising. Whereas B2C (business to consumer) industries normally spend between 5% and 10% on marketing expenses.
Your budget encompasses more than just the cost of branded marketing products and advertisements. When allocating money for a real estate marketing plan, you need to consider the different types of advertising along with all associated costs. These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
How Much Should REALTORS® Spend on Marketing?
Finding the right amount to spend on your marketing as a REALTOR® largely depends on your income. Obviously, new agents have less funds to spend than those who are already established.
While the 2-12% is provided as a guide, most real estate agents spend an average of 10% of their commission income on their advertising efforts.
Analyze Past Real Estate Marketing Strategies
Looking back on past marketing strategies to determine what worked in the past — or what didn’t — can help you choose what direction go for the new year. By analyzing what worked previously and seeing where you can make improvements, you can help you form a more successful marketing plan going forward.
You can then use your past performance as a starting point for expanding on profitable campaigns to make them even more effective.
Create a Real Estate Marketing Calendar
Once you’ve determined your marketing budget, use this information to create a marketing calendar for your real estate business. This calendar will outline the type of media used for each day/week/month of the year as well as how it’s to be distributed.
Track Your Progress
Once you put your marketing plan into action, you need to track your progress. Track your sales and overall ad performance as well as advertising costs. You should then make changes or updates as needed. If something’s not working, figure out why. Then either adapt it to perform better or scrap it for another alternative.
Now that you have the basics of creating a real estate agent marketing plan, keep reading to discover how to use print media marketing for your services. You’ll also find our template for creating a real estate marketing plan specifically for print media marketing.
What is Print Media Marketing?
Print media advertising consists of physically printed materials that you used to communicate with and market to an audience. These materials include newspapers, magazines, postcards, billboards, and brochures. It may also include other physical products such as custom magnets that are branded with the company logo and information.
Why is Print Marketing Important to a Real Estate Business Plan?
Print media is a classic marketing strategy in real estate. However, it continues to work despite the digital age. Even better, it can be used to complement your other advertising strategies to keep you top-of-mind. Not only does print media have a high ROI, but you’re practically guaranteed a high engagement rate.
Where you may struggle with your email open rate or social media likes, print marketing doesn’t face the same challenges. There’s also less competition.
Not only do 86% of consumers read their mail, but direct mail marketing has shown a 10% increase in new customers when utilized as a marketing activity.
As print mediums are tangible, they are a more durable and longer lasting option than digital media. They are also more likely to reintroduce the consumer to your advertisement through repetition.
By incorporating our print media real estate marketing plan you’re your advertising strategy, you’ll not only save time and stay on budget, but you’ll also see increased growth over time.
Once you’ve learned how to create a real estate marketing plan, you should allocate a percentage of your advertising budget to print media.
Why is Repetition Key to Real Estate Marketing?
Applying your branding across all your print media materials helps to reinforce your brand. Just like with digital marketing, your target audience will start to recognize you immediately as they are repeatedly exposed to your real estate agent marketing efforts.
Repetition branding can mean bigger profits, better name recognition and more referrals. With this in mind, we recommend sending out at least four promotional items of value throughout the year.
12-Month Real Estate Marketing Plan
Following is our template for a 12-month real estate marketing plan for print media. This plan breaks down the steps to take each quarter to follow up with your target audience and make new connections to gain leads.
Just like in retail, it’s important create a marketing plan for real estate a quarter ahead. This gives you ample time to schedule out your strategy based off the prior year’s results. It also allows for the time it takes for print materials to be produced and mailed out to prospects and clients. This ensures materials arrive in a timely manner and your advertising doesn’t miss a beat.
First Quarter Marketing Plan for Real Estate
For first quarter, we advise you choose one of the following sticky marketing products:
Baseball season starts each year either in late March or early April. Therefore, magnetic baseball schedules are the perfect way to kickstart your advertising for Q2.
To ensure your baseball schedule magnets arrive in customers’ hands before the season starts, we recommend that you place your order as early as possible in Q1. Not only does this allow adequate time to customize your sports schedules and ship them, but it also guarantees you the best pricing.
Pre-orders for our baseball team magnets start around mid-December with the absolute best product deals. If you need to increase your spending before the end of the year, this is a great opportunity to get additional tax deductions along with significant savings.
Otherwise, baseball team sports schedules for the current year officially launch in January. As the season starts around the same time as Q2, we advise you purchase these products in January, but no later than February to reach customers at the start of the new season.
Household Reference Magnets
If baseball isn’t big in your area or your target audience isn’t receptive to sports team promotions, then we recommend you send out a non-dated, custom magnet instead.
Our household reference magnets are always a hit. Featuring local phone directories, emergency tips, home maintenance tips, or kitchen measurements, these fridge magnets are a great way to represent your business! Not only do these magnets provide information that customer’s will want to keep handy on the fridge, each one can be fully customized with your business branding and contact information.
Another alternative to baseball schedules this time of year are our line of magnetic notepads. Notepads are an inexpensive and practical way to provide the recognition you want. Designed with a card stock backer and non-toxic magnet, these memo pads and to do lists also have a kitchen conversion chart and password keeper on the back. So, it will stick around on the refrigerator even after the pages are gone.
Second Quarter Real Estate Marketing Plan for Agents
Staying a quarter ahead with print marketing materials, second is the best time to buy football and festival schedules as well as magnetic tear-off calendars.
Here are the products we suggest ordering during Q2:
Promotional Football Schedule Magnets
Second quarter places a huge emphasis on football! After all, it is considered one of America’s favorite pastimes. Our real estate football schedule magnets are incredibly popular among prospects and clients. They are also one of the must have magnets for real estate marketing each and every year.
We launch our football schedule magnets in April. This gives you plenty of time to customize and distribute them before kick off in September.
Choose up to 14 teams to customize your NFL or college fb schedules. Then let our magnetic sports schedules keep your contact information in view for the duration of season. By ordering your schedules in Q2, you can ensure they are delivered ahead of football season which kicks off in the beginning of Q3.
Festival and Event Schedules
Summer is peak festival season. Therefore, creating a magnetic festival or event schedule around local festivals, events and celebrations is a great way to connect with your audience. You can even create magnetic schedules that give a line of musical events for an area music festival or highlight weekly family activities that take place at your city’s farmer’s market.
Make sure you plan and order festival schedules as early in Q2 as possible, so they reach your audience in time. Alternately, you can also purchase these customized magnets in Q1 as soon as you have the details you need from area businesses to complete your custom content.
Magnetic Tear-Off Calendars
Tear-off real estate calendars are one of our top-selling products each year — and for good reason! Not only are we home to the ORIGINAL magnetic tear-off calendars — Yep, we made them FIRST! — but this product is PROVEN to work.
A customer favorite, our yearly refrigerator pad calendars present dozens of ideas to elevate your marketing strategy. You’ll love our exclusive backer design that meets the needs of professional industries and real estate agents. While our house-shaped toppers are perfect for REALTORS®.
While most agents schedule their calendar mailings to arrive either just before or directly after Thanksgiving, we launch the new calendar lineup for the following year in June. Therefore, the end of Q2 is the optimal time to order your promotional calendars for your real estate marketing plan. Not only will you be guaranteed to the best selection, but you will also receive the best price.
Third Quarter Real Estate Business Plan
Your 3rd quarter marketing plan for your real estate business includes these products:
Real Estate Magnetic Calendars
Planning ahead remains key! If you didn’t order magnetic calendars in Q2, then you don’t want to miss this opportunity in Q3. Our tear-off calendars are an affordable year-round marketing solution that you don’t want to skip!
If you missed buying your branded calendars for your real estate marketing plan early on, then we advise you complete your customization and make your purchase no later than the beginning of October. This ensures that your calendars get mailed out before the end of the year. Otherwise, you’ll want to consider a New Year mailing instead. Or, for mid-year calendar magnets, try our year-at-a-glance calendars.
You can further explore ways to use promotional calendars for your marketing here.
Custom School Calendar Magnets
Back-to-school season is always a momentous occasion for households with children. Help parents and teachers keep track of important dates throughout the school year while also keeping your contact information visible.
School schedule calendar magnets are a great way to show that you care. Clients will be sure to show their appreciation with repeat business and referrals when you incorporate this useful marketing tool into a business plan for real estate.
For schools starting in early August, we recommend jumping the gun on these during 2nd quarter to be delivered in July. Otherwise, if kids head back to school after Labor Day, order your magnetic schedules in July to be distributed the month in August.
Basketball and Hockey Sports Schedules
Like baseball and football, basketball and hockey are also huge with sports fan. Therefore, these custom sports schedule magnets are another great addition to a yearly marketing plan for real estate agents.
Whether your town has a college team or your community roots for one of the pros, our basketball schedule magnets are a slam dunk when it comes to growing connections. Not only do we customize each of these sport schedules with up to any three teams, but your branding is also prominently displayed on every magnet card, regardless of the format.
Together, millions of Americans and Canadians follow a favorite hockey team. Pulling some of the most avid and devoted sports fans in the arena, hockey is a no-brainer for marketing real estate if your community can't stay out of the rink. Our hockey schedule magnets are available in three die-cut shapes with your choice of both American and Canadian teams.
Fourth Quarter Print Media REALTOR® Marketing Plan
The end of the year aligns with the largest holiday season of this. Therefore, 4th quarter is a prime opportunity to thank clients for their business, loyalty, and referrals. It’s also a great chance to refresh for image for the upcoming year.
Recommended fourth quarter real estate marketing products include:
Real Estate Magnetic Calendars
Great things bear repeating. That’s one reason why we keep pushing our calendar magnets — they really are effective! If you’re late getting started on your 12-month real estate marketing plan, not to worry. Our tear-off calendars make a big impact even as a first of the year mailing. If you waited too long to send calendars out before Christmas, we recommend sending out a calendar in the new year.
Our New Year’s themed calendars are perfect for January. Or mail out our popular recipe calendars. Not sold on either of these options? We also provide additional cover themes to fit any niche!
Client Gifts from REALTORS®
Magnets USA® and LifeLong Gifts™ both feature a unique lines of client gift ideas for real estate pop-bys, referral thank you's, and small tokens of appreciation. All of our marketing gifts can be personalized in full color with your information and custom branding.
Choose from our amazing selection of branded bottle openers and kitchen scrapers for affordable everyday marketing products. Or choose from our selection of upscale gifts including personalized kitchen cutlery, kitchen gadgets, and custom wood cutting boards.
As the holidays are the perfect opportunity to send thank you gifts, we set this as a 4th quarter task. However, there’s not wrong time to send a gift. So, don’t miss the chance to give real estate closing gifts or other thank you gifts in addition to client holiday gifts, throughout the year.
Custom Business Cards
The New Year is the perfect time to refresh your image! That makes 4th quarter the perfect time to stock up on custom business cards for upcoming conferences and networking events.
If you haven’t updated your photo for your business within the past 5 years, add this expense to your real estate marketing plan for the year! (Discover pointers for your next business portrait along with other great real estate marketing tips here.) You can also find tips on how to design a business card here.
More Ways to Build Business Relationships through REALTOR® Marketing
In addition to these quarterly gentle marketing methods for your 12-month real estate marketing plan, we also advise making personal connections with your customer base in between your advertising efforts. This includes sending out personalized notecards or greeting cards.
Creating custom cards is a wonderful way to nurture your business relationships. Not only are they well received by clients, but they are also an easy and affordable way to increase your profits.
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%, This clearly illustrates how setting aside a small amount of time to build and maintain quality relationships with clients can help you generate not only more sales, but referrals as well. Therefore, we highly promote using custom greeting cards monthly as part of every 12-month marketing plan for real estate agents.
Reasons to Send Greeting Cards as Part of a Real Estate Marketing Plan
There are so many wonderful reasons to send greeting cards to clients. Whether you buy and write out custom notecards in bulk or use a greeting card service for business, here are just a few of the many occasions you can take advantage of to stay in communication with prospects and existing customers as part of your marketing efforts:
Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Help You Implement Your Business Plan
Once you’ve established a marketing plan for your real estate business, it’s time to put it into action. If you aren’t sure how to best go about advertising your business, we’ve put together some great REALTOR® marketing tips, tricks, and ideas to help you get the most reward from your efforts.
From real estate branding to writing a killer real estate bio, we have the marketing advice you need to help you propel your business forward into the new year. Explore more real estate marketing ideas here.