It seems that every morning professional real estate salespeople wake up to find yet another shiny marketing product that someone wants them to add to their arsenal of sales tools. Ever since consumers jumped onto the Internet, marketing technologists have been working on new ways to find them, corral them and direct them to their clients’ websites. Searching through all of these tools, choosing from among them and then learning to use them can quickly take up most of the salesperson’s day. At day’s end, At times, it almost seems as if the only people making any money are those selling the marketing tools.

To be successful, real estate agents must filter through the sales and marketing technologies available and choose a set of tools that will give them the highest return on their investment while freeing up their time to do what they get paid to do. But with new tools available almost daily, how can this best be accomplished? No one wants to miss out on the next great sales tool.
Success here is the same as it is everywhere. It depends upon having a good plan, implementing the plan, using a feedback loop to assess the success of the plan and then tweaking as necessary and implementing again. Here is a four-step plan that will help you filter your marketing options for success.

1. Create an easy way to stay up to date on the latest tools.

Making any choice is easier if you have a good advisor. As much as they would like us to do so, we cannot rely on the developers of marketing tools to advise us. So where do we go? Agents can do the same things consumers are doing and turn to the Web. There are many good bloggers covering this space and with a tool like Feedly ( or Digg Reader ( it becomes easy to keep up with them. Looking for good feeds? Check out this list of Top 25 blogs, this list of 17 blogs or this list of 23 must-read blogs. Find a few you like and spend a few minutes each week browsing for the latest tools and techniques.

2. Pick a mix of tools you think will work and learn to use them.

Each agent will have to decide how many tools they will employ to build their business. There is no wrong answer as long as you can easily track the effectiveness of each tool you employ. If you can’t easily tell how many leads are coming to you through the tool, there is no way you can tell whether it is effective. Pick a few tools with the idea that you will fully embrace them, learn to use them effectively and then track your performance with the tool accurately. It is unlikely that any agent can use more than 4-5 tools without spending more time on marketing technology then sales. On the other hand, once you’re up to speed with a number of tools and they are generating a sufficient ROI, you can add others.

3. Measure your success by watching certain metrics.

This is the key to this program. You must be able to tell how many leads come to you through each marketing tool you employ and how many of those leads are converted into sales. You should also track how much time you spend on the tool, setting it up, keeping it running. You will naturally track your expenses. Together, this information will allow you to calculate your return on investment (time and money) on the tool.

4. Drop the least effective tool and replace it with another.

Once you’re tracking ROI on every marketing channel, you will know what’s working well and what’s not. Drop the lowest producer, go back to your marketing blogs and find a promising replacement and put it into play.

This program allows you to become expert with a set of marketing tools that have proven over time to be most effective for you. It also allows you to stay up to date by giving you the flexibility to try out hot new tools that become available. After your initial setup, you’ll only be learning one new tool at a time, minimizing the amount of time you’ll be spending on non-revenue-generating activities.

With new tools coming out frequently, you may never settle on the perfect mix of marketing tools, but with this program you’ll always have a strong set of tools to rely on and the flexibility to try new things as they come out.