Hawaii Randy's Real Estate Opinions: Not Marketing Your Business - So How’s That Working for You?

Not Marketing Your Business - So How’s That Working for You?

During this week I spoke to 3 different struggling agents who were discussing their challenges with me.  When I asked about their marketing, the responses were the same.  Money is too tight to spend on advertising.  I asked all three the same question.  So how's that working for you?  In one case I spoke to that agent at least two other times in the last three months and gave several ideas for generating business that would cost little or no money. To date not one has been tried.  You can predict the results without a crystal ball.

Last evening I was in the Rec. Center where I run the community chess club.  My car was parked in front with my Century 21 signs on the sides and my website address and slogan "Not Just Another Pretty Face" lettered on the rear window.  (My wife's vehicle is adorned with the same signage.)

Shortly after arriving a young couple walked in and introduced themselves to me.  The wife was a REALTOR® who I had not met before.  She saw my car with the slogan and pointed it out to her husband and said that is the guy with the big mall signs.  After we introduced ourselves to each other, she asked if my marketing was working.  I almost started laughing.  It made them want to meet me, didn't it?  Instead of my usual wise crack response, I said it was.

  • Struggling Agent: How are you surviving in this terrible market?
  • Me:  I think the market is pretty good.
  • Me:  How long have you been in the business?
  • Struggling Agent:  5 years.
  • Struggling Agent: I hear about 30% of the agents locally are getting out of the business. 
  • Me:  There must be a ton of new agents, because our Board membership seems to be up.  Me:  What kind of marketing are you doing?
  • Struggling Agent: Oh, I am doing my own thing. 

From her comments and the fact I have never heard of her, we can assume it is not working.

I have told this story many times, so if you heard it before I apologize.  My older brother told me something very profound over 25 years ago when I was new to the islands and having trouble finding a good job.  He asked how many job interviews I went on that day.  I said three.  He said not enough.  He asked how many hours a day did I plan to work when I get a job.  I answered at least eight.  He then said something I have applied to many situations.  If you are not employed, you have a job; it is finding a job.  If you spend eight hours a day job hunting how long will it take to find a job?  The answer is obvious, not long.  I got a great job a couple days later.

If you do not have clients, your full time job is getting clients.  If you spend eight hours or more a day on your marketing how many clients do you think you can get in a month?  On the other hand if you sit home and complain about how bad business is, you should start planning your next career.

If you are a struggling agent; dust yourself off, plan your 8 hours a day and stop by and tell us what happened.  It is not easy, but with good planning and hard work you will succeed.



Randy L. Prothero, REALTOR®

Broker-in-Charge, ABR, AHWD, CRB, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, MRP, SFR

eXp Realty

Team Leader - "The Prothero Group"

Randy Prothero is well established as an expert in working with military / VA clients and first time home buyers.  His home seller's (listing) campaign is one of the most aggressive marketing programs in the area.  His luxury home listings sell faster and for more money.

Based out of Mililani, Hawaii. Randy services the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) Performs mediations and ombudsman services for the Board of Realtors.  To improve overall professionalism in his area Randy also offers classes for real estate agents. 

www.HawaiiRandy.comOahu (Honolulu County) Property Search  Hawaii Military Relocations

Comment balloon 26 commentsRandy Prothero • January 18 2008 06:55PM


Great advice.  I know more realtors and others in the industry getting part-time jobs.  Just think if they spend those hours marketing
Posted by Dave Woodson, Not the Average Agent (Dave Woodson) over 11 years ago

Wonderful post Randy.

My best advice to new agents is always the same. 

"Get up and go to work in the morning."


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Dave - They would make a lot more money.

Lenn - That is the one thing many don't seem to be able to do.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago
Great advice Randy.

It still amazes me everytime I hear someone say "the market is bad" ...... I've never slowed down!
Posted by Tracy Jasper (Freedom Financial Group) over 11 years ago
Really nice advice to new agents. We all know money is tight but walking door to door costs nothing and handing cards out at a grocery store costs nothing... You do what it takes to the phone ringing.
Posted by LaNita Cates (REMAX of Joliet) over 11 years ago
Randy: moral of the story - don't be allergic to old fashioned WORK !!
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago


I wanted to THANK YOU for all of the additional insights! 


Posted by Ricardo Bueno (Diverse Solutions) over 11 years ago

Hey Randy...one thing is for certain....working for business is the way to go....for the amount that I do...blogging (oops..did I say that?) for business has turned out wonderful :)  Bottom line...we don't sit around and complain huh?  And as always chameleons who adjust to markets no matter which way it is will have success.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 11 years ago
Randy,  Great post!  The sad thing is that the majority of people just keep on doing the same old thing expecting different results.  It ain't going to happen as we all know.  I'm on the computer a lot because I'm always looking for different avenues to promote myself.  It ain't that hard!
Posted by Marc Grossman, GRI, Greater Orlando Real Estate Broker (Marc It Sold!) over 11 years ago
There's opportunity in every market - we just have to look around, analyze what we see, and go for the opportunity. At the Luxury Conclave today Bernice Ross talked about 17 trends in the market - and after describing each, she pointed out the opportunity in that trend - so 17 opportunities to expand our business.
Posted by Sharon Simms, St. Petersburg FL - CRS CIPS CLHMS RSPS (Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International) over 11 years ago


once again your Post is full of insightful advice.  The best parts of your Posts are they are real.....they show how hard YOU work, and that what you aren't just typing a bunch of empty words.....I hope those new agents actually listen.....and I love what Lenn said...."Get up and go to work".  It makes a difference.

Posted by Kathy McGraw, Riverside County CA Real Estate (CELLing Realty) over 11 years ago
Love your blog. I hate listening to agent whine about not having business and they aren't doing anything to change the situation.
Posted by Mary Bowen, Real Estate At Its Finest!!! (Coldwell Banker United, Realtor) over 11 years ago
Randy - I LOVE this post! I think this needs to be put in all the orientation packets at every board in the country. Excellent advice...and you have one smart brother. ;-)
Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) over 11 years ago

Tracy - Even if the market were slow someone is always making money.

LaNita - Absolutely, if yoyu can't feed your children you better be doing everything possible.

Gary - That is a good moral.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

Ricardo - it was nice speaking to you on the phone.  Good luck, I know you have your act together.

Sally - You are right, you have to adjust your plan according to the market.

Marc - There is so many free and cheap ways to market on the internet.  Those agents I mentioned were not doing anything on the net.  Two of them do not even have a web site.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

Hi Randy,

Good advice. Marketing doesn't always need to cost a lot of money. Sounds like your brother gave you some pretty good advice.

 For me, one of the best things I can do is make my personal FORDcalls and discuss family, occupation recreation and dreams.

Posted by Lynda Eisenmann, Broker-Owner,CRS,CDPE,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co (Preferred Home Brokers) over 11 years ago

Sharon - I am looking forward to the classes next week in Honolulu.

Kathy - I loved Lenn's comment also.  Thank you for the kind words.

Mary - Nobody likes a whiner, especially their clients.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

Linda - He gets lucky oince in awhile.

Lynda - I am sure that if we look at what we are doing there is plenty of things we can do more of or better to grow our business.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago
Boy this hits home - with the move I have slacked off on so much of my own marketing and my sales show it.... so starting tomorrow - with an open house then some blogging and back on track for me... thanks for the kick in the rear :o)
Posted by Thesa Chambers, Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon (Fred Real Estate Group) over 11 years ago

I used to hate applying for jobs...it takes many hours and the waiting game is horrible...anxiety...nerves...I'm glad I picked RE because any firm will take you as long as you can produce...you do need to send out many resumes in order to get a few good leads but I just didn't want to deal with all the rejection.

Marketing? ...thats all I do in between getting my deals in order so I am a firm believer in doing it in quantity but with quality also. Repetition is the key.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago
Randy, I LOVE this post!! I can't count how many times I have told folks "your job is finding a job". I'm not sure why people have such a hard time understanding this very simple concept. My job right now is to get up every day and make things happen. Most folks could find success if they just "do it". Get up and go to work for Pete's sake!!! It's not brain surgery.
Posted by Bryant Tutas, Selling Florida one home at a time (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC) over 11 years ago
Randy, right on target. If you spend the time to complain try that energy into positive and positive things will happen.
Posted by Frank Rubi, FrankRubiRealEstate.com (Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC) over 11 years ago

Thesa - I have to also focus more and increase me efforts.  This post was also a kick in my pants.

Neal - I feel you are applying for a job with each and every client.  So you didn't really get away from it.

B.B. - It is just basics, not rocket science.  I amazed how many people think this is complicated.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

Frank - I know agents that spend so much energy complaining and feeling sorry for themselves that they would be the top producer if they spent half that energy on marketing.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

Randy your brother is a smart man.  Those that are successful in this business are always busy, either they are working hard with their clients, or they are working hard to find new clients.  I all adds up to the same thing, working hard.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 11 years ago
George - I will not let him know we said that, it will go to his head.
Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago

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