What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been
After the longevity prerequisite is met for a promotional item, the next key factor in deciding which product to buy is its ability to increase face time with clients. "Products for the real estate market have expanded [beyond] name recognition to also [include] face recognition," Kors stated. "Agents are looking for promotional items that offer the ability to include their photo."
But everything comes down to the final and most important key element—price. "The items that were costlier are the things we've done away with across the board," said Scotti. "Lower cost items like postcards after a property sells are still being utilized and are still an important tool to generate interest. Another inexpensive item I love to leave behind after I show a house is a bookmark. It is a product that has lasting appeal," she said.
WHERE WE ARE GOING
"Pending home sales rose in February, potentially signaling a second surge of home sales in response to the home buyer tax credit. ..." - National Association of Realtors (NAR), April 5, 2010
The NAR reported that in February of this year, existing home sales hit 5.02 million units, 7 percent higher than last year. With data like this pointing to signs of recovery, Scotti was cautiously optimistic about the future health of the real estate market. "We are starting to see an upswing now," she said. "Growth will be relative to the individual markets served, but for most agents, I do believe the worst is over."
Regardless of how slowly or quickly markets pick up there is one thing that remains true: "No matter what is happening with the economy, people will always need a place to live and a means to buy and sell homes," Kors said.
While home sales may not return to the same levels they were at back in 2005 and 2006 any time soon, there will still be a volume of homes moving on the market. This is good news for distributors in this niche. Scotti believes promotional buying for agents will continue to be a necessity. "We may be doing more e-mail blasts these days to save on mailing costs, but there are certain core products, like calendars and magnets, that simply won't be done away with," she concluded.