“I’ve been here for 33 years doing real estate,” says Lois Lemcke, an agent in Westport, Ont., which is about an hour and a half southwest of Ottawa. “Because Westport is 700 people – and that’s when it’s booming – what the board does means nothing for us.”
Lemcke says being successful in that small community relies on word of mouth, rather than mass media campaigns by national or even provincial associations.
But that doesn’t mean association members in hers and other smaller communities don’t want more bang for their membership buck.
In fact, a new REP poll suggests 54 per cent of association members are unhappy with their promotion of agents on TV, radio and in print. Those concerns may be heightened for agents in communities outside Canada’s larger urban centres.
While Windsor, Ont., agent Jim Broad is generally satisfied with what his associations are putting out, he would like to see some tweaks.
“Every market has its own way of doing things,” he said. “In Toronto and London, the advertising is mostly Internet-based (or) social media-based, and I think they’ve almost completely gotten away from paper advertising.
“In our market here in Windsor-Essex County, I think there is still a need for paper advertising because there are still people who rely on that.”
To accomplish this, Broad suggests national and provincial associations partner with local boards to better reach all the communities across Canada.
“I think they need to come down here and investigate to see what we’re doing here,” he says, pointing to the area’s 100 Mile Penninsula, an attractive retirement location. “We do marketing as individual agents and (through) our board. But if we’re paying dues to the other boards … They need to do more and recognize us a little more.”
Are you happy with the ads your agent association uses to promote the services of its members? Odds are, where you work dictates your answer.