A Real Estate Discussion Blog


Permisision To Phase Out Permission Marketing?

"Permission marketing" is a common marketing term that we have all heard time and time again.  As Realtors, we have all been trained to ask "do you mind if I include you on my mailing list".  Is there still value in building a database?  Definitely.  Is there still value in asking this?  Of course. 

The other day I sat through a new Realtor educational session where building a database was taught as being one of the most four valuable things you can do as a Realtor.  The words "permission marketing" were cavalierly thrown around throughout the presentation.  The trainer was someone who had been in the business for over 20 years and said handing out your business card and building a database was the lifeblood of a Realtor's business. 

I sat back, listened and took notes, like a good student.  But I got wondering... how important is "permission marketing" going to be in the near future?  Will using this term one day make you sound antiquated?  Is a statement like this going to be like saying 25 years ago that the MLS book is the lifeblood of a Realtor's business?  I think so.  

With blog subscriptions, feed readers, and social networking sites that don't operate on an email platforms, how relevant will "permission marketing" be?  Today, I don't wait to be asked as to whether or not I would like to sign up for a newsletter.  I am the one that goes and seeks out the information I want to receive.  I am the one that organizes my feedreader to get the blog content I am interested in reading.  I am the one that allows people to join my social networks and be a part of my planning and decision making.  I am the one that decides which widgets I want to download.  I am the one that reads and writes customer reviews.  No one asked me if I would like to receive their information, I go out and find it on my own. 

Maybe the question isn't "can I add you to my newsletter list" anymore.  Maybe the question is "do you want to join my network or a group on facebook" or "be friends on MySpace" or "get connected on LinkedIn" or "subscribe to my blog". 

Doing these "permission marketing" activities, such as sending out a newsletter, ensures that the recipient will hear from you at regular intervals.  Joining up in a social network or subscribing to a blog means that the relationship advances to where two parties are entwined into each other's lives, quite possibly on a daily basis.  It moves from situation where you are pushing information out, to one where the client is pulling information into their world and relationships are created, verses just having information digested. 


I think "permission marketing" will continue to have its place and won't completely go away.  But I do think it will evolve and be renamed.  Now if only I could think about what the name is, coin it, and become as rich and famous and Seth Godin!  What do you think the next big marketing buzzword to replace the permission marketing phenomena? 





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Comment balloon 7 commentsSara Bonert • November 26 2007 08:05AM


No one is right 100% of the time, and neither is Seth Godin. However, permission marketing is the proper way to open doors, and remove barriers.
Posted by Michael (Mike) Elliott (Nottingham Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago
Sara,  Thanks for this thought provoking piece !  Doesn't it seem that the " pushed " information may become the basis for the  " pulled " info later ?  And that some/many wish to maintain some " space " through anonymity ?   Thanks for a great post.
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 12 years ago

By the way, I don't think people should use the phrase if they never read the book. Most don't understand what it means.  

Posted by Michael (Mike) Elliott (Nottingham Real Estate Group) over 12 years ago
Sara...SSSHHH!  Some of us are doing this now.  Why create a big buzz when the few of us doing this can tap into this area now and build our business.  Best to keep this kind of thing to yourself.  LOL.  Seriously though, great post and a cool spin on permission marketing.  How cool would it be to have your laptop set up at say an open house, a prospect walks in, you chit chat, show them the home and then log on to facebook or myspace and link them in so you can send them valuable up to the minute information they want.  BEEM ME UP SCOTTY!!! 
Posted by Jason Lopez (SmartRealty Solutions) over 12 years ago

Bill-  You are right, there is a lot of crossover.  Certainly should try to marry these two concepts.  Especially today when you have to pay attention to the Baby Boomers and the Gen X at the same time.

Jason-  Sorry to let the cat out of the bag.  Haha.  Interesting spin on the old 'sign up' sheet all Realtors put out at open houses.  Maybe if they were signing up at a group on facebook specifically for that home, they would feel like they are signing up for something of value vs preparing to get spammed by the open house host. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) over 12 years ago
I've found you just have to do a little bit of everything!
Posted by Theresa Sprindis @ Keller Williams Cherry Hill, NJ (Keller Williams - Cherry Hill) over 12 years ago
It's about "permission" to have a dialog....NOT what channel you use to have that dialog.
Posted by Darin about 8 years ago