It’s one thing to be able to identify and adopt current real estate marketing trends and advances in technology. It’s another thing entirely to be able to predict and prepare for recurring trends…

DID YOU KNOW? Vinyl Record sales were up 40% in Canada, and up 52% in the USA in 2015? Everyone knows at least a few Ninjas who started getting back into Vinyl some years ago. You may have thought they were being odd. Why pay good money for such dated technology, when you can stream music online for just a few bucks a month?

As it turns out, there is more to the whole equation than just convenience + price.

Sure, some people just like to stand out. For others, quality and authenticity reign. You often hear Vinyl enthusiasts refer to a certain ‘grit’ embedded into the sound of records “that you just can’t find in digital audio, man.” There is also a feeling of nostalgia to the whole giant-black-disc-&-spinning-top-with-needle product design – which happens to attract a large group of avid listeners.

The point is, your friends who got back into this trend before 2015 were able to predict the shift in music and prepare in advance.

On the business end of things, music stores, record labels, artists, venues, and more were all scurrying to shift back into Vinyl after having completely focused on digital for years. They hadn’t all predicted the shift like your friends had…

I started my Vinyl collection in 2012, and I’m about to tell you my predictions for the top real estate marketing trends that will make a comeback in 2016-2018.

Facsimile Marketing

With the rise of e-mail, one prominent technology has been widely lost yet hardly forgotten. Yes, it’s exactly what you’re thinking. The Facsimile Machine, or “Fax” Machine for short. This revolutionary technology allows you to send copies of a piece of paper to someone, simply by scanning it through a futuristic telephone machine, and entering their unique fax number.


Faxing in 1947
They make smaller ones now!

You might be thinking that e-mail is just a much more efficient and effective method of delivering marketing communication. I would 100% agree with you on that. And yet I also believe that we are a society that excels at efficiency, and more or less at effectiveness. Does that mean we can not strive for more? How important are authenticity, and a personal touch to your brand?

Unplug the keyboard, grab a pen, and write your next e-mail on a sheet of paper. When you’re done, stick it in the nearest fax machine and send it to your recipient. If you do not get a unique reaction out of them – if it was not a memorable exchange – I will apologize to you in person.

The same theory is true when applied to your leads. Ask people to opt-in to your Fax-List, and start sending weekly drawings and photos of yourself to them, without warning! This will really surprise and delight your potential customers, and don’t forget: a printable fax is something that they can easily hang on their refrigerators, or keep handy to write notes on.

Bottom line: fax machines are going to represent a major rise in communication in the coming years, so make sure you’re up to date with your tools.

Pagers & Palm Pilots

We live in a time when everyone is expected to be accessible at any time. This is especially true for real estate agents.

If you miss a call, you get a text, then a Facebook message, then a tweet, then a LinkedIn message. On one hand, REALTORS® want to be available to people who need them, on the other hand they are essentially trading exclusivity for their need to be accessible. This problem is going to be largely solved with the return of simpler tools such as pagers and the Palm Pilot.

Today, your iPhone does everything. It’s not just your phone and SMS device, it’s also your calendar, calculator, dictionary, gameboy, camera, e-mail client, social media device, television & movie theatre, storage of all personal information, etc.


Who's that exclusive, stylish entrepreneur? I hope he gets in touch with me.

This rapid amalgamation of technology has not gone un-noticed or un-protested. Many modern entrepreneurs are resolving to minimize the stress and unnecessary connectivity associated with smart devices. Instead, they are opting in to more primitive technologies, and they are seeing success because of it.

Have you ever heard the saying, “Keep It Simple, Stupid?” A pager has very little function. Someone calls your pager number, they type in their call back number and hang up. You receive a page with a phone number on the screen, and you call that number back at your convenience.


Palm Pilot
It's not a smartphone, but it's not stupid either.

Similarly, a Palm Pilot in it’s early stages had very little function. It was mainly an address book, calendar and notepad, but it was the best damn address book, calendar and notepad around.

Stop rushing through life and put some barriers between you and your clients by simplifying your tools. I know it may seem counter intuitive in today’s modern business environment, but two years from now you will be thanking me.

Hot Air Balloon Ads

First of all, any idea that involves balloons is a good idea. That’s a widely popular marketing theory (while I admit highly untested.)

Seriously now, hot air balloons have always been a popular advertising medium – particularly for brands who are trying to reach a broad niche within a community (hint hint). However, with the rise of social media marketing, PPC ads, search engine optimization, and others like them, hot air balloons have lost a bit of their wind.

This once-popular advertising channel is going to be reignited soon as a result of over-cluttering. As we continue to fill our physical world with billboards & newspapers and our digital world with blogs & banner ads, we’re going to re-discover the open sky as the cleanest canvas to paint on (so to speak…)

Imagine your face on a huge balloon, gently floating over the city you serve. Before you know it, your listings will be flying out the door as you smile down upon your customers from a safe distance.


Hot Air Balloon Marketing
You could be full of hot air!

[-_-]~~ Ninja Tip: People want to see your face. Put your face everywhere, as much as possible – including both sides of your business card.

Hot Air Balloons will begin to rise in popularity, as will aviation marketing as an industry. Early re-adopters will be able to convey their message in the least cluttered advertising channel.

Will you be among the first REALTORS® in your market floating to success?

Three Letters: V.H.S.

Remember, “Be Kind. Rewind.“? If ever there was a sentence that could take me back to my childhood, that would be it.

Whatever happened to the good old days of VHS tapes? You would forcefully crank open the encasement around the tape, insert it into the VHS player, press play, and hope that whoever rented it before you had been honourable enough to rewind before returning it to Blockbuster.


Be Kind. Rewind.
Please ignore the 'liquor' sticker.

Talk about ‘grit’, the whole video watching ritual was so much more immersive. The tools, much more clunky. So why shouldn’t VHS have as much popularity as Vinyl?

Well simple, the quality just isn’t as good. Nobody can argue with you on that. While VHS may have been a revolutionary technology, it was never known for being super high definition.

However, VHS does appeal to a very specific demographic: Millennials. This is a classification of people we’ve talked about time and time again in The Dojo, because of their rise as home buyers and real estate investors in today’s (and tomorrow’s) market. Appealing to them in the coming years is going to play a vital role in your future real estate career. Think about that.

Now think about how you can leverage VHS tapes in your marketing strategy to appeal to the nostalgic nature of the classic Millennial. How can you spin the poor quality and fuzzy colours to reflect positively on your brand while creating real connections with home buyers?


VHS Tape
Great way to promote luxury condos!

Pair the vintage packaging of a VHS tape with an engaging and informative video and you’ll be 10 steps ahead of the game by fall.

Yellow Pages, Yes the Book

When the Amazon Kindle was first released, people were skeptical. They slowly adopted the technology, and it’s become quite popular. Many of my friends use various E-readers; I also have one (Kobo).

Over the years, the technology has become more and more advanced and has always tried to address one main issue: “This doesn’t feel like a book”


Yellow Pages
People trust Yellow Pages, because the pages are actually yellow.

Nowadays pages in E-readers look a lot more like pages in real books than they did before, and in some cases E-reader screens even feel more grainy under the fingers than normal. Yet there are still no pages… you still don’t need a real bookmark… you still can’t draw flipbook comics on the corners… it’s just not a book.

It is for this reason that today and for centuries to come, modest and colossal libraries of books alike will exist around the world, containing gazillions of words and letters.

Digital content will never replace some things entirely, and books are one of those things. And Yellow Pages is a book.

With the rise in popularity of the Yellow Pages website, the advertisers are quickly backing out of their print ad contracts. Spots are becoming available, competition is becoming thin, and most importantly people are going to start picking up the books again!

The Yellow Pages are like ticking time bombs hiding inside peoples’ homes. Everybody gets one, most people just put them aside. But one day they are going to become active and your potential leads are going to start picking up the Yellow Pages for a leisurely browse.

Who needs social media when there is so much great “browsing” to come in the Yellow Pages – where you can actually TURN physical pages?!

When your potential customers decide to dust off the 2017 Yellow Pages in their garage, which REALTOR’S® name are they going to see with a full page ad?

Yours, that’s who.

Thank you so much for reading all the way through this week’s Dojo article. We sincerely hope you learned nothing at all. This article was entirely satirical. Please do not use any of the suggestions we have made above. Also, I do not own a single Vinyl record.

Happy April Fools Day, Ninjas [-_-]~~