Looking Out From the Garage: The ULTIMATE Broccoli Recipe

The ULTIMATE Broccoli Recipe

Since when did real estate agents become the official distributors of recipes? 

I get a newsletter from an agent (that has not listed a home in my community in 7+ years) that always features recipes.  No market data.  No area information.  Just a couple of recipes and some thinly disguised promo propaganda. 

Why?  Really... why?

There is another agent that has farmed the area for quite a while as well.  Her newsletter comes out every 5-25 weeks (yes, I meant to say it that way).  In it she lists all of the sales for the last twelve months, the average price and the days on market for the subdivision. She also lets me know that she is number one for integrity and service

Better, but I don't recall ever seeing one of her signs here either.  The point there is that there is no interpretation of the data.  Is it up?  Down?  Average?  Accelerating?  No idea. 

These aren't cheap.  They are printed in color.  The market data is obviously short run (it isn't a giant subdivision).  The recipes are on nice paper.  The postage isn't cheap.  But they are both missing a couple of things...  consistancy and relevence. 

Now for my alarming revelation... 

I have never actively farmed my own neighborhood.  I talk to people when we go out walking and stuff... but aside from the business card ad in the newsletter, I have not done much here in my own front yard.  Shameful I know...  But, after talking with some of the people I know around here, they are glad I'm not beating them over the head with my business. If you are one of my neighbors, I'll be happy to help you sell your home.  I'm not going to beat you up or anything if you choose someone else, though. 

So, are you ready for the ultimate broccoli recipe?

Take 1 pound of broccoli, place in 13 gallon plastic bag.  Place plastic bag in a large plastic bin next the the garage.  On the appropriate evening, place plastic bin at the curb for pick-up. 


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Comment balloon 38 commentsLane Bailey • January 30 2009 04:26PM



Broccoli one of my favorites.


Tom Braatz

Posted by Tom Braatz Waukesha County Real Estate 262-377-1459, Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent. SOLD! (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago

Lane, I'm with you...I get recipe cards in my neighborhood as well. Hello!  What a waste of money.  Worst of all, she sends them only occasionally.  I live in a neighborhood FULL of engineers..I'm sure these recipe cards give them the warm fuzzies, lol.  I send market statistics to my neighborhood, absorption rates, etc.  Facts and boring dribble.  That's what my neighbors want.  Let 'em keep sending their recipe cards..maybe we'll get a good meal idea off of them soon, lol.

Posted by Elizabeth Cooper-Golden, Huntsville AL MLS (Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group)) over 10 years ago

I don't do the recipe cards, or really farm anymore.  Word of mouth is my best advertisement and I cherish that!  But, I love broccoli.

Posted by Mary PAUL, ABR, CRS,GRI, e-PRO, (RE/MAX Advantage Realtors, Searcy, AR) over 10 years ago

Hi Lane... Broccoli is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.  If people eat it more and stay healthy they may buy more houses... it's the trickle down effect in real estate marketing!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 10 years ago

This has to be one of my favorites reads thus far in 2009!

Posted by Rich Jacobson, Your Kitsap County WA Real Estate Broker (Fathom Realty West Sound) over 10 years ago

Tom - With this recipe even the most ardent hater of broccoli will be happy.  I bet even GHW Bush (41) would like it this way. 

Elizabeth - I like to use interpretation...

Mary - Word of mouth is good, but I am still expanding. 

Steve - Maybe...

Rich - Thank you.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Hi Lane, I used to do newsletters in my farm (former farm area) and I always put a recipe on the back page.  There was market and local information...anyhow,

I actually used to get calls about the recipes believe it or not.  It was a way to connect with a few people..

You never know.  BUT, NO market information...that's kind of crazy.

Posted by Stephanie Edwards-Musa, knitwit at thred UP (thredUP.com) over 10 years ago

Lane - you crack me up. LOL. We were chuckling about one last summer that kept sending the same card over and over, about 4 times and the agent sold the same house every time in 2 days. Wonder if they had excess of cards? Agents here in our neighborhood seem to farm only during the summer months and everybody gets swamped by all kinds of junk. One of the best things for us has been having logos on Brian's truck. Everybody comments about it and even chase him down. ~Rita

Posted by Brian Burke, Broker & Advising Expert-Denver Luxury Real Estate (Kenna Real Estate) over 10 years ago


Lane,  Sounds like your going through a lot of trouble to keep track of her farming.  Perhaps you should divert that energy to your own marketing.  I happen to like the recipe cards.

Fellow Realtor in Hawaii

Posted by J.A. Foulkes over 10 years ago

Lane,  You are right on... The last home I listed had 10 different agent magnets on the refrigerator.  They chose me because of my web/blog presence.


Posted by Kaye Thomas, e-PRO, Manhattan Beach CA (Real Estate West) over 10 years ago

Hey - that's the same recipe I use for brussels sprouts!

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) over 10 years ago

Lane ... Interesting broccoli receipe.

By the way, we like FORD MOTOR COMPANY and bought a new Ford Explorer in December.  I intend to write a blog about our positive experience.

Best wishes. Harrison

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) over 10 years ago

Broccoli?  Is she kidding?  Broccoli?  I believe that I'm one of the few folks left that even like broccoli and I eat it raw.

Give her some credit though, at least she's doing something.  Who knows?  It only takes one mailer to hit the right consumer at the right time to hit a home run. 

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Lane, I have specialized in mountain property for years and moved to residential and land in the last year.  I wonder with changes  in how we communicate if farming is moving into an old way of doing business and personal relationships are what is driving the decision to use a particular agent?

Posted by Kelly over 10 years ago

Never have done the recipe cards....buy I can tell you, when I saw the title of your post, I said to self,"NO, HE did NOT post a recipe on Active Rain or on his blog!"  Whew!!! Scared me have to death!

But it brings up an interesting point about "farming" or whatever you may want to call it. Imagine my "neighborhood." 10-12 condominium buildings, many with as many "houses" as one would find in a typical single family neighborhood. We've been mailing to all of them, to keep some form of presence in front of owners, but know it's not as effective as a campaign that might hit them each month. So, we are reviewing that and deciding if/how to only target one or two buildings. But then you also lose LOTS of opportunities......

But no recipe cards!

Posted by Thom Abbott, Midtown Atlanta GA Condos For Sale (MyMidtownMojo.com |770.713.1505 | Intown Atlanta GA Condo Living) over 10 years ago

That's the good thing thing about real estate.. There is no set formula for success. Hard work and staying in front of the public is what gets you the business. What works for one agent, may not work for the other. Maybe the recipe cards work for her...

Posted by Tracy Bucior (EXIT Realty Expertise) over 10 years ago

That's how I feel about broccoli too, perfect recipe for it.  Mike Ferry used to make fun of agents who thought they would get business handing out pumpkins.  This is the same thing.  They spend hard earned money in this economy to drum up business and it falls WAY short.  I just received a calendar post card (sorta thing) from an agent in my area on the 22nd of January.  Sure I'll list my home with someone who doesn't know what day it is!!  Yearly calendar arriving so punctually on the 22nd?  How nice.  She didn't ask for business, give any information but wanted you to know that 'she is there'. Hmmm?  Psoriasis is 'just there' too and doesn't mean you need it.

But I digress, you really should at least add your neighborhood to your SOI. 

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 10 years ago

Lane, we had an agent in my neighborhood who took their business card and placed it in a ziplock sandwich bag along with a small stone and threw them in everyone's driveway! At least, you got a recipe!

Posted by Tina Fountain (Tina Fountain, REALTORS) over 10 years ago

Love your broccoli recipe! My dog eats the stems raw. At least she's healthy.

I call this type of advertising vomit farming. Many agents that are not creative or in touch with clients are set upon by newsletter farming promoters. This marketing only leaves a space for contact info and a picture. So much for letting clients know you and see what you are all about(try blogging). It's really quite laughable. It's probably used to light fireplaces or tossed as soon as it is pulled from the mailbox.

I create from scratch a weekly email newsletter for my personal clients that gets read by thousands after it is archived online. They get to read what I choose for them to read. It's only about $9 per month. My market $$ goes a long long way. I get referrals from it everyday.

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) over 10 years ago

BLOGGIN!!!!!!!  I'm missing the boat.  I cannot figure out what that is all about.  I don't know if blogging is just writing notes, letters, novels, or what.  I consider myself pretty good at the computer, but this one has me puzzled or I guess real nervous about doing it.  Can someone kind of give me a brief synopsis about it?  I'd really appreciate it.


Posted by Chris Cathcart, Bayshore Agency, Ship Bottom, NJ over 10 years ago

I, too, thought you had lost your mind and posted a recipe, Lane!  Funny, I was in a training class yesterday and one of the running jokes through the whole thing was "...or you could just keep mailing recipe cards"

Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) over 10 years ago

Never tried the recipe cards, but guilty of the magnetic football schedules which also have nothing to do with real estate.  The thinking being that it is something with a little longer shelf life?  Should I save my money?  We do a 33 touch program and like to get something in their hands at least 4-5 times per year.  Many clients seem to be appreciative and I have had a few call to list saying how timely my mailing was.......

Posted by Pat Haddad, ABR, CRS, ePRO, GRI, Carmel, Fishers, Westfield IN Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Indianapolis Metro NE) over 10 years ago

Too funny!  I had to read it twice thinking I wasn't focusing! LOL

I also spread my love of real estate by chatting with people. I have not been farming lately :-(  But have been fortunate to have recieved most of my leads through a Lead Routing system in my office and my Blog!

Posted by Diana Santos, Real Estate Salesperson in New York & Connecticut (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Wow...who knew so many people had such opinions on  broccoli of all things!  but...I must disagree with you on this one.  Sending out recipe cards in the mail to your "PAST CLIENTS", I repeat "PAST CLIENTS" is a very effective way of marketing to your sphere.  I own a printing/marketing company and cater to the real estate community.

The clients we have who participate in our MONTHLY, yes MONTHLY postcard program, which includes both recipes, household tips, safety tips, etc. have seen consistency in their business during these very difficult times. Is their business down...of coarse it is....but, they still have business because we keep mailing those postcards out on their behalf.  It really doesn't matter what you send out to your past client, just as long as you send something.

With regards to market updates, I have a Realtor that has been mailing market updates to our neighborhood for about 6-7 years, consistently.  The last time I was able to check the data to see how many homes she had listed/sold, it was a "goose egg"...which was totally shocking to me.  She is a great agent, with a great name in our area and does tons of marketing. 

When it comes to "FARMING" vs. "PAST CLIENT MARKETING"...farming takes about 12-18 months statistically before you will see any results from your efforts.  Mailing to your past clients recipes or anything else of interest will help you see results within 1 - 2 months.  The other thing to consider is what people keep vs. throw out.  If you send a market update, they will throw it out.  If you send a postcard with valuable information on it...yes, including recipes, they are more likely to keep it!  If they keep it, they know where to find you when they need you, and that is what is most important...isn't it?

Sorry for the rant....I have many opinions on the matter simply because my clients get the results to back it up.  Happy Selling!


Posted by Nadine Larder, Real Estate Marketing Expert/PrinterBees Founder (www.PrinterBees.com) over 10 years ago

Stephanie - I agree... kinda crazy. 

Rita - I have a plan for sending the same card twice... slightly different... ;^ )

JA - I live here... the mail comes to my house.  Not much effort. 

Kaye - Were they collectors?

Joetta - It is very flexible...

Harrison - Enjoy it. 

Lenn - This is a base hit kind of neighborhood...

Kelly - We need to leverage the technologies available to us. 

Thom - Didn't mean to shock you my friend.

Tracy - They aren't getting her listings here...

Lyn - I use an "Availability Policy" to passivey market to my neighborhood... and yes, I just made that up.

Tina - It isn't nice to throw rocks...

Lizette - Email newsletters with double opt-in are the wave...

Chris - Take a look around... this is blogging.  Better yet, go over to Localism and see what consumer focused blogging is.  Feel free to shoot me a message with any specific questions.  you might also look for ActiveRich, Active Brad and a few of the other A|R dudes around.  They deliver top-notch info on bettering your blogging. 

Lisa - Are you telling me I haven't lost my mind?

Pat - I did chip clips...

Diana - Good that they have your back. 

Nadine - Different things work for different folks.  I'm just pointing out what is NOT working in this neighborhood. 

Peggy - Careful.  Don't take my title literally...

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Maybe all the receipes relate to farming the area?

Posted by Mike Henderson, HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848 (Your complete source for buying HUD homes) over 10 years ago

Mike - Maybe they should all relate to the people in the area...

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

If what you're doing in your marketing efforts brings you the results that you desire, than you've accomplished your goals.  Thanks for sharing your "recipe."

Posted by Myrick Tantiado (Alain Pinel Realtors) over 10 years ago

Myrick - I think that is true.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Hey, I love broccoli. But don't think a recipe would entice me to list with someone either!

Posted by Eileen Begley, Monterey Real Estate (Coldwell Banker, DelMonte) over 10 years ago

Eileen - I'm with Bush Sr.

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

This is a funny thread!  Sounds like the recipes are something she connects with.  It is but one way to stay in front of your client.  It's certainly better than doing nothing and if she 'connects' with a few others who love her recipes she will have customers for life.

Posted by Dawn Orbeck Send Out Cards Ind. Distributor, #33245 (Send Out Cards Midland, MI) over 10 years ago

Lane, that's funny. You'll do anything to get someone to read your posts and/or to get free points! LOL That post sounds like a stress relief joke I read a long time ago.

Posted by Jennifer Butz (Not yet determined) over 10 years ago

Dawn - I don't know if it gets her connected...  But she seems to like it. 

Jennifer - I do not "do anything to get points"...  If I did, there are some thing thiat I know would bring in the comments...

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

Lane, sometimes marketing with postcards, recipes etc., works. I obtained a listing (and ultimate sale) from a Daylight Savings Time postcard. BTW, nice story on the broccoli.

Posted by Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty, 601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell (Front Gate Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Pat - Just a DST card? 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago

I disagree, before I entered the field an agent would send out a recipe card every month to her farm.  I collected them and loved it.  Made me remember her.

Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) over 10 years ago

Kate - Doesn't seem to be working for the agent here... 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 10 years ago