There’s marketing and then there’s fantasyland

All of us get spam and all kinds of mail that we don’t have the time to read.

From the e-mails that I receive from other brokers, you might think they were the exception.

This is just a sample--every one of them selling a property. More below.

I’ve gone to a bit of trouble to show you the e-mails that I received on Friday alone, admittedly a busy day, to demonstrate what too many brokers believe is effective marketing and to take the opportunity to rant and whine.

Every single one of the e-mails you see here touts a property, and every one of those properties is available to me on Manhattan’s version of an MLS.  (The screen shots I have copied are not duplicates.)

Certainly, you shouldn't even try to read the graphics, not only because they're illegible from my copying.

What is running through the minds of the brokers?  You can be sure all of us are getting about the same number of these annoying e-mails and reading them just as avidly as am I.  There are more of them from Friday:

It would be nice if these were the end of Friday's contributions.

Seeing these pages may give you some idea of why I maintain two e-mail addresses for my business. The one from which these pages are copied is  The one that goes directly to my BlackBerry is, which receives far less such spam and thus is far less likely to drive me mad–in both senses of the word.

(I do, by the way, continue to receive broker mail on my Service You Can Trust account from Washington, four years after moving back to Manhattan.)

But wait! There are still more:

And that's not all.

Do I ever, ever read these e-mails?  Hell, I rarely even read the subject lines–unless I’m in the mood for a laugh by checking for this recurring one: “WON’T LAST!!!” I don’t see the point.

If I’m searching for properties that meet my buyers’ requirements, you know what, I’ll find them.  The e-mails I’m getting serve merely to make me feel harassed, nagged and annoyed.  Even deleting them makes me angry.

(Okay, probably I could ask them to remove me from their lists or I could block them, yet I have this inexplicable fear of, paradoxically, missing something in mail I don’t bother reading.  Although it may be efficient to invest a few minutes to be unsubscribed, that process irritates me, too – irrationally, I concede – even more than having to deal with needless so-called marketing. Besides it wouldn’t work: Every time I give out my card, the cycle starts all over again.)

The real estate brokers who resort to e-mail blasts are wasting time, theirs and mine.  Often, they also are wasting  money by using a distribution service.  I don’t mind if they waste their resources, but I’d be thrilled if they’d stop intruding on me.

And brokers who think that their e-mails will result in a single sale are dreaming.  If brokers need to reassure sellers that they’re doing everything possible to unload a property, why stop at e-mails?  Why not parade up and down Broadway wearing sandwich boards?

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
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