Let Your Customers Advertise For You

Billions of dollars a year are spent on marketing and advertising in the United States. You may watch the latest commercial from McDonald’s and wonder why a company that everyone knows about needs to spend money making people aware of them, but it all serves a purpose. If it didn’t work, the money wouldn’t be spent. But there are ways of marketing beyond television and the rest of the media. Savvy companies have their own customers on the pavement, getting the word out. One way to do this is through the use of retail store supplies like bags, boxes, pens, and other items that can be branded with the store logo.

Branded Bags

One of the best ways to get your customers to do your advertising is through the use of branded bags and boxes. To take their purchases out of your store, your customers are going to need some type of bag or box. These retail store supplies are commonplace, but it is surprising how many companies miss the boat when it comes to branding. If you’re still handing your customers a plain brown sack or a bag that says “Thank You” on the front, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity for marketing. Put your logo on the front of these bags and boxes and your customers will immediately become walking billboards for your brand.


This is one marketing opportunity that many companies have grabbed onto. Still, that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective. Buying pens with your logo on the side is extremely affordable and you can simply give them away. Every time a customer writes with that pen, they will be consciously or subconsciously reminded of your company. As long as you pick quality pens that won’t break or dry out in a day or two, it should be a positive connection. You never know when it could be just the tiny connection you need to create repeat business. Of all the retail store supplies you can brand, this is one of the easiest and most effective.

Mugs and Travel Cups

For the most part, when a customer is looking for a mug or travel cup, they don’t particularly care what it looks like. They just want something that will get the job done. Why not make it something with your brand and logo on the front of it? Every time they drink from that container, they will be reminded of your brand. This promotes familiarity and comfort, something they will always associate with your business. These retail store supplies can be sold to your customers, which means they will actually pay you to let them be your amateur marketing agents. What could be better?

Sticking Up For the Banks

Some Realtors in their zeal to secure a listing and sale do not work with the bank in advance. Then when an offer is tendered, the bank is surprised. For a successful short sale to take place, the seller should establish his “hardship” with the bank. An income shortfall should also be established. Perhaps a modification should be attempted.

Many banks have in place a fast track short sale process. Wells Fargo/Wachovia and Bank of America/Countrywide do. Once hardship and income shortfall are established, with very little paperwork, these banks will have a Brokers Price opinion done and provide the seller with a preapproved sales price. They will respond to all offers within 10 business days. Short sale bank managers are in place to respond quickly.

The above mentioned banks hold the vast majority of America’s mortgages. Bank of America receives over 30,000 calls per day. The average foreclosure without damages to the home and theft of appliances, etc. costs the bank $60,000 to $70,000. They would much prefer a short sale to a foreclosure as it is cheaper. Banks are now providing moving expenses to their short sale customers. They may excuse all deficiencies on primary residences.

Banks are being made the villain again. Our Government required them to lend money to people who couldn’t or wouldn’t pay them back. Government also encouraged them by telling them they could sell these loan portfolios to Freddie Mac & Franny Mae. The officials running these agencies then cooked the books to receive large personal bonuses ( These same gentlemen are now part of the current administration). Freddie & Fannie failed. The banking and housing crash followed. All had to be rescued and bailed out by the US treasury – Freddie, Fannie, and the banking industry.

Real Estate will recover as will the banking industry. Short sales are part of the process. Those of us in the business can make it run smoother if we just do our homework. Those of us who don’t will probably face lawsuits in the not too distant future. Blaming the banks for that will not hold water.