Postcards tend to be pretty low return if you use them on a hit-or-miss basis around your listings. I was in one marketing class that said you'd have to get those postcards out at least every 10 days to have any real impact of name/face recognition in your farm area. Most new agents don't have big marketing budgets. I didn't begin to use postcards until I was in the business for four years. There were too many other more important tools to begin with to do postcard marketing right off the bat. If you are just starting, and you are looking for growth and longevity in your real estate career, I suggest you look for means to market yourself that don't cost a thing. Personal contact will bring a higher rate of return. Ask the veteran agents around you what they did when they got started. And, don't be afraid of the phone. It's amazing how many rookie agents hide behind their voice mail rather than picking up the phone when it does ring. If you have completed activities that made the phone ring, for goodness sake, pick it up and answer it. Buyers don't tend to call back, and sellers aren't going to be impressed if they call your line and no one answers.
Be sure you market your own listings - as you may get into trouble with your local board and create a bad reputation for yourself - if you present some other agent's listings as your own. Use your name rider and cell phone number on your signs, as well as the status of that home (available, contract pending, price reduced, sold). Neighbors truly appreciate listing agents who work those for sale signs and keep them in the loop on what's going on with that home sale listing.
Best of luck to you! Your optimism to get the business going at a time when the media is saying we're in an economic downturn shows that you believe in yourself and can push media hype aside. There is enough business out there for the good agents willing to work for it. Somebody is going to have a great 2010. Ignore the media, do formal (and realistic) goal setting, work a daily to-do list of income-generating activities, be consistent, put in the hours as if you were a store-front operation, and you'll make it through your first year and be giving advice rather than asking for it.
Have a blessed day!
Ronda Allen, Realtor and Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.)
CEO of comingsoonhomes.com
RE/MAX Dallas Suburbs