Democrat and Republican LogosDuring critical election times I became quite engrossed in learning all of the “facts” about political candidates so I signed up for several email newsletters so that I could learn about issues from several perspectives.

In the heat of the battle I was not affronted by being asked constantly for funds.  The pitches for funding usually included some valuable information about the issues at hand so I was willing to put up with the incessant sales pitches.

Fast forward to a year later.  Now the major elections are over.  I have already given at the office, donating to the candidates and issues I felt strongly about when the presidential election was at stake.

Today I received a plea from one of the parties asking for yet more money to fight political campaigns for three senators in states I don’t live.  There was nothing in the email about specifics or insights about the topics of today – specifically health care reform.  Simply a pitch for more money delivered within  highly biased and factless fodder.

I become so turned off that I am now unsubscribing from all of the political lists I have received.  They are providing no value to me.

I couldn’t help but think about real estate marketing when I received the latest fruitless email from one of the political parties.

Are we truly delivering insight and value in our communications or are just like the politicians – pitching, pitching, pitching without delivering any interesting perspective or education?  Do our newsletters include truly unique and helpful information that will be interesting to consumers or are they simply a sales pitch ?

Are we engaging consumers in a long-term conversation building a trust relationship over time by “giving” without having to “get”?  I recently published a paper called “Edutizing” which talks about methods for connecting with potential clients by offering them information and expertise without immediately asking them for the “order”.

Patience is a virtue.  To remain relevant with today’s consumer we need to serve them with valuable articles, topics and resources that will put us in the center of the process by becoming a trusted advisor and consultant, not just a high pressure sales person.

My wish for 2010 is that every agent will dig deep and find their consumer “voice”.  They need to talk about the topics they are passionate about and adept in and share their insights consistently.  Agents will go a long way to creating a thriving long-term business by connecting first, building a trust relationship and then asking for the order only at the appropriate time.