Marketing and sales experience helps realtor in tough market
Coldwell Banker Realtor Erin Rutman stands in front of a Deerfield home in which she recently represented the buyer.
Erin Rutman, Coldwell Banker
740 Waukegan Road, Deerfield
Updated: February 12, 2013 2:55PM
DEERFIELD — Starting a new job can be difficult for anyone.
That includes Erin Rutman, who began her career in real estate two and a half years ago, in the worst real estate market the country had seen in decades.
“I knew that starting when I did was going to be challenging,” said Rutman, who holds a BA in advertising and journalism, and who worked in advertising sales and event planning for six years before becoming a realtor with Coldwell Banker in Deerfield, “But I also knew I could do it because I’ve always had a passion for this business, and have always thought I’d do well at it.”
Rutman, who grew up in Highland Park and who now lives in Deerfield with her family works with residential buyers and sellers all over the North Shore, as well as buyers who live in the city who are looking to move to this area.
She said although she lacks the experience of a realtor who has been in the business for years, she brings other kinds of skills to the table.
“Because of my sales and marketing background, I know how to network and how to be creative and market through social media, which is something clients and potential clients really appreciate,” she said.
One marketing tool Rutman is referring to is the blog she created, where she offers information to homeowners in the area. She gives design tips and educates residents about different suburban neighborhoods, and said the goal of giving free information is to make homeowners feel comfortable and immersed in their neighborhood, not just in their home.
Rutman also believes in surrounding herself with good mentors to help her learn the business, and diversifying her marketing efforts.
“You can’t depend on one avenue for business,” she said, “It’s not just open houses or networking or cold calling, you have to do a little bit of everything, and I’m constantly thinking about new and different ways to better myself and become more efficient. Every phone call, every open house, everyone I talk to, everything I do teaches me something.”
Laura Sherman and her family recently purchased a home in Buffalo Grove, and Rutman was their realtor.
“Our search was difficult because we wanted to be in a certain school district,” said Sherman, “The stuff we were looking at ourselves was so depressing, and Erin did her research and made sure we got what we needed. She knew we didn’t want to settle and she found us our dream house.”
“Erin brings a level of enthusiasm and energy and she’s very relatable,” said client, David Morrison of Deerfield, who recently bought a home with Rutman’s help, “She’s engaging. She also follows up, and if she senses there’s a problem, she tries to do what she can to address the issue.”
Rutman said that being a rookie hasn’t been easy, but that she is confident she will be in this business for years to come.
“The hours are long and business doesn’t come easy,” she said, “Getting in when I did, I’ve really had to work for the sales, but it feels natural and honestly, I can’t believe how much fun I’m having every day.”
“You wouldn’t know she’s sort of new in the business,” said Sherman, “She works around the clock for you and treats you like you are a multi-million dollar client.”