Categories : Branding Social Networking


While out and about on some errands, I came across this public transit bench ad for a San Diego realtor named Mary McTernan, who has elected to promote herself as a “hassle free” listing to sell your home with the tagline “You Can Fire Me Anytime!!” But one has to wonder if this is sending the right message to prospective clients.

I can understand what Mary is trying to accomplish with the ad by indicating that she wants to be one less hassle in your life by making it easy to sell your home. If she’s not able to accomplish it, you can fire her and be on your way, no messy breaking of a contract, and the other messy stuff when you find yourself stuck with a listing Realtor who isn’t living up to your needs as a seller.

However, what the sign could also indicate is that Mary isn’t going too work to hard at selling your property because you can get rid of her anytime and it’s better if she doesn’t . Or it could mean she will work very hard because you could release her at any time. In a way it’s a very mixed message. Personally, I feel the message she is sending out there is that her name is synonymous with disposable. She’s destroying any perceived value of her services and that she’s about as useful as any broken product that is not worth trying to fix and keep.

My vote is that if I had a property to sell, Mary’s ad has just gotten her fired before she ever had a chance to be hired. I think Mary needs an approach that makes her seem like an essential component to the sale of a property so that the seller would get the impression a sale for top dollar will never occur without her help. She needs to show she deserves that commission and that the house will never sell without her. You don’t get that impression if Mary is as disposable as a candy bar wrapper.

5 Responses to “You Can Fire Me Realtor Ad – Brilliant Or Sending Wrong Message?”
Read them below or add one

  1. Hi Ryan,

    This is the Mary McTernan that you are speaking of in your blog. I find any kind of feedback good feedback because we all have our own opinions.

    I actually am pretty active online and have never ran into this blog before until today. The only reason I did found it was because I went into a listing appointment yesterday and the Gentleman mentioned that he did search me online and found it and thought that it was funny. Soooo, here I am.

    In any case my Hassle Free Listing is one that I take seriously. I actually have taken listings before where the sellers had previous bad experiences with other agents and the agents would not let them out of their contract, only to keep them tied into a 6 month to a year agreement and at the same time not selling their home, which in turn then became a stale listing in buyers eyes. As you can imagine, those sellers were not happy and did not have good experiences.

    All I am saying in my statement is that if for whatever reason the seller finds that they are not happy, they will not be tied into a long dragged out contract. I would not want to work with someone that is not happy with my services does not want me or my team to represent them.

    I have been in Real Estate since 2004 and have worked in the North Park and South park area of San Diego and have been pretty successful in our community and I am always looking for ways to improve. Although you don’t approve of my marketing I think I will keep it because it is working for me. Maybe one day we have the opportunity to meet and you will see that I am not as disposable as a candy bar wrapper 🙂


  2. Hi Jayson,

    Thanks for your comment. If she is successful, that’s great. But as I indicated, I think her campaign is poor and one of the reasons why I would never pick her as a real estate agent for my needs.

    I do find it a little suspect that I get two comments about how wonderful and great Mary and her campaign are within an hour of each other when the blog entry was written nearly six month earlier. Seems to me like Mary must have seen my blog entry and had some friends write in the counter my opinion of her campaign. Regardless of whether or not the comments are truly genuine or targeted, I do hope Mary has success but she will not be finding me as one of her clients.


  3. Hello Kirk,

    Thanks for your differing opinion. I find the message I get from her campaign is that she’s not going to be working hard for my real estate needs. If Mary is having success with the campaign then more power to her. She will not be a real estate agent that I would be interested in working with because of how I view her campaign.

    Thanks again,


  4. She’s one of the most successful Realtors in San Diego, just so you know.

  5. Kirk Miller says :

    I was in San Diego a couple of months ago. All I noticed is that Mary McTernan had just about ever other listing in the neighborhoods I visited. Her pink yard signs and her pink street signs with the pink bicycle flags on them were hard to miss.

    She has made a bold promise that if you are not happy with her services you can let me go! Her brand obviously connects at an emotional level, is a good value or you can fire her, her message is simple and direct, it has wide awareness, and differentiates herself from other realtors. Go Mary!!!

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