Margaret Rome's Blog

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All Roads Lead To Rome

 TRS February 2019

 Our Members

By: Phil Malkinson

                                                          

All Roads Lead to Rome

The author, blogger and radio show host attracts clients through multiple media channels and novel approaches

After becoming the youngest head nurse at a local hospital, Margaret Rome, CRS, left her nursing job to be a stay-at-home mom, and then to pursue a passion for art by making ceramics. When she was forced to stop due to an injury from an auto accident, she took a real estate class so she could work untiCRS Margaret Romel she could get back to her ceramics.

“I never thought real estate would be my career, but then I was hooked—I loved it as much as ceramics,” Rome says. She obtained her real estate license and was hired right away, working in the Baltimore area. That was almost 30 years ago and she hasn’t left real estate yet.

Her journey through residential real estate has been highlighted by unique approaches to advertising that often run counter to conventional wisdom. For example, she was told she shouldn’t make her own appointments or show her own listings, blogging is a waste of time, print media no longer works, nobody listens to radio anymore, and it’s pointless to spend time trying to sell unusual properties that are generally considered unsalable. But she has done all of these things with notable success!

Rome’s acquaintances knew her as a nurse and an artist, so she needed a catchphrase that reflected her new career. She started out advertising with the slogan, “Market your home with Margaret Rome,” and later changed it to “Sell your home with Margaret Rome.” Then after 18 years with a large company, she set out on her own and replaced the big-box logo with one of her own.

A unique market

Rome’s niche market is selling properties with unusual—and often widely considered to be—almost unsalable. “I enjoy meeting the very interesting people who are looking for unique properties,” Rome says.

One home she sold was so close to the traffic on the Baltimore Beltway that you could easily read the license plates of the vehicles. “Five agents had already tried to sell it,” Rome says. “I went in, took down the ‘For Sale’ sign and held no open houses, but I advertised it. Then I sold it three times, including to someone in the music industry who needed a location where his noise would not bother anyone, and later to a business executive who needed immediate access to the Beltway.”

Rome once handled a home situated very close to the railroad tracks—and ended up selling it to a retired train conductor. It was his dream location, she says. Unique properties like this mean more days on the market, but Rome loves the challenge of selling a home that others say can’t be sold.

About a year ago, Rome sold a home that had been on the market for four years before she took it on. It was a large farmhouse from the 1800s with a separate river cottage built on 34 acres. Rome says most agents would want to lower the price and post a sign that says it can be shown anytime, but she decided it wasn’t priced high enough. And instead of advertising it as a farmhouse, Rome said: “River cottage for sale, mansion for free.” It took one and a half years, but she ultimately found the right buyer who really appreciated the uniqueness of the property.

Open house master

Rome approaches open houses in novel ways. For a listing that was considered unsalable, she had a professional come in with a large grill and held an open house barbecue. When she blogged about it, the Washington Post ran a story about it, and from there, the National Association of REALTORS® called her. They were doing a master video series, and asked if she would be the national open house master. Although she doesn’t typically do open houses, she agreed. Rome put together a string of open houses, and a film crew spent three days documenting them.

Rome doesn’t schedule the usual open house so as not to tie up her schedule unnecessarily in case nobody comes. But if she knows someone wants to see a house, then she will often spontaneously convert the appointment to an open house to make good use of her time. She is on the radio at noon on Sundays, and if someone wants to see a home in the afternoon, then she’ll announce an open house on the radio. She uses cardboard signs that look like balloons due to their enhanced visibility. She keeps the signs in her car for impromptu open houses.

A multifaceted marketing machine

Rome was a trendsetter when she started blogging in 2006. She has now written more than 3,000 blogs—she writes one every day, discussing daily events and more. She includes her listings in her blog, as well as “Coming Soon” listings, and she will blog multiple times about unusual properties or unique features of her listings.

On Sundays from noon to 1 p.m. for the past five years, Rome has conducted her own call-in radio show—All About Real Estate. “Not only do listeners call in during the show, but I field many calls immediately following the show as well,” Rome says. “When there are gaps during the show, I have the opportunity to talk about my listings, buyers and sellers I have worked with, or real estate issues.”

Rome prepares talking points for each radio show, and if she starts to get pulled in another direction, she will use that as material in her daily blog. Rome also expanded her writing sphere by authoring a book based on her blogs—Real Estate the Right Rome Way.

Tying it together

Rome says she has incorporated key elements from her backgrounds in nursing and ceramic art into her real estate work. She says real estate requires her to use more psychology than she used during her nursing career. Nurses make great real estate agents because they have learned how to think on their feet, she says. Compared to the life or death situations she encountered in nursing, there are no comparable emergencies in real estate.

“In nursing, when you sit down with the panicked parent of a sick child, they both require comforting,” Rome says. “In real estate, it’s similar—you deal with emotions and family dynamics, and nursing prepared me for it. So many people involved in real estate transactions can get buyers riled up, and you have to be a bit of a psychologist to get through the turbulence.”

 

February 2019
CRS Margaret Rome
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Margaret Rome

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Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

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Author of Real Estate the Rome Way

mrome@HomeRome.com

410.530.2400

 

 
Comment balloon 22 commentsMargaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland • February 26 2019 03:38AM

Comments

Good morning, Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland you're a true credit to the profession and I love the niche you've become so well-versed with...it's certainly not the "easy sell" but it's the most rewarding.... you must get a rush with every close... and you've promoted that niche very well... "All Roads Lead To Rome" especially if there's a unique property on them....  

I enjoyed this post ....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty ) 3 months ago

Good morning Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland Yep, that's the one.  Isn't it wonderful?  I'm so proud of you!  And the title is just perfect.

Posted by Elyse Berman, PA, Boca Raton FL (561) 716-7824 CRS, ABR, GRI,ePR (Best Connections Realty, Inc.) 3 months ago

Love this post! Being able to sell those homes that are difficult/unique (seen as problematic to others) is only one of the things that makes you special! 

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) 3 months ago

Wonderful post Margaret!  Expert Problem Solver would also be an appropriate title!

Posted by Gordon Crawford, Your Morris County Specialist! (Gordon Crawford Home Selling Team) 3 months ago

 

marti garaughty, composer, pianist, soundscape, abstract art

 

Posted by marti garaughty, a highly caffeinated creative type... (garaughty.com) 3 months ago

You are nothing short of amazing. I have total respect for you and your journey. Selling those wonderful and unique properties takes major skill, and at times, a big dose of patience.

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) 3 months ago

Congratulations Margaret for being featured in the CRS magazine!  I always look at the contributors and it's always so nice to recognize a familiar face!

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) 3 months ago

You have a great tag line Margaret!!  Congrats on this feature article.

Posted by John Henry, Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design (John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.) 3 months ago

Margaret--Congratulations on the well-deserved feature article and all your accomplishments!

Posted by Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS (Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate) 3 months ago

What a great piece and I love learning a little bit more about you. I know several nurses and teachers who have gone into real estate and do well. I used to sell antique ceramics so we have a connection between us there. Love your niche and how you use it and love how you leverage appointments in to open houses.

Posted by Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543, Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line (Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400) 3 months ago

Woohooo!!!

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 www.LizTour.com) 3 months ago

What a cool write up and background on some of the many things that make you special as an agent and as a person!

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) 3 months ago

Good afternoon Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland ,

OMG..what a fantastic article! I love "All roads lead to Rome" is powerful. Congratulations on a well deserved featured post..you've developed a special niche that needed your expertise and you loved what your doing so a perfect fit!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) 3 months ago

What a wonderful article...about such a wonderful person! Congratulations on the article and on the AR feature! Well done Margaret!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) 3 months ago

Margaret, this is a great article. I'm so glad the highlighted your life and business. 

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) 3 months ago

Barbara Todaro Thanks for the lovely words. I do get a rush with each sale...on a high right now negotiating and a just had an offer accepted.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Margaret- I consider it a great honor to have received a phone call from you many years ago and to have been on your Sunday show. You are who agents, or anyone who wants to know how a professional operates, should be looking at to follow.

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) 3 months ago

When the boast meets up with a worthy host...we then raise glasses & toast

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) 3 months ago

Hi Margaret:

What an honor to be featured, and so well deserved. I even knew a bit of this, from knowing you over the years. And even better to have met you in person several times!

Jeff

Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) 3 months ago

Jeff Dowler, CRS Loved that we were able to meet a few times. I always appreciate your wisdom.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

Margaret I could have sworn I commented here before...those gremlins either way CONGRATULATIONS and when I see " All roads lead to Rome" I know we are not talking about the Appian way:)Endre

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) 3 months ago

Endre Barath, Jr. It's those darn grimlins working again. Always love seeing you on AR and appreciate your support.

Posted by Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) 3 months ago

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