It’s no secret that most real estate advertising is totally ineffective. As the Marketing Director for a leading real estate company, I met regularly with many of the firm’s 500 associates to discuss their personal marketing. They had tried post cards, newspaper and magazine ads, email marketing, billboards … all with miserable results.
While there are many reasons that advertising fails, one common mistake is that agents don’t provide any incentive for a prospect to stop what they’re doing and pick up the phone. To inspire action, “make them an offer they can’t refuse.”
The offer is one of the most important components of a direct marketing effort. Author Dan Kennedy says “An offer is something like “Buy this, get a 2nd one free” or “Call for your free catalog and DVD.” The more interesting and appealing the offer, the better. But the most important basic point is: never end the “conversation” in any media without making a direct offer.”
A free CMA is an offer that some agents use, and though it is not especially compelling, it is better than the typical “glamor shots” photo advertisements we see so often. You can also create a special report like “7 Costly Home Buyer Mistakes” or “Inexpensive Ways To Boost Your Homes Value.” These reports can have the added effect of working to establish you as the real estate expert in your area.
The offer should be something of value to the people you’re trying to motivate. Try testing different offers to discover which one work best.
When you ask real estate associates and brokers to identify their target market, a blank stare is often the typical response. Re-state the question as to what type of customers they’re trying to get, and they’ll say: “Everyone.”
Unless your company name is Nike or Coke, you can’t afford to advertise to everyone. So you’re going to need to narrow your focus to a group that small enough to reach with regular marketing messages, but large enough to provide enough customers to achieve your business goals.
Target a group that you have a connection with … people with some unifying characteristic you can use to focus your communications. How about dog owners? Physicians, golfers, military veterans, and gardening enthusiasts are among groups you could consider.
These groups often have their own magazines or newsletters you could advertise in. And because they like getting together with friends with similar interests, they can be a great source of referrals.
Broadcasting is dead. Narrow-casting is alive and well for the savvy real estate marketer.
Watch out. I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing.
I know such a confession may be unseemly, but I’m sure you blog-savvy people can tell anyway.
Now that expectations are appropriately low, let’s talk. I mean, interaction is what blogging is all about right? So, feel free to share a thought, ask a question, or make a suggestion.
By the way, happy 4th of July. Despite all the short-comings of our nation, I think we have a lot to celebrate.
Welcome to my Real Estate Marketer blog. I have contributed to the success of one of the nation’s leading real estate companies, as well as master-planned communities, condominium developments, and homebuilders of every kind.
As you can imagine, I’m up to my elbows in real estate and marketing. In particular, I have a keen interest in the place where these two worlds intersect. Sometimes they merge quite nicely. Sometimes there’s a nasty head-on collision.
What’s your experience?