Most real estate agents are not marketing experts. They didn’t get into real estate on their way to a lucrative marketing career. In fact many agents know nothing about marketing and so they just do things the way they have always been done. And the way it’s always been done in real estate is with image ads. This is not news. It’s an obvious fact that can be found simply by looking in your neighborhood and in your mailbox.
One of the main aspects of image advertising used by real estate agents is their large color photo. When I see these types of ads and signs, where the agent’s picture is the most prominent thing on them, I wonder why I should care what they look like.
I know this will sound harsh to many of you who are currently using this type of ad, but I’m not sure how my real estate agent being photogenic is going to help them sell my house. I consider myself an average consumer. And as such, for me to pick up the phone and call the phone number outside of any commercial, I have to see the benefit to me. I do not see any benefit to me in these ads.
So if image advertising isn’t the way to go, what is? Direct response advertising. With a direct response ad, you give people a reason to pick up the phone and call you. You can get people to call a call interception hotline with any number of benefits for them. The key is that you offer them something of value like a coupon, a free report or a free home appraisal. People are much more likely to call an agent who is offering them a free report on “10 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast” than they are an agent who just offers them a nice smile.
The other important thing you can do in a direct response ad is to set yourself apart from the competition. This type of marketing is perfect for yellow pages ads. If you look at the ads that usually appear in the phone book, they all look the same.
What will make someone choose you over all the other agents out there? If you use the standard image advertising approach, there is nothing to compel the consumer to pick up the phone and call you. However, if you have a direct response ad that immediately grabs their attention and tells the consumer what you have to offer (for example, a FREE report) and how to get it (calling your call recording hotline free 24/7) you set yourself apart from all the other agents in the book.
Direct response advertising also has a major advantage over display advertising. You cannot track image ads. Image advertising has its place, and that’s in businesses that have the time and resources necessary to get people to recognize their name or logo. Real estate agents don’t usually fall into that category. They are working with tighter budgets and shorter timelines.
They need to know if the ads they are using are working now, what their return on investment is, and which ads should be canceled. All of this can be achieved with direct response advertising. Direct response advertising, when done correctly, has a call to action built into it that when acted upon, can be tracked using call capture technology. This allows real estate agents to really see what is working for them and what is not.
Most real estate agents are not marketing gurus. When they got their real estate license, it didn’t come with a degree in marketing. So it’s understandable that most agents do things the way they’ve always been done when it comes to advertising.
Unfortunately, this is image advertising. If you want to get people to call you, stand out from your competition, and be able to track your results from your advertising efforts, direct response marketing is the way to go.