If real estate licenses come with marketing degrees
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 don’t know anything about marketing, so they just do things the way they’ve always done them. And the way it’s always been done in real estate is with image advertising. This is not news. This is an obvious fact that you can discover by simply looking around your own neighborhood and in your own mailbox.
One of the main aspects of image advertising used by real estate agents is their large color photo. When I see ads like this and captions that feature the agent’s photo most prominently, I wonder why I should care what they look like. I know this is going to sound harsh to many of you who are currently using this type of advertising, but I’m not sure how my photogenic real estate agent is going to help them sell my home. I consider myself an average user. And as such, to pick up the phone and call the phone number without any advertising, I need to see the benefit to me. I see no benefit to me from these ads.
So if image advertising isn’t the way to go, what is? Direct response advertising. With direct response advertising, you give people a reason to pick up the phone and call you. You can force people to call a call interception hotline with any number of benefits for them. The key is to 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 offers them a free report on “10 Tips to Sell Your Home Fast” than an agent who only offers them a nice smile.
The other important thing you can do in direct response advertising is to stand out from the competition. This type of marketing is perfect for yellow page ads. If you look at the ads that usually appear in the phone book, they all look the same. What would compel someone to choose you over all the other agents out there? If you’re using the standard display ad approach, there’s nothing to make the user pick up the phone and call you. However, if you have a direct response ad that grabs their attention immediately and tells the user what you have to offer (for example, a FREE report) and how to get it (by calling your 24/7 toll-free call capture hotline) you set yourself apart from all other agents in the book.
Direct response advertising also has another major advantage over display advertising. You cannot track the image ad. Image advertising has its place, and it’s in businesses that have the time and resources to make people recognize their name or logo immediately. Real estate agents generally do not fall into this category. They work with tighter budgets and shorter deadlines. They need to know if the ads they are using are working now, what their return on investment is, and which ads should be removed. All of this can be achieved with direct response advertising. Direct response advertising, when done right, has a built-in call to action that, when acted upon, can be tracked using call capture technology. This allows real estate agents to really see what works for them and what doesn’t.
Most real estate agents are not marketing gurus. When they got their real estate license, it didn’t come with a marketing degree. So it’s understandable that most agents just do things the way they’ve always been done when it comes to advertising. Unfortunately, this is an image ad. If you want to compel people to call you, stand out from your competition, and be able to track the results of your advertising efforts, direct response marketing is the way to go.
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