Most real estate agents are not marketing experts. They did not get into real estate on their way to a lucrative marketing career. Many agents don’t know anything about marketing, so they do things as they have always done. And the way it has always been done in real estate is with image advertising. This is not news. It is an obvious fact that can be found by simply looking around your neighborhood and in your mailbox.
One of the significant aspects of image advertising employed by real estate agents is the primary color photo of themselves. When I see these ads and signs, with the agent’s picture being the most noticeable thing, I wonder why I should care what they look like. I know this will sound harsh to many of you currently using this kind of advertising, but I am not sure how my photogenic real estate agent will help them sell my home. I consider myself to be an average consumer. And as such, for me to pick up the phone and call the phone number of any advertisement, I need to see the benefit. I don’t see any use to me in these ads.
So if image advertising is not the way to go, what is? Direct response advertising. A natural response ad gives people a reason to pick up the phone and call you. You can compel people to dial into a call capture hotline with any number of benefits for them. The key is to offer them something of value, such as a coupon, a free report, or a free home evaluation. People are much more likely to call an agent that is offering them a free account on “10 Tips To Selling Your Home Fast” than they are an agent that is only offering them a friendly smile.
The other important thing you can do in a direct response ad is set yourself apart from the competition. This kind of marketing is perfect for yellow page ads. If you look at the ads that are usually running in the phone book, they all look the same. What will compel someone to choose you over all the other agents there? If you use the standard image advertising approach, there is nothing to get the consumer to pick up the phone and call you. However, suppose you have a direct response ad that immediately grabs their attention and tells the consumer what you will offer them (a FREE report, for example) and how to get it (by calling your 24/7 toll-free call capture hotline). In that case, you set yourself apart from all the other agents in the book.
Direct response advertising also has one more significant advantage over image advertising. You can’t track image advertising. Image advertising has its place in businesses that have the time and resources necessary to have people recognize their name or logo on sight. Real estate agents usually do not 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, their return on investment, and what ads need to be scrapped. This can all be accomplished with direct response advertising. Direct response advertising, when done correctly, has a call to action built in that, when acted on, can be tracked using call capture technology. This allows real estate agents to see what works for them and what is not.
Most real estate agents are not marketing gurus. When they got their real estate license, it did not come with a degree in marketing. So it is understandable that most agents do things the way they have always been done regarding advertising. Unfortunately, that is image advertising. If you want to compel 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.