It’s More Than Just An Ad On A Portal

It’s More Than Just An Ad On A Portal

Real estate clients’ expectations of online marketing are continuing to grow, so it’s vital that we give them access to a wide range of advertising options, particularly on property portals.

Having a basic listing on a property portal can only provide limited exposure. It’s vital that portals have product provisions that give agents the ability to not only maximise the exposure of their listings on behalf of their customers, but also to expose their own brand.

At the same time, part of any agents marketing presentation should be focused on how their sellers can obtain the best possible result online. Agents spend a great deal of time doing this around offline marketing, but too few really put the emphasis on new media. Yet a rapidly growing percentage of their potential customers are extremely Internet savvy.

So what are the main areas of product that property portals are (or should be) providing to assist an agent’s business?

  • Listing Placement: products that provide prominence to individual listings.
  • Push marketing products: electronic brochures, email alerts distributed to targeted portal databases.
  • Display advertising: banners, skyscrapers, advertorial, pop-ups and other items designed to promote estate agency brands and drive traffic to agent sites.
  • Web design: Agency websites, individual property mini-sites.
  • Back-office tools: Online products designed to increase agency effectiveness.

It’s my view that the “depth-of-product” available to agents from a property portal should be one of the considerations for agents selecting which portal to advertise on and how much of their marketing budget to allocate to each.

Depth-of-product has the ability to increase the average leads received from a portal quite substantially by providing relevant and effective advertising products. But an agent needs to think strategically about how they can utilise and leverage these products.

If an agent approaches this seriously it could also be a key factor in a prospective customer choosing that agent over their competitor (see our related article: Selling Online Advertising to Vendors).

Along with these products, support should also be available to enable agents to on-sell them to their customers, and to provide agents with the conviction to develop an effective online marketing plan.

To sum up, some of the points agents should consider when choosing a portal include:

Promoting their brand and business:
1. What products are available and what are the benefits?
2. What is my approach and budget?
3. What do I want to achieve?

How can I better promote my customers’ properties?
1. What products are available?
2. Do my sales people understand the benefits?
3. How do I sell and leverage these products?
4. Do I charge the customer? If so, how much?

John Hart spent over six years with REA Group, operator of leading Australian property portal Prior to REA, John was with one of Australia’s largest real estate networks, First National, for 12 years, with more than seven as their national marketing manager.

[Image: flickr/aussiegall]

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