October 11, 2011

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Real Estate Advertising Tips from homefinder.com

propertyadguru.com welcomes this guest post from homefinder.com, a US-based real estate portal, on what you can do to make your online advertising work harder.

Real estate advertising is changing. We suspect you knew that. But the nature of that change is more nuanced - and less understood - than many recognize. For while we all seem to understand that most home buyers and sellers engage listings, brands and agents online before they go anywhere else (to an office, to the phone, even to email) many have trouble figuring out how to capitalize on this shift.

That’s why homefinder.com created Top 10 for 2010: Ten advertising principles for killer real estate advertising. The 10 principles we outline here are explained and illustrated largely through discussion of display advertising (banners, block ads, agent branding ads and the like), but they are easily applied to any of your electronic marketing and advertising efforts.

Mastering online real estate advertising, wherever you choose to pursue it, is critical to your future business success. It’s a big opportunity - Borrell Associates estimates that $7.5 billion in online ad spend was generated in 2009 alone.

Here’s a sneak peek at excerpts from the first three principles.

10. Be Different!
If you open up the real estate section of your local paper, you’ll notice most of the ads look the same. There’s the open house ad, the agent roster ad, the sold ad, everything follows the tried and sometimes true patterns. Results, as they say, vary.

For starters, look at the ads on the site or sites on which you plan to advertise. If they all reflect the same language, (for example, “Local experts you can trust” or “View every home in Dutchess county”) and have the same imagery (say, happy couples in front of a “Sold” sign), make sure you’re not adding to the chorus. You want to sing a solo! Also, you may want to get a little risky. People expect real estate ads to say certain things. Confounding those expectations can be effective -difference sells.

9. Think you, not we
Your online ad isn’t for you, it’s for the viewer, your prospective customer. That sounds obvious, but too many ads are all “me, me, me.” “We deliver dreams,” “We sell Archer Heights.”

When creating your ad, pretend you have an imaginary prospect whispering in your ear, “What’s in it for me?” Try answering that question in your ad. Empathy beats ego every time. Focusing on the consumer forces you to be specific, to substantiate your claims, or, at a minimum, target them at their needs, not yours.

8. Think beyond the click
The easiest way to waste money advertising online is to neglect what happens after someone clicks on your ad. What we’re talking about here is your landing page. A landing page can take many forms: a home page, a page displaying a special offer with a form or piece of content related to the ad. In real estate, where enhanced listings placement is a popular form of advertising, the landing page is often a property details page. Whatever form it takes, your landing page is critical to your success.

So, what do you need on a great landing page?

Watch your “scent”: If your ad features a call to action to “View luxury property in Scottsdale,” your landing page should have a large headline that says “Luxury properties in Scottsdale.” In other words, you want the viewer to follow the “scent” from the ad through to the landing page in an unbroken manner. This cues the visitor that they have indeed reached the right place, the place they wanted to go, and will help improve your results.

View the full report online or download the PDF today at http://www.homefinder.com/top-ten.

We believe understanding leads to success, and that this report can help you create more effective ads now, avoid the most common (and costly) advertising mistakes and brand your business and generate leads. There is no cost or sign up involved, just value for agents, brokers and builders.

Happy reading!

Want more tips to grow your business? Connect with us on www.facebook.com/homefinderdotcom or give us a shout at [email protected].


Related posts:

  1. Century 21 Deal with homefinder.com
  2. Location-based Marketing from homefinder.com
  3. Real Estate Marketing Report Card
  4. Real Estate Website Tips from propertypal.com
  5. Franchising the Virtual Real Estate Office
  6. Terms Used in Online Advertising
  7. Effective Banner Advertising – Part 1
  8. Effective Banner Advertising – Part 2
  9. Display Advertising Options
  10. Real Estate Marketing in 2011: Part Two

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