What are the Best Advertisements for Real Estate Agents?
Whether you’re a new real estate agent looking to garner clients or an established agent hoping to maintain a strong presence in your community, besides networking and direct mail, advertising your services is key to success. The Internet and the resulting rise of digital marketing have transformed the advertising strategies of every industry, and real estate is no different. To make it as a real estate agent, you need digital advertisements to increase awareness about the services you provide. The question is, what’s the best digital marketing strategy for you?
Back before the advent of the Internet, display advertisements included any large advertisement with eye-catching words and illustrations. That meant, for example, ads on billboards, in newspapers, and on postcards. These days, such display advertisements are still used effectively. But now you can purchase display advertisements online as well. These types of display ads might appear in a newsletter, perhaps the newsletter of a magazine covering the neighborhood in which you hope to work, or on a sidebar of a website, perhaps the website of a local business frequented by your target demographic.
The Pros of Display Advertisements: Display advertisements are used to increase awareness of your services as a real estate agent. When placed in strategic positions — whether on a billboard on a busy street or in a newsletter with thousands of subscribers — you’re communicating who you are and what you do to your target demographic. These types of advertisements have been used effectively for decades. Moreover, display ads can complement print advertisements like direct mail, flyers, and brochures by offering another source of awareness for the same product or service you’re trying to sell.
The Cons of Display Advertisements: The biggest problem with display advertisements is a lack of information concerning whether they work. You pay for a digital advertisement on a newsletter in the hopes that some of the people who see that ad will act on it, calling you for real estate services. But how many people see that ad, how many click on it, and how many respond — you don’t know. This lack of information sometimes makes it hard to determine whether display advertisements are worth the cost.
Pay-per-performance advertisements circumvent the problem with display advertisements — namely, that you could be paying for something that doesn’t work — through a price model where the real estate agent only pays for its advertisement when the ad bears fruit.
The Pros of Pay-per-performance Advertisements: There are many different types of pay-per-performance ads. For example, with pay-per-click advertisements, you decide which search terms will reveal your ad, allowing you to target the ad to an individual looking for a certain type of information. Furthermore, you only have to pay for the ad when someone clicks on it, ensuring that you’re only paying for something that actually reaches customers in a valid way. Another type of pay-per-performance advertisements, pay-per-result ads, act similarly, only you don’t have a choice concerning where or under what circumstances the ad appears.
The Cons of Pay-per-performance Ads: The biggest problem with pay-per-performance ads is thinking they’re doing something effective simply because you’re getting clicks, when really those clicks aren’t turning into actual business. The click-to-ad ratio is helpful, but you must temper the click results with the reality that clicks don’t necessarily mean more clients.
Which way to go?
A mix of both display ads and pay-per-performance ads is probably the best way to go. Each offers a path toward increasing awareness and reaching a target demographic — but none are foolproof. Take the time to consider who you’re trying to reach and where those customers are likely to look frequently, be that a billboard, a newsletter, or the TV. Then, place your ads accordingly.
Integrate with Print Media.
The great thing about both display ads and pay-per-performance ads: they complement print media. Rather than replacing direct mail postcards, flyers, and brochures, these advertisements provide an additional avenue for reaching potential clients and customers. Print media remains the most effective form of advertising, hands down. But other forms of media can buttress it. When putting together a comprehensive marketing plan, don’t only think about the individual ad. Rather, consider how it fits into the campaign as a whole.
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