At the beginning of each quarter, I sit down with our Broker clients and review the advertising plan and media slotting. In our last meeting, there was plenty of discussion about newspaper advertising given our posts like Newspapers are like Nursinghomes, and Will the Last Newspaper please shut off the lights. It is pretty well known that we do not believe that the current rates newspapers charge for advertising represent a good return on Broker advertising dollars. Agents may need to advertise in the newspaper strategically to meet business committments to sellers, but it does very little for Broker Brand Advertising – in fact, focus group indicate that consistant broker advertising makes a brand stale. It is hard to get your brand message to “pop” in the newspaper.
Other forms of print are still hot, and may be neglected. If you are a broker carrying more than 100 listings, you may want to consider publishing your own glossy magazine. Every broker who is doing this receives terriffic results. Charge your agents for ad space at cost. You can distribute them in a myriad of ways – blow them into the newspaper by zip code, direct mail, street racks, offices, agent hand-outs, flyer boxes, etc.
If you do not have have enough willing agent advertisers, or enough listings to publish your own magazine – take advantage of your local glossy real estate magazine offerings. Homes and Land and/or The Real Estate Book. As some of you know, I was involved with a real estate magazine company for three years launching a web services company to support the magazines and expanding the business. Here are a few realizations that I learned during that time.
1. Print drives web – If you look at our Broker Website Effectiveness study, you will find that 65% of broker web traffic comes as a result of direct URL type-in – granted, this is all print – listing signs, business cards, magazines, newspapers, building signs, etc. But private research done 5 years ago yeiled that about 20 visitors a day will visit your website from a page of magazine advertising. We measured this by launching new websites that were only published in the magazine of 25,000 circulation.
2. Magazines drive phone calls – again, although this research is dated, we noted that magazine advertisers purchasing a full page were getting 20 calls per month off of their ad. We used special numbers from Voice Pad to measure.
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