Most real estate agents are not marketing experts. They did not get into real estate on their way to a lucrative marketing career. In fact many agents don't know anything about marketing and so they just do things as they have always been 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 own neighborhood and in your own mailbox.
One of the major aspects of image advertising employed by real estate agents is the large color photo of themselves. When I see these kinds of ads and signs, with the agent's picture being the most prominent thing in them, I wonder why I should care what they look like. I know this will sound harsh to many of you that are currently using this kind of advertising, but I am not sure how my real estate agent being photogenic 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 off of any advertising, I need to see the benefit to me. I don't see any benefit to me in these ads.
So if image advertising is not the way to go, what is? Direct response advertising. With a direct response ad you give 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 to them. The key is that you 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 report on "10 Tips To Selling Your Home Fast" than they are an agent that is only offering them a nice smile.
The other important thing that you can do in a direct response ad is set yourself apart from the competition. This kind of marketing is perfect for yellow pages ads. If you look at the ads that are usually running in the phone book, they all look the same. What is going to compel someone to choose you over all the other agents in there? If you use the standard image advertising approach, there is nothing there to get the consumer to pick up the phone and call you. However, if you have a direct response ad that immediately grabs their attention and tells the consumer what you are going to offer them (a FREE report for example) and how to get it (by calling your 24/7 toll free call capture hotline) you set yourself apart from all the other agents in the book.
Direct response advertising also has one more major advantage over image advertising. You can't track image advertising. Image advertising has its place and that is in businesses that have the time and resources that are 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, what their return on investment is, 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 really see what is working 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 just do things the way they have always been done when it comes to 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.
Brandi Cummings is an expert author whose articles include advice on marketing and technology for the savvy real estate agent. Learn more secrets and tips on how to generate more leads and get more listings at www.RealtyOne800.com.