Advertising for the sake of “building awareness” is probably the fastest way to flush your advertising dollars away. Every real estate agent needs clear steps to generate leads, turn them into paying clients and help people sell and/or buy homes. A well thought out advertising strategy is the key to have a consistent, meaningful message in your advertising, and will position you to get more business from your local market on an ongoing basis. The process of creating an effective advertising strategy consists of 3 stages.
1. Development Stage:
Before you start looking for advertising rates in different advertising platforms, you will need to define what you want your advertising objectives should look like. When well thought through, you will avoid common mistakes caused by lack of planning and wasting your valuable advertising dollars. The first is to clarify the basics goals of the advert as per the following factors.
- Specify the goals and objectives of advertising
- Identify the target audience
- Set the budget for advertising
- Select the right promotional tools
- Design the promotion
- Schedule the promotion
2. Execution Stage of Effective Advertising Strategy
Once you have taken the time to know what you want to achieve with advertising, execution is next. Here you need to pretest each design before it is used on large scale, to allow for any needed changes to be made. Once it meets the expectations, the advert is ready to be fully executed.
3. Evaluation Stage
The last stage and most critical is the evaluation of the Return On Investment of those advertising dollars. Post-tests are recommended to evaluate the impact of each promotion and the contribution of each promotion towards the strategic objectives. If the objectives were not met, this stage allows for revisions of the message, audience, promotional channel, and budget until you have a winning formula.
Here’s an example a Real Estate Agency, whose one advertising objective was to be known as the expert agent for first time home buyers and to collect contacts of leads. They chose the promotional tool of running a series of adverts on Facebook or the Realtor.com listing website, offering a free “First-Time Homebuyers Report” available on their website. This direct response advert required people to download the report. The success of this advert was evaluated by looking at the number of downloads and leads collected from the website while the ad was running. If the adverts did not generate enough contact leads to justify the cost, they were revised.
It is clear that adverts are only valuable if they get you closer to achieving your strategic objective.
When you have strategic objectives for your advertising like this example, your advertising dollars are focused on communicating a single, clear message to potential clients about why they should contact your business.
Advertising can be a tough game, but so can real estate. And in both cases, those with a well thought out strategy will almost always succeed over those that don’t have a plan.