The rush to get content onto computer screens (see WellcomeMat – The Killer App for Real Estate Video) doesn’t mean that there haven’t been significant advance in the way a real estate professional can market themselves on that other small screen, the television.
Google announced today it’s bringing its AdWords advertising platform to television advertising. Partnering with local cable providers, the service will allow the high level cable channels to sell off excess inventory to Google’s network of small budget advertisers, presumably at reduced or at least affordable rates.
Spotzer is another company that is making a play to help smaller advertisers get their messages heard. They provide canned video advertising spots that Realtors can bookend with their logo and contact information as well as a platform to make informed media buys. The site is still in Alpha and is still a little rough around the edges, but the concept is easy enough to imagine working. Prices ranged around $300 for a 15 second spot and a $19500 buy.
I’ve modified my views on television advertising since that earlier piece; I now believe that when used effectively, especially as a means to push traffic to your web site, it can make sense. Especially as these new services, including whatever Google ends up offering, begin to commoditize it and drive down the price.
But rather than me speaking to the power of television advertising though; I thought it would be appropriate to reprint the words of Sharon Nyman, the Realtor profiled in Money Magazine and my post Success with Spot Runner? – where she kindly left the following advice in the comment section:
1. To the person who said the best way to find buyers is on the internet, I could not agree more. In fact most of my advertising dollars are spent on the internet. Buyers for the Florida Keys come from everywhere. Just three weeks ago, I got a phone call from a buyer who said he was looking at my web site and (if he could get out of Chicago) he would like to meet with me the following day to consult and possibly look at property. He and his wife flew in on Friday, we looked at property on Saturday, they put a contract in on an open water listing of mine and flew back to Chicago on Sunday. As it turns out he is the CEO of one of the nation’s largest investment firms. I tell every seller with whom I consult that no amount of traditional advertising can reach potential buyers like the internet; however, that does not mean I do not do local magazine and newspaper advertising.
2. When I decided to try Spot Runner, I did not expected someone to pick up the phone and say they want to see the listing they just saw on TV. I have now run three Spot Runner campaigns and with each one I have seen an increase in traffic to my web site. Yes, the web site is mentioned only once but my name is my web address and it is mentioned again.
3. Have you ever heard that expression: List to Exist? If an agent has well priced listings that are properly promoted, the buyers will come. So how does an agent get listings? Why would a seller call me? How do I keep my name in front of potential sellers? How do I set myself apart from the hundreds of other agents in our area? Well, I think Spot Runner does that for me and at the same time I might just sell one of the properties advertised. I have had many people in the community mention the TV ads so I know they are working. If Spot Runner helps me get listing appointments or helps me get the listing over a competitor because I do TV advertising, then it has accomplished what I wanted it to.
4. I could have done a spot about all the reasons to work with me but that is not my style. I think advertising a property on TV says it all. Of course I do not run all of my listings. I choose interesting properties and hope potential buyers will go to the web site for more information and find something there that fits their needs and budget.