I’m helping a real estate company with their newspaper advertising. They are a small fish in a pond dominated by a large, national real estate company. My client is doing the same old real estate home display ad home listings that the big company is doing, but with mediocre results. I’m considering a campaign that would pull out the home listings and brand them as the smaller, local real estate company that really knows the community (bold headlines supported with 5-10 lines of copy), and then ask the readers to go to their website to see the home listings (i.e. “we have too many listings to fit in this newspaper ad”). I’m new to working with a real estate company on their advertising, and they’re a relatively new company — opinions on if this is too risky to pull their product out of the ads and try something non-traditional to stand out?
Instead of pulling all-out, change the ads. Instead of a full page, how about a number of 2×2 ads throughout the paper (1 per listing)? Highlight the “small” aspect of the company (we’re small – we give better service – we have to).
I wouldn’t make someone read a printed ad and then go to the website to find a listing. That should happen naturally (if they have the technology and interest). What you really want to happen is for a prospect to call you. Show a home for sale. State what makes the company unique (besides smaller) – Better service? Better connection to the community? Donations to local charities? Lower margins?
The ad has a secondary value – you want to place the name in the mind of someone who’s thinking of listing their home.
Definitely don’t play “me too” in the ads – you’re getting mediocre results right now. Make sure that you’re paying attention to which ads are generating leads. Keep tweaking your ads until you’ve gotten a desirable return on investment.