Advertising 101 (Part 1)

If there is one thing I’ve noticed in this business, it’s that we Realtors®, as a group, are terrible at advertising. Not terrible in the sense that we don’t advertise, but just terrible at actually doing it. We make dumb advertising choices, we write bad ad copy, we advertise for the wrong reasons, and we have an extraordinarily poor rate of return on our marketing dollars.

advertisingWe mean well, don’t get me wrong, but we are just bad at it. And so we continue to waste enormous amounts of money — money that we could use to travel, money we could help our families with, money that would take pressure off our budgets — on advertising ideas that often don’t pay for themselves, let alone produce income.

This morning was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I saw just one too many bad real estate ads and I decided it was time to do something. So I have decided that I would write a series of articles and review the basics of advertising, and hopefully help us become much more effective in our marketing.

So let’s start with a definition. “Advertising” is from the Latin, ad vertere, meaning “to turn toward”. Advertising is a form of communication used to encourage, persuade, or manipulate an audience to a new action or to continue an action. Most commonly, the desired result is to drive consumer behavior with respect to a commercial offering.

Clearly, much of what we do as Realtors®, and much of what we spend our money on, falls into the category of advertising. In fact, it is the single biggest expense we have as Realtors®. So, over the next few installments I am going to go over the basic elements of creating an ad, how to calculate the true cost of your advertising, how to measure the success of an ad, and much more.

Of course, even the best advertising is not any good if you have no way of effectively capturing the new business when it comes your way. That’s what my Ultimate Website system is all about, so I encourage you take a few minutes and check it out. Maybe you already have effective lead capture in place for both your online and offline advertising, but if you’re not sure, check out my technology — it might be just what you need.

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