Times have Changed – Telling a Story

PR has changed; so has real estate marketing. A simple sign in the yard, an ad in the weekly paper … none of this is new to buyers, but it seems to take time to make its way to the full

Print advertising doesn’t work to sell homes. Advertising real estate in print accomplishes two things:

1 – Placates a seller who wants to see their house in print because they want tangible evidence that their Realtor is doing something. I’m all for satisfying clients, but I’d rather not be condescending to them, and that’s just what I believe advertising in print is.

2 – Helps a Realtor or real estate firm brand himself/herself/themselves. This is the big one and it’s a bit counter-intuitive. Print advertising doesn’t sell homes, but it may convince potential sellers that X Realtor sells a lot of homes because he advertises in a medium that has proven ineffective for selling homes. Got it? :)

In a meeting with a developer a few weeks ago I told him that one of the things that we at Nest could do for him is listen to his BS (his words), his stream of consciousness that makes his project what it is – distill and refine it and then package and distribute it to the right audience.

You just can’t put a vision into a print ad – you need context, photos, video, text … if I could do a scratch and sniff ad online I would!

Real estate is marketing, sales and client representation. Print is environmentally unsound, at best, and a waste of money at its worst.

If you’re a seller, your property has a story, too.

I didn’t intend for this post to become a discussion about the merits of print advertising, but here we are. My intent was more to define the role of marketing and advertising in this new age.

Of note, the Daily Progress has partnered with Zillow … in 2007. See below for the email I received last week.

Full text of the email I received last week from Zillow … I’m not attaching the referenced powerpoint slide.

“My name is — and I am the Account Executive with Media General Interactive in the Charlottesville Market. If you do not recognize the name Media General we own the majority of the newspapers & magazines in the area (The Daily Progress, Richmond Time Dispatch, The News Virginian, Madison County Eagle, Orange County Review, Greene County Record, Lynchburg News & Advance, Charlottesville Business Journal, Home Style Magazine, etc) I handle all of our Interactive (Internet/Online sites) Media Advertising related to the web-based versions of our daily & weekly newspapers, magazines, TV stations, etc.

Media General has recently partnered with Zillow.com and I am now the local representative in the Charlottesville and Albemarle Area for Zillow.com. I know you list properties on Zillow.com so wanted to introduce myself as your local contact and also hope to be able to setup a time to stop by to meet with you and show what else Zillow can do other than the basic free uploading of listings like most Agents and Agencies do. You might not be aware exactly how you can get your name and listings recognized much more than being compiled into a list when people do property searches. What I would like to talk to you and/or your team about how you can “Showcase” and/or “Feature” themselves & listings so you can standout and be more successful in building client base and selling properties.

Please take a look at the attachment for what I mean what I say “Showcase” listings.  The Listings I circled in Red is the Showcase position. Zillow.com allows ONLY 2 showcase ads per zip code per month. These do not go into a rotation nor do they share the space with anyone else. Any realtor who chooses to Showcase themselves will be seen by 100% of the traffic that searches for listings in the Zip Code they choose to Showcase themselves in (Agents are more than welcome to Showcase in multiple Zip Codes and often do). An excellent example of how much exposure one could get is in March 2009 the Zip Code 22911 was searched 2,259 times. If you had chosen to Showcase yourself in either 1 or both showcase positions, everyone of those 2,259 searches within 22911 Zip Code would have seen your picture and one of your Showcase listings! Chances are you would have received a lot of inquires on yourself as a realtor, your listings and most likely gained quite a bit of contact from prospective homebuyers. The best part of showcasing yourself is it only costs your Agents $20/month to been seen by everyone searching in a specified Zip Code. For $20/month and the potential revenue they can generate there is not a better option I can think of. Unlike the listings within Zillow.com where the ranking of the listing in the results page is based on how long it has been active on Zillow.com this will be seen at the top of the page to everyone on May 1st and still be the first Listing they see on May 31st .

If you are available for me to stop in I would definitely like to explain it to you further instead of trying to understand through reading. But I definitely think it is something that would increase success and make you standout amongst everyone else in the area!

Please let me know when you would be available for me to stop by to talk to you further or when I could plan to have about 5 minutes of your time. Feel free to email or contact me at my number below.”

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  • Schugchalet

    How do you recommend finding a good Realtor?