The end for newspaper advertising? Many Estate Agents ask this question.
12 August, 2009 | Web design
In 1836 a French newspaper called 'La Presse' was the first newspaper to include paid advertising in its pages. This allowed it to lower its price, and with the lower price, more people were able to buy the paper. Soon this formula was copied all around the world. Ever since then, estate agents have been using this medium as an excellent way to advertise their services and the properties they have available.
Now local newspapers are in decline. Apart from the older generation that have decided to reject the internet, readership rates are down and the amount of time spent reading papers is also declined. Estate agents are still clinging to advertising in local newspapers in hopes that this traditional way of advertising will help them through the recession.
The internet age is upon us.
The web savvy, from x and y gen (and generation z!) to the silver surfers have an ever increasing number of methods of for communication, email, online banners, viral marketing, pay per clicks, mobile advertising and social networks, which last year became the number one means of internet communication, amazingly ahead of email see our recent article. With all these marketing tools at their disposal, why do estate agents continue to stick to the more traditional ways of marketing at the expense of their pocket? Whereas online advertising has the ability to reach people locally and globally without costing estate agents the world.
Going one step further, a few estate agents in the U.S. have decided to stop printed advertising altogether and even cut back on online advertising. Intero Real Estate Services is one such estate agent. They were among the first to syndicate their listings to other websites and they supported this by online advertising. Now they're cutting back on online advertising and focusing on its own marketing channels such as their own website, blogs, social networking and email campaigns and have reduced their advertising spend from $3.2million to $0.5 million a year.
Do you want to embrace this shift in marketing?
Firstly you need to realise that online marketing is not purely about traffic (the amount of visitors to your website). If your estate agent website has a huge amount of traffic but no one enquires about any properties, what's the point? You have to be able to convert these visitors into customers! Asking yourself where you get your traffic from and the percentage of conversions is a good start.
Next estate agents need to consider what is the best way to reach buyers looking for property? Social networking is a great place but what will your strategy be? Will you use social networking to communicate to people on a personal level, use it just as another way to advertise properties or will you use a mix of both?
Lastly consider web syndication. Web syndication is where you make your listings or content available to many other websites. One way is to set up feeds to property portal sites. Another is to use blogging. Try setting up separate blogs for buyers and sellers as these two groups will have different interests. Buyers will be interested in the different properties you have and sellers will be interested in the amount of people accessing your website, your property portal feeds etc.
The message here is two-fold. Not only should estate agents have already started to look at the different types of media available to them but also plan their online marketing strategy. Planning is essential to the process. Without an online marketing strategy it is very likely that you will fail.
Expert advice for estate agents looking to increase their web profile, improve their website, understanding Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Estate Agents, Marketing property or your estate agency business using Social Networking or for a FREE assessment of your website and how well it performs with search engines contact Troy Stanley CTO Resource Techniques 0208 457 4777.
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