Real estate advertising is tricky. Selling a house is nothing like selling laundry detergent, a refrigerator, or even a car. It’s different and so is the marketing and advertising that goes along with it.
I assume we’ve all seen the magazines and newspaper sections with house after house after house, hoping to attract your attention with the headlines….LUXURY! SWIMMING POOL! LAKEFRONT! NEWLY REMODELED! HOA! NO HOA! MASTER SUITE! 5,000 SQUARE FEET! WINE CELLAR!
There are lots of keywords to choose from, but they do get a little bit repetitive. How do you make a home stand out? Real estate advertising seems to go one of either two ways. Sell you on the lifestyle you’re going to live in this house or sell you on the outstanding features and finishes of the house. If you’re selling both, it’s getting expensive.
Location, location, location is still the undefeated champion of real estate. Folks choose where they want to live and then begin looking for a house. Do they want to be on a golf course? In the best school district? Near public transportation or close to work? A lot of self-sorting and narrowing of scope of product goes on before anyone does the research about specific houses.
Ideally, you choose the city, town, or neighborhood you want to live in and then start looking at prices and figure out if you can ratchet up expectations or if you’ll have to ratchet them down. This is usually when a buyer thinks about bringing in a real estate agent to check out the available product.
Real estate advertising has morphed just like every other industry to acknowledge that digital and social are the most efficient ways to reach possible customers and buyers. It amazes and kind of disgusts me every time I get a glimpse behind the wizard’s curtain to see the power of Facebook and Google, when it comes to tracking our every move on-line, and building a detailed profile of our behavior to then chase us around the digital world, advertising products their algorithms think will interest us.
The virtual tours, the Google earth street views, Zillow valuations, and the general abundance of information that can be provided on-line is wonderful for everyone. If you were in a real estate showroom in the 90s or early 00s you know it was like an arms race among developers to produce the most beautiful and most expensive brochures, books, and catalogs. Individual sellers didn’t go quite so far, but brokerages produced some very nice pieces which featured their best (most expensive) homes.
Nevertheless, I haven’t seen much evolution in the stories told in real estate advertising. You go with product details such as hardwood floors, Wolf appliances, Italian marble tile, square footage, lot size, etc. Or real estate advertising shows you the life you aspire to….happy kids riding bikes in the driveway, a couple enjoying a glass of wine with the neighbors on the patio as the sun sets, a young man hosting the crew for a Super Bowl party in the man cave. Real estate advertising isn’t too far removed from the Bud Light commercials showing everyone having the time of their life with beautiful people at the local watering hole.
The digital tools are great and allow for specific searches and a glut of information to help advance informed real estate sales, but I would like to see what the next big thing is.
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