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No more 3 br, 2 ba, fm rm and eik, please!

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As I find my myself in classrooms all over the country, one of the number one messages that I preach is: “Know who your buyer is and give them what they want.” And they want:

  • Good photos
  • Better property descriptions
  • Some video

According to NAR and the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (which you can get for FREE, by the way) says 84% of buyers want detailed information about the property for sale.

Still, much of the ad copy on internet ads is not consumer centric, or not giving the consumer what they really want.

What’s the core strategy of real estate advertising?
Above all else, to attract better buyers, and:

  • To get those better buyers to call you.
  • Grab the reader’s attention.
  • Advertising alone will rarely sell the listing.
  • Your ads must be honest.
  • Sell to the emotions of the buyer.

So what makes a great house ad?
First and foremost, remember the goal: to attract better buyers and NOT to document every little detail.

Before you start writing, identify some facts:

  • Core features (BR/BA)
  • Location (close to the mall)
  • Price and financing
  • Special features (pool, stocked pond)
  • Uncommon features (double ovens)

Then, convert those facts into BENEFITS to the buyer . . .    Stressing a specific BENEFIT is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing. For example: 12 acres of raw land: horses, ATVs, privacy

Think benefit to the buyer. A fenced backyard is simple fact, but it’s great for . . . being a safe playground for the kids and giving Rover a place to run.

Be creative, avoid over-used words

Cozy, immaculate have been beat to death. Many of us are not good writers, and please DO NOT copy other ads. use Microsoft word because it has synonyms and a Thesaurus. If you still need help visit www.m-w.com for lots more synonyms to avoid overused words. Here I show you how easy it is to use Microsoft Word by simply right clicking on the word and getting synonyms and a Thesaurus.

So, how can you separate your listings from the crowd.

  • It’s not a small kitchen, it’s a step-saver kitchen.
  • It’s not a deep yard, it is where the next neighborhood soccer game happens.Take the time, sit down with the beverage of your choice and think . . . what makes living here special? Ask the seller that question and you will get great ideas. Therefore, a great house ad will stress specific, real-world benefits to the buyer.

Mention important things, not boring or outdated details . . .

  • A single important feature may be enough (waterfront).
  • Ceiling fans are so common, not worth mentioning.
  • Vinyl floors in the kitchen won’t sell the home.

Some of us have a problem with what I call generic homes with no special features. Every home is loved by someone, so again, ask the seller what made living there special.

(1) Stress the benefits of the location (close to the mall?).
(2) Stress the benefits of the price and financing.
(3) Remember that almost every home is a perfect fit for somebody.
(4) Identify those people specifically, and write for them.

To bring it all together:

  1. Stress benefits to potential home buyers
  2. Be creative
  3. If you’re not creative or don’t have time to write, get help. Use the wonderful website www.writemyads.com for inspiration and ad organization. Or pull all those dusty ad writing books down off the shelves.

Amy is a national technology speaker who can inspire, train and help people implement technology strategies into their business. To find out about her training, coaching or webinars visit her website at www.amychorew.com

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Barry Bevis

    March 28, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I like your checklist… It is helpful.

    And the reminder that someone will love that house- even the generic ones. Those are the hard ones to me… Basic, inexpensive, housing with nothing unique.

  2. Brad Officer

    April 7, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    Amy, great post. MatthewFerrara.com shares your same views on writing for the Buyer and avoiding the over used realtor speak of “3BR/2BA” that will never sell a home in this market.

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Business Marketing

Video is necessary for your marketing strategy

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As technology and social media move forward, so do marketing opportunities. Now is the time for video content social media marketing!

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video content

As an entrepreneur, you’ve surely heard the phrase “pivot to video” countless times over the last few years. It’s the path a lot of media companies are on, but even brands that aren’t directly talking about this pivot have increased their video production. This shift stems in part from studies showing users spend more time on pages featuring video content. Social media has also played a significant role, and recently, new social platforms have made the pivot to video even more important.

Snapchat and TikTok are leading the social video sector as emerging social media platforms, but the audiences for these platforms skew especially young. The content on these platforms also tends toward the meme-worthy and entertaining, raising the question: are these platforms a good use of your time and resources? The answer depends on your industry, but whatever your field, you can certainly learn from the pros dominating these new platforms.

The promotional angle

One of the primary ways that businesses use video content across platforms is by creating promotional content, which range widely in style, cost, and content, but there are a few strategies that can really help a promotional video succeed.

First, a great promotional video hooks the viewer within the first few seconds. Social media has shrunk everyone’s attention span, so even if your video is on a longer form platform, the beginning has to be powerful. Having a strong start also means that your video will be more flexible, allowing it to gain traction across different platforms.

Audience matters

What you’re promoting – what your business does and who it serves – plays a critical role in what kinds of video content you make and what platforms you use. TikTok is a lot of fun, and it’s playing a growing role in business, but if your entire audience is age 30 and up, there’s not much point in trying to master the form and build a viewership there. You need a sufficient youth-heavy market to make TikTok a worthwhile investment, but Snapchat, which also serves a youth-heavy market, might be a different story.

Even if you don’t intend to make heavy use of Snapchat, the platform recently made a big splash in the video sector by opening up its story tools to other platforms. That means businesses will be able to use Snapchat’s tools on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where they may already have an audience. It will also make crossover content easier, allowing you to maintain consistent branding across all platforms. You may never download Snapchat proper, but you may soon be using their tools.

It’s all about strategy

However you choose to approach video content, the fact is that today video is a necessary part of your content marketing strategy. In part this is because, while blogs aren’t going anywhere, and short-form social media is definitely ascendant, both make use of video, but that’s not the only reason. Video is so powerful because it’s deeply personal. It makes your audience feel that much more closely connected with you and your brand, and that alone is enough to change buying patterns.

Another key advantage of video is that, consumers genuinely enjoy well-made videos. Unlike blogs, which most users will typically only seek out if they need information, there are brands out there who are known for their video content. They’ve found a way to hook viewers and make them feel like they have two products: entertainment and whatever it is they actually sell. You, too, can do this with enough creativity and today’s social media tools.

It’s critical that you don’t let your brand fall behind on video right now, because if you even stop for breath, you will be left behind. As TikTok and Snapchat have made clear, video doesn’t stop for anyone. At this point, video isn’t the future of social media or ecommerce – it’s the present.

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Business Marketing

Marketing amidst uncertainty: 3 considerations

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As the end of the COVID tunnel begins to brighten, marketing strategies may shift yet again – here are three thoughts to ponder going into the future.

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Open business sign being held by business owner for marketing purposes.

The past year has been challenging for businesses, as operations of all sizes and types and around the country have had to modify their marketing practices in order to address the sales barriers created by the pandemic. That being said, things are beginning to look up again and cities are reopening to business as usual.

As a result, companies are looking ahead to Q3 with the awareness they need to pivot their marketing practices yet again. The only question is, how?

Pandemic Pivot 1.0: Q3 2020

When the pandemic disrupted global markets a year ago, companies looked for new ways to reach their clients where they were: At home, even in the case of B2B sales. This was the first major pivot, back when store shelves were empty care of panic shopping, and everyone still thought they would only be home for a few weeks.

How did this transition work? By building out more extensive websites, taking phone orders, and crafting targeted advertising, most companies actually survived the crisis. Some even came out ahead. With this second pivot, however, these companies will have to use what they knew before the pandemic, while making savvy predictions about how a year-long crisis may have changed customer behavior.

Think Brick And Mortar

As much as online businesses played a key role in the pandemic sales landscape, as the months wore on, people became increasingly loyal to local, brick and mortar businesses. As people return to their neighborhood for longer in-person adventures, brands should work on marketing strategies to further increase foot traffic. That may mean continuing to promote in-store safety measures, building a welcoming online presence, and developing community partnerships to benefit from other stores’ customer engagement efforts.

Reach Customers With PPC

Obviously brick and mortar marketing campaigns won’t go far for all-online businesses, but with people staying at home less, online shops may have a harder time driving sales. Luckily, they have other tools at their disposal. That includes PPC marketing, one of the most effective, trackable advertising strategies.

While almost every business already uses some degree of PPC marketing because of its overall value, but one reason it’s such a valuable tool for businesses trying to navigate the changing marketplace is how easy it is to modify. In fact, best practice is to adjust your PPC campaign weekly based on various indicators, which is what made it a powerful tool during the pandemic as well. Now, instead of using a COVID dashboard to track the impact of regulations on ad-driven sales, however, companies can use PPC marketing to see how their advertising efforts are holding up to customers’ rapidly changing shopping habits.

It’s All About The Platforms

When planning an ad campaign, what you say is often not as important as where you say it – a modern twist on “the medium is the message.” Right now, that means paying attention to the many newer platforms carrying innovative ad content, so experiment with placing ads on platforms like TikTok, Reddit, and NextDoor and see what happens.

One advantage of marketing via smaller platforms is that they tend to be less expensive than hubs like Facebook. That being said, they are all seeing substantial traffic, and most saw significant growth during the pandemic. If they don’t yield much in the way of results, losses will be minimal, but given the topical and local targeting various platforms allow for, above and beyond standard PPC targeting, they could be just what your brand needs as it navigates the next set of marketplace transitions.

The last year has been unpredictable for businesses, but Q3 2021 may be the most uncertain yet as everyone attempts to make sense of what normal means now. The phrase “new normal,” overused and awkward as it is, gets to the heart of it: we can pretend we’re returning to our pre-pandemic lives, but very little about the world before us is familiar, so marketing needs a “new normal,” too.

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Business Marketing

Advertising overload: Let’s break it down

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new study finds that frequent ads are actually more detrimental to a brand’s image than that same brand advertising near offensive content.

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Advertising spread across many billboards in a city square.

If you haven’t noticed, ads are becoming extremely common in places that are extremely hard to ignore—your Instagram feed, for example. Advertising has certainly undergone some scrutiny for things like inappropriate placement and messaging over the years, but it turns out that sheer ad exhaustion is actually more likely to turn people off of associated brands than the aforementioned offensive content.

Marketing Dive published a report on the phenomenon last Tuesday. The report claims that, of all people surveyed, 32% of consumers said that they viewed current social media advertising to be “excessive”; only 10% said that they found advertisements to be “memorable”.

In that same group, 52% of consumers said that excessive ads were likely to affect negatively their perception of a brand, while only 32% said the same of ads appearing next to offensive or inappropriate content.

“Brand safety has become a hot item for many companies as they look to avoid associations with harmful content, but that’s not as significant a concern for consumers, who show an aversion to ad overload in larger numbers,” writes Peter Adams, author of the Marketing Dive report.

This reaction speaks to the sheer pervasiveness of ads in the current market. Certainly, many people are spending more time on their phones—specifically on social media—as a result of the pandemic. However, with 31% and 27% of surveyed people saying they found website ads either “distracting” or “intrusive”, respectively, the “why” doesn’t matter as much as the reaction itself.

It’s worth pointing out that solid ad blockers do exist for desktop website traffic, and most major browsers offer a “reader mode” feature (or add-on) that allows users to read through things like articles and the like without having to worry about dynamic ads distracting them or slowing down their page. This becomes a much more significant issue on mobile devices, especially when ads are so persistent that they impact one’s ability to read content.

Like most industries, advertisers have faced unique challenges during the pandemic. If there’s one major takeaway from the report, it’s this: Ads have to change—largely in terms of their frequency—if brands want to maintain customer retention and loyalty.

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