The Advertising Agency
for Today's Serious
Real Estate Professional

How to Generate Tons More Leads with Direct Response Advertising

When coupled with a personal branding strategy, direct response advertising can get hot prospects to identify themselves and contact you just when they need an agent most. We reveal how and when to use this powerful technique to generate more leads.

Imagine yourself flipping through the pages of a local homes magazine. What do you see? It’s probably easy to describe: Page after page of full-page ads covered with houses, along with the agent’s name and mug shot at the top of each page. Sound familiar? Of course it does ‚Äî that’s what a real estate ad has to look like, right?
In a word, no.

An effective ad, whether it’s in real estate or any industry ‚Äî is comprised of certain essential elements that make it interesting and compelling to the reader. Unfortunately, the real estate industry has somehow become locked into this house ad format that in no way resembles proven, effective advertising, yet most everyone in the industry seems to be afraid to stray from this format.

Now, of course, you can get buyer leads from house ads, but these leads are often low-level, unqualified buyers who just end up wasting a lot of your time. Even if a few turn into sales, generating deal-to-deal leads from house ads is not a good long-term business building strategy. Rather than building your brand, house ads perpetuate the myth that all real estate agents do is offer merchandise with no value added. They also fail to differentiate you or reveal any compelling reason to work with you. The ads we’re talking about are those that create relationships with people long before they need a real estate agent. See the difference?

Set Yourself Apart
In the following paragraphs and graphics, we’re going to dissect an effective real estate ad and show you how you can set yourself apart from the competition by creating an ad series that gives you personality, that draws the reader’s eye, and more than anything, is unique.

Being unique is essential because a unique ad will stop the reader and compel them to read it. To set your ads apart, start with two key elements, the headline and an image.

The Secret to an Effective Ad
The headline is the most important element in your ad. The headline is your first and only chance to draw the reader in and convince them to read the text. A poorly written headline is like throwing your marketing dollars in the trash can — no one will read your ad.

The key to powerful headline writing is to pique the reader’s curiosity. If you create inherent drama with your headline, the reader will feel compelled to find out more. You want the readers to be asking themselves, ‚ÄúWhat is this about?

A Picture Says A Thousand Words
A close runner-up to the headline in order of importance is the dominant photo or image used in the ad. Much like the headline, your photo should arouse the reader’s curiosity. A great photo has the power to reach out and grab the reader’s attention instantly.

The image you use is also the first and best place to inject emotion into your ad. Emotional ads not only draw readership, they are proven to be more effective than just the facts‚ type ads.
This is especially true in real estate personal marketing, where your goal is to differentiate yourself from the competition. The way you go about this is by focusing not on the business benefits of working with you (which are nearly identical to every other agent’s), but by making it personal and focusing on your personality traits and life philosophies, developing a relationship with the reader in the process.
We’ve found the most effective ads are very often the most personal ads as well. If family is the most important thing to you and your market is a family-oriented area, use a great candid shot of you and your family enjoying a day at a park to communicate what’s important to you in your ad. Like-minded readers will be drawn to it, and that’s how you create that all-so-important emotional bond with the reader.

Tell Your Story
Once you have written a powerful, intriguing headline and found an emotional, compelling photo to match, it’s time to focus on the text of the ad, or as it’s known in the advertising business, copywriting. Effective copywriting picks up where the headline and photo left off, intriguing the reader and making them want to know more.

The best copy is written in a story format that draws the reader along. This story should build a familiarity with you, as if you sat down and talked over a cup of coffee. Don’t bog down your copy with lots of bragging and long-winded descriptions of why they should work with you. Instead, reveal your personality and life philosophies to the reader in an attempt to build a relationship.

Finally, when writing your ad, don’t try to do too much. An ad is most effective when it conveys one or two points. Don’t try to cram every last reason why someone should work with you into one ad. Instead, focus on one or two attributes and save the others for future ads.

Make Me An Offer
This next sentence is very important. Without fail, every single ad you create should include a call to action. This can be a direct response hook or anything that prompts the reader to take action.
Direct response offers offer the reader something of value for no obligation. Whether it’s a special report or a list of the latest home sales in the neighborhood, injecting direct response techniques into your ads is a proven method of building your direct mail database and attracting more business

Nuts and Bolts
Finally, your ads should always prominently feature your personal logo, while minimizing your company’s logo and address. There’s also one more important lesson in ad creation: The Cardinal Sin of ad creation is forgetting to include how someone can get ahold of you. Include one phone number and your Web site address in every ad you create. If you desire, you can include your e-mail address as well.

Powerful Personal Marketing is Personal
Hopefully this article has given you a greater understanding of what comprises an effective ad. The more insight you give into your personality, the more unique your ad campaign will be. The more unique your campaign, the more attention it will attract.

So now again imagine yourself flipping through a homes magazine, and you come upon an ad that looks and reads like what we’ve described here. Do you think it would stand out? Do you think it would be effective? Do you want to be the first or the last to make that conversion? Make the transition today.