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ADVERTISING Advertising is the process of calling people’s attention to something to arouse a desire to buy or obtain more information about the product or service being promoted. Real estate advertising may be divided into two major types: institutional advertising specific advertising.
Institutional advertising attempts to create a favorable image of the real estate company, the broker and the salesperson. Specific advertising, also called operational advertising, is concerned with immediate results. It describes a particular piece of property and stimulates activity in a specific property or an entire tract of homes.
THE AIDA APPROACH The main reason for advertising is to find ready,willing and able buyers. A ttention— The first step in any type of advertising is to gain attention. Attention getters include headlines that use words and word combinations as well as print and layouts that attract prospective buyers and encourage them to read further.
I nterest— The ad should arouse interest in the specific product or service offered. Probably one of the best ways to arouse interest is through curiosity. Curiosity can be stimulated by ensuring that the ad allows the reader to imagine using and enjoying the benefits of the product or service.
D esire— Once the reader’s attention is attracted and his or her interest is aroused, the ad can create desire by appealing to the senses and emotions. At this stage, language must be clear and concise and inspire the reader’s confidence. A ction— Finally, the ad should move readers to take action.
The action desired by a real estate advertisement is either a phone call, e-mail or fax to you or your office or an actual visit to your office, an open house or a project or a visit to your website for pictures and more information.
There are five basic tenets of advertising: 1. Advertise the right property. 2. Know when to advertise. 3. Choose the right market. 4. Use the proper media. 5. Use correct advertising techniques.
In determining media choice, the advertiser must begin with three basic considerations: 1. The target audience to be reached 2. The message to be conveyed. 3. The money available for media purchases.
Because the message cannot contribute to sales until prospective buyers are exposed to it, the message must be delivered within sight or earshot of such prospects.
In determining the media to be used, ask yourself the following two questions: 1. What are my marketing goal(s)? To get more sale listings? To attract more potential buyers. To increase market share? To enhance recognition of name? To enhance recognition of professionalism? To sell listed properties?
2. Which specific media will reach my target audience?
PERSONAL ADVERTISING Personal advertising should start with a name tag identifying you as a real estate professional. It should use the same color as your office signs and business cards. If you are a Realtor®, the title should be on your name tag.
Your personal advertising should include your business card . You want people to be able to identify your card among a group of cards. The easiest way to accomplish this is with your photograph on the card. Your card should include your e-mail address, fax number and cellular telephone number.
It is a good idea to print out copies of your resume with your photograph. You can give them to prospective buyers and sellers as well as use them as an enclosure with mailings (both regular mail address and e-mail address). Some agents have their own web sites, which include personal information as well as information on property they are offering, frequently with links to other sites.
NEWSPAPER ADVERTISING Newspapers are the oldest advertising medium in the nation and the keystone of the real estate business. Because of their tremendous circulation, newspapers reach all classes of consumers and are considered by most licensees to be one of the more effective media. One of the drawbacks to this form of advertising is that its effective life span is short.
All forms of newspaper advertising are important, but the most common form used in the real estate business is still classified advertising . Your classified ad should indicate a website that offers more information and/or additional properties.
Adjectives. The use of adjectives to paint word pictures of features can enhance the reader’s interest. It generally is false economy to write barebones ads in a competitive market. Often an ad that is 20 percent longer because of the use of adjectives earns a response rate that far outweighs the 20 percent higher ad cost. A response increase exceeding 100 percent is not uncommon.
Lazy Owner Condo ($229,500) Not a thing to do in this, like new 3 BR unit in Cerritos. See why—check www.cerritosrealty.com. Cerritos Realty 476-8200
Bill Didn’t Know That he could buy a [3 BR Home] with less than $2,000 down. Full price—[$418,500]. See what Herman missed at www.cerritosrealty.com. Cerritos Realty 476-8200
$298,000 Excuse Not To Buy [3 BR, 2-bath]. In with less than [$2,000] down in [West haven]. With some unusual feature. Check them out at www.cerritos.com. Cerritos Realty 476-8200
DISPLAY ADVERTISEMENTS Display advertising may be either institutional or operational in nature. It may combine the two, so that it is used primarily to build goodwill and prestige and keep the name before the public, while at the same time advertising a specific property. We suggest you include an Internet address in a display ad, which can offer additional information.
GENERAL RULES FOR DISPLAY ADVERTISING M ost people read from the upper left corner to the lower right corner. Therefore, the ad should be composed with the heading on top, illustration and copy in the center and firm name and phone number in the lower right quarter.
If reproduced well, photographs may be more effective than drawings, but most photographs require professional retouching to increase contrast, remove distracting features and blur backgrounds. Include white space. White space emphasizes the message. One large picture is generally more effective than several small pictures.
Don’t use more than two typefaces in an ad. Ads in the outside columns will generate more interest than ads in the inside columns. Typefaces with serifs (the fine lines at the end of letter strokes) are generally more readable than sans serif typefaces (without the lines).
Lowercase letters are easier to read than capital letters. Short sentences are more readable than long sentences.
GENERAL RULES FOR DISPLAY ADVERTISING Short words are more readable than long words. If you pull the reader through the first three lines, he or she is likely to read the entire ad. Use words that are readily understood.
Don’t be too subtle or sophisticated. Always tell the reader what to do (call, come in or check the Internet). Always use the same logo in your ads.
MAGAZINE ADVERTISING The cost of advertising in a magazine having mass appeal generally is prohibitive. However, magazines appealing to special interest groups could be productive for the right property.
RADIO AND TV ADVERTISING Compared with print media, radio broadcasting is a relatively new advertising medium but is expensive.
FOR SALE SIGNS The design of a licensee’s For Sale signs should be unique, original, quickly informative and as attractive as possible. The attention-getting value of the signs will be enhanced through the use of color, unique design, an identifiable logo, and type and size of print.
DIRECT MAIL Although direct mail advertising is rather expensive per contact, it can be an effective way to reach a selective audience. It may be institutional in nature or be designed to promote a new subdivision, an area, even a specific piece of property.
DIRECT E-MAIL We have shown you several ways to obtain e-mail addresses of prospects and we will be showing you more. Direct approach e-mails can include colored pictures, movements (motion) and even sound. Like any other advertising, you want your direct mail and e-mail ads to stand out from the commonplace.
NEWSLETTERS Many offices, as well as individual agents, successfully use newsletters . They include information that would be of interest to the recipient as well as information about the firm or agent.
Truth-in-lending applies to credit extended with a finance charge or credit payable in more than four installments. If the amount or percentage of down payment, the number of payments or period of repayment, or the amount of payment or amount of finance charges (trigger terms) is included in any advertisement, then the ad must include these three elements:
3. Annual percentage rate (APR) (the true interest rate considering points and other loan costs; the nominal rate is the rate stated on the note)
ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is the interest rate needed to pay off the net loan (contract loan less the cost of the loan [points and loan closing costs]), fully amortized using the payment and length of the contracted loan.
The APR must meet certain precise figures, if the lender is audited: 1. For fixed rate loans the APR must be equal to or less than 0.125% (1/8%) of the true APR. 2. For ARMs the APR must be equal to or less than 0.250% (1/4%) of the true APR.
With the calculator or computer it is very simple to calculate the APR. You must have the following information: 1. Loan Amount 2. Interest Rate 3. Term of the Loan 4. Points 5. Total Closing Costs
Example: Mrs. Anne Hampton gets a loan from American Mortgage Co. for $200,000 at 7% amortized over 30 years. She pays 2 points and $4,000 inclosing costs.
American Mortgage Co. Date: Today Anne Hampton 11110 E. Alondra Blvd. Norwalk, CA 99999 APR FC AMT TOT 7.409% $279,160 $250,000 $479,160 American Mortgage Co. will provide her with the following statement:
TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES Although real estate firms have yellow page listings, often in bold type, display ads in telephone directories are not likely to be as cost effective as those in other advertising media. The effectiveness of your yellow page ad can be increased significantly by use of your Internet address, for example, “View Available Homes, www. cerritos. com.”
PRESS RELEASES Press releases are really free advertisements. If you look in the real estate section of any newspaper, you will find that most of the articles are press releases. Your local newspaper will publish press releases that are well written, typed double spaced and have a newsworthy message.
Some examples of such messages are the grand opening of an office, the groundbreaking for a development, the listing of a historic building, any sale where the buyers or sellers are newsworthy, special awards or designations received by agents, and office promotions.
SPECIALTY GIFTS Most offices include specialty gifts , promotional giveaway items, in their advertising budget. These may include notepads, maps, magnetic holders, calendars, pencils, directories and pens with a salesperson’s and/or firm’s identification. Such items promote you or your company continually and can be dispensed through the office, at business and social gatherings, at open houses and during door-to-door canvassing. They are excellent door openers and can be used effectively to get acquainted in a neighborhood.
THE INTERNET The Internet is rapidly growing in importance as a marketing tool. Today, some offices are reporting that about 25 percent of their contacts result from Internet postings. Surveys of property buyers reveal that in many areas over 50 percent of the buyers indicated that they utilized the Internet for their property search.
One advantage of the Internet is its relatively low cost once the site has been established. However, the Internet cannot be used effectively as a sole advertising medium because buyers and sellers need to know of the existence of the site which can be included in your advertising in other media.
While agents can prepare their own web pages using one of the inexpensive web page programs, these are usually boilerplate sites and fail to provide maximum viewer impact. As previously stated, we strongly suggest that a professional web page designer create the web site. A correctly designed website can insure long-term use and will attract prospective buyers, sellers, lessors and lessees.
LEGAL IMPLICATIONS OF ADVERTISING Advertising of real property is regulated by the California Real Estate Law, the Regulations of the Real Estate Commissioner and the Federal Consumer Protection Act (Truth-in-Lending Act).
CODE OF ETHICS OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Even though the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Realtors® is a moral code and not enforced by law, its guidelines are observed by most real estate licensees in the state.
Professional courtesy and ethics should not end with those acts that have been sanctioned by law. The individual who tries only to stay on the border of the law may at some time step across that border.
TRUTH-IN-LENDING ACT The Truth-in-Lending Act, or Regulation Z, a part of the federal Consumers Credit Protection Act of 1968, requires disclosure of credit costs as a percent (APR) as well as total finance charges. It is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.