This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
Once the sale is secured, the first step is to advertise the sale. Decision must be made as to the best time to hold the sale and the classes of buyers to whom advertising should be directed. This gives an idea as to what sort of copy and space to use and what mediums to employ. In preparing advertisements, originality is very important. But it is not necessary, in order to be original, to be undignified. Where catch phrases are employed they should invariably carry with them an important idea of why to buy. They should lead to a brain impression, instead of being merely eye-catchers. By making a brain impression is meant getting the idea past the eye as mere type or picture and fixing it in the brain as an impression that will last and help establish the notion "good to buy for ME." Pictures employed in advertising are another good medium for brain-impressing power.
Economy is the great thing in advertising. Simply because an advertisement brings a goodly number of inquiries and sells a good deal of property, it is not necessarily an economical ad. Smaller space with different copy might have produced equal results. Different copy in the same space might have gained greater returns. Double the amount of space might have produced three times the results. An advertisement is economical only when it produces maximum results. In some cases, bill boards, street car cards, electric signs, extensive mail matter, are necessary and economical; in other cases such a campaign would be too costly. The one test of advertising is sales, or perhaps the number of people it induces to visit the property. For it profits an auctioneer little if thousands ask for information and none of them buys, or the sales do not pay for the publicity campaign and yield a good profit besides. But if sales are unsatisfactory, the advertiser must not always blame the mediums he has used. It may be that he did not use the right copy, or that his follow-up matter for inquirers was wrong. Getting people to look at the property is half the battle. And after an advertisement has "pulled" a large number of visitors, if no sales follow, the fault lies either in the fact that the copy made unfounded statements, that the property is not good, or that the auctioneer is a poor salesman. An advertisement which exaggerates is dangerous. The man who reads of a flowery paradise and finds a desert waste will never buy. Yet this same man, if he had not been led to expect too much, might have been glad to invest in desert property.