The purpose of real estate advertising is:
(b) To create a desire for specific real estate or securities;
(c) To influence others to transact business with a certain individual or institution.
Real estate, to be marketed, must attract attention and have the confidence of the buying public.
To produce these results advertising is necessary.
Successful advertising is the science of directing the mind into channels of thought which produce desired action. In real estate the action desired is to establish contact between buyer and seller, or their representatives. When a real estate advertisement has accomplished this it is completely successful.
Advertising is indispensable to the real estate business because it originates trade. It reaches many persons while a salesman is conferring with one or two. It appeals to the eye which is much quicker than the ear, and conveys visual impressions which are more lasting and more nearly correct than auditory sensations.
The mind reacts in a definite way in response to certain stimuli, such as appeals to emotions and reason. Real estate advertising is a practical application of this principle of psychology.
Extensive campaigns in newspapers and other media have been conducted to educate the public in the value of real estate as an investment, and to establish confidence in this class of security. It is difficult definitely to trace direct results from such advertising but unquestionably it has an indirect influence that is reflected in the general market. This is called institutional advertising, and is a comparative innovation in real estate advertising which has gained great favor. It usually is conducted by real estate boards or groups of real estate brokers. Frequently, however, individual concerns find it advantageous to do institutional advertising for the benefit they derive from improvement in general market conditions.
This provides a positive method for attracting favorable attention to real estate investments. No advertisement should in any way tend to destroy confidence in real estate. For this reason "Sacrificing Home at Big Loss" and similar advertisements are of doubtful value.
In order to stimulate confidence in the minds of readers the most attractive propositions always should be advertised. The mistake should not be made of advertising only the slow selling, unattractive properties in the belief that more desirable real estate will sell itself. Such a policy soon will create the impression that the advertiser never has anything desirable to sell, or that he is reserving the good things for himself and offering the public only the properties he does not care to consider.
Truth is mighty in real estate advertising. Absurd claims, untruths, misrepresentation and exaggeration reflect not only upon the advertiser but upon the entire real estate business, and upon the medium in which the advertisement is carried. Even though it may seem advantageous at the time to color falsely an advertisement, its ultimate reaction is certain to be injurious.
A real estate concern, facing strong competition, following poor advice, sought customers by using classified advertisements of which the following is a sample:
"Injured in automobile accident. Young woman has exhausted funds and must return East to parents. Must sacrifice equity in bungalow. Address 671 Clarion."
This succeeded in producing inquiries for a time but the concern failed after a year, because through its untruthful advertising it gained the reputation of being unreliable in its dealings.
Real estate is a high class commodity. It can be sold on the basis of genuine merit, and sharp practices, sophistry, deceit, and cunning need not be employed in exploiting it.
The paths of advertising and salesmanship run parallel eighty per cent of the way through any transaction.
In Selling Real Estate You must-1. Attract attention
2. Gain interest
3. Create desire
4. Establish confidence
5. Bring about action (which means signing a contract)
In Advertising Real Estate You should -
1. Attract attention
2. Gain interest
3. Create desire
4. Establish confidence
5. Suggest desired action (which means establishing contact between reader and advertiser)
A successful advertiser should make an excellent salesman, unless handicapped by some physical defect. Most modern institutions combine the departments of salesmanship and advertising for the reason that the first essential of successful advertising in salesmanship ability. A successful advertiser must of necessity know the fundamentals of salesmanship. It does not follow, however, that a good salesman, just by reason of that fact, will be an effective advertiser.
Advertising cannot be expected to close a real estate transaction. That is the province of the salesman. The most advertising can do is to suggest the action.
Advertisements should avoid the pitfalls which beset the salesman. They should never argue. It is even dangerous to attempt to convince by assertions that are open to argument. It is preferable that the reader be carried along so that through association of ideas or by direct suggestion he becomes interested in the real estate advertised.
"Kansas Lands Ready to Plow" is more effective than to advertise
"Kansas Farms Are the Most Productive."
One is an interesting suggestion. The other is a challenge to the reader's judgment. It sets up an argument and places the prospective buyer immediately in a defensive attitude.
If an advertisement accomplishes any one of the five results enumerated it has been measurably successful. Some forms of real estate advertising are planned for the sole purpose of attracting attention. The advertisement which carries the reader through all five steps is one hundred per cent successful.
A bad advertisement is one which repels the reader or leaves no impression.
A poor advertisement is one that leaves the reader with the single impression that the writer was an ingenious or clever person.
A good advertisement is one which leaves the reader with a desire to acquire the commodity advertised, or to seek more information about it.
The advertising budget of the real estate business hardly can be regulated automatically. The rental business, for example, of necessity must spend large amounts for classified advertising. Other classes of real estate enterprise may find their advertising expenditures influenced by the weather or other conditions over which they have no control. For example in snowy or rainy weather it is not advisable to spend as much money in offering homes for sale as in fair weather because prospective buyers will not go out in bad weather to view property, and the home will not present its best appearance under gloomy conditions.
When business is poor, more advertising than usual must be done to keep the volume anywhere near normal. This of course means a greater percentage of overhead and destroys any theoretical percentage basis for an advertising budget.
Many concerns set aside from three to six per cent of the previous year's income for advertising purposes. One large concern doing a prosperous business spends from ten to twelve per cent. The budget, however, must be a matter of individual decision, bearing in mind that increased returns always justify increased advertising.
It is a real estate axiom that the largest real estate concerns are the largest advertisers.