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Real Estate Advertising that works

Let's face it, very few Realtors that sell any kind of real estate were ever trained in writing skills, photography etc.  You can pickup any real estate publication in anytown, USA or read the vast amount of Realtor ads on Craig's List and you will see very few ads that generate good leads

I want to talk about real estate advertising on the internet.  Many Realtors have embraced postlet and vflyer for producing beautiful and even stunning home flyers that wow mostly themselves, the seller and if they are lucky, a buyer now and then.

Some time ago a friend of mine and I started testing what styles of ads work and what styles don't and were amazed by the results.

We tested some very appealing postlet ads at first on Craig's List and ran them consistently for 2 months and posted several new listings per week.  The result was not impressive. We had some links to our websites and I had one buyer contact me but nothing came of it.

I had read an email that my friend Allan Hainge had sent me regarding the proper use of Craig's List and writing ads that work.  One particular Sacramento Ca. Realtor Allan mentioned in his email had buyer assistants that were earning $100,000 per year directly from the proper ads they were writing and posting on Craig's List.

What they did was to write "Eye Catching titles" and simple but enticing content.  Every ad they wrote had a link back to their website and they said this was the key. Many Realtors type their URL into an ad but don't add a link.  A link is the key because this will cause the buyer to click the link and go directly to your site.

By making it not only easy but enticing for buyers to click to your site you accomplish two things 1)  They get to see "other" listings on your site and may even meander to other areas of your site and 2)  The search engines love it when top sites like Craig's List link to your site often.  This is an SEO tool that will help your site.  I have seen it work.

The result of this style of writing ads has yielded me 19 closings and 2 pending offers in the past 25 months directly from Craig's List.  I also wrote a Craig's List ad for my stager friend Sue Argue a couple of weeks ago and she received a quality lead within 3 days that has now contracted to use her.

Here is an example of a home ad Wilder ID home for sale and a lot ad Wilder ID lot for sale   If you want to add you website link without having the entire URL show up copy this:

<a href="http://www.searchidahohomes.com">Search Idaho Homes</a>

and paste it where you want your URL to show up.  After you paste it simply replace my information with your website name.  The first section is the way your URL shows up in the address bar.  The second section is how you want your website name to appear to viewers. I showed Sue Argue how to add the entire URL and she figured out how to add it without the entire URL showing up.

My point is that when we give "too much" information there is no reason for anyone to link to your website.  They may or may not be interested in the home you are advertising but by visiting your website you may get them interested in another home you have posted on your site which is a good thing. Also keep one advertising rule in mind: "If you give away the farm in advertising there is no need for a buyer to contact you".  Don't wow visitors with the ad you write...wow them after you get them to your website.

I am also "thinking outside the box" and writing ads that would amaze you and are yielding calls when nothing else is working to draw buyers.  My point is "use your imagination" and think of what would interest you if you were a buyer. 

"Thinking outside the box" is what is going to separate the movers and the shakers from those that are barely surviving or not surviving at all.

Native Idahoan and Boise Idaho Real Estate specialist serving Boise, Meridian Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell and the surrounding Treasure valley area of southwest Idaho. Specializing in residential, investment, land and commercial real estate. Search thousands of MLS listings at Boise Homes for sale and learn all about Idaho by visiting Search Idaho Homes

Comment balloon 46 commentsGeorge Tallabas • September 20 2007 08:48PM

Comments

We use Craig's list George but have not had the level of success that you have. I need to re-look at our ads. Thanks for the tips.

 

Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 11 years ago

I can definitely share your experience when it comes to postlet and vflyer ads vs. the good old "home-made" ads on craigslist. I'm getting a lot more leads from the latter. Thanks for the website link tip.

 

Posted by Thomas Druck (Keller Williams Eagle Realty) over 11 years ago
George,  Excellent review of what is working for you.  Our office is starting to use Craig's list also.
Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) over 11 years ago

Very good information!  I would love to see some of your sample ads.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 11 years ago
Our company has had success with Craigslist though...there are quite a few ads on there these days though.
Posted by BLR Guy (BLRGUY(Beach & Luxury Realty Inc)) over 11 years ago
Hi George, I've had more luck with the postlets ads on craigslist than my old-fashioned ones. Maybe it depends on the market?? Anyway, great information as always...something to think about!
Posted by Kelly Sibilsky (Licensed Through Referral Connection, LTD.) over 11 years ago
George you make it sound so easy. I will have to put more thought into writing ads and thanks for the idea of linking back to my website.
Posted by Michelle Rosser, Atlanta Real Estate-South Fulton & Fayette (Maximum One Realty) over 11 years ago
We have not had much luck with Craigslist. Maybe we should consider how we write them. Great information though! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Rick and Lynn Orze, Carol Stream, IL RE/MAX All Pro (RE/MAX All Pro) over 11 years ago
George - Thank you for sharing your ad and additional info here. You are always so generous to share what works for you. Thanks! I'll let you know my success rate with the next ad.
Posted by Paula Henry, Realtor - Indianapolis Real Estate - 317-605-4174 (Home to Indy Team @ HomeSmart Realty Group) over 11 years ago
George - Thank you again for posting invaluable hints.  You are just full of wonderful things to share.
Posted by Carol Smith (Casmi Photography) over 11 years ago
George - you are tracking your advertising -that's a sure way to find out what works. I agree that a lot of "marketing" that we do - is to make the sellers happy and does not yield any benefit. Would you mind sharing an example of your ad that got you good response? 
Posted by Faina Sechzer, Real Estate Expert - Princeton, Montgomery ,Hopewell, NJ (Henderson-Sotheby's International Realty) over 11 years ago
You are so right George. We have all made those mistakes. But to keep making them after being so well advised would a foolish mistake. Thanks for the reminder! Nice post content and well written.
Posted by William Johnson, San Diego Real Estate Voice, GRI CRS e-Pro CDPE (RE/MAX Associates) over 11 years ago
Hi George! Ok so I went and looked at one of yours........I see the differences and had an....AHA!! monent when I saw it. Makes perfect sense. Do you ever sleep or do you just always come up with great ideas. :) Sheesh!
Posted by delete account over 11 years ago

Hi George,

So true!  We all have to start thinking outside the box now.  We've had some success with CL but would love to see one of yours!

Posted by Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618, Bergen County NJ Real Estate (Keller Williams Valley Realty) over 11 years ago
George very good post. You hit the nail on the head!  If success on the Internet was just owning a site, then we'd all be wealthy!  It doesn't work that way.  It isn't about luck, it is about targeting the specifics!  It is very important for the tiitle, content and links to come back to your site.  That is how I sold my own home in record time.  Great post my friend!
Posted by Jim Crawford, Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR (Crye-Leike REALTORSĀ®) over 11 years ago

George, I went to bed early last night so I found your post here this morning. Before I allowed myself to have fun on AR, I check email. Look what was in my Google Alerts this morning. I don't have have your email address, and it in not on your new site so here it is.

 

Google Blogs Alert for: realestate lead

Real Estate Advertising that works
By Boise Idaho Real Estate - George Tallabas...(Boise Idaho Real Estate - George Tallabas...)
I also wrote a Craig's List ad for my stager friend Sue Argue a couple of weeks ago and she received a quality lead within 3 days that has now contracted to use her. My point is that when we give "too much" information there is no ...
Idaho Real Estate >> ID Real... - http://activerain.com/blogs/boiseidahorealestate


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Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago

George I wonder if Missy realizes she just left you an f?  LOL

George, would you email me one of your craigslist listings just so I can see?  I don't think I've ever seen one of your listings, yet.  

 

Posted by Chris Griffith, Bonita Springs Listing Agent (Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL) over 11 years ago

George, I'd appreciate seeing one of your Craig's List ads also if you wouldn't mind emailing it to me.  I thought that you could not put links in Craigs List Advertising.  Every time I do the ad gets deleted so I've given up on Craigs List.  Maybe there are different rules for Mortgage Guys???

 

Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) over 11 years ago

George,

I use both craigs list postlets and vflyers..I have to try your method by adding the link this time. I have to put in two new listings so I'll let you know the results later.

Posted by Neal Bloom, Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate (eXp Realty) over 11 years ago
Thank you, Thank you, and THANK YOU ! Great , wonderful tips ! I will be looking at all of my ads and thinking outside of the box !
Posted by Melissa Grant, The Law of Attraction In Life & Business (A Serendipity World) over 11 years ago
Thank you everyone!  I revised my post this a.m. and just inserted links for two ads I have written for Craig's List.  I also added instructions for adding your personal URL to each ad.  I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any questions.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Hi George, I think the Wilder links you shared are from your craigslist login, which means we can't access them.  It comes up asking for login - but doesn't allow our login.
Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) over 11 years ago
Great Post!  There is no substitute for great writing and eye catching titles!
Posted by David Slavin, CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier (Keller Williams Premier) over 11 years ago

Christina - I just spoke to Marchel Peterson and she told me that and I just corrected it. Let me know if you have any questions.

David - Thank you so much and very true!

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George - thanks!  Now I have a question, don't we have to disclose in the ad itself our brokerage/name info?  This is NOT to criticize, I just want to make sure when I do it I'm within the confines of the IREC because we get a lot of agents calling us on everything, of course nothing they can get us in trouble for just things they don't like us doing.  I do NOT want them to have even one single leg to stand on :D
Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) over 11 years ago
Christina - My broker has seen my ads and I have been using them for 2 years just like you see them without any problems.  These ads are powerful and bring in business.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George: I'm still learning from this. So far, I have received some email leads, but never turn out to become anything concrete. I'll use some of your tips and thanks for sharing.
Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 11 years ago
Loreena - Writing the ads is just part of the system.  Create a Craig's List account which is free.  Repost all your listings every two weeks.  I post mine on the 1st and again on the 15th of each month.  After you have written an ad and published it to back in and copy and paste it into a new ad and then make some changes including the title so it is not the exact same ad.  This keeps your ads in front of the public and keeps visitors coming back to your site.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George - I'm guessing it is probably ok because it links to your branded website.  I'm not going to have the luxury though, we've got some rampage agents in our area :D

BTW, missing you at conference this week . . . 

Posted by Christina Ethridge (The North Idaho Dream Team powered by SKE Realty Group) over 11 years ago
Christina - Thanks...I wanted to go to the convention but I am just too darn busy which is a good thing :-)
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

George,

This is a solid post. Thanks for the info. I've posted to craigslist, but haven't really had much success at all. Now, I can go back better prepared and look at my ads to see just how well they stack up. Thanks again for the post.

Posted by Andrew Trevino, Wilkes-Barre Homes For Sale (ADT Real Estate) over 11 years ago

George, I got your message, out with clients, I just wanted you to see that your post was picked up by Google Alerts for the post EARLY this morning. It came in my inbox because I subscribe for certain key words.

Dont' ask me how that f got there,  I would delete it but then no one would know what Chris was talking about. It was really early, who knows, 5:30 A.M when I sent this.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 11 years ago
Missy - Thanks because I didn't have any idea how that happened and have not control over it.  I hope you have a great weekend.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Great information George. I love the post and thanks for motivating me to think outside of the box. I'll try tis approach with my next ad campaign.
Posted by waey wyqw (wyq34y) over 11 years ago
Guilty!  I have been posting to Craigslist using flyer based ads.  I will have to give the less is more idea a try.  Thanks for sharing what has worked for you.
Posted by Rita Taylor, Sanford NC Real Estate - Homes for Sale in Sanford North Carolina (None) over 11 years ago

Troy - You are very welcome and good luck to you.

Rita - Don't worry about it....no one will arrest you!  You are free to try this new idea...LOL  Have a great weekend.

Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George: Thank you for the tips on the best way to post an ad on Craigs List. I have posted a few ads for my staging business on CL with no responses. Now I know why. I'll try it again and let you know how it turns out.
Posted by Michelle Minch, Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA (Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA) over 11 years ago
Michelle - Thank you and good luck to you.  Please let me know if I can help you in any way.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George -you got my attention wih the title of the post and the content of the post.  Will try it manana!  Thank you!
Posted by Aziz Abdur-Raoof, Howard Co. Real Estate Scoop (RE/MAX Rewards) over 11 years ago
Aziz - You are very welcome and "Go for it my friend"!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, great post, I've bookmarked this one!
Posted by Ana Connell, Burbank Real Estate Agent (G & C Properties) over 11 years ago
Ana - Thank you my friend.  I hope you are doing well.
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
Hi George, thanks for the great post!  I missed seeing it until just now.  I'm going to carefully think about the wording of my Craigslist's ads and post there CONSISTENTLY. Thanks so much for posting your ad sample! 
Posted by Vickie Arcuri, South Florida Luxury Real Estate (ONE Sotheby's International Realty) over 11 years ago
Vickie - You are very welcome and let me know if I can help you in any way.  Later Gator!  LOL
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago
George, it was great to talk to you about this on the phone and it was great to see it in the print version. I rated it a 5 (not that you probably care) and I'm book-marking it for reference. Thank you.
Posted by . . (no thanks) over 11 years ago
Bridget - Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Posted by George Tallabas, Idaho Real Estate (RE/MAX Advantage) over 11 years ago

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