It seems the quest for new real estate advertising ideas is never ending as businesses strive to have their offerings reach prospective customers. A recent Google search on “commercial real estate advertising ideas” yielded 4.2 million results. That's a lot of results! Go ahead and try it. If you do, in addition to the sheer volume of results, you'll also notice the over-the-top headlines from various websites that are attempting to attract your readership. You'll see headlines like “7 Commercial Real Estate Advertising Ideas”, “12 Outside-the-Box Real Estate Marketing Ideas” and even one site, with an all-in effort to get you to click, that's promoting “47 Real Estate Marketing Ideas The Pros Use”.
Reviewing search results like those can be daunting. Where do you begin? Could any commercial real estate business even implement 47 different marketing ideas? The whole process really begs the question, just how many real estate marketing ideas do you need? There was a great article in the Harvard Business Review a few years back entitled Decision Driven Marketing. One of the most pointed statements from that article was “The gap between marketers’ aspirations and what their organizations can accomplish creates intense pressure to reshape how marketing is done.” While the article goes on to speak about how marketers need to navigate the gaps between marketing and the other functions it interacts with, this one statement seems very relevant to our Google search and the seeming pressure to explore new real estate marketing ideas.
Let's go back to our Google search and see if there's any further clarity. Clicking on “47 Real Estate Marketing Ideas The Pros Use” reveals an exhaustive list of marketing tactics. Surprisingly, however, these are all really tried and true practices like using good web design, focusing on search engine optimization (SEO), leveraging social media, creating messages that reach your target audience and 43 other ideas which aren't really new as much as they're a reminder of all the different tactics we can use.
So, what's the answer? How many real estate marketing ideas do we need? Maybe the answer isn't in the number of tactics that a firm uses, but rather in the execution. The basic premise of marketing is to create relationships with customers and then nurture them. With so much noise about using different tactics and adopting all of the technological wonderment that 21st century marketing holds, maybe the “new” is really to go where your customers are and then listen to them.
It's that simple. The only real estate advertising ideas you really need are to listen to and get to know your prospective and existing customers. Doing these will guide everything else you do. If your audience is most comfortable communicating through and hanging out on social media, then make social media part of your plans. If your customers find it easier to look at a hard copy prospectus, then take advantage of direct mail. Finally, don't be afraid to physically go where your customers are – one business executive used to refer to this as face mail and she claimed there was really no better way of advertising your company than to let your audience actually meet the people that stood behind the brand.