RISMEDIA, October 6, 2009—Over the last several years, I have been closely studying, testing and tweaking online advertising for my real estate business. As with any new venture, it took me a very long time to identify the most effective methods to use for online classified sites such as Craigslist. Therefore, in order to save you from spending countless hours and losing thousands of dollars too, I have decided to compile a list of the three biggest mistakes I see agents making with their marketing efforts.
Biggest Mistake #1 – The time you post
The number one mistake I see agents making with their online advertising is posting at the wrong times. Almost all free online classified sites automatically post new ads at the very top of the page, thereby pushing older posts towards the bottom. In other words, if you place an ad at 6 in the morning, your post has an increased risk of never being read by your target audience. Additionally, if you live in a larger city, there is a chance that your ad will not even be located on the first page before noon.
Unfortunately, I learned this the hard way. For years I would wake up first thing in the morning and post my ads. Although it appeared I was getting this mundane task out of the way, in reality, most of my ads were not generating maximum exposure.
Secondly, I see a lot of agents posting their listings really late at night. From my experience, this happens to be the 2nd worst time of day to post. Think of it this way. In order to receive the biggest return on investment, you will want to post your ads at those times when most people are surfing these sites. Personally, I have found that both lunchtime and after dinner work most effectively. However, it could still potentially vary for your area, so be sure to test these things first.
Biggest Mistake #2 – The same old same old
We’ve all made the mistake of posting an ad that only gives the rank and file information on the property, along with a phone number. For example – “3 bed, 2 bath ranch in Blank School District, with full basement and 1 car garage on ¼ acre. Call Joe at 123-456-7890.” Unfortunately, this kind of ad doesn’t command the reader’s attention or really give them a reason to get excited and take action. Therefore, you need to hook them with an enticing headline, while providing information that will truly motivate them to contact you.
Biggest Mistake #3 – No Real Call to Action
Similar to mistake #2, it is critical to include a real call to action when you write your ads (Tip – Call Joe at 123-456-7890 isn’t a real call to action). Here are some better examples: for your free list of foreclosures visit our website at www…, e-mail us for your free list of luxury homes in Miami, or call our 24-hour recorded message for more information about our first-time home buyer program.
In summary, I see so many agents become despondent and give up because they waste their time on ads that go unnoticed and never generate a response. However, online classifieds are not the problem; rather, it’s the type of advertising. By avoiding these 3 major mistakes, you will begin to witness a much stronger response and increased lead flow for your business.
Josh Schoenly has “cracked the code” to lead generation on Craigslist. Over the last three-plus years, he has generated over 7,000 leads using his own system. For a limited time you can download Josh’s Craigslist Marketing “Cheat Sheet” and accompanying 30 minute video explaining his system at www.CraigslistMarketingMatrix.com.