Yes there is a major difference between the two. As a Realtor and small business owner (YES you are), you need to know the difference so that you can play the long game in real estate.
So what is the difference between real estate marketing and advertising?
Real estate marketing is your ongoing story of how your brand relates to others. It’s what you do to keep your brand in front of your audience so you are not forgotten about. You perform real estate marketing activities to nurture the relationship you have with your audience and to Attract new clients.
Real estate marketing activities are not meant to necessarily generate a lead. You do them to keep your brand in front of your audience and grow your audience. Agents running real estate marketing campaigns are in it for the long run.
Let’s go over some examples of real estate marketing campaigns.
A direct mail farming campaign would be considered a real estate marketing campaign. This is a longer term strategy that a Realtor would implement to create brand awareness. They are not necessarily looking for a direct lead, but more to build a brand presence.
I have yet to meet an agent who told me that the very first month of their farming campaign, they received 5 listings. The reason this strategy works is because over time your marketing campaign brands you as you slowly build a presence within the area you are marketing. Realtors start to get listing appointments as they become the go to Realtor of that area,
Check out this podcast on Direct Mail Farming.
Blogging would also be considered a real estate marketing activity. The content I create on my website is meant to drive traffic and build my authority as an agent. I create it to build trust with my audience. It also gives me a reason to keep my brand in front of them so I’m not forgotten. People who read my content are more likely to be attracted to working with me as it allows me to showcase my expertise with complete strangers without sounding like a narcissist.
Check out post if you have more interest in blogging.
Creating videos is another form of content that serves as a real estate marketing activity. Why do we create neighborhood videos like you see above? It’s because they completely humanize our brand. I can host these videos on my Youtube page and then optimize them to try to attract new clients. I can also post on my site, blog, and social media sites to remind my audience not to forget about me.
I think you get the point here about the concept of running real estate marketing campaigns so let’s switch gears.
Real Estate Advertising Activities
So now lets talk about real estate advertising activities. The main difference here is that real estate advertising activities have a goal of generating direct business or a lead.
If you are running ads in the newspaper, running a billboard, or any other kind of classified type of ad, this would be considered real estate advertising. You are looking to get a call directly as a result of your advertisement. You do real estate advertising activities to pick up direct leads.
Pay Per Click ads would also be considered an advertising activity. You are buying placement at the top of Google search results to generate a lead.
Zillow is an advertisement activity. You are paying a monthly fee to generate leads directly.
Anything you pay for in exchange for a direct lead is considered an advertising activity.
Real estate marketing is all about attracting business while real estate advertising is all about creating business.
So, Which One Is Better?
You should have both working in your business at all times for the following reasons.
Marketing campaigns keep your brand at the forefront and nurture your relationships. In real estate over 60% of all agent business is directly attributed to referrals and repeat business. You don’t get referrals and repeat clients from complete strangers, you get them from the relationships you have established in life.
I believe that this is the core component of running a real estate business. What are you doing in your business to encourage more referrals and stay in touch with past clients?
If you consistently stay in touch with every person you have a relationship with, you’ll have a better chance of getting their direct business when they are ready to make a move. If you had 100 people you stayed in touch with consistently, about 15 of them are moving this year. Do they remember what you do?
More importantly 100% of the people you know, knows someone who is moving this year. If you consistently keep your brand in front of them, how many referrals could you generate?
This is why you may want to look into implementing a real estate marketing strategy into your business.
Advertising on the other hand is necessary because you should always be looking for business. 60% of all agent business is sourced from referrals and repeat business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fight for the remaining 40% of the business out there. However, if you are thinking long term, the real value to running advertising campaigns is because it allows you to establish new relationships you didn’t have prior.
Each new client you convert out of your advertising sources can turn into a referral source and repeat client. Yes you also get to sell them a house too, but that’s being short sighted if that’s the only value you see. If you stay in touch with your clients, the relationship can become extremely profitable several years down the road as they refer you clients and return for another transaction. You cannot quantify the lifetime value of a client because the average person buys 3-5 properties over their lifetime. They also ave the ability to refer you new relationships.
Advertising activities will be way more expensive than marketing activities, but the larger value in doing them is that it allows you to build a larger audience. And you can sell a house in the meanwhile:).
In this business, the one with the most relationships tends to be the one who comes out on top.