Why house ads don’t sell houses (and what to do about it)

by Craig Proctor01 Nov 2016
Most agents have used the classified ad section of their local newspaper in the same way for the last century. Their mindset is stuck in the paradigm that says that the classified “Houses for Sale” section is to be used to promote the properties they have listed and, like most of their fellow agents, they write an ad for each of their clients’ homes which laundry-list some standard features.

But if you stop to really think about it, you’ll realize that while these ads do a good job of pacifying your sellers, they do NOT do a good job of actually selling your properties.

Why? Well, let’s think this through. You see, an ad designed to sell a specific property has a very narrow appeal, and thus is flawed from two key standpoints:
  1. Very few people will call you on this ad in the first place, and
  2. 90% of the few who do call will eliminate the property as being either too big or too small, in the wrong area, etc.
This leaves you with very few (if any) buyer prospects to work with. So while it makes your sellers happy to see a picture of their home in the paper, it doesn’t actually move them any closer to their goal (or yours) of selling their home.

When you think about it in this way, you’ll see clearly that there’s something dramatically wrong with this approach, and that it’s time for you to take a giant step back to examine your goals.

What are your sellers paying you to do? They’re paying you to find a buyer for their home. How should you go about finding a buyer for their home? Certainly not the way you and most other agents have traditionally gone about it. There has to be a better way.

So ask yourself:
  • How can I open the funnel?
  • How can I get more prospects to call me?
And the obvious answer is that you need to make an offer that has a much broader appeal — an offer that many more prospects will respond to, and one that they can’t disqualify once they’ve made an inquiry.

Look at it this way. If you’re going to pay the newspaper anyway for the space to run an ad, would you rather run an ad that gets few or no calls, or one that generates droves of qualified prospects. The answer is obvious, but your approach must change.

To address this, try running an entirely different kind of ad which I call a “Service Classified” ad. With Service Classified ads, instead of advertising a specific property listing, you run an ad that offers a list of homes (e.g. luxury homes, distress sales, fixer uppers, etc.) These ads offer information that has very broad appeal to a very wide range of prospects.

When prospects respond to these ads there’s no specific property for them to disqualify. Instead, they raise their hands and because the offer is broad, you will attract more buyers.

From experience, a high percentage of these buyers will go on to become your contractual clients. You will not only end up with more buyers, but your listings will also sell more quickly because you have a greater pool of buyers looking at them.
Here’s an example of one of my Service Classified Ads:
FIXER UPPER - Bargains, these homes need work, lowest prices. Call for a free computerized list with pictures. www.DomainName.com or Free recorded message 1-800-000-0000 ID#1048. <<Your Company Name.>>
Anyone of you can do this. This strategy IS NOT based on your listings. You are not saying that you have these listings, you are saying you have access to these properties, which is true since you have access to MLS.

As a bonus, since you are not advertising a specific home, you will never have to rewrite these ads the way you have to rewrite your traditional property ads every time you get a new listing (and you never have to discontinue running the ads just because your listing sold).

For example, I ran the Fixer Upper ad (and many other similar ads) everyday, regardless of whether I had one listed that fit this description or not, because I knew I could always find a fixer upper, even if it was listed with another agent on MLS. (Remember, you’re not saying you “have” them, you’re saying you “know” of them.)

Service Classified ads were responsible for dozens of client inquiries for me every single week, and because of the higher turnover of readers in the classified section, you’re able to run these ads with very high frequency. In fact, I ran the same ads for several years without changing a word.

This is true automatic marketing! These ads will get you by far the biggest bang for your buck.

Craig Proctor is known within the Real Estate industry as Real Estate’s Millionaire-Agent-Maker. The top agent for RE/MAX Worldwide for several years, Craig not only sold over $1 Billion of real estate himself in his 20+ year career, but he's also coached more agents to millionaire status than any other trainer. By openly sharing his step-by-step approach, Craig teaches agents not only how to dramatically increase their results, but also how to vastly improve their quality of life. To request a free business consultation that will show you how Craig’s system can transform your real estate business into a highly lucrative enterprise that will earn you millions without high lifestyle costs, visit: www.NeverColdCallAgainSystem.com . To learn about free half day Craig Proctor training events in your area, visit: www.CanadianSummit.com .

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