Tag Archives: design

The Second Most Important Thing About Online Listings

by Adrian Amos

According to Google, “mobile went mainstream in 2011” with increased smartphone and tablet usage – which means your listings not only have to be online to reach consumers, they have to be mobile-accessible too.

Nielsen reports that 44% of US mobile customers are using smartphones – up from 18% in 2010. With thousands more consumers having instant access to the Internet, it’s no wonder mobile browsing has increased 45% in the past year – not to mention the huge influx of Internet traffic from tablets (up 440% according to Google).

In fact, Google states “It’s not just that more people are using smartphones and tablets (though the numbers are skyrocketing at an accelerating pace)—it’s that a huge, and fast-growing base of smartphone users, now expect to engage with businesses on mobile.”

This is true for home shoppers too. HomesAndLand.com has seen an 186% increase in mobile traffic in the past year. That’s why mobile-enabled websites are included in our marketing package. Advertisers receive personal websites that are automatically formatted for smartphones and tablets at no additional charge. Which means no additional work for you to put your listings online – or on-mobile.

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Hot Marketing Trend In 2012

by Rob Wicker

Last month Bernice Ross, a Realtor and one of Inman.com’s best columnists, declared that Micromarketing is the hot real estate marketing trend for 2012. Ms. Ross described micromarketing as “old-fashioned farming with a 21st Century twist.”

Micromarketing means marketing to an area where the residents’ demographics, lifestyle, and recreational pursuits match your own interests and expertise. Perhaps you target residences around a large recreational lake where people buy second homes or retire. This appeals to you because you are an agent who a. lives on the lake and b. owns a boat and likes to fish.

Ms. Ross uses AustinLakefrontProperties.com as an example of a micromarketing website, as opposed to a more common and generic URL like www.Realtorsname.com. You should also use micromarketing to enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and promote your social media efforts.

Ms. Ross reports that “agents who are having the best luck with this approach have integrated their print marketing efforts with their online marketing efforts.”

If micromarketing intrigues you, consider using Homes & Land’s Integrated Marketing Package. Your Homes & Land Publisher can help you reach a micromarket using direct mail. A Homes & Land ad is also a great place to promote your Facebook page and blog. In addition, we feature QR codes that link to a video promoting your micromarket.

With the Homes & Land package you receive a website that can be branded as a micromarket (e.g., AustinLakeFrontProperties.com). You can also backlink your Homes & Land site to your current website for enhanced SEO.

As usual, Homes & Land is ahead of the marketing curve.


Filed under Industry Articles and Trends

Effective Advertising & Design

by Rob Wicker

Homes & Land works hard to make sure you get the best possible response from your marketing. To that end, we’ve created a website devoted to effective advertising and design. Short videos cover topics like How To Write Ad Copy That Works, How to Win Listings, and Effective Branding Techniques. To find out how you can maximize your advertising investment, visit www.HomesAndLand.com/Design


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How Advertising Saved Thanksgiving

We at Homes & Land have a lot to be thankful for – the best real estate agents in the business are working with us! We know how hard you work every day to make homebuyers and sellers’ dreams a reality, so please know that you are appreciated for everything that you do.

Below is a funny, light-hearted look at the First Thanksgiving story and how marketing could have made it all happen.
Happy Thanksgiving!

How Advertising Saved Thanksgiving
by Rob Wicker

As the Thanksgiving Story is traditionally told, the Pilgrims in Massachusetts would have starved to death except for the help of the Native-Americans. The Pilgrims were so grateful that they invited the Native-Americans over for a big spread. The Pilgrims planned to have turkey, dressing, squash casserole, yams, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie with Cool Whip. What is interesting, however, is that the Native-Americans initially didn’t want to have lunch with the Pilgrims. 

Why not, you ask yourself? Well the Native-Americans had watched the Pilgrims stumble around for at least a year. They considered the Pilgrims to be a bunch of knuckleheads.  For one thing, there were those clothes. The Pilgrims wore large, steeple-top hats that bumped against tree branches in the woods. Baggy black garments with gaudy white trim. And worst of all, funny square-toed shoes with silver buckles that got caught in the underbrush when the Pilgrims foraged for food. 

In addition, the Pilgrims carried a rifle called a Blunderbuss. Who carries a loaded weapon named “blunder”? 

Finally, the Pilgrims weren’t exactly tops in the Fun Department. Have you seen the pictures? The only thing rarer than a smiling Pilgrim is a laughing Pilgrim. There’s no “Pilgrim Section” in books about American humor. The Pilgrims were a bunch of stiffs. 

In fact, that’s why the Pilgrims really wanted the Native-Americans to come to lunch. They were sick of each other! Think about it, the long boat trip on the Mayflower, nearly starving to death in the New World, nothing to talk about except how hungry they were—and no jokes. The Pilgrims were about ready to point those Blunderbusses at each other. They needed some company. 

But the Native-Americans weren’t having any of it. They politely declined the Pilgrims’ invitation. They told the Pilgrims that they’d be out of town, visiting relatives on Cape Cod.   

This is when the Pilgrims got clever. Sketching is one thing the Pilgrims were good at. It’s how they passed the time crossing the Atlantic. The Pilgrims sketched and colored fat roasted turkeys with all of the trimmings, squash casseroles, and cranberries not from the can. The drawings are so good that Butterball still uses some of them in their ads. The Pilgrims also showed the Native-Americans pictures of at least fifteen desserts, all with Cool Whip. Legend has it that one of the drawings even included a Pilgrim woman exposing a little ankle below her black dress. 

The Pilgrims were basically advertising Thanksgiving! Boy, did they get a response. After seeing these drawings, the Native-Americans announced that their Cape Cod relatives had suddenly come down with whooping cough. The Native-Americans would be in Plymouth that Thursday, and they’d be delighted to come for lunch. 

The rest, as you know, is History.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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Where’s Your Call to Action?

by Rob Wicker

The intent of most marketing is getting your prospect to take action. That could mean a phone call, an email or a visit to an open house.

Be sure to make your call to action crystal clear. For example, in a magazine ad your photograph is usually at the top and sometimes at the bottom of the page. The natural place for the reader to find your contact information is below or next to your photograph.

We all have multiple phone numbers. Include only one phone number in your ad — that way the prospect doesn’t have to guess which phone number you actually answer. (And please, answer your phone.)

For your website, most of us are trained to look for contact information at the top of the right hand side of the page. Web pages usually include a lot of information. Your phone number and email address should be large enough to be easily seen. Also, keep your contact information in the same place on every page of your website.

When you are promoting open houses, the time and the address are your call to action. Bold them both.

How well you communicate your call to action can be the difference between lead and no-lead.

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Filed under Advertising, Design