Is Traditional Media Advertising Obsolete for Real Estate?

February 9, 2023
8:00 am

The Internet has brought a momentous change to marketing and advertising. Spending on digital advertising continues to skyrocket. This may lead you to think that traditional media — print, radio, TV, direct mail and billboards — are quaint relics of the past. But traditional media still has an important role to play in growing your real estate business.

What digital offers

Digital advertising offers powerful tools for expanding your business. It starts with your website. Your name, picture, a short resume of your experience, a display of listed properties and a contact form expose you to potential clients. Site visitor statistics are granular in detail. 

There are many tools you can use to draw people to your site.

  • Search engine optimization raises your appearance in organic online searches.
  • Search engine marketing uses pay-per-click advertising delivered when customers search keywords.
  • Programmatic display ads can be served to consumers browsing online, targeting the demographic and geographic parameters you set.
  • Email marketing uses mailing lists targeting customers with the profile you seek.
  • Retargeting serves ads to people who have recently visited your website or clicked on one of your ads.

How can traditional analog media advertising offer anything of comparable value to digital, with its surgical precision and insightful results data? 

Traditional media’s enduring role

Consumers still use traditional media every day. Participation has changed not because consumers no longer use it but because they now divide their time between traditional outlets and digital sources. Traditional media gives you a chance to brand your name in the minds of consumers so that when they search online, they recognize you. Without it, your name is but one of many in an online search of REALTORS®.

Here’s a snapshot of adults’ traditional media usage in the last few years.

  • Radio still reaches more than eighty-two percent of adults each week.
  • Adults 18 and older watch an average of four hours and 16 minutes per week of live television (as opposed to subscription streaming like Netflix). Twenty-eight percent of consumers watched local television news during a given week.
  • Eight-five percent of adults report actively looking at billboards as they drive. 
  • Forty-two percent of recipients of direct mail scan or read it, and the response rate is nearly five percent.
  • Of traditional media, print has suffered the largest decline. Still, thirty percent of adults read a newspaper at least once weekly.
The lead funnel

Traditional media advertising creates name recognition when consumers search online. Results happen in one of three ways. Consumers either remember and directly search your name, go straight to your website by remembering the web address, or recognize your name when they do a general search on local agents or firms. 

How do you track traditional media?

You may think tracking results with traditional media is difficult. But there are ways to measure the effectiveness of your ads.  

Telephone companies offer customizable telephone numbers to make advertising trackable. Use one phone number in radio ads, a different one in TV and another in direct mail. You’ll get regular reports on volume from each number. This service also can record calls so you can evaluate how well your screeners handle customers.

Train your screeners to ask callers where they saw or heard you advertised. Results go into a log for analysis. 

Track visitors to your website from traditional media by presenting a customized URL for either a subpage to your website or a different domain altogether that redirects to your site. Customize the URL you give out for each traditional media outlet. You’ll know how many site visitors you get from each one.

If you are ready to take the next step in your marketing, download our FREE comprehensive guide to using video to grow your audience and nurture your sphere of influence.