#TurningPoint | 3 Design Tips for Real Estate Ads that attract more attention on social media
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There are three seemingly-simple but often-overlooked design mistakes that estate agents make when marketing properties – particularly in the online space, where visual appeal is key to drawing the eye.
Call to Action
Co-CEO & Co-Founder of Flow, Gil Sperling, says that including a Call to Action (CTA) in an online ad seems so obvious, but it’s often neglected.
“You need to tell the audience what you want them to do with the information you’ve given them. Say, prominently, ‘click here to buy’, ‘enquire now’ or ‘get a valuation’ to drive action and you’ll see an uptick in results”.
Ted Frazer, National Marketing Manager at Seeff, says that the intelligent use of CTA is key to unlocking one of the great benefits of social media advertising – the opportunity to track and measure how people interact with the ads. “If you don’t often get the opportunity to convert views to leads, you should want to understand why – and generally the ‘why’ starts at the effectiveness of the CTA,” he says.
PropData Creative Director Nic Warrington says a good CTA is short and sharp. “There’s a lot of competition for attention on social media, so you want the CTA to be obvious and stand out, right away,” he says. “You don’t want to have someone think about it too much when they see it”.
Invest in Professional Photography
“Social media is a visual medium, it’s immersive and you need to grab people’s attention in the midst of all the noise – that’s why photography is so vital,” says Sperling. “People are only going to stop speed-scrolling when something catches their eye”.
Warrington says a bad photograph can do as much harm to an agent’s online reputation as a good one can boost it. “If people see that you don’t care about the way you present a property, why should they trust you to manage the rest of a massive transaction, professionally?”, he asks. “When we do brand messaging ads, we spend a lot of time looking for right stock image or illustration – and the same amount of effort needs to go into property images for listing ads”.
“Most people think they’re photographers because they have high-quality smartphone cameras, but it’s also about lighting and staging of a property,” says Frazer. “It makes such a difference in terms of influencing a buyer’s perception of an agent’s professionalism – the quality of their service levels on a transaction as huge as a property purchase. You’re representing your brand and we find that our branches which focus heavily on the quality of their photography, are also our top-performing branches”.
Sperling adds that the photograph is the agent’s chance to make a first impression – and a good one will have the would-be buyer in a positive mindset when they have a viewing, which will have positive benefits all the way down the rest of the sales funnel. “In our experience, the exterior image is the most important picture to take into consideration for mid-priced, aspirational properties,” he says. “When you have a sea or mountain view, showcase it prominently – you’re selling the sizzle. 61% of listings with professional real estate photography receive 61% more views online and are sold 32% faster”.
Leverage trust with your Corporate Identity
People think that Corporate Identity (CI) is about using the right colours and typefaces – but a good CI is actually the anchor to a reputation won over decades, which immediately sets the tone for a transaction. “Look at a brand like Seeff, which has built a reputation over six decades as a powerful, trusted, reputable and credible company to do business with – it’s an impression planted in people’s minds the second they see the brand markers,” says Sperling.
“I see myself more as a custodian of the Seef brand – it was around before I was born and it will be here long after I’m gone,” says Frazer. “The reason why CI is so important is that if its’ done correctly, then it’s the signature for recall. When you see any brand logo, you’re led to think of everything that the brand stands for, which is an important tool for any agent to leverage”. He says that the key to Seeff’s CI is that whatever it recalls must create a sense of differentiation in a would-be customer’s mind. “There are so many players in the market that the CI’s key job is to help your brand be different in some way - so it must be distinctive,” he says.
PropData work on the idea that brand and service are the two major differentiators for any company. “The brand is a lot bigger than the CI – it’s how you answer the phone, how you dress, what your car looks like, your branding, your website – everything,” he says. “It’s powerful but it’s also essential that its seamless – when someone goes on a property journey with your company, there needs to be thread that keeps their experience during that journey, consistent. Templates like the ones Flow have introduced are great – they take all the thinking out of creating a seamless journey from agency perspective”.
“Agents often also make the mistake of looking at the digital space from the inside-out, when wanting to work with social media ads,” says Frazer. “We’re all consuming content in the digital world all day – we don’t stop to think about which experiences were online and which were offline. We just have experiences with brands where they present themselves to us, so that thread is key so that no matter which touchpoint you reach a would-be customer on, they have the same experience”.
Flow bridges that gap with simple and intuitive design templates that harness the power of a brand’s CI and best-practise formatting to maximise the effectiveness of social media ads for agents.
“A lot of the time, we find that the barrier to online success is perceptual for agents. Flow’s platforms are as intuitive and user-friendly as possible, to the extent that if you can craft a mail and add an attachment, you can work with the system to create ads that work,” says Frazer. “The templates make it even easier, and when an agent sees how simple the interface is, they realise it's intuitive and they’ve had no reason to feel threatened”.