PAPER TO POST
Its the internet age. Advertising and promotions have taken on a whole new and additional form – online advertising. There are now more ways for real estate agents to advertise their listings. In addition, the reach is wider. Millions and billions of prospects now surf the internet for information. Grandparents, uncles, aunties, the elderlies, young professional working adults, Generation Xs, Generation Ys, and millennials are heavily exposed to online advertising.
Here, we’ll walkthrough the two main online advertising channels – property portals and social media. We’ll go in detail and discover the pros and cons of each form of online advertisement.
Property portals are websites dedicated solely for and about property. Real estate agents can advertise their listings on the property portals. The common and widely-used property portals in Malaysia are Iproperty, PropertyGuru, Propwall, Propsocial, PropertyCircles, The Edge Property, etc.
There are two types of property portals:
- Membership subscription system
- Credit to post system
Membership subscription system
Real estate agents have to subscribe to a half-yearly or annual membership package. Similar to credit cards, there are different tiers.
Each tier has its own attractions and caters to different needs. The pricier the package, the higher the value it offers. Generally, each package includes a set number of ad credits, feature credits, and other additional benefits. Subscribers have to create an agent account and make full payment upfront for the desired package. Payment can be made via online transfer, cheque, or credit card.
Property portals that use this system are Iproperty and PropertyGuru.
Ad credits are a form of currency in exchange for posting listings on the property portal. Feature credits give the listing a boost. The featured listing is then placed front and center in the property portal. The listing appears on top and is the #1 listing in the first page.
Credit to post system
Credit to post system is very much like a pay as you use system. Unlike the membership subscription system, there are no annual membership or subscription fee involved. Agents still have to first create an agent account to post listings. Sign up is free. Only when the agent wants to post a listing, does he or she purchase the ad credits. For example, 50 ad credits may be worth RM50.00 and so forth.
Property portals that use credit to post system are:
Posting the listing
When posting a listing, there are a few factors to take into consideration. The description and pictures of the property and its location have to be clear and enticing. Generally, the important details about the property are almost always provided.
- Land area & built-up
- Bedrooms, bathrooms, and car parks
- Unfurnished, partially furnished, or fully furnished
- Asking price (negotiable?)
Yet, these important details are not enough. Prospects will also want to know more about the property and its location. Insights about the property and its facilities add value to the listing. Additional information about the neighbourhood, amenities, and accessibilities is an added bonus. Aside from knowing about the property itself, prospects also need to know where are the nearest eateries, banks, shopping malls, schools, etc. Where and how to get to the nearest main road and highway are also crucial.
In addition to the information provided, the pictures posted have to be clear. While descriptions are a mental guide, pictures serve as a visual guide. Internal pictures, layouts, and floor plans of the property are forms of visual guide. They paint a picture in the prospect’s mind. They capture the prospect’s attention and fulfil some form of expectation prior to the viewing.
Listings can also be advertised on social networking sites (SNS). Some examples of social media sites to advertise your properties are Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, etc.
If you haven’t created a Facebook page solely for your real estate business, you can always join an investment or real estate group on Facebook. Here you’ll find like minded investors and gain new prospects. You’ll also meet other real estate agents. Group members tend to share anything and everything relating to (property) investment.
It’s good to have a fine line between personal and business. Therefore, create a Facebook business page. You don’t want to be finding your good-self adding your clients as your friends on Facebook and then them seeing everything about your personal life. A Facebook page will help you build your brand. Anybody on Facebook who “likes” your page then becomes your follower.
You can upload your listings to increase awareness and reach. One of your followers may turn out to be a serious prospect and keen investor. Even though its a business page, try to also share new property and investment related news on the page. This will help you build rapport with your followers. You don’t want to hard sell your followers. Its faster to click unfollow than to build a relationship with your follower.
Instagram is a social media platform to add beautiful filters and hashtags to share your pictures and collages. However, there is yet to be much success in converting Instagram “Likers” to serious leads. Nonetheless, the reach has been wide. (Real estate) Instagrammers across the globe have liked and commented on my Instagram posts.
“Online advertising” is a whole book or even an encyclopedia collection by itself! There are even many more ways to advertise online. You can also advertise your listings on Youtube, Twitter, forums, blogs, etc. Here, we just highlight a few important and common ways to advertise online – property portals, Facebook, and Instagram.
While descriptions are a mental guide, pictures serve as a visual guide.