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Updated:         May 28, 2018

Real estate advertising is often criticized as being "too general", neglecting to give prices or failing to disclose the location of the property. Much of how one feels about real estate advertising depends upon whether one is the buyer or seller of property. The actual concept of what the ad should do differs from the perspective of the buyer, seller and real estate company.

The buyer's desire is to acquire as much information as possible from the ad, usually with the purpose of "eliminating" the prospective property from "their list of possibles". Being confronted with lots of ads, it is not unusual that a buyer may want to find reasons for not pursuing an advertised home. Thus, if the ad tells too much, it allows a buyer to say "No! Too high in price, bad location, not enough bedrooms, etc.".

The purpose of the real estate company, on the other hand, is to get the prospective buyer to call on the ad. This promotes discussion regarding the advertised property as well as others that might fit the buyer's need. The more that the real estate professional knows about the buyer's needs and desires, the better able s/he is to direct the buyer to the most appropriate homes. Never-the-less, buyers often are reluctant to provide real estate licensees with information. Thus, the most frequent request is "just give me the address and I'll drive by". Many callers are agitated when they can not secure the address.

But remember, the real estate company is pledged to represent each property in the best possible way for its sellers. The old adage "one can not tell a book by its cover" applies in the case of giving addresses to prospective buyers. Allowing "drive bys" does not "show the property" to its best advantage. Interestingly, many buyers who become upset when not able to get an address, as a seller, would be concerned if their real estate agency merely gave out the address of their home for sale. It depends from which side of the fence you view the situation.

Another reason for not giving addresses is the one we've already mentioned, the buyers desire to eliminate properties. If the buyer is serious, s/he should see all features of a property, not just its outward appearance. Real estate professionals are more than willing to provide as much general information as necessary for a buyer to determine if the home is something to pursue further. Then, the agent fulfills his/her obligation to the seller by actually "showing" the home, not relying upon it to "sell itself" as people drive by it.

Sellers often possess a different set of expectations regarding advertising. The most frequent expectation is to see a daily ad regarding their property. Statistically, a home seldom sells because of the particular ad that is run in the local media. Instead, the real estate company watches carefully those ads that "draw calls". During the conversation with a caller, the real estate professional is prepared to use "substitutions" in order to satisfy the callers particular needs. The substitution list includes those properties in the same general price range and/or location of the ad on which the prospect originally called. The substitutions offer a caller a fuller range of features (more or less bedrooms, larger or smaller lots, with or without fireplace, etc.). Thus, while a seller's home may be advertised less frequently than anticipated, the property is able to be potentially exposed to the public every time the company's phone rings.

Sellers many times assume that advertising in locations outside their local area will enhance the salability of their property. While on rare occasions there is a unique property that could benefit from advertising in a different locale (i.e.; more metropolitan area, more rural location, etc), in most cases, the local exposure remains the most critical. It is the volume of local advertising that keeps the company's name before the public .

The more advertising a company does and the larger their volume of inventory (actual listings of property), the more likely each seller's home is to be "switched to", discussed with, and finally shown to a prospective buyer. As a seller or a buyer, lots of different ads is to your advantage. From the company's viewpoint, advertising is designed to "reach out" to the public and attract both buyers and sellers, expose its available inventory, create interest and ultimately to market its properties. The more total advertising, the greater the service to buyers and sellers.