Real estate auctioneer Myers Jackson is moving his prospecting efforts away from direct response space newspaper ads and into online media.
Jackson, who operates in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Alabama, feels he can get more leads more economically through the electronic means such as search engine marketing and increasingly through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and other social media outlets than through his current methods which rely heavily on newspaper advertising.
“You get a lot more for your money when you use electronic and digital,” Jackson says. “To run a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal you’d spend $60,000,” he says. “You can get five times the response via search.”
The company currently uses such search terms as “land for sale,” or “waterfront properties for sale,” notes Jackson.
Certified right now runs ads in local newspapers such as the Atlanta Journal Constitution and national publications like USA Today. Most of these ads are three-by-six column inches. While some of the ads contain a toll free telephone all feature the company’s website www.certifiedlandauctions.com.
“Generally, people are gonna go to the Internet and check out the URL before they do anything else,” says Jackson.
There, respondents can request brochures about upcoming land auctions in different places, see descriptions and online videos of various properties, sign up for various mailing lists and download a tutorial about online bidding.
Each week, Certified gets response rates as high as 30%, from the approximately 50,000 eight-and-a-half-by 11-inch postcards it sends out highlighting a given property for auction. Respondents range from land developers to people interested in relocating.
“We send them to individuals who have asked for more informationon a certain property,” he says.
The company keeps a database of respondents/postcard requestors about specific types of properties for possible follow-up mailings. This database currently has about 350,000 names on it and is growing 10% per year, Jackson says.
Certified makes its money through commissions on these auctions.
Although the company has only about 12,000 followers on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter right now Jackson thinks this number will probably increase by at least 25% this year.
“We just want to be in social media outlets and be in a conversation about what we’re selling,” he says, noting the company has a blog http://www.certifiedlandauction.com/auctionblog/ as part of this strategy.