As the U.S. mortgage crisis deepens, it’s spurring innovation among advertisers in the home services business. Our phones have been ringing lately from brokers of heating oil, air conditioning, mortgages, windows, cabinets and siding — all with the question, how do we advertise now that the real estate bubble has burst?
We say go online. A new report predicts that real estate ad spending online will outpace offline media by 2012. Today, about 65% of real estate advertising is spent in newsprint vs. 35% online; that will soon be a 50-50 split.
We advise anyone in the home services game to push harder in the web space. Start with Google Adwords, and then test banner ads with behavioral targeting on networks such as Tremor Media. Test emerging formats such as widgets and video-in-banner. Boot up Zillow.com, and see what your competitors are doing. In real estate, location matters, and the location of your prospective consumers is now on the net.