Static billboards have always been a hallmark of traditional marketing for real estate. They provide real estate agents additional brand recognition and exposure that complements other marketing vehicles.
However, the cost of this medium is not for the faint of heart. They can cost as little as $1,000 per month to upwards of $8,000 or even more. Factor in the cost of design and other fees, and it can take a bug chunk out of your budget!
As with all things advertising, however, the tide has turned toward digital. If you look around any highway or major thoroughfare, you’ll probably notice digital billboards popping up more and more.
We caught up with Georgia real estate broker Stacey Irwin of Irwin Realty & Company to learn the benefits of this growing real estate marketing tool.
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Jumping Feet First into Digital Billboards
Irwin had done little advertising for her luxury real estate brokerage firm in the past. As a seasoned agent who had always focused on the upscale neighborhood Eagle’s Landing, just south of Atlanta, she knows almost every house that has been built in the area and understands what both listing and buying clients need.
Fast forward more than two decades later, when technology in the real estate industry is growing at a rapid rate and the market is saturated with more and more agents.
“I knew it was time to leverage the most cutting-edge in technology to market my firm’s services,” said Irwin. “When I first learned about digital billboards, I had to give it a shot.”
It just so happened that Southern Digital Display had recently purchased a Watchfire digital billboard and erected it just one-quarter of a mile from the golf course, country club and stately homes of Eagle’s Landing. In fact, the billboard led traffic right past the neighborhood Irwin and her team would be promoting.
Irwin called Southern Digital and took her real estate marketing straight into the 21st century.
Flexibility and Beauty Wrapped into One Medium
Irwin says that digital billboards provide exponential exposure compared to regular, static billboards.
“With digital billboards, you have the ability to not only rotate your images but also change your images as often as you would like. This helps real estate professionals keep the information they share more current.”
Each image stays on the billboard for about eight to ten seconds – just enough time for drivers-by to catch the ad as safely as possible.
Through Watchfire’s online-based system, Irwin’s webmaster could easily change the ad image, information and date to reflect new listings. The system, however, is so easy that Irwin said, if she had the time, she could have done it herself.
“On the billboard, we had a standard format: A group pic of our team, our logo and phone number, and a current listing’s photo and address,” said Irwin. “We’d only change out the property image and address if we had a new listing. Our clients loved when we’d feature their homes, and we had many people call to tell us that they saw the billboard.”
From a visual standpoint, “You could hardly take your eyes off them. Our ad looked great and was so obvious from afar.”
An Awesome Experience
Irwin ran her digital billboard ads for about nine months and loved the results. Though she could not exactly quantify the number of leads she received from the billboard, she knew that the combination of its location, flexibility and numerous calls to the office from it had definitely boosted her brand.
Irwin has since taken the budget she had allocated for the digital billboards, about 25 percent of her total monthly marketing allowance, to explore even more digital opportunities, specifically social media.
“I would definitely recommend digital billboards to any real estate agent looking for an advanced brand-building and lead-generating marketing tool,” said Irwin. “We love what ours did for our firm and how it helped us become more knowledgable and comfortable with technology in general.”