Last week, I asked the question, Is home buying seasonal in St. Louis?  Based on a simple google search, it turns out that home buying is highly seasonal in St. Louis.  Since we now know this, I was wondering, When should a real estate brokerage in St. Louis advertise?  Should we advertise all year long, or save our capital for the “hot season”, or should we maybe play contrarian and advertise when no one else is?

According to boomtown, which is one of the larger advertising platforms for real estate brokerages and agents, there is also a correlation between the demand of housing and the cost for the advertisements.  For example, while there are more people searching for new homes in April and May, the expense to run ads is also higher.  The boomtown article is concerned mostly with digital advertising, so I’m not sure if they take into account radio and television.

St. Louis Real Estate Advertisements

In St. Louis, I’ve gotten to the point where I know spring is coming just due to the amount of ads I hear on the radio.  Sure enough, starting about late February, every DJ on radio has a real estate professional to recommend to you.  I can think of two radio ads running right now that are real estate agents looking for listings.  One is a discount brokerage, and another is full service, but they are both on the same station, so I’m not sure how that is working out for them.  I’m curious to see if the full service agent does well because she hasn’t advertised in this space before and sometimes real estate advertisements fail.

How Does St. Louis Based Deerwood Realty Advertise?

At Deerwood Realty, we advertise year round.  Because we are a small, independent brokerage, we don’t get the benefit of potential ad buy ins that a real estate franchise would.  We’re ok with that; there is a lot of wasted money in advertising a national brand versus a company that works in your community.

Peak Advertisement Spend

As we learned above, you see more expensive ads for real estate in the spring and early summer.  I’ve asked around and I do wonder how many real estate people who traditionally use Adwords know this and if they reflect it in their internal advertising numbers.  For example, let’s assume a real estate agent has never advertised on a digital platform like Adwords before.  They decide to start running ads the last week of July, when the cost to advertise is the highest, but the interest in real estate around St. Louis lowers.  How would that agent’s numbers look versus someone who started advertising the third week in December, which is traditionally one of the lowest points of interest in real estate for sale in St. Louis?  I suspect what you would see would be a higher spend in July, but terrible results.  All things being equal, you are likely to see a lower spend in December, and the same number of results.

Real Estate Advertisements As A Consumer

I’ve mentioned in the past that you should be skeptical of real estate commercials.    This doesn’t change during any time of the year.  Based on my experience with my own clients, they know months and often even years in advance of when they will list their home for sale or buy their dream home.    That means that the real estate advertisements we see in the spring and summer certainly aren’t going to be effective for those people.  This logic follows:  People don’t drive around in their cars and automatically think that they are going to buy a new home because they heard it on the radio.  They operate according to their own time schedule.  If there isn’t a time component to the ad, would real estate agents in St. Louis be better off advertising during the slow season for brand awareness?  I think the answer is yes.