Cable TV Advertising Strategy That Connie Barnes Is Using In El Dorado Hills California

June 18th, 2015

JimBarnesJim Barnes does real estate photography and property video for his wife Connie Barnes who is a top Realtor in El Dorado Hills California.

Last week Jim described his Cable TV marketing strategy. This is one of the few times I’ve heard about Realtors doing marketing on cable TV. Here is Jim’s description of what he’s doing on Cable TV:

1) My TV budget is about $1,700 per month and I get about 800 spots in my local area with about 25,000 cable TV subscribers. Included in that budget are fixed positions on FOX NEWS Prime time which is very popular in our county. I set myself up as an agency which gives us an additional discount.

Keep in mind, unless you do your own video production, like I do, you would need to pay production costs which could exceed cost of the ads. This one of the reasons that we like this niche.

Unlike broadcast, with Cable you buy the zones you want. For example, Atlanta is a huge TV market and the cable operator breaks the city into 48 zones. You can buy as many zones as you want, rotate through zones, it doesn’t matter.

I was spending the same budget in our local newspaper which at one point had $14,000 delivery households and eventually declined to 6,600 total distribution. Newspaper and direct mail are the most often used advertising method in our area by Realtors. Nobody is on TV.

2) We are getting lots of great feedback and generating buzz as well. When people see you on TV they tend to be impressed. We got a listing from a couple who placed a call to an agent to come list their house. They were waiting all afternoon for a call back and saw our spot on FOX NEWS. The seller said, let’s call that gal! Our sellers also like the idea that we will feature their home on TV.

While cable TV is not for everyone, it’s a great example of the fact that top Realtors are doing marketing that makes them stand out from the crowd. Click here to see Jim’s cable TV marketing page that has several examples of 30-second cable TV spots that Jim has produced.

I think there are opportunities here for professional videographers to supply 30 second spots to Realtors. As of this writing Connie Barnes is the only Realtors advertising one cable TV in the US. Anyone else out there doing this?

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5 Responses to “Cable TV Advertising Strategy That Connie Barnes Is Using In El Dorado Hills California”

  • There is a real estate agency in our town (Panama City, FL) who as a 30-minute late night show on local TV showcasing some of their listings. Problem is, the photos they use are the same, tired ones used by most agents (cell phone, dslr which they don’t know how to use, etc.) which they submit to the MLS. Gag… I’ve contacted a few of the agents in that office and I’ve been told they already use a “professional” photographer. (Cough…yea, right.) Some photos do look better than others but I think that’s because they just get lucky!

  • Back in the 90s we ran a print-based directory of new homes in a local newspaper, with over 100 builder communities participating.

    We were approached by a local cable operator to use the high-quality still images we had from the builders to generate 15-second TV spots on an automated basis. The cable production values were surprisingly high.

    The spots reached 400,000 Chicago-area cable households and ran across a wide variety of programming 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, including quite a few on CNN. My best recollection is that there were about 4,000 of these 15-second spots each week for a 3-month period.

    We got that for free from the cable operator which was anxious to establish the viability of its medium for builders.

    Each of the advertised communities had an individual extension number on an IVR (interactive voice response) phone system we ran at the time. My best recollection is that it took about 1,400 spots to generate a single phone call. That call typically was placed between 2 and 4 in the morning for the lowest-priced properties advertised.

    At the end of the 3-month trial we were pitched to continue on a paying basis and blend the spots into the print / IVR packages we sold to builders. We told the cable salesperson the results didn’t justify continuing even on a free basis.

  • Funny, my business model and personality are very similar to Fred Light’s, so with zero ad dollars going out, there is more work coming in then I can handle, but… I get it all done anyway 🙂

  • @Kelvin…I believe the advertising represents business development efforts on the Realtor side rather than the photographer side. Selling a few high-end listings brings in a large chunk of change that more than offsets the cost. It also allows for redirecting the monthly marketing outlay from segments that are not effective – like buying leads. From a RE photographer perspective, it is not so much how you can increase your clients base with cable advertising – which by definition is a very narrow base. Rather how to take your clients to the next level creating video segments for them to use in advertising. Of course, if you gain additional clients through the credits in your client’s video, that is a happy coincidence.

  • @Larry Gray – Correct. We are a real estate sales and marketing agency and do a fair amount of sales in our region. Cable TV brand advertising for us is much more efficient for us than any newsprint alternatives. For those video producers who are already creating real estate videos, this could be another source of revenue. This advertising space is wide open and perfect for local real estate offices and brands. Personally, I love owning 100% of this marketing space!

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