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146 The RdLIta BLueBook of Cal.

ifornia

HARRY H. CULVER
The Raalt! BIua Iiook ol Calilonia 747

Advertisins Real Estate


By HARRY H. CuLl'ER

Ma,ss SeLLing Holu MxLclLto Spend. in Adoertia;ng-


Apportionment of Au)ropri&tion-Selection of Medtu-
Dir ect-by-M ail Ad1)ertisiw-I llustr d,tions-Pro lnable Pub-
Lic'ita-Long N. Shol't CopU Sign-Boarala-Heddlines-
InteIUg ence in Pretmration.

. I fT prys Io adverlise hasbeenquotedsomuch and so often mosl


peoplebelieveil. and wilh good reason. ll jsn'l stfictly true,
^I
howeve*,that any kind of ad!ertising paysr bul it does pay
to advedise truthfully and consistently.
Wlile this chapter deals particularly with real estate adveltising,
there are many fundamental principl€s which apply to all advertising
in- alrv line of endeavor.
o€dain maxims ar€ particularly applicable to advertising in gen-
eral. John Wanamaker is credited with the statement that "Adver-
tising doesn't jerk-it putls." The old maxim, "Keeping everlastingly
&t it brilgs success,"is as true today as when it was first originated.

. MASS SELLINC
Advertising has been defined as 'Mass Selling," and as such
covers the largest percentage of general advertising. I'he inain
functionof advertisingis to sell merchandise, prolerty, or simply an
idea; but its function is ess€ntiallywhat may be ter'med "printed
salesmanship."Good advertising sells the greatest amount of mer-
.chandise, or property, or converis the largest number of peopleto a
givenidea. In actual practiceit is almost impossibleto trace directly
the results of any given, or individual advertisement,although in
duny casesa large numberof salesare madein this way. Sometimes
ttre advertisementactually makes the sale,so that a.ll the salesman
has to do is to take the money, issuea receipt, or contract, or ev€n
deliver tle geods.
IMPO&TANCEOF ADEQUATEADVERTISING
When a proposition is well advertisedit creates a background
to the salesman's great advantage, rendering it unnecessaryfor him
to go into full details with each individual customer. Under such
conihtionsa salesmancan cover a great deal more ground, mal{e more
salesin lesstime and at lesscost.
ADI'ERTISED AR,TICIE MUST HAI'E M'RIT
It is more important to create satisfied custome$ than simply to
mskdsales,particularly in real estate advedising. When a real estate
148 The Realfu BIrLeBaolt ol C|rliforntar

ploposition i s n r i s r e D f p s " n t . dn r r d l h P , u b r o m p r d i ' ' o v c i s t l " i s b y i n -


Yestigation, ; , , ; h h ; t . j r n d ' o g o o d r a r r I p s r . l r f r n r * L r c h m a l h o d s '

THD ARUT1I IN ADVDRTISING


Thlough $'ell-organizecl adveltisirg agencies, and the elTolts oJ
'eetG Bu'siness" lr-ureaus thloughout the Unitcd States, a 11e1l'
efiective campaisn lbr "tluth in adve ising" has been
";;;l;"J;fu
pii"'iGii"J *itrl gleat suiceis. It is better that thele should be
ul]derstltenent lather than exaggeratror'

HOW I{UCTI TO ST'ENDIN ADVERTISINC


fe"'lars p b"-l r'e'noo or'rri \:r ri.ri]r i.o\''r r' jlhll"or'ti1
,io" i" rh.t Iiirr;rr..,_h ' lF.ip ljllF o' la rrrri' l lad ralan
'.n p'i r . d e p € r r d r n ro n
T h , . I , e ' . o r ' l h g pr , n l \ r ' ) f i o r . 1o r ' l a "
Jitg".itties e""uultcteil a:rd resistance to overcorne A feir average
iruiiia Uetetrue"u tttt'ceand ivc pet cent of the gloss snles
ILLISTRA'r'1oN. I.ol instuce, jJ a subdivisjon lv^s pl:lnlled 1r
such a wry th:rt the total retail vahre of the lots would approxnnate
' b ' r l o r r ' ) p r : r '$ o l d L e . " o t' u r l e d
; " ' ' l i ' o n ' d " i ; r " , p . i , , a r ' i r t , :r
r.s"l ins orr i r l , ' f o o r ' il i o . r - 1r J h ' t r " \ ' ' l n n ) l : l ' r l n ' i _
: r v r l r . e al ' r ' , p r i ^ l 9 1 , 0 0 0 . r ' 0 0onI , S 3 0 . ( i n 0j r " d I ' l o r l o r ' r r r gr r r r
sum to be ipent duling the teAr.

,{P|ORTIONMENT
'fhe:rDDroDri:rtion should be distlibuted jD such a $'ay that 'r
.ou"ia.,:,rr,i"n.n :o i. ").1. d' J t h. fir''l 1nr'r 'r of I v o. $ itlr gr'|rdrral
;:J;'.;;;; i, ',',oui.ts,o$a,J'\. -'d oi1'. 'ir'r'air o' rh''r'e.orv
lhrr :, lahps
it gets under' \\.l|Y.
S]'I,I]CTION OF I{I]DIA
which
Thc losical procedur€ is to adveltisc in those publications
t"od friitft" pinrtf" to Nhom vou e\pect to sell The \\'r'ite'" believes
"t"
ihn 1i r j r r l \ ' r t i " ; n g" P a l
i o t . t r " n o s r i n t \ ^ - r r r r n . d r l "r"
" e wb;i;'"l;,""'
soar,cl i "r,y i,, so. r l"d -r'".i: r,"L,lirni^nq. $r i"h
"j,;i".
may be enl oyed to good eilect
]NTDLLICIINCETN ]]FET'.{RATrcN

- c . d \ " r - . . i r , E ' h o r r . dU r p ^ , r d e d :s h I'F\slafpi


r r t l p r ' ' . d i J ' r ! - ' j ' n d ' ' l ' l o r r . r r al l l s r
lrr dl.-. i r r n a | l n r r
pi-e".- ,Jth;';gli il," hish slnde arlveltiser. avoids sensationalism'

DIRIICI'-BY-}'IAILADVDBTISTNG
j'.1\erlsi e r'' r'r'ush lh'
On. ot rr' Irusr Ftl'.ii., n.rnw.l oi
l.e ol ' l r . I n i r i l c ,b f n ' r . r . . . 1 " s . c i n r ll'ls Lo'\ P'' L'loadslopc
"r sent dileci' to a selectedlist
lilelatule
"ir*t:.r".".'"ivi,",i
"iii r."""""i".-
.? a nlaitil; list c^n be conDiled (ontainins onlv
"i'^avcltising
the'naniesof pelsonsknown lo be irl the nar'liet flD the ploDelty oDe
is seliing,thii metnorlis especialivstrccess{ul Excellerrtresults may
Tke Real,tuBl,ueBoolcol C&l,ifornia. 149

also be secured by selecting names from the telephone book, or from


sources,particularly in the caseof property that can be sold on
tenns.
The same fundamental principles that apply in the caseof display
advertising in newspapers and magazin€s also apply to direct-by-
adveltising.
SIIOULD ADWRTISING BE ILLUSMATED?
This dependsentirely upon the nature of the prope*y being
advertised. When illustrationsare usedit is desirableto usepictures
twify action. There is something aboui a moving object that
catchesthe eye, and therefore has "high-attention" velue. Where
actualmotion cannot be obtained, a similar effect may be securedby a
e showing objects or personsin motion. An illustration of a
t train tearing along at sixty niles per hour has much higher
tion than one of a locomotivestandingstill.

IIEADLINES THAT TELL THE SIORY


Oneof the most important parts of any advertisementis the mair
lin€. The sub-headsare of almostequalimportance. The adver-
rentshoulalbe so designedthat the main headline,the sub-heads
the signature tell a completestory, so that your story may.be
rlized tlmost at a glance. Those who are attracted by the head_
will naturally read the details.
No set rules can be laid down as to vhat sort of headlinesshall
used; however, headlinesthat contain specificfacts and v/hich
t action are the most efi€ctive.
COPY TIIAT CARRIES CONVICTION
As in l,hecase of lhe headline,l,Ie copy'or main body of the
isementshouldbe free from "glitteringi generalities." Specific
are more convincingthan fanciful language.

LONG OR SHORT COPY

Somevery prominent adv€rtising successesha,vebeen made from


hat is known as "poster copy," using a very few words, either with
of whit€ space or with illustrations. On t}Ie other hand, many
haveb€enbuilt on advertisementscontaininga large amount
copyset in small lYPe.
Someoneasked Lincoln iow long a man's legs should be. and his
rer was, "Long enoughto touch the ground." This well illustrates
point. In the caseof advedising the copy shouldbe long enough
6I the story. The impo*ant thing is that your advertisement
uld be clear, even to the person of intelligence beiow the average.
the story with shod, simple words that anybody can undeNtand.

PNOFITABLEPUBI,ICIIY
A by-product ol advertising, \i'rhich with proper direction can be
e very productive of results, particularly in adve*ising real
llrc RulLt!/RllL Boak af Colilo ix

estate, is thc so-called "flee publicity." Most of the ne*'spapers are


glad to publish stoi ies regar.dirg the activities of r.eal estate entcl-
prises and thele is no qricstion but that stories of this sor"t are very
valuable-
llnfDftunately a gr'eat deal of the so-calledpublicitj* which is run-
ning in ihe nervspaDetsis $-hat is knowl as "hokom" ard conteins
little oI no ner-s intelest. Irr order to make a good tlublicili.story il
is esseniialto have somethinsto say.
''STUNT"
ADVERTISINC

If the n€ws possibilities of the eDtelprise itself have been com'


pletely exhausted. it max be advisable to originate some kird of a
specinl "stunt," lvhich will serve the double purpose of fulnishing
something oD which to haDg a ne$.s story and also to iDduce people to
come out to the ]rlopclty.
The use of so-called "stunts" for' :rdve*isillg real estate is men-
tioned in aD ar'ticle reg^rding the developm€rt of Cuh'er. City, Cali-
folDia, which apDcaredin the F.bIuaIy, 1924, issue of The A ericarr
Magazine. It nentioned rri :ruto polo game $hich was never reDeated
and which last€d only a few rrinutes. Four automobiles stalted fr-om
foul corncrs simultaneously.lnd mnde fol one big ball in the c€nter-
of the field. Therc r-as :r roar, a cloud of dust, a few noments of wild
excit€DeDt, ard sonrc blokcn boncs. It brought a lot ol people and the
paDer-shad a glcat dcal to sny rbout it.
Still another "stunt" which was nsed was that of putting a rer'
autornobile out ill :1 \':1c:rnl lol ncal a highr.ay ard tt'irg the steer'
ing rvheel in such :r position that the car l'!-ouldgo alound in a circle.
The car \1'asstarted off with nobody ir it ard allowed to rur bj' itself.
Naturally a gleat numbel of people stopped, got out of their o$ n
machines aDd r':rDacloss the field to stop the "r'un-away" car. A sales-
man or tl.!rc would always be handy to clear up the mystely aDd inci-
dertally to mention something about the troDerty $'hich \!as being
ollered for sale.
SICN BOATIDS

As placticalll'cvcry subdivision has some flontage or a nlrun


trayeled boulevald, it can profitablv take advantage of thousands and
thousands of cr,-s that p:lss by that point, by electing sigr-boards on
the propefty itself. Th€sc signs may be anlthing flom small Dres-
sagesto beautifully painled rnd illunrinated bulletir boards. Naturally
they should call :rttention lo outst:uding features of the properly and
should invite people to stop alld investigate fully.
To sum uD-the sort of Ieal estnte advertisirlg which is most profit-
able is the kiDd which teils the tluth about the propelty in an attmc-
tive, interesting and consistent mr:rnner.