Earlier in the year, we sent our product researchers into the field to talk to Agents about alternative digital marketing products they’d experienced before Reach.
Our team found among other themes, that most agents had, at some point, been signed up to REA’s Audience Maximiser product. So, we set about doing some digging to see what Audience Maximiser is all about and how it compares to Reach.
First things first, what does Audience Maximiser actually do?
It may sound like a flippant premise to start with, but our research found that most agents weren’t really sure how to explain what Audience Maximiser did or how. They had infact primarily agreed to sign up for the product as part of a deal to offset the annual price increase on their portal listings.
That aside, Audience Maximiser in essence takes listing data and generates a few co-branded ads (based on the ad preview tool, there are measly 4 ad formats) which are then displayed on Meta and a selection of ambiguous, but ‘popular’ websites. The Ads of course, click traffic back to realestate.com portal, rather than your agency website.
There are several reasons why this isn’t ideal for agents and makes Reach a better option – Let’s take a closer look
Audience Maximiser - A Closer Look
So, you’ve paid for a listing to be displayed on realestate.com, and then you pay again for Audience Maximiser to drive traffic to it. The ads that do this, even though you’ve paid for them, are ‘co-branded’ as realestate.com, and then drive the traffic you’ve paid for, back to realestate.com instead of your own website. In terms of brand exposure and data ownership, this setup is much more of a win for REA than the agent.
According to realestate.com’s literature, the ad’s are being 'served to a targeted and active pool of Australia's largest property audience’ *
This audience of course is derived from realestate.com’s website traffic, which means your Audience Maximiser listing ads are effectively being targeted to the people who are already looking at your listings on realestate.com anyway. This makes the value of extra exposure the product is supposed to deliver, questionable.
Furthermore, Audience Maximiser ads are often grouped and shown in carousels alongside ads from your competitor's listings. For a paid service, this comes short of many agents' expectations.
Compare this to Reach, where your ads are targeted to audiences derived from multiple sources and delivered across more ad networks in more formats, Audience Maximiser is looking less and less valuable.
Build Your Brand, Not the Portals
As we’ve touched on already, Audience Maximiser Ads direct traffic directly to realestate.com. This exposes prospects to competitors' listings, diluting the impact of your marketing efforts by limiting visibility and making it harder to stand out in a competitive market. Essentially, agents are inadvertently investing in promoting REA’s platform and brand rather than their own.
Rex Reach not only advertises your listings but also importantly increases brand awareness by channeling traffic directly to your own website (or a Reach landing page where other agent’s listings AREN’T shown), rather than back to the portals. This approach allows agents to build and implement their own retargeting lists and strategies.
Flexibility and Control
Audience Maximiser employs a very simple but rigid approach to digital marketing – You get 1 campaign type (listing), in only 4 ad formats across 2 platforms and ‘some’ websites. Furthermore, depending on which package or deal they’ve locked you into, there is a slow and painful deferral process for listings that might not be right to use it on.
In comparison, Rex Reach is easy breezy to use, offers 6 additional campaign types beyond a listing, and delivers ads in up to 27 formats across 3 huge networks with much more diversified and targeted audiences. This flexibility is crucial, especially in a fluctuating market, allowing you to adapt your strategy as needed.
Own your data.
It's simple really, Audience Maximiser ads use realestate.com data to send clicks back to realestate.com, and guess who then owns and leverages that data? Exactly.
However, with Reach, you can drive traffic directly to your website or other landing page – you decide. You’re even able to use your own custom audience data to target the ad’s in addition to the audiences our in-house marketing experts create and maintain.
While Audience Maximiser may be a good choice as a lever to negotiate lower listing fees with the portals, in every other way you are more likely to get better results with another tool, especially Reach: While which tool exactly is up to you (we have written about Boosted Social posts here if your interested in that), to help remember why Reach stands out, below is a summary of the key points:
Why choose Rex Reach?
User Experience: Rex Reach's simple design ensures that even those new to digital marketing can navigate its features with ease.
Marketing Reach and Diversity: Rex Reach's advanced targeting capabilities allow agents to tap into niche markets, maximizing the potential for property exposure.
Your Brand, Your Data: The ability to send traffic with only your branding, directly to your personal website with Rex Reach aids in building your customer base, not someone else's.
Adaptability: Reach's multiple campaigns alllow you to adapt to market trends and deploy new strategies to keep you ahead in a competitive landscape.
Real-Time Analytics: With Rex Reach, agents gain access to real-time analytics, enabling them to make data-driven decisions for better campaign outcomes.
If you want to find out more about Rex Reach, book a call with one of the team here.
Thats all for today, next time we’ll take a look at how Reach compares to using a small social media agency for real estate digital marketing.
*At time of writing 5/12/23 on Audience Maximiser Landing Page.