I've never had much (any?) luck with mass-advertising (newspapers, bus benches, SEO), at least, not that I could tell. One year I took out over $20,000 worth of newspaper ads which resulted in, get this, ZERO phone calls. Enough of that nonsense.
However, I'm starting to think about the effectiveness of "advertising" to your SOI. Here's where my brain is going.
I live in a trendy, hip neighborhood that has barely noticed the recent doom & gloom of the real estate market. People still want to live here and decent homes sell quickly. (Although there's plenty of overpriced crap on the market that isn't moving, for good reason.) I also happen to know a lot of people who live here in the ‘hood with me - probably 20-30 members of my core SOI are neighbors. We're such a hip, trendy crowd...
So I'm thinking... would it be effective to advertise in the local (neighborhood) newspapers - not necessarily to attract the business of total strangers, but rather to reinforce my name recognition among the people who DO know me, or have at least heard of me?
I remember many years ago, there was an agent in town who advertised heavily on bus benches. I thought she must be a Top Dog because it seemed her name was all over the place. When we finally met (and became friends), I was shocked to discover that she was newer than I was and did significantly less business. But the perception I had of her was that she was very successful.
Here's my point... If I were a consumer, would all those bus benches have inspired me to call her up and hire her on the spot? Not a chance. BUT, if I'd met her, at an open house, at a party, wherever, would she have already had some credibility with me, due to her advertising efforts? Probably so, especially if she were professional and credible in person (which she was).
So... I'm wondering if the point of local advertising might be to put you in a position of credibility should you ever have the opportunity to meet those who have seen your advertising. Or, of course, to remind those who already know you of your existence, if they've forgotten...?
Is this a big DUH question?