Strategy—The First Year
BANG called the new brand LeadHax to express the core benefit: tech-smart delivery of leads for both home sales and listings. Rather than merely selling the newspaper´s owned and operated website audience, the platform relied on programmatic to populate the hyper-targeted demographic and geographic audience that agents demanded.
In the beginning, four campaign packages were offered. Agents first choose whether to advertise a home or their own listing services. An automated tool populates and builds three digital display ads with information from the MLS. Finally, the agents are asked to choose between a two-week or four-week campaign, type in a click thru URL, a zip code for where they want their ads geo-targeted, and then purchase.
The design is a simple point and click process, so they are finished in minutes. A lot of technology, however, is going on behind the scenes. First, the MLS data includes both listings from ListHub, an aggregator of nationwide MLS, and the local MLS that BANG accesses through different partnerships and agreements. AdPortal normalizes and aggregates all these data sources into a single hub so agents can quickly find the listing they’re looking for.
The integration with a powerful DSP, where campaigns are booked and launched, takes less than a minute to target an audience within a 15-mile radius of the listing location. The programmatic inventory is automatically purchased via real time bidding on multiple programmatic partners, utilizing 30 real estate data segments. As results come in for the campaigns, LeadHax emails the agent with a link to view the campaign results, as well as modify an existing campaign and/or reorder.
Early results showed that 70% of ads were served above the fold; with click-through rates approaching 1%. All of this revenue was new, most of it coming from agents and brokers who were not doing business with BANG at the time. In short, the new revenue stream created was beyond the scope of a newspaper’s mainstream products.
Thirty Month Later…
As the team at BANG grew their relationships with agents and brokers, they continually worked with iPublish to evolve the LeadHax platform to meet agents’ and brokers’ growing needs. Key improvements included seller retargeting. BANG identified that this feature was helping competitors secure more business, so iPublish added this as an automatic feature. Today every LeadHax sale generates a retargeting pixel which is made available for placement on the Realtor´s website. The pixel re-targets website visitors with the ad, even when they are on their mobile phones and within a 15-mile radius of the agent’s office or listing address. The second major upgrade included adding Facebook targeted ad packages, a key request from real estate agents. Finally, BANG realized that the brokerages also wanted help differentiating themselves to attract more and better agents. So iPublish created LeadHax Pro Enterprise, a white-label version of LeadHax that brokerages can license. BANG created a strategy for the broker to pay for the first week of agent advertising for all new listings. LeadHax automatically emails the campaign results from the first week to the agent and asks if they would like to renew for four or eight weeks. The agent benefits from the first week of “free” advertising for every new listing, as well access to this turnkey marketing resource, which has become a significant differentiator in the fierce competition to recruit good agents. It also proved that agents were willing renew the existing ads so that they continue to run.