News & Tips

How Compass Real Estate has found a home with transit advertising

Selling real estate is a process that involves quite a name recognition, trust and legitimacy. If people trust that you can get a sale on their home, that’s half the battle.

“Marketing is paramount, it’s branding, it helps me help sell houses, it helps get business,” John Zimmerman with Compass Realty in Fort Worth said. “For me as an agent, it’s one of my primary things that I work on every day.”

Zimmerman has been one of our partners to truly embrace transit advertising in the space, trusting in us when he first brought Compass Real Estate to the area. But he didn’t just dip a toe in and see what it was like. No, he did a cannonball into the deep end with a simple, creative campaign and took the risk by placing his face on the side of every bus he’s on.

Compass Realty in Fort Worth

Compass Real Estate is one of the largest residential real estate companies in the country with agencies across the US. Zimmerman founded Compass Real Estate in Fort Worth four years ago but came into it with nearly 30 years of residential real estate experience.

“When I decided to start using transit advertising, I was launching compass into this space, and we wanted to make a big splash. So, we had a pretty bold bus design and campaign with benches,” he said.

And it’s hard to miss his buses and benches all over the city, serving as a reminder that he and his team are always there, ready to help with your real estate needs.

“When it comes to water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and garbage disposals, you don’t care about them until they don’t work,” Bobby Johnson, Sales and Marketing Director at Golden Rule, said. “When they don’t work who do you call?” 

Where Transit Advertising Fits In

When we first approached Zimmerman with the opportunity to use bus advertising in his media plan, he was initially unsure, having a misconception about who the target audience could be.

“I had to think of it differently because I’m not targeting the people that are riding on that bus, necessarily,” he said. “I’m targeting all the people that see this bus, that go through downtown, and through all these areas where I’m doing a lot of business, these bus benches, people get stuck in traffic, they look at those bus benches, and it’s a constant reminder.”

He says the campaign has been “wildly successful” and a big reason why he’s renewed year after year. A big part behind that is that no one else is really taking advantage of the transit resources to get their message out.

“We used the large King Kong the whole side of the bus,” Zimmerman said. “It was just to show the difference of the firm from any other kind of firms in the market.

“I don't know what the overall cost per impression is on it, but whatever it is, we're going to keep doing it because it works and it's been a big, big push for my business.”
- John Zimmerman, Compass Real Estate

Generating Buzz and Getting People’s Attention

Their ads typically feature Zimmerman boldly on the side of the bus on a plain background and with a witty phrase. Short sweet and to the point.

“Even though some people roll their eyes at it, they noticed it,” he said. “So, when they see that they think to themselves ‘If he’s bold enough to put his face on buses he’ll probably ask for the sale on my house and he’ll probably get it’.”

It’s gone further than just potential clients noticing the ads, making Zimmerman a bit of a local celebrity.

“I people will come up to me in restaurants and bars and grocery stores and wherever and go, Oh, my God, you’re that guy. And that’s it’s hysterical to me, but my kids will cringe, even though they now think it’s funny.”

When we partner with a company to place their ads on buses, we want to make sure we do everything in our power to make sure that goes off without a hitch, for the entire length of the ad contract, not just at the beginning.

If there’s ever any issue, we hop into action to resolve it.

“The partnership has given me quite a bit of peace in terms of monitoring all of these ads” Zimmerman said. “Let’s say somebody puts a mustache on me on one of my ads. I actually find that pretty humorous, you know, and I actually get more views on it, but I can’t leave it up there forever. So, when I call, they are very quick to fix it.” 

If you want to reap the same benefits as them, and have an impact in your local community, contact our Adsposure team in your market and see how we can help you!