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Print Media and Real Estate

Is the Internet killing print media ads for real estate? In my opinion, yes. Of course there are exceptions (some open houses do sell houses) but I think print ads are becoming less and less effective while still being very expensive. When we run open house ads in the Oregonian, we’re limited to about 4 lines. The number of enquires we get in a year that we can track probably can be counted on two hands.

In an effort to draw some attention to a higher priced listing, we ran a quarter page ad in California paper on the cover of the local Sunday real estate section- I can’t track a single contact through it.

Using Internet based marketing, I can track where the contacts come from, show the seller statistics about the viewings and consider the best time/dollar investment to marketing the home.

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6 Comments on “Print Media and Real Estate

  1. With the real estate ad-revenue drying up maybe the Oregonian and WW will get more realistic with their RE reporting. You’ve gotta think that they’ve been afraid of offending the providers of one of their large revenue streams…

    Charles: Is this partially an issue of trying to cut costs as sales volumes go down? How effective were print ads when the market was hot?

    As a shopper for various things, I think Craigslist is much more effective and it’s free. The problem with print ads is that they’re not searchable. The other problem is that less and less people are reading print…

  2. TiP,

    It’s a valid questoin about trying to cut costs but no, that is not the case. I would rather spend money on what works than throwing good money after bad. We don’t take a listing if we don’t think we can sell it. Since there is no pay before it closes we want to spend where appropriate.

    I don’t think print ads were ever effective. We’ve never advertised ourselves in print; just listings. No glossy magazines or paid TV ads.

    We’re holding an open house this weekend. No print ads. I think I can get better traffic online when I start my push tomorrow.

    Craigslist is great. I sold over $1000 worth of today.

  3. I agree that newspaper advertising is about useless. It has been as the internet has grown. I have found Craiglist to be only useful when I have lease option properties.

    You look where you know the product is located. In this case that is the RMLS or the feeds from RMLS to real estate sites. Newspaper, craigslist, fsbo magazine are all secondary sources when the main source doesn’t work.

    And during the hot market, one local real estate magazine, I can’t recall the name of, closed it’s doors due to low participation from agents. In that market houses sold so quickly and easy that the house was sold quite often before the ad hit.

    Most agents get into the business and do what they believe works to market homes and later learn that the majority of these strategies really just get more clients for the agent.

  4. It’s going to take a lot more than advertising to sell houses in the coming years. Remember, price sells everything and right now they’re about 40% too high.

    That’ll sink in in a few months.

  5. I’m noticing more FSBOs. Three within a block of me now. Several on my way to work in the morning. Talked to one (flipper; worked on house from June – October) and she strongly implied that she wouldn’t be able to make a profit at this point if she had to do pay the 6% – actually, I’m doubting she’ll make a profit at this point anyway with the numbers she mentioned to me; very doubtful they’ll be able to get the asking price.

    I’m guessing a lot of folks are close to being underwater at this point and they can’t make the numbers work with the 6% commission so they put up some signs and CraigsList-it.

  6. Flippers are losing money? Oh, that’s too bad. I feel awful for them!

    Hope the lose everything.

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