Maybe it's because of where I am located; this market place has always been a little different than the rest of America. Even New York City has a slightly different demographic then we have here, in spite of the fact that we share the same homeowner/buyer....but I am having another look at print advertising.
Is print advertising really dead?....or is it that the internet in general, is not pulling leads?
I would be genuinely interested in hearing how other agents in different markets are doing their advertising---is there really a buyer who buys from you after seeing your ad on the internet? Or is it that they come to you after finding your website and really being impressed by it?
DO WE REALLY KNOW?
If it is just different here, then I will take another look at ways to capture that source of business; however, when I look at the facts, I think: My print ads seem to focus more on what the buyer really wants.
- We have a second home market here--that is one difference.
- We have an upscale customer base--that is another difference.
- 80% of our buyers search the web but rarely buy a specific house from the listing agent.
- Buyers here usually use a referring agent or friend to find an agent.
- Most listings are taken by cold calling and through previous exposure to the seller, through selling or renting to them in the past.
- We, as a company are questioning and reviewing the importance of internet advertising.
Therefore, the way we market and advertise seems to differ from other parts of the country. Our customer base is a pretty solid one; buyers are usually from the city; they usually rent here first; on average, they usually buy from a broker they know.
Print ads pull!My company does a magazine (PROFILE) for both the city and the Hamptons. It is a professional publication that has 250-300,000 circulation--and it has a very long shelf life. I sold 2 properties from a full page ad I did in the September '09 issue--one was just over $2mil and the other is $3.2mil. Even though the page was expensive ($2,500), I felt very good about the results: I sold these properties the first weekend that the magazine was on the news stands!
This is one of them:
Sold within one week of running a print ad in PROFILE Magazine!
On the other hand, I ran several internet ads, in key spots on public sites and have not had one call from them. I have tried Goodle Ads, Facebook, Trulia and even Activerain to no avail.
Print advertising here works on an "institutional" or an "image" basis also. We run company pages every week in the local newspaper, THE SOUTHAMPTON PRESS and THE EASTHAMPTON STAR.
Is this happening in other places? Is it that the internet is not pulling in as much business as national markets reported in a hot market? Or is it just the demographic anomaly of being a second home market?
It may be that the recession has taken a toll, and the "warm and squishy" feeling of sitting down with a good magazine has replaced the dogged searches that used to generate a neat outcome for our industry.
In any case, I am going to pursue the traditional way of good old print ads as my main source of advertising and await the results of the study my company is doing on the internet results. If any of you have good, solid data to prove that I am wrong, I would love to hear it!