Since getting involved with the ActiveRain real estate community, I often wonder about the differences and similarities of real estate markets and marketing in our various regions. Is print media still a relevant way to market real estate?
Today is pickup day for the Buyer's Guide ads and that lead me to be glad that we haven't jumped on the band wagon proclaiming print is a dead medium for marketing real estate and only the internet has validity to buyers.
We have three contracts ready to close within the next month. Two of them have origins we can directly trace back to someone picking up a copy of the local Buyer's Guide. Did the buyers ultimately contract for the house they called in on? No, but somehow we were able to turn the "opportunity" into a sale on something else making the Buyer's Guide an important tool in our personal branding for MoonDancer Realty.
We're really fortunate that Luke Bateman, the Managing Editor of The REAL ESTATE Buyer's Guide never missed a beat with the fluctuating real estate market, constantly adapting to the current needs of the real estate agents and their companies. Several years ago he made the transition from black and white to four color process painless and exciting. When it was obvious that real estate companies were trying to move towards more of an online presence...he gave them one. The online version the the Buyer's Guide is fresh with just the right amount of bells and whistles to keep the tech-savvy customer engaged but not so much that the tech-challenged customer is enraged. When agents expressed concerns over pricing, he offered a wide variety of sizes and pricing plans to fit any serious agent's budget.
How does that make print relevant to real estate marketing? I can't speak to all regions of the country, but here in Western North Carolina people on vacation will pick up the Buyer's Guide and hang on to it. They'll dream of their own personal piece of mountain heaven and have the tangible proof it exists - right there in the magazine they can hold on to and leaf through whenever they want. It isn't unusual to get phone calls from people referencing issues from months back.
It's not just the tourists either, locals will pick up the magazine and sit and read it at the local restaurants, the barber shops, doctors and dentist offices. While display advertising in the local newspaper has declined seriously, classified real estate ads are up. Personally, MoonDancer Realty does not advertise in the paper but we remain steadfast in our belief that for our local market here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, print media in the form of The Real Estate Buyer's Guide is completely relevant to our real estate marketing. Both for our properties and for our own brand image.
Share how you feel about print media in your area. Please include links to your local "Buyer's Guide".