All internet, no print. Does it matter?

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Blackwell & Co. Realty, Inc.

 

 When I first became a real estate agent 12+ years ago one of the first questions every seller would ask me was "when will my house be in the newspaper?"  As the years have gone by I get that question less often.  Many sellers still ask about the books, which in our market here in Spartanburg, SC is The Real Estate Book.  As far as newspaper we do not have a Sunday real estate section anymore but a Friday insert called Carolina Homes.  I find that many sellers do not get the newspaper these days and are not always aware of the change from Sunday to Friday. 

When I go to appointments where I am competing with other agents I am finding that my competition quite often tells Mr or Ms Seller that they only do internet marketing. Of course they present this in a very positive way.  They probably talk in terms of the power and reach of the internet and how your first showings are on the internet first whereas years ago your first showings were actual physical showings, etc, etc.

 To be honest I firmly believe that an effective marketing plan includes both print and internet. I also believe that many of these agents who are touting that they only do internet marketing are really not fully disclosing the reasons why.  The last few years have been challenging  for real estate agents and, as in any business when less is coming in then you have to re-evaluate how much you are spending and cut back. Many agents have chosen to cut back by not doing any print marketing.

Of course why would any agent tell a prospective seller that they cannot afford to market their home in print?

Every market is different and in Spartanburg, SC I believe it is critical to have a balanced marketing plan that includes various mediums. Social media is important, as well as maximum exposure on the internet. Buyers are not just looking on realtor.com these days. They are checking out Trulia, zillow, oodle, and many other websites. Agents need to have a personal website for their business and utilize search engine optimization. Agents need to use twitter, facebook,  activerain. The list goes on and on! And, yes, print still matters.  After all, when you dine out there are always books like The Real Estate Book!

Comments (8)

Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

The real estate book is somewhat useful, but very few people look for homes in the paper anymore.

Mar 15, 2011 03:27 PM
Roger Davidson
DiSalle Real Estate Co. - Maumee, OH
Maumee, Ohio Real Estate

Print ads are declining here, too.  To the best of my knowledge, my brokerage and one other are the only ones doing color photo ads in the local Sunday paper anymore.

Mar 15, 2011 03:28 PM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

I agree that you need to use a variety of mediums and every market is different.  In smaller towns, the little weekly newspaper can be of utmost importance in selling a home there.  You are correct that in the current market, agents are looking to cut their bottom line and print medium is definitely the most expensive as far as return on your investment.  Being a green agent, I print as little as possible with flyers and information inside the house but not using brochure boxes to minimize wasting resources.  People do appreciate that!

Mar 15, 2011 03:29 PM
Tony Morganti
RE/MAX Crossroads in Cuyahoga Falls and Stow, Ohio - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
CRS, ABR, SRES - Cuyahoga Falls, Stow

Hi Linda - I have nearly totally discontinued all print advertising of listings.  The only benefit to print advertising is to get your name and photo out there.  The vast majority of consumers today just do not respond to print ads......why would they when there is so much more information available to them online? I invest much more in online advertising than I ever did in print ads and the response is much better. 

Mar 15, 2011 03:31 PM
Linda Rademacher
Century 21 Blackwell & Co. Realty, Inc. - Spartanburg, SC

Thanks for all of your comments! I have also shifted my dollars with more emphasis on the internet but in my market it is still important to do some print advertising. I agree that in some markets it may not be as ffective but around here I think it goes hand in hand with the internet. Actually, in my market alot of people do stll respond to print and I have a few clients who do not even have e-mail, which also means they do not own acomputer to be able to go on the internet!

Mar 15, 2011 03:50 PM
John Saari
Worcester, MA
"The Mortgage Buddy"

Print matter. People love their portable info on a screen but there is still something valueable to say about tangable print news, listings, and home magazines.

Mar 15, 2011 04:10 PM
Lana Robbins Realtor ® Licensed Real Estate Broker
Aloha Kai Real Estate - Clearwater, FL
Licensed in Florida, Washington, and Hawai'i

Hi Linda. I agree that an effective marketing plan includes both print (hard copy) and the internet. Not everyone has access to a computer. Some people don't even have a cell phone or a fax :)

Mar 15, 2011 04:30 PM
Matt Grohe
RE/MAX Concepts - Des Moines, IA
Serving the metro since 2003

Linda: Some really salient points here. A balanced program can reach the widest audience.

Mar 15, 2011 04:50 PM