Is The Newspaper Dead?
Here are some facts that will set up the blog post. Since 1990 newspaper readership has declined by 24,000,000 while the population has grown by 69,000,000. There are 69 million more potential readers but here are the numbers for Sunday readership. In 1990, 60 million people read the Sunday paper and today 44,000,000 million people read the Sunday paper. The population in 1990 was 267 million and today it is 317 million. In 1990, 24% of the population read the newspaper but today the numbers appear to be more like 13%.
If the stats suggest that a person moves every 7 years then I suggest only 1 out of 7 who get the paper read the real estate classifieds.
My local paper professes to have 67,000 Sunday readers so let's divide by 7. What we get is a pool of about 9,500 potential callers. Of that number 33% are renters so now the pool is 6,270 and I would give back half of 1/12 being optimistic that these renters are going to buy a house when their lease expires so now we,re at 6,400. This is a pretty good audience. Filtering the numbers even further I might suggest that of those only 1% might be called to action. Let's filter again, by eliminating those readers that could not quality for a loan. This gets tougher because newspapers want you to believe they cater to adult, affluent, educated readers. Here I have to make some conservative guesses. It's anybody's guess but if I line up 64 adults I suspect a conservative 15% of them could not qualify for a loan. That brings me down to about 54 possible buyers. Now let's filter for papers on newsstands that don't sell, hotels and libraries and various other outlets used to boost publication numbers and pull 2 more buyer prospects from the pool. that brings us to 52 buyers in the entire newspapers readership.
So you run an ad and in the end 52 potential buyers see it. That's pretty good. 52 calls would be awesome. (At this point I'm excited and still think newspaper might have potential), so how come I never get 52 calls. Sometimes I don't even get 1 call. Let's filter again.
Are you trying to sell a traditional condominium than your audience is a scant 14% of these 52 potential buyers or 7 total potential buyers for your listing in the entire readership of the paper.
Is it a luxury gated community, walled or fenced then you are advertising to about 7-8 % of the market or 4 total potential buyers.
The filters keep adding on such as the population under 34 prefer to rent, ethnic groups or even illegal residents have higher rent numbers. Obviously price point is a filter as is bedroom count.
In my conclusion, I think there are too many external factors to make the newspaper an effective value for real estate advertising and that doesn't even take into account that users who read the paper may still prefer the interactive experience of on line searching versus a static experience of the newspaper. The cost per potential lead is just too high when compared to options like pay per click. A 65.00 weekend ad that reaches 4 potential buyers compared to the same money spent on pay per click which could bring 250 users to your website for the same money vividly highlights why papers are contracting and the internet is expanding.
In a future post on my Facebook page Internet 4 Real Estate I am going to blog on the ease and simplicity of using pay per click to support your listings. Please follow me on Facebook and Active Rain.