Ink may not be dead. But it's starting to smell a bit.

Real Estate Agent with Utah Homes 9334967-SA00

From the Nashville Airport this morningNewspapers- I used to buy and read several per day.

Even when I was a poor college student, I made sure to catch up on the latest news- dropping coins into the corner newsbox day in, day out.

This habit began when I was a paper boy. I read the paper and then I delivered them. It felt cool being the first guy in the neighborhood to have the freshest news.

I have to admit though; I rarely buy the paper anymore.

No longer do I have to wash my hands (ink smudge, the struggle is real) before leaving for work.

I read my words off the screen these days.

I had held out hope that newspapers had a future back when Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post.

I held some optimism when Warren Buffet proclaimed a few years ago that newspapers would remain viable for a long time. He owns a few papers. He's a smart guy. He must know something.

Today's USA Today tempers my enthusiasm. Warren Buffet declared, "We haven't cracked the code yet... There's no indication that anyone besides the national papers has found a way." (USA Today, May 26, 2016, Section B1)

When two business moguls make a bet and have lackluster results it's hard to conclude that newspapers are going to find a robust uptick.

So what does this mean for us?

We're all in this together. There was a time when one could choose a limited number of ways to reach readers. Some agents found success by having a newspaper presence. Certain builders built an empire with their weekend full page adds.

Those days are largely behind us.

Now we're inundated by options. Now we tweet; we post on blogs; we create email campaigns or newsletters. Some of us are still sending postcards or delivering flyers. We populate our webpages with lots of bling and extensions. We're sponsoring sports teams, buying signs and business cards and slapping our logos and phone numbers on a zillion little promotional items.

Never before have we had more ways to spend time or money to get the word out...

... to get our name in front of more people.

Here's where you come in.


-  What are you doing these days to move the influence needle?  -


Enquiring minds want to know.

Comments (24)

Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good evening Chuck,

It seems that the cutoff time to get an article into print is way to early and results in many catching the news on the internet. Watching and listening to the air waves and the repetition of the news they may not be far behind and especially with more and more people going to streaming what they watch on the boob tube. It also seems that some news articles in social media have to be checked for verification.

Make yourself an astonishing day.

May 26, 2016 09:43 AM
marti garaughty - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...

garaughty, abstract art, graphic design, marketing, WordPress consultant

May 26, 2016 10:06 AM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Chuck, I'm using the online open house section of our MRIS system, which sort of automatically goes into the Washington Post's online section.  I can't remember the last time I saw someone walking around carrying the weekend real estate section on newsprint!

May 26, 2016 11:26 AM
Gary Woltal
Keller Williams Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth

Chuck, I am one that actually does BOTH, reads daily seven days a week, the print version and also reads off screens. I find that both have advantages and each has gaps only the other can provide. I am pretty unique in my perspective, but the demographics of younger generations say newspapers will die. Sad.

May 26, 2016 11:51 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Chuck- I love reading papers but quit print versions years ago.  I read it all online now.  

May 26, 2016 12:15 PM
William Johnson
Retired - La Jolla, CA
Retired Real Estate Professional

Hi Chuck Willman , I still get the paper daily. I will say, that I get more news from the Internet but the consistent thing is the enormous amount of advertising and many of the articles on line now require that you join the site and pay a fee. It takes a lot less time to turn the page to ignore the ads than it does to do the same thing on line. I do as much as I can while moving about and just sitting in my chair at my desk. I walk around while on the phone and move inside and outside while reading news from my tablet or the newspaper. 

May 26, 2016 12:30 PM
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

Quite a few years ago, my mom gave me a local newspaper subscription as a Christmas gift. I continue to renew, often wondering why I continuously pay the monthly fee (it's cheap). Every morning, I look forward to holding the newspaper in my hands to read the latest news. And every day I ask myself why I pay to read such propaganda in a few brief pages, it's clearly become a habit that I can't break. However, I will say I don't pay attention to the ads, and that is exactly why I won't pay my hard-earned monies for expensive print advertising while everyone else is online.

May 26, 2016 12:35 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Personally, I don't LIKE reading on screen unless it's something really short. I like blog posts and emails, but not news. 

Part of that is the headline hype. With satellite internet it takes a while to get to an article. When I do finally get there and find out that the headline and the article don't match, I get a bit cross. I also get cross if I get there and find that I have to click over and over and over some more in order to get the entire article.

It's much easier and quicker to scan a print article and see if I want to read it. 

The second part is, I like to curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee and paper reading material in my hand. They no longer deliver the daily newspaper out where I live, so I always have a book near at hand. 

It really wasn't worth much any more anyway - as readership and ad dollars declined they cut almost every one of the columnists that I enjoyed reading. 

Our little weekly newspaper was sold to a bigger organization years ago and this year they moved the office to a neighborhing town. It had little of interest before and now it has even less. I did subscribe, however, because I enjoy the "Looking Back" column. In the 80, 90, or 100 year ago news I often see my grandparents or recognize names of people they talked about. 

Meanwhile, when they moved they fired the local editor. She got even - she and her son started their own new newspaper and offered it for free. The advertisers pay the costs of printing and they distribute it in the local stores.

The wonderful part is that the articles in the new freebie are actually interesting - unlike the articles in the old newspaper. 

Some of us will continue to read print. If the presses stop, we'll simply read old books. 


May 26, 2016 01:25 PM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Like anything else Chuck Willman - things are now online! Calligraphy is a lost art now! And so is reading newspaper.

I remember the days when I used to wait for daily newspaper - for my crossword puzzle, Now I just ask for it - on Google and I have many to work on, instantaneously!

Ink will not be dead - however, it's drying our for sure.

May 26, 2016 03:37 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

I don't read as much as skim. It's much easier with print than screen. I like the control of having an actual paper in my hand.

May 26, 2016 09:05 PM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

I like reading the newspaper, but just canceled my subscription - mostly because their billing systems and customer service stink.

May 26, 2016 09:08 PM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Too many options!!!

Now we're inundated by options. Now we tweet; we post on blogs; we create email campaigns or newsletters. Some of us are still sending postcards or delivering flyers. We populate our webpages with lots of bling and extensions. We're sponsoring sports teams, buying signs and business cards and slapping our logos and phone numbers on a zillion little promotional items.

May 26, 2016 09:12 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Newspapers, print is not dead, just the marketing rays get adjustment to pull back the lever here, push it forward there. Blog daily, worthwhile time and gas and money saving topics. Video's wired for SEO and worth watching, listening too that are hitch hiking on your social media round robin work oh oh so well. It is not just being found in the sell the sizzle not the steak but the busy busy buyer or seller seeing the value in taking the time to connect and to double back to engage more and more. Think customer, think guy and gal in the audience and strike up the conversation with them everything you hunt and peck.

May 26, 2016 11:14 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Breath to breath supports seeing is believing and first impression. Next, cyberspace minimums like a web site is a must along with a business card. FYI....I canceled all subscriptions and read five papers at the library daily FREE

May 26, 2016 11:27 PM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Hi Chuck... for me it's been on-line presence for years and working my sphere hard (which includes print, email, calls, visits, etc.) Has worked for many years and I suspect will continue to work.

May 27, 2016 12:00 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I used to LOVE reading a stack of papers too, but with the wall of info hitting us on our computers, phones and tablets now, who has time.

Last week a newspaper salesman was nearly begging me to subscribe, and I finally told him that even if it was free, they would likely just stack up by the door and get thrown in the recycling after a few weeks.

May 30, 2016 02:40 PM
Jennifer Mackay
Counts Real Estate Group, Inc. - Panama City, FL
Your Bay County Florida Realtor 850.774.6582

I still do quite a bit of print work myself - thanks for sharing your insights Chuck Willman 

May 30, 2016 08:54 PM
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Chuck. I think you are right and ir saddens me on so many levels. I still write cardsand letters by hand.

May 30, 2016 11:29 PM
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Like Larry above, I have a wrap on the back of my car, and I write posts that end up on Linkedin, Twitter, FB, and many other places.  It's great when we get calls to that effect!

Jun 02, 2016 03:38 PM
Jerry Lucas
ABC Legal Docs LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Mobile Notary Colorado Springs, CO Notary Training

I haven't bought or read a newspaper in years.  I read some online news sites, and get news bulletins and headlines on social media.

The big question is, without newspapers, what are people now using to line the bottom of their bird cages? 

Jun 09, 2016 04:55 AM