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Homesite Rea…, Real Estate Pro in Staten Island, NY


Asked by Homesite Realty, Inc.,, Staten Island, NY Sat Nov 1, 2008

I recently attended a Marketing Seminar. Of course, the speaker during his presentation, emphasized the importance of the Internet in marketing homes. The one thing he stated, which I do not agree, is that Print ads are being totally weaned out and people will no longer be looking for houses in the local paper, Real Estate Books, etc.

I use all methods of advertising and I have made it my point, and have been more diligent in doing so now, to find out exactly where the customer found out about the property. Most of the time it is from the Newspaper Ads or the Magazine.

Does anyone out there have any views or opinions on this subject?

Thank you,

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I agree that newspaper and print advertising is still very important. The internet "lookers" are usually just that. The newspaper "buyers" are just that. Keeping in mind that we have a very large 50 and over population in the housing market, we must also remember that they are not all as internet savy and their children. They actually still read papers. A well written newspaper ad can encourage someone who may not even have been looking at the moment. We need a good balance of print and internet marketing if we really want to reach the majority of buyers and not just find reasons to save company dollars.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 2, 2008
Since newspapers have not been interested in publishing any of the positive aspects of buying a home and only emphasizing all the negative publicity, we have stopped all newspaper advertising. There are many articles a newspaper could write giving buyers and sellers all the reasons in the world to enter the real estate market but all they want to write is stories about "Where is the bottom?", "Prices are still coming down" "Just keep waiting", etc. If they want Realtors to advertise in their newspapers they should be helping us to get some houses sold. We advertise exclusively on the internet and are still selling 3 or 4 homes a month.
5 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2008
Only 3% of buyers start searching for homes in print publications according to NAR., Newspapers' circulations are dropping, Newspapers need your dollars more than you need their readers.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 4, 2010
We've cut it out almost entirely. Print advertising seems to be for the houses that aren't selling. If it's a good house, it wouldn't be around long enough for the turnaround time of a print ad. Consumers know this. They know that the internet is instantaneous and for the most part, up to the minute. The only adversising we do on paper is in our monthly newsletter that goes to our database of about 3,000 residents. And we can track business directly related to that newsletter. Any other advertising seems to not get a response at all. Plus, it's not 'green' to continue using paper when the internet reaches far more and has less effect on our world.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
Another thought on print advertising:

In a HOT market, much of the information is often obsolete by the time the publication hits the street. In a SOFT market, an agent can go broke trying to satisfy his listing customers by advertising in a publication that winds up in the bottom of the birdcage at the end of the week anyway.

The internet is FAR more effective and when evaluating my marketing budget, I have to go with what makes the most sense.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
In my 8 years as a Realtor, my experience with print advertising has not been good unless there is a website associated with it. The internet is the first place people go to search for homes or anything else for that matter. They find the area they want to live in, then they contact a friendly, knowledgeable Realtor. Internet referrals make up about 80% of my business.
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1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2008
My company did research on this and found that nationally, only 1% of home sales start from the homes magazines. Print ads for open houses are more effective, but otherwise the best use of your money is clearly Internet, where over 80% of home sales are generated.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
I use both print and internet but I am starting to see a trend towards more consumers using only the internet. I can be on the cover of the local RE book for 4 weeks for about the same price as a 1 day ad for an open house ad in the local newspaper. Print advertisers must learn to give us more bang for the buck, or we will not use them. Why pay for mediocre results?

I like using both print and internet since there will may always be buyers that use either one or the other but not both. But the internet is in my opinion the best. Internet marketing is more effective according to the number of sales I have made in the last year. Sales from the internet for me have doubled versus 2007. And I doubled my sales from 2007 so the growth was quite strong for sales coming from internet advertising for me. And I am not doing PPC or any enhanced packages with the major RE websites but that is coming very very soon.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 1, 2008
Yesterday I received a free magazine called the SI Shop-A-HOLIC Savings Guide. In this guide was an article from the NY Post which described the falling circulation rate of the Staten Island Advance. The article went on to detail that there are now approximately 25,000 fewer readers than in 1992, and that circulation is down over 5,800 from 2008. This is one of the reasons I no longer advertise in this newspaper. My advertising budget is best spent on the internet I believe.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 21, 2009
While I DO agree that print ads are being weaned out, they still have a certain degree of value. However, in this type of market, brokers need to be VERY careful where they place their advertising dollars. I do not advertise in published media much anymore but instead, place an emphasis on internet exposure.. both paid and free forums..

My thought is that most buyers look online before talking with a realtor, as the marketing staff suggest. (80-90% as I understand) Additionally, many people drive areas they would like to live in and see either open house signs or for sale signs and call the number on the sign. For this VERY reason, I quit advertising my rental in published media and resorted to the "for rent" sign alone with very good results. (obviously, results will vary depending upon location) Our real marketing strength is through the MLS, ONLINE ENDEAVOURS, networking, and servicing our flyer boxes.

Bottom line is that the internet is our most powerful and cost-effective tool. I used to spend $16k/yr on priint ads. Times have changed.... A broker can find themselves "broker than they want to be" if not careful in allocating marketing funds.........................................................
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
I advertise in both places, paper for my home town buyers and the internet for the out of town or out of state buyers. I found most of my buyer have been from out of town or out of state. Buyers that are relocating or just coming back home or what ever the reason may be. Interent advertising has had more activity for me. It is different from buyer to buyer.
Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 21, 2009
I've kept track of where all my sales have come from since I started this business more than 6 years ago. After spending quite a bit of money for print advertising, I found that all of my business has come from the sign on the lawn, referrals, and the internet. (not print advertising)

Anytime that I get an inquiry for any of my properties, I try to find out how they found me. I would say the answer is the internet about 98 percent of the time.

On listing presentations, I'm finding that Sellers feel that internet advertising is what they are looking for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 11, 2008
amazing how many realtor books are still picked up by the consumer at the grocery store, amazed at how many realtor flyers are taken from infront of each house...and still amazed at how many people find a house by driving the neighborhood and calling from the printed sign!

predictions of a paperless society hasnt happened, as more info comes to us by electronic media, merchants will grab your attention, with old fashioned print media!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
I agree with heavy presence of internet marketing for buyers. However, different print avenues do serve a purpose if they are worked correctly.

My new home construction or condo business, I must have printed brochures and "in hand" incentive notices (mailed directly). These types of buyers are wired differently, slower to make decisions and need something to take away (or bring in on their visits). On average, a "be back" comes in 4 times. Yes, most of them do online and check out "their research", but they also are mulling over every piece of info/advertisement given to them.

I have found even in a buyer's market, you must have listings to survive. Your listings get you buyers. If a seller / home owner has received a "just sold postcard" from you - then they have evidence you are "doing something in the market". You are also saying to them. I am not afraid of this market, please let me sell your home. You may even pick that seller up as a buyer. This is fundamental stuff. It is the cycle of Real Estate 101. Also, flyers in front of the house - most of them go to curious neighbors. They hang on to my flyers until they are ready to list or give them to their friends/family who are looking to buy or sell. It is just another networking touch that brings business my way.

Internet marketing is huge and a must have, but in my opinion, if you omit other types of marketing you may become very one dimensional and lose business instead of just cutting expenses. I want to thrive, not survive! This market will turn as it always has, I want to be in the driver's seat when it does.

Jo Shaner
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
Let me preface by saying that I am in a Second Home / Resort Market in the North Georgia Mountains. I firmly believe that Internet should be not only your primary focus, but your sole focus. Print advertising in my opinion is nothing more than something to look at while you are waiting for your food to be prepared at the local restaurant.

When I discuss this with other agents I always hear, "well, you got to do it for your seller's." No you don't! You are the professional, they have hired you to do one thing and one thing only....sell their house. We need to develop new skills daily, know our market and make the necessary adjustments to position our client's properties to be seen in the market place. Once you have it priced "in the market," or better yet, "ahead of the market," then you need to be sure that you have plenty of internet exposure. I do not know th exact statistic, but I believe it is close to 87% of ALL homebuyer's see or find the home they end up purchasing first on the internet. That presents a pretty strong case!

I can take a look at our local Real Estate Book and know that I too am not the only one who feels this way!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008

I have been thinking about dropping most of my print marketing. I ask my customers and clients how they heard of my company and 90% say interent or referrals. At this time I'm in Orlando Fl. attending the NAR Conference and talking to Realtors from all over the Country and the answers vary. I think I will cut it out slowly and see what affect it has. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
I think still doing smaller print ads are probally a good target for older generations that have no access or desire to use the internet. But the large mass of people are more web based and start their research on the internet but even thinking about newspaper, magizines, etc

Online ads are the way to go.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
I quit running print ads in October, 2007 and my listings are still selling because of my internet presence.

It has been statistically proven that over 80% of buyers are looking online before ever even contacting a realtor.

I recently did a listing presentation for a couple who were moving to another state. Once they found out I did not do print advertising they were leery of listing with me.

I said: "Ryan, you are going to be buying a home in Colorado Springs right? Have you researched the market there and found an agent?"
Ryan said :"Yes."
I asked "How did you do that?"
He said: "Online of course".

The key here of course, is making sure your internet presence is strong. I have two websites and use,, Craigslist and Zillow. My websites are automatically fed to many other locations online, including Trulia.

I also email my listing customers links to locations where their home can be found and in most instances, I can provide them with page-view statistics.

Many of my listings sold specifically because of the online presence. I've had buyers who were represented by other agents tell me they found the home online themselves and asked their agent to show them the home.

I don't even run print ads for open house, but I DO put out about 30 open house signs every weekend to guide traffic to the subdivision.

I own rental property and discovered a number of years ago that prospective tenants drive areas they want to live in. I recieved FAR more calls from the "For Rent" sign than I did from the newspaper ad, so I quit advertising and generally got 5 to 7 calls a week from the sign alone.

I used to spend $16,000 a year on print ads, and I am VERY glad I stopped last year when the financial train-wreck started LOL!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
Of course the newspaper and magazines are good places to market, the question is ROI. The good news is that as the print media out price themselves for most, the people that do spend $ will see higher ROI. It is still overpriced though.

If you have a great website and spend $ on Adwords, your ROI is exponentially better.
Trey Langford
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
I do agree that I think print ads also work. We have been using alot of online resourses. Locally, most of the local real estate books that you would find in every little store have been eliminated. I think there is a large crowd who would still like to see them. I personally have always liked them.

Online is the way to go. Post your listings in as many places you can. You will also find there are alot of places on line that will cost you nothing. You will see results.

Good Luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
Our local print magazine, The Shenandoah Valley Real Estate Preview, provides Print AND Internet exposure. Their listings are online locally and sent to Google Base, Yahoo, Trulia,, Zillow,, Oodle, etc.
Some folks will always use print; some start out using print then expand online with agent's websites after seeing a home they are interested in; some folks use online only ... the best bang for your buck is to find a print that incorporates Internet exposure.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 10, 2008
One important factor is your location; some markets are flooded with print ads and yours won't stand out no matter how much you spend! Some markets are finding that the return on print ads is not worth the expense, but you can't paint this topic with a broad brush. The most notable difference I've found is that those calling from newspaper ads are more 'ready willing and able' and the internet leads are more cautious about moving forward or have just started their search and aren't in any hurry.

We offer lead management and tracking services if you ever get a ton of leads and you can't keep track of them all yourself!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2008
The most important thing is to track your results from all types of advertising. For us, there is far greater return from the internet than from print - that's not to say there may not be any return from print, but that we should invest our marketing money where we get the best return. If in your market, or your niche, you're getting the most response from newspaper ads or the magazine, then by all means continue that.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 7, 2008
One thing to consider...what type of client do you want to work with? I prefer to work with high tech clients who use the internet and email as part of their every day life. It's easier and more efficient to communicate with clients who are tech savy. I can send search results, papers to sign, video tours, etc. easily. Also, these high tech clients appreciate and understand the type of technology I use to market their homes or find their new homes. Of the print media I do use, I make sure they have correponding online websites so that I get twice the bang for my buck! Hope this helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
The newspaper industry loves real estate and automotive...the only two categories that are keeping them in business.

In the Bay Area, as many as 75% of households DO NOT get a daily newspaper....add to that stats from Daniel Starch and Company that show an ad less than 1/8 of a page is recalled/viewed by only around 15% of the actual readers and it all adds up to making newspaper a very expensive, antiquated medium. very small markets, a community paper may have some value.

Just my experience...and thoughts!
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
Cindi Hagley…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
I have had much more success through internet marketing most of which is free. The minimal results I have had from Newspaper and Magazine ads has not been worth the cost. I paid for the upgrade this year and have had a pretty good response. I have not closed a transaction directly from a lead however I do get inquiries about every ten days or so about one of my listings. Craigs list has been a good site as well. I make it a point when listing a property to educate the sellers about internet marketing and the fact that over 80% of home searches start online.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
Our company has shifted over 80% to online marketing, even what was our open house page thru our local
paper is webbased now and we recieve over 3 million hit each month. All our agents are useing E-card to
promote listings, price reduction, opens, and so much more. Back in the 90's newpapers were the say to go
flyers, postcards hoping for a 1% return, I now can track how many of my Ecards have been opened and who opended and who opted out. Plus the fact I can make the card on a slow day and have them auto send when the date arrives, which by the way make the clients 1st year anny in their home an easy they all get cards from me and I post dated them a year ago.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
I have been in the real estate business since 1984 and practiced in Atlanta, New Hampshire and Colorado. It is my firm belief based on many hundreds of print ad campaigns for new and resale homes that the product (including pricing) is most important and that marketing to brokers is second. Print adverstising is useful for branding, keeping sellers happy and convincing others to list. I have rarely sold a property as a direct result of print advertising and now use that avenue as a last resort only when sellers insist. The MLS is by far the best source for business followed by the web and e-mail.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
My experience is that the internet gives me the best exposure for the least amount of money! Sites like Craigslist and others allow you to modify your ad if there is a price change or you want to change any of the information. Most of my buyers find me and my listings on the internet. I do run print ads but I find that the internet is a much more efficient way to market myself and my listings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
Seems like the focus is on buyers finding homes on the Internet. We get the bulk of our business from online advertising: mainly our blogsite.

What about sellers? Seems like some of the more successful listing agents in my market use print advertising but it's not in the large metro papers but the more focused neighborhood papers that deliver 20-40K copies.

I will probably do a trial print run - 1 to 2 years - in combination with heavy online targeting to see if it works on generating some more listings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
My office has been tracking every single day for almost 2 years now on just this concern. We wanted to place our money with the best places people find property.
Based on our experience, it has been the internet by far. has tours, many pictures and even most of our local print ads are now advertized online as well.
Sure we still do our local advertizing but consumers by far are getting information from the internet.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
I used to send out the usual flyer to thousands of homes in the subject area and invested thousands of dollars in the process only to receive one or two calls from realtors and not buyers or sellers. I also did some newspaper ads but with little or no resutl at all. Now, I use different blogs such as Trulia to get information out there about the various projects and opportunities out there. With the reduced number of closings, realtors can no longer afford a full blown print campaign. Given NAR's statistics (2006) which shows that 80% of buyers/sellers start their search online, 100% of my efforts have shifted to online advertising. I think newspaper ads work with rentals better than sales.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
I agree that most real estate buyers are doing their homework online, particularly if they are planning on relocating out of town. We still get a lot of response from our monthly homes magazine. Buyers are always looking for it to come out at the beginning of the month. As far as newspaper goes, it has become a bit cost prohibitive but, we are still using it. Our RE/MAX office has had a presence in the newspaper for a long time and our sellers expect it from us. We also get listings because of it.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
I have noticed an increase in contact from print ads on lower priced homes. (not an increase in offers) When following up I find the prospect has limited or no internet access. While it is true most will utilize the internet and print costs are near impossible to justify, only great follow up will allow you to understand where YOU are effective in your advertising. And as Maria mentioned, sometimes the prospect will give incorrect information because they just don't remember where they saw the ad. When possible, I will change the text or feature spotlight in my print ads to help develop questions that better identify if they really did see the ad source with which they reply.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 6, 2008
Hi Robert,
I think the key thing to keep in mind is that our consumers are definitely migrating to the internet for all the reasons we love it: it's real-time, multiple photos, ability to search, it's name a few. If you google any print-related topic, you will see articles on the severe decline in readership. Most smart publications are moving their efforts online because they need to recapture lost revenue. I think the smart strategy is to direct any print advertising to a website or blog. So, this would include direct mail, and any newspapers. We all may need some type of presence in print, but now it should be pointed to something that gives your consumers more information. If you need convincing, feel free to visit my blog InkToLinks. Good luck! Melissa Riley
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 4, 2008
I agree that print ads are being weaned out for finding homes. In our practice, we have seen a considerable shift to our internet presence. What you should consider though is finding a strategy where you advertise your site and internet presence in conventional media and invest good money to build a site that really grabs people's attention and produces leads.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 3, 2008
The last CAR survey on buyers states that buyers looking for homes use print less than 20% of the time for finding open houses.
However, you should also know that they surveys over the years have been very consistent that the buyer first sees the home they buy with a Realtor 90% of the time.

So given buyer's search habits, we take the money we would have spent on print ads and invest it in professional photography and virtual tours, We syndicate the listings on over 20 websites, so the value of high quality images and proper promotion of the property's value is more beneficial to the seller.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 2, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
You might not agree with the speaker, but he is absolutely correct. The news industry is also phasing out of print and into the internet for their advertising of Real Estate. Other advertising is still effective in print but in our industry and also a several others, consumers need the exposure that only the internet can give.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 2, 2008
Well, depending on which study you read, somewhere between 80 and 92% of buyers are beginning their search for a home on the internet.
Our company has ceased placing print ads for Open Houses every Sunday. I've held open a house on all but 4 Sundays this year. 1 person told me they saw the house advertised in the newspaper. (and it wasn't)
The rest find real estate on the internet. Or by driving around the neighborhood they are interested in.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 1, 2008
Most of the agents I know have or are making the transition from print to internet. My office strongly advocates using the internet for advertising since 80% of our buyers start on the internet.

Personally I like to place my internet ads so they syndicate/populate to multiple sites.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 1, 2008
Pam Winterba…, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA
A local office that I work with (I'm a lender) tracked only 3% of their sales from the paper. That's pretty substantial. Borker isn't paying for the companies print ads anymore. And really, why should he? They still post open houses, etc.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 1, 2008
You have to think of both as tools to get information to buyers, the newspaper and real estate magazines are a great introductory way to make your ad stand out and get the property noticed where the buyer then goes to the internet to find out more information about that property. Newspapers are limited onb what you want to pay for as to how much information you can include, so you need both tools. I find i get alot more hits on say trulia than on my newspaper ad but it only takles 1 buyer who sees my newspaper ad and buy to make it all worth while. I dont think newspapers will have be completely fazed out, but i do know the internet will continue to expand ways to get information to buyers in order to get them to contact you so they can be turned from a potential customer to customer.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 1, 2008
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