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.
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.
My thought is that most buyers look online before talking with a realtor, as the Realtor.com 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.........................................................
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Online ads are the way to go.
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".
I GOT THE LISTING LOL!
The key here of course, is making sure your internet presence is strong. I have two websites and use Realtor.com, Homes.com, 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!!!!
If you have a great website and spend $ on Adwords, your ROI is exponentially better.
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.
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.
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!
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.
However...in very small markets, a community paper may have some value.
Just my experience...and thoughts!
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.
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.
Based on our experience, it has been the internet by far. Realtor.com 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.
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 interactive...to 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
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.
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.
Personally I like to place my internet ads so they syndicate/populate to multiple sites.