Newspapers and real estate advertising – there’s no excuse

In real estate, we seem to believe  we’re a different animal from the rest of the business world. Yet, we  make crazy decisions the same as many other businesses might.

Example: newspaper advertising. I  can name dozens of (major) brokers around the country who have decided  that the newspaper is no longer a valid avenue for advertising homes for  sale. The reasons?
“Readership is down.” “We’ll advertise where the buyers are.” “The newspaper business is  dead.”
Funny – my paper still arrives at my house and most of my  neighbors’. Funny – our Indianapolis Star is printing 312,000 papers on  Sundays. Sounds like they’re still in business with  circulation up 10%+ over the past couple of years.
Admit it people – it’s an excuse  to cut a lot of money out of a newspaper advertising budget, replacing  it with a little money in an online ad budget. A bottom-line decision  versus a legitimate reason.
Did Carpenter Realtors® follow  the trend? Just the opposite. We’ve increased our presence in the Indianapolis Star,  creating a dominant position for the company at a time when real estate  is turning the corner on the recession. Every day we feature a “Home of  the Day,”  a single family home for sale around Indianapolis. On Sundays, we  feature three top Carpenter agents in three branding ads that drive  readers to the HomeFinder real estate section. Our ad in that HomeFinder  section absolutely dominates, with two-three full  pages of open houses for sale compared to a few other scattered open  house ads.
Simply, we’re making a big  investment in an advertising option that delivers a huge number of  potential Indiana home buyers and home sellers. Reach and frequency =  300,000+ homes every week. Also, understand that it’s not just the Indy Star  we’re in. We also have a big presence on many online sites and other  media. Ours is a wide reach with a dominant presence. There’s no excuse  for blaming basic cost-cutting on non-truths and we won’t do it.
Is newspaper dying or dead? Even  if it were, it’s not the reader that’s responsible, it’s the newspaper  business itself. Read  this from the slanted (apparently … due  to its name) newspaperdeathwatch.com. Headline:  “Audience Expands  as Business Contracts.” According to the audit bureau, readership is increasing as  newspapers continue to slash and burn – sorry, “make necessary  reductions in costs.” Maybe  the newspaper business model is  collapsing and its long-term prognosis is not good. I don’t care. What I  care about is reaching affluent buyers of my product (homes for sale,  real estate) today. My product is real estate and my local daily can  reach 300,000+ homes on a typical Sunday.
Business model of the  newspaper industry – viable or damned? Don’t care. Reaching 300,000  households every Sunday to advertise my open houses for sale? Care.

Posted by: Jim Newell

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