Is newspaper advertising key to selling my home?
This is one of those questions that gets asked constantly, so much so I was considering the answer as a tattoo! The reason why I haven’t had it inscribed on me somewhere is (apart from being a chicken!) the fact that it is not quite as simple as NO!
For most of my career, newspaper advertising was a critical part of the estate agency marketing plan, in fact apart from the window and mailing lists it was the only part of the marketing plan! Long gone are the days when buyers would head down to estate agents row in their town and wonder from one branch to another collecting a mountain of details (all in black and white and full of such long gone expressions like “requiring modernisation” and “walking distance to the town centre” (everyone’s checking their own details now!) and then sifting them into 2 piles – YES and NO.
The thing is, before you can answer whether or not newspapers are still important in estate agency terms, you need to understand the way in which buyers want to search for properties these days. We recently reviewed some new data on this very subject and it was amazing to see just how things have change over the last even 5 years. For instance, over 80% of customers begin their search online and over 70% never visited their estate agents office. The truth of the matter is nowadays customers want to search for properties at home, at work, on their way home, on their way to work……you get the idea. As a group we withdrew from newspaper advertising some years ago – nervous?? Yes of course we were, but we monitored the results and found no negative impact and here comes the bombshell………we actually saw and increase! The reason for this is that this is not about cost savings for the estate agent, it is about redistribution of marketing budgets. We withdrew the money from newspapers and invested the extra budget into other media, radio for example, but the big area of extra investment was in online profiles.
I do understand that not every town across the country is the same and there are still some pockets where the need to advertise in print is still important, but as a rule, newspaper advertisements for estate agents are fast approaching the doors of the National Museum for Estate Agents (blimey there’s a thought!!).
So there is the answer (soon to be tattooed to me somewhere) “no, reinvest the budget elsewhere particularly in online profiles and exposure”.
Written by Andy Bushell