Truth: Print Media No Longer Works

Here’s another “dirty little secret” of the real estate industry: long a staple of real estate marketing, print media no longer works. We say this for two reasons: first, because we did this kind of marketing for many years (15+ years at the rate of about $1,500 per month), and we watched the results dwindle down to almost literally zero; and second, because the internet has almost completely eliminated print media as a viable advertising medium.

As evidence that buyers are flocking to the internet to search for homes, check out the charts below, all of which were excerpted from the 2014 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

In the first excerpt, we can see that people almost never start their home buying process by looking at print media. In fact, only 1% do (as compared to looking online, where 43% do).

people not using print media ads

In the second excerpt, we see that only 4% use print newspaper ads “frequently, while 74% use online websites “frequently.”

print media no longer works

Finally, in the third excerpt, we see that only 1% of buyers found the home they ultimately purchased via a print newspaper ad (while 46% found their home on the web).

print media no longer works

The bottom line: any agent that tells you how wonderful their print media advertising program is is simply blowing smoke. Or they are very much behind the curve in terms of understanding what really does work in terms of selling homes in today’s web-driven world: first and foremost, effective internet marketing, syndicating listings to as many sites as possible and using professional photography to showcase every home in the best possible light. These are the things you simply much demand from whomever you entrust to sell your home.

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