Remember when classifieds dominated newspaper ad sales? Real estate in particular was a major revenue driver because the local paper was the only game in town for agents.
Then along came the internet. New sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com popped up, offering new (and cheaper) marketing options to agents. This new technology, coupled with the recession of 2008, disrupted the traditional, symbiotic relationship between real estate and newspapers.
Ten years have passed since the newspapers lost real estate business, but Mike Blinder, renowned media consultant and sales trainer, thinks it’s the perfect time to re-capture this market. Here are a few reasons why the industry is primed for a comeback.
1. It’s a seller’s market Real estate is a cyclical market and right now, home sellers have the advantage.
“In robust real estate market, home sales are exceeding inventory available. And, local agents are battling each other over a finite number of available listings,” explains Blinder.
With so much competition, agents have to rethink their marketing strategy in order to get in front of the few home sellers in their area.
2. Agents are overspending in digital Real estate agents across the country are putting all of their eggs in one basket: digital. In Wilmington, N.C., for example, the average small business owners invest 48 percent of their budget in digital. Area real estate agents on the other hand, spend 80 percent on digital marketing. So now, they’re looking for something new.
3. Real estate agents’ target audience is a newspaper reader According to recent research from the National Association of Realtors®, the average home seller is 55 years old. “That’s a newspaper reader,” says Blinder. “Newspapers are the perfect place for agents to get in front of their ideal audience – affluent and educated homeowners.”
In fact, according to a recent Nielsen Scarborough study “more than 169 million adults in the U.S. read a newspaper in a month—whether it be in print, on a website or via mobile app. In total, newspapers reach 69% of the U.S. population in a given month.”
In a recent Forbes magazine article Daryl McCullough, Citizen Relations points out that in the current climate trust is paramount and newspapers still “hold solid credibility. They're widely read by media and influencers and can be a key vehicle to reaching opinion leaders. Let's face it: At times there is nothing more impactful than a well-crafted full-page newspaper ad.”
In short, newspapers remain a highly read, very effective, trusted means for local real estate agents to get their message seen and acted upon. The question becomes what new things have you offered your Realtor community lately? And isn’t it about time bring some new approaches to the table?
Of course, it’s one thing to recognize that the real estate category is a smart investment. It’s another to actually go out into your community and make the sale. There are two keys to closing a deal with a local Realtor® according to Blinder: establishing a rapport and offering effective solutions.
“The important part of the sales process now is rapport. Speak their language,” he advises. “What we do as an industry, unfortunately, is we force things on advertisers that they don’t want. We’re too busy selling verticals.”
Instead, Blinder says his clients have found great success with non-classified programs. “What they need now is high-frequency and hyper-local campaigns,” says Blinder. “Our team can help you put together a perfect campaign for them and win this business back.”
Mike Blinder is a media consultant and sales trainer working with over 350 newspapers around the world. In the past year he has presented to audiences all over North America, Honduras, Peru, Germany, Serbia and even Saudi Arabia. Over 60,000 businesses are currently using marketing programs designed by Mike and his company: The Blinder Group.
Contact Mike @: 917-865-4827 (m/t) or Mike@BlinderGroup.com