Frequently sellers insist that their agents put ads in the local paper. Is this means of advertising still legit? While newspapers are still running For Sale and Open House ads in the paper, these sections are not what they used to be a few years ago. Buyers just aren’t utilizing the newspaper classifieds like they used to.
Reasons? Here are two reasons that I’ve come up with based on what I’ve seen and done. First, newspapers have a definite shelf-life. Newspapers are very current and only last for that day. If you don’t see the paper on a given day, chances are you will not see it at all, unless you take a trip to your local library or newspaper archive. And who looks for a new house in their newspaper archive? Online advertising, however, has a much longer applicable period. With good search engine optimization, a single site can draw many visitors…for as long as you keep the site up. I’ve heard agents say that they sometimes get inquiries after a home has sold as the website is still live.
Second, if I were looking to purchase a home, I would want as much information about the property as I could find. A newspaper ad might show a photo of the home (if that) and the basic details: bedrooms, baths, sq. ft., etc. The internet allows Realtors to put up a multitude of information about a listing, and allows prospective buyers a chance to “see” the property virtually through photos and 360° panoramic shots.
Having said all that, sometimes print ads are beneficial. Occasionally, newspapers run special sections just for real estate ads, open houses, etc. and you can reach a large, targeted market that way. A person who typically doesn’t search the paper for real estate will purchase the paper on that day for the special section.
So, when you do create a print ad, whether for a newspaper or a magazine, here are some things you definitely want to do:
- Address: Make sure to give the address of the home in the ad. If you have a website URL that is the house address, use that here….double duty!
- Photo: At least display an exterior shot of the house, and a good one of the inside if you can.
- Description: The room for a description is rapidly shrinking, but at least get the vitals (bedrooms, baths, sq. ft., etc.) in. A good sentence incorporating a key selling point or two is ideal.
- Price: Be open and honest about the listing price of the home. Hiding prices to force folks to contact you isn’t worth it.
- Contact: Of course you want your name and phone number. But make sure your website is there too!
For my part, if the above information isn’t in an advertisement, I won’t bother to look any further. In doing research on a property, buyers want to know where it is (address), see it (photo), know how much (price), and learn more about it (website). The rest is just icing on the cake.