New Media for savvy real estate buyers and sellers

Old way:  Don’t worry this will be short…  Newspapers and magazines sell advertising to Brokers and individual agents to promote advertiser’s company… and agent… and listings.  Said Brokers and agents pay a lot of money to buy limited space.  No tracking mechanism…it’s just the way it is.  Exclusively, it’s a dying breed.  It does look pretty if it’s in color.

New way:  This is a huge subject…  I’m barely making a dent here…  A tremendous shift is taking place.  Most Brokers and agents do what it takes to sell their clients’ properties.  We can’t rely on print advertising when we’ve known for years now that the buyers are online.  As brokers slowly reduce their print advertising budgets and increase online advertising budgets, they expect a global reach.

Readers may still be perusing the RE section, but serious buyers are tapping into multiple sites  (Zillow, Trulia, Redfin, PropertyShark, plus their agent’s business website) to get the most up-to-date listing and market information. (side bar…even though the data on some public search sites may not be accurate and can cause confusion, I look at it as an opportunity to clear up the confusion and get a little face, or ear, time.)

Agent example:  advertises online with property websites, includes proper linking to various real estate, media, networking, and news sites, leveraged by the agent’s own dynamic business site.  Property interest can be tracked with analytics tools.  Now there are real estate market news feeds…more on that to come.

Another example:  Zillow recently announced its Advertising Network.  “The network goes beyond classified listings to allow and the newspapers to sell each other’s premium online advertising inventory for display advertising.  National and regional advertisers will be able to deliver targeted, relevant display ads to visitors of and the newspapers’ Web sites.” as Sarah at Zillow comments on The San Francisco Real Estate Blog.

Another idea for newspapers (just thinking out loud here):  Wouldn’t it be great if local newspapers offered a live news or listings feed of broker, FSBO, and bank-owned listings that are automatically posted when an agent or broker purchases an advertising account with the newspaper, and then allows a link back to the advertiser’s website?   Buyers want to see everything in one site.  It makes sense for newspapers whose model is to bring news via advertising dollars.  So how do you get more advertising dollars?  Offer a solution to your advertisers.  And right now, measurable solutions are what I’m buying.  It’s a complete win-win because it will bring the search engine ranking up for the newspaper and bring additional exposure to the listing.  Too far-fetched?

Or what about a map-based property map that, when clicked on, takes you to the appropriate agent’s contact info?  It needs to be dynamic/interactive.  Newspaper readers have been and still are buyers of real estate, but newspapers have not kept up with the changes in reader habits.

In order for this to work, newspapers should bring on a real estate liaison who understands the industry.  Typical newspaper advertising reps won’t be able to expand this area of revenue.  They have to understand the industry, where it’s going, and at the speed at which it’s moving.

These are just my thoughts and opinions.  I’m no media expert, just a media advertiser and user.  What do you think?  Also, should I add a new category called “Media”?

These are the newspapers where San Mateo County coastal homes and properties may be advertised:

 New York Times

San Francisco Chronicle (Hearst Communications)

San Jose Mercury News & Contra Costa Times (Bay Area News Group)

Half Moon Bay Review