Victorian non-franchise agency PhilipWebb has abandoned traditional newspaper advertising in favour of online marketing, believing print will suffer the same fate as dinosaurs.
In a YouTube video, the agency claims newspapers are only being kept alive by agents who don't have the vendors' best interests in mind.
“The fact is that newspapers are lucky to attract about 0.5 per cent of your target audience. That’s not a great return on investment for any vendor,” said founder and director Philip Webb.
“However, we know that nine out of 10 people use websites to research buying properties. Online advertising allows you to reach your exact demographic through priority placement and refined searching.”
Mr Webb said in his experience, only about 50 per cent of vendors understood the benefits of online marketing.
“Some clients browse the paper over the weekend and equate that with the serious searching potential buyers do online. Our experience is that it is quite rare. We believe in investing our clients’ money where it’s going to provide value, and a much larger percentage of people (89 per cent) committed to purchasing property are looking solely online,” he said.
“If our clients wish to include newspaper advertising as part of their campaign, then of course we are happy to arrange this for them, but we no longer recommend they spend thousands on paper advertising. Simply put, we don’t see it working like it used to.”
Tony Blamey, general manager of real estate at Fairfax Marketplaces - owner of listing website domain.com.au - told Real Estate Business that abandoning print was a short-sighted move.
“Surely it’s incumbent on an agent to look at each property on its merit and decide what the best marketing mix is for that property,” he said.
“For agents that want to maximise the price they can get, they can create a certain amount of demand online but they can create additional demand if they’re in print as well.
“Not everyone is in the property market, but they may be at a cafe, they may see a property in the newspaper that might stimulate their interest and create that demand.”
He added that print allowed advertisers to promote different types of areas and new developments, and was a good vehicle for reaching a broader type of audience.