The verdict is in: print remains king

Print ads continue to drive strong property sales, but one agency has invested in app-based marketing to capitalise on what it sees as a changing market.

In a recent Real Estate Business poll, 58.6 per cent of respondents thought that print has always worked well and always will.

Another 12.4 per cent said print is still working well but will inevitably decline, while 29 per cent said print is already in clear decline.

Anthony Webb, general manager of sales at Philip Webb, said while there is still a role for print, app-based marketing will become increasingly important as house-hunters become more “hyper-local” in their preferences.

“We’ve been working with an app [since July] that pushes notifications to buyers based on their search criteria, so they can then go in and have a look at it,” Mr Webb told Real Estate Business.

“Buyers want information when they can get it – they want it right now and don’t want to wait for a property to be loaded online or wait for it to hit the paper.”

Mr Webb said the app becomes more effective the more it is downloaded, so the Melbourne agency has been promoting its use via direct mail, open homes and telephone call-backs.

George Rafty from PRD Nationwide Newcastle said the best way to sell a property is usually with an integrated campaign across multiple channels.

Mr Rafty said printed marketing is incredibly important and will probably always play a role in real estate campaigns.

“Sometimes some of the younger clients might suggest not to use print, but I would say 98 per cent of my clients use print media,” he said.

“We ask people at our open homes how they found us, and we’re still getting a good response from print media.”

Mr Rafty told Real Estate Business that print marketing had delivered one client a three per cent premium on their sale price recently. Disappointed with a $1.36 million offer produced by an online-only campaign, the client took Mr Rafty’s advice to take out a half-page ad in the Newcastle Herald.

“An elderly couple having a coffee saw the ad and came that day and bought the house for $1.4 million,” he said. “So a $1,000 investment for a $40,000 price improvement was a good investment.” 

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