Real estate agents remain firm believers in the power of print, even if one has dismissed it as “absolutely useless” in his market.
According to a recent REB poll, 52.8 per cent of respondents said they’re doing more print marketing today than 12 months ago.
Another 31.2 per cent said they’re doing less print marketing than last year, while 16 per cent said they’re doing the same amount.
Marshall White director James Connell said his agency is a believer in print and maintains a large presence in The Age.
“We genuinely believe we get better prices for our vendors through newspaper advertising, and we genuinely believe we’re a better agency as a result of our newspaper advertising,” he said.
“I think we generate more inquiry and more opportunities, which translates into better exposure for the Marshall White brand.”
Mr Connell said agencies that have shifted to a digital-only strategy have made a mistake because brands lose credibility without a newspaper presence.
“If you want to build a bulletproof business, you've got to stand out from the crowd, so you need to be in newspapers,” he said.
However, Mt Beauty Property Sales director Bill McKelvey advises clients in his regional Victorian market not to use print marketing.
“Here in north-east Victoria, print marketing is absolutely useless because most people don’t buy the local paper to look at real estate,” he said.
Mr McKelvey said his company generates business through online enquiries, boards and a strong word-of-mouth reputation.
“For me, I'm better off concentrating on customer service, affability and getting people to like me, trust me and believe what I say in person. In a little town, your reputation is everything,” he said.
According to Mr McKelvey, print is more about an agent’s profile than selling properties.
“If you could get some of the city agents to divulge their real reasons why they use print media then the public, would know they’re really paying for an agent’s profile and vendors would think twice about spending that money on print advertising,” he said.