Recently the website eMarketer reported that, "Online advertising spending will finish the year with a 13.9 percent increase to $25.8 billion, compared with an 8.2 percent decline to $22.8 billion for print newspaper ads." This is a historic threshold we have crossed and it's surprising that there has been so little media hype about it.
All of us in real estate marketing have been touting this for years, much to the angst of our agent populations. Real estate has been a late comer to new media. Marketers are trying to educate their agent clients and by turns the public, into the realities of print vs. web advertising. Searching for properties on the web is easier, simpler, more targeted, and faster.
Sales agents have resisted change in part because of their own lack of familiarity with technology and in part because their clients still want a newspaper ad. People who would never search for a new home themselves in the newspaper demand a newspaper ad. Then you have competing brokers in Chicago spending up a storm in print trying to grab the attention of clients and agents from other companies. Most notably is @properties, which is a bit of a head scratcher given their young, hip techy image. Cultural change is difficult, especially in real estate.
But the writing is on the CRT, print is out and the web is in. Which is not to say that print is dead. Studies show that companies who have a strong web presence benefit from print advertising. The most effective combination are print and online branding ads that drive people to your website.