Looking to buy or sell real estate? Check out your ... newspaper?


Life never ceases to amaze. How many articles and posts have you and I read over the past couple of years telling us that when it comes to newspaper real estate ads, we are looking at a dying industry? That "online" was where it was all at. Well, I don't have an exact number for you, but let's agree there were plenty of such articles and posts.

So, it does come as a surprise, I must confess, that a new report from Borrell Associates says that real estate ad spending in newspapers is projected to go up an aggressive 16% this year. Last year, it dropped by an estimated 34%. The just released report raises the question, "Has the mighty real estate advertising category peaked out for online media?" And, it points out that this particular ad category declined some 20% last year.

What's happening?

Apparently, this new "trend" (does one set of figures a trend make? Not really. Still, it is a curiosity to say the least) stems in large measure from local brokerages opting to move away from online display ads to newspaper ads.

Says CBS Money Watch blogger and Realtor Alison Rogers, " ... you can't really get anybody to do a banner for you for less than $1,500, while a few hundred gets you something decent looking in most newspapers."

And, what does this mean for you and me?

It means that if you are looking to buy or sell real estate property, you would be doing yourself a disservice by limiting yourself to online venues, as convenient (and often tied into Google maps and such) as they may be.

By not also going back to basics (your local newspaper), as a seller, you may miss a large segment of potential buyers; and,as a buyer (or renter), you will surely not have all the options before you.

Online or newspapers? Not mutually exclusive. Check out both.

Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle."