Why do real estate firms continue to run traditional print ads of their listings in newspapers and other circulations?
A common immediate response is that they do so to help market their clients' properties. However, this is not true.
Since the proliferation of the internet, buyers no longer wait for print ads to find homes. Buyers are looking almost exclusively on the internet. Buyers have instant access to every listing and unlike print ads, the internet allows buyers to limit their search to certain criteria.
If buyers are not looking at print ads to buy homes, then why would agents spend millions of dollars annually running print ads of listings in local newspapers? The answer is simple. Real estate firms and agents run ads simply as self marketing tools to promote their own businesses and not their clients' listings.
Real estate firms use traditional print ads to create a perception that they are the better than other firms in town because they have more listings in the paper. Sellers are duped into thinking that if their ad appears alongside these other ads in the Sunday paper that somehow a buyer is going to be more likely to buy their home than if they listed with another firm. This is a ridiculous concept.
In fact most firms do not have enough space in their allotted newspaper ads for all of their clients' listings. Many firms will allow each agent to publish only one of their listings in the weekly paper. Thus providing further proof that the primary purpose is not to market the client's listing but to market their own businesses.
Sellers actually are paying higher fees because of print ads for listings as well. Firms claim that part of the benefit of listing with their firm is a weekly print ad in the newspaper. Firms say that they need to charge a 6% commission to cover these listing costs. However, the benefit of the ad is for the firm and agent and not the seller. As a result, sellers are subsidizing their agent's marketing efforts.
Sellers should not be asked to subsidize the marketing costs of their real agent and firm. If agents and firms want to market their business with print ads, then they should do so with ads touting the benefit of their services. Unfortunately, because all firms charge the same 6% commission and offer the same services, the only way they can distinguish themselves is by showing more listings in the newspaper.
As I stated before, buyers are not looking at print ads. They are looking online. Sellers need to stop being coerced by real estate agents into thinking that print ads still matter for marketing property. Print ads work very well for products such as small electronics or supermarket coupons, but print ads are dead as far as real estate is concerned. Agents should stop asking sellers to subsidize their marketing efforts and pay for their own ads.
We know the trend of the modern person. At Flat Fee, we're doing all we can to help make the real estate buying and selling process easier than ever before. We've set up an easy-to-use website that will help with all of your property needs. Still have questions about Flat Fee? Contact us here.