In the Real Estate Industry, Print Gets a Great Review

It’s estimated that 90-95% of property searches now start online, thanks in large part to major players like Zillow and Trulia in the U.S., and Rightmove and Zoopla in the U.K.

Not only do most buyers start online, but most realtors get the bulk of their leads online as well, according to Marc Da Silva writing in EstateAgentToday, a UK realtor news site.

Does that mean that print is passé for the realtor set? Da Silva says no, and cites some key stats on consumer behavior and their preference for print to back up his claim about the UK market. He explains that “78% of Britons do not pay attention to most online adverts, suggesting that print ads make a better impression than digital ones.”

In a very British explanation of how this works, one UK estate agent paints a beautiful picture of the consumer print experience.

“For instance, the process of sitting in your favorite armchair, in a calm and relaxed atmosphere with a cup of coffee and biscuit, in your warm home, flicking through the pages of glossy, printed literature, is a very luxurious experience with good karma,” says London-based estate agency director Trevor Abrahmsohn.

This is just part of the reason why Da Silva is a firm advocate of a multi-channel approach that includes print.

So what about in the U.S. market? According to Zillow’s realtor training material, print is most definitely a recommended tactic. Their stats show that while websites are the place most people start, many people find their homes through yard signs, print newspaper ads and home books or magazines.

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For agents, direct mail is still a critical part of the customer acquisition strategy. As Zillow notes, “about 42-43 percent of all agents use direct mail to target both types of clients.”

“Real Estate Marketing Magazine estimates that the average cost to send postcard mailings to one home monthly over a five-year period is $30—which, if successful, is a low-cost way to acquire a client,” the article continues.

As the industry saying goes, “all real estate is local.” So it makes perfect sense that localized, highly targeted direct mail, print ads and printed marketing collateral are still key components in real estate marketing.