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The Merging of Print and Online Marketing

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RISMEDIA, Nov. 29, 2008- Print marketing is a tried, tested and proven tool for reaching people as potential buyers and sellers. Online marketing is the new kid on the block-but what a big, powerful kid, says Lyndon Burrell, senior marketing manager, Professional Services Vertical Markets Research In Motion (RIM). “The breadth, reach and ROI are enormous.” Here, Burrell concludes this month’s Viewpoints series on the importance of integrating print and online marketing.

burrell_lyndon.jpgLyndon Burrell
Senior Marketing Manager, Professional Services Vertical Markets
Research In Motion (RIM)
www.blackberry.com/smartagent

Is the integration of print and online marketing still important? Absolutely. While the Internet and mobile access to information have had an incredible impact on the real estate industry, there will always be an audience for print marketing. While online marketing may offer a bigger draw, print still has, and will always have, its place.

In fact, print and online marketing have merged and now support each other. When was the last time you saw a real estate ad, billboard, TV ad or business card that didn’t contain a Web or e-mail address?

It’s now very commonplace for print ads to not only include a phone number, but also website and e-mail addresses for access to more information, more properties and more opportunities to connect with listing agents. Real estate professionals are trying to do everything possible to connect with new clients.

Whatever method, whether by phone, by e-mail, through a website or even walk-ins off the street, the speed and quality of the response by an agent will make the difference that determines whether an agent wins or loses an opportunity to land a new client.

An interesting statistic from the National Association of Realtors says that 85% of property searches start online. I’m willing to bet that the catalyst for a large number of these searches came through print ads bearing website and e-mail contact information.

It’s also important to note that another study from the California Association of Realtors said that people will wait up to 30 minutes for a response from an agent that they have sent an inquiry to (either online or via phone). After that 30 minutes is up, they will go in search of another agent. Being slow to respond is a recipe for lost opportunity and lost revenue.

Today, the desk in the office of the real estate professional is only a “pit stop” and not “command central” like it used to be. Nowadays, the road and the mobile office is where business is won and lost. The most crucial component of the mobile office is now a smartphone, and not just any smartphone with the latest “bells and whistles,” but one that has demonstrated a history of being able to stand up to real business use and expectation for immediate e-mail delivery and notification, usability, battery endurance, Web browsing capabilities for MLS access, contact and schedule management, to name a few important features.

Print and online advertising for real estate agents offer advantages that are one and the same and deliver value to agents who want to continue to build their client lists and link buyers and sellers. The key to making them work together is making sure that all marketing activity links back to an agent, allowing clients to reach them by whatever means they choose and allowing agents to be quick to respond and demonstrate that they want the business more than anyone else.

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