RISMEDIA, February 2, 2009-Citing the recent shifts and challenges in the real estate market, The Real Estate Book, a leading publisher online and in print of real estate information in North America, conducted a national survey of top real estate professionals to assess how they are marketing themselves and their listings in the current economy, and what channels are driving the best results for them. One of the key findings reveals that the migration of marketing dollars from mass media to targeted real estate media is now complete, with agents dedicating 75% of their marketing spending to specialty print, personal websites and Internet marketing. Surprisingly, the study shows that agents spread their marketing budget among these three categories evenly. Categories that were given lowest marks for value were traditional mass media like newspapers and radio.
“Real estate agents understand that it is critical to maintain their visibility in a very confusing and shifting market, and to do that they are using multiple targeted media channels to stay out in front and relevant to consumers,” says Scott Dixon, president, The Real Estate Book. “Perhaps what may surprise many people is that agents are not dumping their money all in one bucket, nor are they simply turning to the Internet for leads, as this has proven to be ineffective.”
Dan McCarthy, chairman and CEO of Network Communications Inc., which publishes The Real Estate Book and nearly 30 media brands in the housing area, adds, “We have discovered that real estate agents who spread their marketing messages between efficient print and Internet resources experience significantly more impact in driving leads than using one medium or the other solely.” He continues, “There is no question the U.S. housing market will never be the same. But, at the core, it will not be all that different. The practical and emotional reasons that a person buys or sells a home will stay the same, even while the tools and resources that they use to complete that transaction change and evolve.”
Clearly, innovation in the on-line space has caused marketers to re-evaluate how they reach their target audience. But, the real revolution taking place in real estate marketing, according to this recent study, is the ability for agents to spend money efficiently and with accountability, both in their print and Internet marketing.
Among its findings, The National Real Estate Agents Study revealed that:
– More than half of respondents (57%) spend more than $500 in a typical month on advertising, marketing, branding and promotion. The median monthly spending on advertising, marketing, branding and promotion is $622.
– Respondents said that in the current economy, the most important goal is “finding more buyers,” followed by “showing current customers you are working for them,” “getting more listings,” and “promoting your name to other agents,” with agents using specialty print stating significantly more likely than non-users to worry about showing current home shoppers they are working and about promoting their names to other agents.
– Respondents spend about 25% of their media spending on each of the following: Specialty print, Internet marketing, and the broker’s own website.
– Virtually all respondents use some form of Internet marketing. Over the next six months, the channels respondents expect to spend the most money on are Internet marketing (40%) and the respondents’ own personal websites (32%).
– The median amount spent on Internet marketing is $196 each month. 38% spend more than $250 per month on all forms of Internet marketing.
– 86% of the respondents had a personal website in addition to their broker website. 61% spent money on search engine marketing to promote themselves. 25% used blogs or social media as a promotional tool.
– Only 5% of those agents surveyed expect to spend more on newspaper ads.
– 85% of respondents measure the effectiveness of the money they spend marketing their services.
– 78% of respondents track the leads they get from various media and other sources.
The results of the research paint the picture of an evolving information landscape that gives consumers nearly ubiquitous access to information about their local real estate market. In the end, consumers are interested in finding a real estate agent that they can trust who will help them negotiate the challenging process of buying or selling a home. In order to effectively market themselves to these consumers, agents are using more and more marketing outlets. Their goal is to stand out in their market as a trusted and experienced expert.
Dixon adds, “We have seen in our own business that print distribution drives online traffic, and our study reconfirms that agents not only get the best results when they market their listings this way, but also looking to the future of the market, agents who responded to our survey will continue to utilize a mix of targeted multi-media channels and spread their marketing dollars among those categories evenly. They will increase Internet spend, but continue to promote their online content in print to help them drive their business.”
Case in point: the company say that tens of thousands of advertisers of The Real Estate Book benefit from a wealth of experience and an integrated media platform that showcases their listings in a variety of ways. With 8 million magazines in print every 4 weeks, The Real Estate Book gets nearly 2 million unique visitors on its website, www.RealEstateBook.com, as a result of the prominent off-line visibility.
For more information, contact Tami McCarthy or Sara Quigley at TMG Brand Communications: 212.750.5755 or visit www.realestatebook.com.