NEARLY 80 per cent of potential home-buyers decide on which agent to instruct based on whether they advertise in their local newspaper, a major industry player has claimed, writes Dawn Stephens-Borg.
Colin Shairp, director of Fine and Country Southern Hampshire reacted to industry “scepticism” following claims made by a large newspaper and media publishing house that property supplements drive web traffic to agents’ websites.
Mr Shairp shared his findings on the effectiveness of newspaper advertising on his blog. He claims that the scepticism surrounding print advertising stems from the industry professionals who have “abandoned print” and now focus their attention solely on web portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove to advertise their properties.
On his blog, Mr Shairp writes: “Call me old fashioned, and you probably will because I’m the wrong side of 25, but newspapers work.”
He added: “How do I know this? Quite simply it’s because I follow the figures on the property portals I use - and my properties pop up on almost 500 websites.
“When my local property papers come out, the hit rate on the portals for my two agencies goes up. It’s more than just coincidence, because it’s always the properties that are featured in advertisements or my regular editorials that bring people to the portals.”
Mr Shairp employs a journalist to write up property profiles and draft comment, which he describes as “money well spent.”
He continued: “I then use these articles again in my own electronic newsletters which are opened and read all the way through, by 70% of those who receive them.”
Mr Shairp claims that other agents “rubbish” print media, and expressed the value of personal relationships maintained through advertising in print.
He said: “Print brings personal contact. Portals don’t bring that with their anonymous searches yet personal relationships are the lifeblood of an agency.
“We are a people business needing people contact to succeed.”
Jane Taylor of taylor underwood, expressed the importance of maintaining news-paper advertising and editorial.
She said: “Press advertising is an opportunity for an agency to display its unique approach to marketing and property sales. This medium enables both buyer and seller within the area to see an overview of what that particular agent is achieving in terms of sales and new instructions, as well as maintaining their profile.”
She added: “The distribution figures of local papers prove that paper advertising is still an extremely important part of any agency budget and it will remain a major part of our marketing strategy.”