Real Estate Advertising Shift Under Way in Response to Declining Newspaper Readership

Posted by Kelly Kinzer — June 19, 2006

Real Living discusses industry trend in white paper COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 15, 2006) – Real Living Inc., the nation’s fourth-largest residential real estate firm, has released a white paper discussing declining newspaper readership and alternative advertising choices for real estate companies that want to respond to a consumer shift in the quest for news and information. “As an established leader and innovator in our industry, we wanted to present an in-depth overview of what’s happening in advertising and discuss what it means for real estate companies,” said Kaira Sturdivant Rouda, chief operating officer of Real Living Inc. “Part of the discussion is Real Living’s transition to new advertising opportunities and our experience in staying connected with our customers.” According to the white paper, printed newspaper circulation and readership continue to steadily decline. Statistics from the Newspaper Association of America show the number of U.S. adults reading a newspaper each weekday has decreased from more than 80 percent in 1964 to an estimated 54 percent in 2003. Meanwhile, online advertising has grown about seven times as fast as newspaper print advertising over the last eight years. “Consumers have grown hungry for information. Comparative market analyses, pre-approval, virtual tours, community information: consumers want it all – and they want it now. Through the rise of the Internet, all of this information is available at their fingertips. Gone are the days of thumbing through the Sunday paper, only to find a listing with the possibility of a small photo that requires a phone call to get any more information. We are in a generation of instant gratification, and the Internet provides the perfect opportunity for real estate brokerages to tap into everything that consumers want – instantly,” the white paper reads. Real Living, like other brokerages, previously spent the majority of its advertising dollars on traditional newspaper listings. To respond to the growing popularity of the Internet as an information hub, the company began replacing those listings with image ads and then eventually switched to online advertising campaigns within daily newspaper Web sites – with success. At HER Real Living, Real Living’s Columbus, Ohio-based company, listings are up 500 units from 1998 when the company stopped advertising in the Columbus Dispatch, the area’s metropolitan daily. In its white paper, the company encourages other brokerages to transition their advertising to respond to the new marketing paradigm. “Now, real estate brokerages need to choose between getting online and getting in front of the consumer or staying rooted in traditional listing advertising – possibly meaning the difference between a successful, forward-thinking company, and one that is barely able to stay afloat,” the paper reads. About Real Living Inc. The largest independently-owned residential real estate firm in the Midwest and the fourth-largest in the country, Real Living Inc., boasts nearly 4,000 agents and employees, $8 billion in annual sales and more than 130 offices throughout 10 states, including Florida, Illinois and Texas. Real Living Inc was awarded the 2005 Inman Innovator Award by Inman News, ranked 23rd in Entrepreneur magazine’s Top 50 Best New Franchises and has won numerous awards for its marketing achievements. Every 14 minutes, Real Living sells a home. Each month, Real Living’s Web sites receive nearly 14 million page views. Real Living Inc. also offers a full range of affiliated business services, including home financing, title, relocation, corporate relocation management and home warranties. For more information about Real Living Inc., visit www.RealLiving.com.

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