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Newspaper Advertising – Is It the End of the Road?

KYLIE DAVIS PONDERS whether print still has a place in property marketing campaigns.

“THE REPORT OF MY death was an exaggeration,” Mark Twain famously wrote. Likewise, reports of the death of newspapers – and the value of advertising real estate within them – have persisted for years. Yet the presses continue to roll and agents continue to sell property through them.

Until recently, the naysayers claimed that the real estate agent love affair with print was based on tradition, an unwillingness to change old habits and the desire of agents to see their faces in the paper (how cruel!).

But new research, and a set of new data tools for agents, is revealing the opposite. Print is being used not just because it works, but because it delivers a premium.

As part of its spring market campaign, Fairfax-owned Domain has been running a series of advertisements within its publications that highlight the fact that three out of four vendors use print to sell their home.

News Corp Australia is also running marketing campaigns that promote how print plus online advertising results in a higher final price for vendors and a quicker sale than advertising online alone.

The News Corp campaign is based on a metric recently developed by RP Data called Media Maximiser, which will soon be available to every real estate agent subscriber of RP Data.

Over the past two years, RP Data has tracked the progress of more than 850,000 properties listed for sale on the Australian market. The research is the first time comprehensive data has been compiled to test whether print has any value in a property transaction, but the results are compelling.

In Melbourne, for example, houses and units that advertised in both print and online had an 84 per cent chance of selling, compared to online-only properties that had a 60 per cent sales rate: a 16 per cent uplift. Adding print to an online campaign reduced the time on market by four days to 45 days, compared to online-only advertised properties that took 49 days on average to sell. But most importantly, properties that advertised in print plus online had an average sale price of $605,301 – in comparison with online-only properties which sold for an average of $575,209.

The data confirms that advertising in print on top of an online campaign can increase the chances of success, helping to sell a property faster and for more money.

In Sydney, properties that were advertised in a combination of print and online had a 91 per cent success rate compared to 77 per cent for online only. The average price achieved for properties that were advertised in both print and online was $793,116 compared to $737,207 for online only. The days on market were similar in Sydney, where homes are being snatched up in a heated market of between 33 and 32 days.

When RP Data rolls out Media Maximiser in November, agents will be able to identify the best marketing opportunities for their vendors down to a postcode level. Properties will also be broken out by price bracket (affordable, mid-market and prestige) and by house or unit. This does identify that, in some markets, online advertising alone is enough to get a good sale.

But for the first time, agents will be able to share the data with their vendors, taking all the guesswork out of vendor-paid advertising and increasing their assurance that by promoting the property for sale they genuinely have the best interests of the vendors at heart.

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