“There are still a lot of people who rely on the free pick-up magazines around,” says Ottawa-based agent Elaine Smallwood. “(The board’s printed listings advertiser) was a valuable source of business for me.”
Smallwood said her board’s decision to discontinue the product impacted her business, since many of her clients found her via the printed advertising. She has since found another venue in which to advertise, though she says it hasn’t offered the same visibility or brand recognition that the board’s print advertiser did.
“Advertising is, obviously, what real estate is,” Smallwood says. “We’re more marketers. We have to go where the business is, but I don’t think the business is gone from print.”
Smallwood says there are still a large number of people who don’t comply with the statistic expressing that 92 per cent of real estate transactions begin online.
“As nice as that statistic is, I think there are a lot of people who don’t have access to the Internet,” she says. “We come across those people from open houses or they call us from the sign. To reach those people you still have to have print.”
Still, Smallwood says it’s still important for agents to have a strong web presence, including professional-grade photos and videos, and a positive user experience.
“But as far as I’m concerned,” she says, “print is not dead.”
The Internet might be the new frontier in real estate, but that doesn’t mean print has gone the way of the dodo – yet.