Nearly nine in 10 homebuyers used the internet as an information source, and one in three found a home on the internet, according to 2008 data from the National Association of Realtors.
Disappearing are the bold-colored suit jackets, poufy hairdos and stilted smiles that, for decades, have been plastered across newspaper pages pushing real estate to potential homebuyers. In their stead: informal blogs, online video tours and sophisticated consumer targeting.
The recession and a cratered housing market have curtailed real-estate advertising overall, and many companies have cut back significantly on newspapers. Realogy Corp., parent company of Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Sotheby’s International, and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, among others, spent 31.7% less on measured media in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence, down to $129.3 million from $189.4 million in 2007. And more than half of the decrease, $31.8 million, came out of newspapers. At the same time, Realogy upped its internet spending 29% to $8.6 million. The internet ad dollars pale in comparison largely because the internet is less expensive, but the trend toward online is unmistakable.
Check out Marissa Miley’s blog here. (Real-Estate Ads Find New Home on Web in Recession, June 2 2009).