Home' Local Media Today : December 2009 Contents DECEMBER 2009
By Susan Karol
SNA Foundation Executive Director
The attendees at the November
2009 SNA Classified Conference
in Myrtle Beach were treated to an
informative, honest and lively
presentation from Penny Boling,
Broker/Owner of the area’s
Century 21 Boling & Associates
real estate company.
Boling’s dynamic style shows why
she’s successful at what she does –
she was firm in her belief that
Realtors must continue to promote
themselves in a down market; in
fact, she contends that this is when
they ought to do more. And, she is
a persistent believer that advertis-
ing in her local newspaper is an
important part of her overall mar-
However, Boling acknowledges
that changing times in the industry
calls for new approaches from
In addition to her suggestions
shown in the box on the right,
Boling provided some thoughts
on how local newspapers can
make their Web sites most valu-
able for real estate. Some of her
tips for immediate implementation
Offer an MLS search.
Include a local directory.
Post area home sales information.
Feature a comprehensive open
Have a section on foreclosures and
Present sponsored areas such as
“Hot Property of the Week” and
“Featured Broker of the Week.”
But, don’t require a long-term
contract. Allow agents or brokers
to buy it by the week.
Overall, Boling suggested that
newspapers can continue to sup-
port their local real estate clients
by helping them “clean up the bot-
tom and get back to normal.” She
said that newspaper partners
should develop ways to help
agents and brokers move forward.
Access many conference presenta-
tions at at www.suburban-new.org
LESSONS FROM CLASSIFIED CONFERENCE 2009
Local Newspapers Still
Have Much to Gain with
Real Estate Advertising
Century 21 Boling
Boling offered several
suggestions on how local newspapers can continue
to best serve their local real estate advertisers and
grow their business:
Make presentations to groups and real estate organiza-
tions. Reach out to individual agents and do not rely solely
on the brokers. But, don’t expect agents to sign a long-
term contract – that would be unrealistic in this economy
as they are all working day-to-day. Instead, offer attractive
agent pricing and programs.
Consider adding a section in the paper for Realtors to
feature foreclosures and short sales.
Take another look at how real estate ads are bundled
and priced. If price seems to be an objection, consider
adding more space for the same cost rather than just cut-
ting the price. Realtors are looking for value.
Know the real estate-oriented events that are taking
place in your communities and beyond, and piggy-back
your newspaper promotions accordingly; e.g., open houses,
agent recruitment month, tax credits or other government
programs, first time homebuyers, etc. Be proactive in
bringing these relevant promotions to the real estate bro-
kers and agents in your area.
If appropriate in your market, create a relocation guide
and sell the outer 4-page wrap to a local real estate bro-
ker and allow them to customize it for their own market-
Educate your local Realtors and help them best utilize
your full suite of product offerings. Years ago, newspapers
offered workshops for agents as to how to make their
advertising more successful. Boling suggests updating these
programs to suit today’s terminology and multimedia
options. She reminded the attendees that agents are not
always good copywriters and need assistance in “making a
dog house look like a dream house.” Helping them write
successful ads for both print and online will make you an
even more valuable partner in their business.
Educate consumers with articles on real estate issues,
such as using a Realtor, how to buy foreclosures and short
sales, what homebuyers and home sellers need to be doing
in today’s real estate market, and the like.
Remember that Realtors love recognition. Highlight
their good work, both in their business and in the commu-
Don’t forget to tout the continued credibility of local
newspapers. As an example, her top recruitment vehicle
for new agents is still the print classifieds section of the
Gather. Learn. Act.
Attendees at the Classified Advertising Conference in Myrtle
Beach, SC last month, heard from many presenters including
Beverly Crandon, left, Director of Digital Classifieds at Metroland
Crandon’s keynote presentation focused the audience on”10 ways
to grow your classified marketplace in 2010.” Her tips are found in
a related article on page 7.
Many conference presentations can be viewed on SNA’s website.
View Bev’s at http://www.suburban-
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