Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Courting Realtors

We spoke to a few real estate agents to see what they needed from this relationship to help rekindle the flames.

“Being a part of a large organization like ERA, we are told constantly that print advertising is old, passé, don’t waste your money! Our brokers are bombarded with this message every meeting that they attend. Then they bring this back to the Realtors and beat us over the head with the same message. Most of the time if we do advertise in the paper we have to pay for it.

The franchise preaches to us — use the Internet, that is the new wave and the future lies in your ability find a way to get up front on all the websites. Right now we use over 20 websites besides our own.

But, we are in an area that still does lots of print advertising. The companies
in our area that are the most successful do print in two mediums. Local paper and an industry magazine called Homes & Lifestyles. We only use 1/2 page in the Homes & Lifestyles, very seldom in the local paper, but we do advertise in the Mail Max. The Mail Max is a free paper that is delivered to most of the addresses in Berrien County. Our broker allows us to put in an Open House ad for Sunday Open Houses. The reason? Cost, the local paper charges about $165 for each open house add, the Mail Max is only $25! In some parts of the country the papers will run an open house add for $25, and do it in color. This is popular in Madison, WI, where my MIL [mother-in-law] lives. It is a great feature and I’m sure brings in some revenue for the paper.

At a time when dollars are scarce, we are all looking for the best bang for our buck! Local papers in small population areas are not a bargain for Realtors. We wish
there was a good avenue to run down, drop off a few bucks and get good results. I’m just afraid with the number of papers that have folded up their doors that day
is long gone.”

James Rhodes
ERA Network
269-876-7627    cell/vm

“I am a real estate salesman. I got into this business because I love to look at houses (vintage) and I enjoy working with people. In my market Evanston we have two different areas of clients. One is local and the other is coming from a different area because of school (NU [Northwestern University]) or work. The local residents of the community are perfect targets of paper advertising. I use this for putting myself in front of the local residents. I use the Internet to reach out to people coming to Evanston from other towns or states or even countries. I need both to maintain a good business model.

At this time I advertise in the Pioneer press papers and the Chicago Tribune. We use this to showcase our properties for sale and our open houses. Some people look into the weekend edition and find all the properties that are available for them to view on Sunday as an open house and then tour those homes. It is a tool to let the public know what listings or homes we have for sale.”

Noah Seidenberg
Coldwell Banker Evanston
Toll Free (800) 858-7917
Office (847) 316-8529
Fax (847) 939-5636
On the web:
Real Estate Specialist Chicago-land and Suburbs
Licensed Illinois real estate agent
My blog:

“I advertise about once a month In the local newspaper with a color 1 page or 1/2 page advertisement. I like that it is a very good way to get the information out about our houses we have for sale to the public with pics and prices. I feel they could do a better job with customer service and prices. In the past, our local paper had a reasonable pricing structure for advertising each week. They changed that and increased their price structure dramatically. I know that 2 or 3 Realtors stopped advertising as often if at all. The other is customer service. We in the past had a sales person stop by weekly or every 2 weeks to give us updates on specials or new things that were happening. That stopped after the price increase and the publishing started taking place in a different city. Most of the interaction is taking place by email or phone. I miss the hands on sales and personal attention they use to give. Their is no longer a face with the newspaper.”

Phil Snellenbarger
1748 East Wabash Street
Frankfort, IN 46041
Office:  765-654-9806
Fax:  765-654-9808

“I use to advertize a lot with the Journal and Courier but recently we have been using Craigslist and TV, I enjoy the newspaper and would like to see it survive but it has become expensive for me to use. I think it works very well when trying to reach a mature audience.”

Jay Reynolds
Summer Chase Homes
529 Main St, Lafayette, IN 47901

“I have been selling Real Estate, or houses and condos for 30 years. When I was first licensed, I was in the Greater Lansing Board of Realors. In Lansing, again, 15 years ago, before Internet, pretty much all the ads were in the newspaper. The majority of the ads were on Sunday. All the brokers spent a gross amount of money to promote their listings. And by creating such large expensive ads, it made you think who was the most successful Real Estate Company or Agent.

The public would say to me from time to time, they saw me at a certain open house, or I was marketing a home in a certain neighborhood. With that in mind, we always put our photo in the newspaper along with a photo of the home. A picture is worth a 1000 words. When you think of an ad, what are you really promoting, agent  or the property?…Today, or yesterday we have had access to the Ann Arbor News. We spend a lot of money on ads to promote ourselves and the listing we have. My
one complaint was, not every Sunday, but it seemed quite often, they print negative news about the Real Estate Market, i.e., prices are down, unemployment is high, interest rates on the rise, or a sad story about someone had a bad experience buying  Real Estate.”

John Romagnoli
Real Estate One
555 Briarwood Circle
Ann Arbor, Mi 48108

“According to all our costs to market a property, the paper remains the highest expense with the least amount of return. The online site is not developed enough or creates enough traffic to be as effective as real estate specific websites (, etc.). There are too many portals taking the consumer away from our information so the cost to capture the lead is greater. We utilize the “newspaper” website to instill our “presence” as the Top Agent for the area along with our competition…without the articles, our marketing would be less effective. They have just not developed the site enough to have Top Agents stand out from the beginners.”

Martin Bouma
The Bouma Group
Keller Williams Realty
564 S. Main St.
Ann Arbor MI
ph: 877-761-3060