Less is more – why news­pa­per ads can still beat the in­ter­net

Es­tate agent Daryll Dig­pal re­veals whynews­pa­per prop­erty ad­verts have anad­van­tage over the in­ter­net.

Yorkshire Post - Property - - PROPERTY -

THE prop­erty mar­ket­ing revo­lu­tion that brought us in­ter­net Go­liath Right­move seems to in­di­cate that sell­ers have turned their back on news­pa­per ad­ver­tis­ing.

Some have, but while web­site ad­verts are now a highly im­por­tant part of sell­ing a home, news­pa­pers still have an in­te­gral part to play in pro­duc­ing en­quiries, view­ings and house sales.

Al­though in­ter­net ad­ver­tis­ing pro­vides 24/7 ac­cess to prop­er­ties, it can also have a neg­a­tive ef­fect as some buy­ers think they have ac­tu­ally seen all the home has to of­fer – such is the vol­ume of de­tail avail­able on­line.

But hav­ing fully il­lus­trated sales brochures, floor plans, vir­tual tours and an un­end­ing sup­ply of im­ages can, in fact, pro­vide too much in­for­ma­tion for home buy­ers.

In some cases sell­ers are their own worst en­emy for­ever want­ing more and more in­for­ma­tion on their homes on the sites, be­liev­ing that the more they show the more peo­ple will want to view.

How­ever, the op­po­site can hap­pen. The viewer sees the lay­out, pho­to­graphs, page af­ter page of de­scrip­tive text and then they Google Earth street scenes and the plot upon which the prop­erty sits.

In many cases, buy­ers ac­tu­ally dis­count a prop­erty with­out phys­i­cally view­ing it as they feel they know all there is to know about it.

In con­trast, a news­pa­per advertisement gives only a brief out­line of the prop­erty, a tan­ta­lis­ing taster to en­cour­age view­ings, ie, giv­ing im­por­tant de­tails such as “de­tached, three bed­room fam­ily home with an acre and views across the ad­join­ing river”, etc.

The short­com­ings of the in­ter­net are proven by many prop­erty por­tals, which ex­pe­ri­ence tens of thou­sands of hits but only coax about five per cent of browsers to click for fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.

This fig­ure is fur­ther re­duced when view­ers do an ad­vanced search. If es­tate agents are asked how many view­ings they ar­range di­rectly as a re­sult of buy­ers look­ing on­line, the fig­ure is min­i­mal be­cause buy­ers talk them­selves out of see­ing for them­selves, be­liev­ing they have seen all there is to see on their vir­tual tour.

News­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments make house buy­ers call the agent and at that point the qual­ity of the agent comes to the fore. Many times when speak­ing with buy­ers about a spe­cific prop­erty we think will suit them, we hear the same phrase, “Oh I’ve seen that be­fore. I saw it on­line. Why did I dis­count it?” We ex­plain why they should see it.

View­ing prop­er­ties on­line al­lows buy­ers to be anony­mous and pre­vents trained sales per­son­nel from do­ing the job they are be­ing paid to do by sell­ers.

At our three award-win­ning of­fices we in­vest heav­ily in high cal­i­bre staff who are trained to pur­sue ev­ery lead from wher­ever the en­quiry may come and by talk­ing, are able to per­suade buy­ers to view prop­er­ties they had not pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered.

At the same time, this al­lows staff to col­late as much in­for­ma­tion from callers as pos­si­ble for fu­ture con­tact. As such, our con­ver­sion rate for ar­rang­ing view­ings is far greater from one to one con­tact than from web­site en­quiries.

For­tu­nately, the week­end news­pa­pers with prop­erty pull outs are still avidly read.

Through­out this year we have used news­pa­pers and our web­sites to mar­ket seven highly suc­cess­ful Multi-View­ing Open Week­ends.

In­ter­est­ingly, the largest pro­por­tion of view­ings were made as a re­sult of the news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments.

When talk­ing to the would-be buy­ers our staff were able to book view­ings at other prop­er­ties and not just at the ones the callers had made the en­quiry about.

An­other ex­am­ple of news­pa­per power was a re­cent Satur­day open view­ing. Four­teen wouldbe buy­ers turned up at the prop­erty at 2pm as a re­sult of an advertisement they had seen the pre­vi­ous evening in the lo­cal news­pa­per and that morn­ing within these pages.

Of course, web­site ad­ver­tis­ing has an enor­mous part to play and this will only in­crease in com­ing years.

We know this as much as any­body and are cur­rently spend­ing many thou­sands of pounds on up­grad­ing our web­site.

Only this week I re­ceived a let­ter from a buyer: “We have the Bead­nall Co­p­ley web­site as a book­mark and it is re­as­sur­ing to know that when new prop­erty comes on the mar­ket we are kept in­formed by your fre­quent mail­ings. As pur­chasers re­lo­cat­ing to York­shire we have been very im­pressed by your com­pany and only wish our lo­cal Es­tate Agents of­fered the same level of ser­vice.”

What bet­ter way to sign off as this en­cap­su­lates all I have tried to say in this com­ment piece. A news­pa­per will of­ten drive a buyer to our door, where the qual­ity of staff and mar­ket­ing works won­ders – and is far more sat­is­fac­tory than any vir­tual house hunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Daryll J Dig­pal is As­so­ci­ate Part­ner, Bead­nall Co­p­ley. Bead­nall Co­p­ley have of­fices in Wetherby, Har­ro­gate and Ripon. www.bead­nall­cop­ley.co.uk, daryll.dig­pal@bead­nall­cop­ley. co.uk

CON­VE­NIENCE: Prop­erty web­sites at­tract thou­sands of hits but lead to a small per­cent­age of ac­tual fur­ther in­quiries.

HOT OFF THE PRESS: The in­ter­net is only part of suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing.

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