SAN FRANCISCO – Real estate marketing dollars are increasingly flowing online, and even some major players in print media are working to drum up more Internet-based revenue while urging real estate agents and brokers to take a balanced approach to ad spending.

“You have to have a broad marketing strategy using different channels. Try different things and track them,” said Michael Montsko, president for Weichert Lead Network. Montsko participated in a panel Thursday, “Making Online Marketing Decisions Smartly,” during the Real Estate Connect 2005 conference. Keep what works and dump whatever doesn’t work, he said.

The Weichert Lead Network is a high-tech lead-generation center built for the Weichert Realtors brokerage network. The lead network features a call center that is operated seven days a week, response to consumers’ online queries in a matter of seconds, and a higher-than-average conversion rate for Internet leads.

Newspapers have been losing revenue from real estate classified advertising to other marketing venues, including Internet-based free classified listings, and online advertising and lead-generation business models. But some newspaper companies are battling to make up some lost ground with their own online ventures.

Montsko said that the lead network spends most of its ad money – about 90 percent – on Internet advertising. He said there is definitely a shift in companies moving print ad money toward Internet advertising. “Right now the return on investment is probably greater in general online than it is in print. (Our president) saw that the Internet was really changing the face of real estate.”

Weichert uses some very low-tech marketing techniques, too, including phone calls and direct mail campaigns to keep in touch with potential clients. “We’re a big proponent of lead incubation,” he said.

“While leads are very important, it is also important to make sure that brokers and agents are using traditional advertising and marketing their brand to consumers outside of individual leads they’re getting for listings,” said Kim Christiansen, a business manager for the Washington Post’s online subsidiary.

Christiansen, also a panelist at the online marketing session, added, “You need to be in different mediums. There still are many consumers going to print. You need to be there.” The Washington Post is a part of a newspaper conglomerate that formed an online enterprise, Classified Ventures, to capitalize on the online classified ad market, and this company purchased real estate lead-generation company HomeGain in a deal announced July 1.

Partners in Classified Ventures also include Knight Ridder, Gannet Co., and The McClatchy Co., among others.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription