Where to Advertise a Listing On The Internet

More studies point to a continued hemorrhaging of advertising dollars from local print publications. This time from Clickz reports Global Internet Ad Spend to Climb 28 Percent in ’07.

Great news for online publishers, not so good for the newspapers and magazines that rely on Realtor advertising to support their publications.

“The traditional medium that suffered the most was print,” he said, noting many newspaper dollars “have gone directly to online classified and auction sites.”

Publishers are desperately trying to stake out a new online platform (see The death of the Sunday Home section) but I see these events as the perfect storm for newspaper publishers.

So, despite fancy redesigns, they are still bleeding readers.

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(I’ve had a newspaper delivered to my doorstep pretty much every day for the last 10 years and even I canceled my subscription to the Oregonian earlier this year – I just found it wasn’t relevant to me anymore. As much as I love pouring over a printed page, by the time any of the ‘news’ had hit their press – I’d already seen it online.)

Marlow Harris at 360Digest brings up another interesting point, that even in the face of disappearing ad dollars – newspapers continue to bite the very hands that feed them.

But I do question increased and continual hammering on the industry, its commission structure and the people who are employed in the business. If real estate editors hasten the demise of real estate agents, who will be left to advertise in their newspaper?

This is a common complaint that I’m hearing more and more these days. Real estate professionals questioning the point of advertising in a medium seemingly bent on their disintermediation.

I don’t think that print advertising for real estate will disappear entirely. I think there’s still a need for it in certain niche markets. Take high end/luxury homes. There, you typically have a much longer sales cycles and an older demographic who doesn’t use the Internet as much (case in point, see Larry King shuns the Net).

But where there’s a definite impact is in the middle. Homes that are priced at or around the median in a local market. Homes whose buyers generally fall into the new buying demographic (see Meet the new real estate customer).

So the challenge is, where would you advertise one of these homes?

The answer on the Internet is, of course, everywhere possible. And that makes sense for any of the free listings (craigslist et. al). But where would you take the extra step and actually pay to have a listing placed?

Though it’s clear to me that newspaper advertising is dying, what hasn’t emerged yet is an obvious online alternative.