Does Print Marketing Still Work?

We live in a very different world to the one we grew up in.  Remember the days of black and white print marketing?  We’ve come a long way since then.  Full-colour newspaper print became the norm.  The advent of the Internet changed things – and we were introduced to property websites.

As technology has improved, so we’ve seen video, virtual reality tours, drone footage, augmented reality, and the like.  This is all good.  It creates a better customer experience.  When you’re researching properties you’re able to find out a lot more about them than you would have just 10 years ago.

But does that mean that electronic marketing has completely replaced print marketing?  After all, print marketing is expensive.  As a real estate business owner, it constitutes one of my largest monthly expenses.

To answer that question, consider the typical buyer journey.  You determine that you want to purchase a property in a certain area.  The first place you search will be the property portals as well as individual estate agency websites.  You will insert the suburbs or areas of interest, a price range, and perhaps a minimum number of bedrooms.  Your search will result in a list of potential options that you will view online – and then you’ll contact the agents to view the listings of greatest interest.

You’ll also usually drive through the areas as part of your research process.  You may well call an agent off a For Sale board.  And you will be very likely to view showhouses as well.  In fact, over 20% of our sales at Harcourts Platinum come off the back of showhouses.  Whilst these may be the most used buyer research tools – they’re not the only ones.

In most cases, buyers will also have a look at local print marketing.  What print marketing does that online marketing doesn’t, is expose you to properties that may be in locations and price ranges that you would have missed online.  In browsing through print, it’s not uncommon for a buyer to be attracted to a property at a different price point or suburb they may not have considered, but is their perfect home.

In most cases, print marketing will also direct you to a website where more details can be found on the listing, and where your research can continue.  The result is that print marketing attracts a different kind of purchaser.

The purchaser searching online may often be guided mostly on price.  They may only view the properties that seem to represent the best value.  However, the buyer that enquires off print marketing is often a buyer who is attracted to a property more on emotion.

It’s important not to forget those who are not really looking to buy, but who stumble across their dream home in print and end up buying a home they didn’t know they wanted.  There is no doubt that print marketing helps to attract the best buyers.


Steve Caradoc-Davies

Principal, Harcourts Platinum

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