Real Estate Ad Budgets Stretched Thin across Copious Media Choices

October 29, 2007

This article is included in these additional categories:

Financial Services | Real Estate | Social Media

Between the soft housing market and tight budgets, US real estate agents and brokers are facing tougher choices when they divide up their ad dollars – especially when media choices have proliferated – according to a new study of real estate ad spend trends. 

Less than half – 47% – of the Realtors surveyed said they are spending more for advertising and marketing this year than they did last year, the study conducted by Classified Intelligence and found. That proportion was 58% in the previous year’s survey.

And despite their complaints about newspaper advertising, Realtors continue to choose print over what is an almost overwhelming number of media-placement options, according to the report, “Real Estate Advertising – Print Fading But Realtors Still Use It.”

Although just 15% of respondents said they still advertise in print, respondents voted newspapers third out of 11 categories for producing qualified leads.

Moreover, half of the surveyed Realtors said the results from national websites are below their expectations – simply not generating enough leads.

Some 39% of  respondents said they’re overwhelmed by the number of advertising options; just 5% said they felt they have the decision-making process down to a science.


The study found that the shaky real estate outlook is compelling agents and brokers to use fewer dollars in more productive places, forcing them to reassess their media choices.

Some are turning online: Whereas a year earlier the number of Realtors involved in blogging and social networking was insignificant, some 21% of respondents now say they have their own blog and 25% say they participate on at least one social-networking site.

“Real estate professionals are in a tough spot,” said Peter M. Zollman, founding principal of CI. “The economic considerations in an unsure market are pressuring ad performances to do more, for less. At the same time, choices for those advertising dollars have exploded, causing confusion on where to best spend their budgets.”

About the study: The report was based on responses from 344 real estate professionals, who reported they were everywhere from “overwhelmed” to “scientifically buttoned-down” about their advertising expenditures. The report also reviews companies providing technology to real estate ad publishers, leading European and Asian real estate advertising media, and an overview of the latest innovations in real estate ad technology.

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