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Agents are ‘massively’ failing to use local newspaper advertising effectively – claim


Agents are failing to use local property advertising effectively, says an industry consultant.

Richard Rawlings, who runs Estate Agency Insight, said “many” agents are failing to adapt their marketing content in order to win business.

Last week 376 agents responded to a survey by the consultancy that sought to identify the validity of agents’ continued use of advertising in their local property newspaper.

Rawlings said: “I’m a great believer in the continued use of local newspaper advertising alongside other forms of marketing.

“Pre-internet, newspaper advertising was primarily intended to attract buyers, but agents have not recognised the need to adapt their content in order to attract instructions, not buyers.

“The results of the survey certainly indicate that agents are massively failing to harness the opportunity to impress the very people they seek to attract – local home owners.

“Over half (51%) of respondents said they regularly advertise at least one page in the local newspaper. Only 8% of these stated that their main reason for doing so was to attract buyers, while 83% said that their primary reason for advertising in the paper was to either attract instructions or to maintain visibility/brand promotion.

“Yet 70% of these agents simply continue to promote their instructions through traditional style property ads – with no meaningful market comment, no relevant selling advice, and no expert opinion.

“In a massively competitive environment where distinction is everything, how can you expect to gain instructions if your advertising fails to convey your agency’s expertise, style and personality?

“Today’s public, especially millennials, expect generosity at every level with no strings attached. It’s no longer about getting, it’s about attracting.

“Additionally, many agents would agree that this is a people business and that instructions are often won due to an engaging instruction-earner.

“Yet some 61% of respondents’ ads did not make any mention of the people involved in the business – no name or photo! This is completely at odds with agency advertising in other countries and surely essential at a time when high street agencies need to ramp up their ‘people presence’ alongside their faceless online competitors.”

376 total responses
number %
Q1. Which of the following best describes how often you advertise in your local property newspaper/magazine? 109 29.0 Never
74 19.7 Occasionally
42 11.2 Monthly
52 13.8 Bi-weekly
99 26.3 Weekly
376 100.0
Q2. If you do advertise, how many pages do you typically take per edition? 159 60.7 A single page or less
66 25.2 Two pages or a double
11 4.2 Three pages
26 9.9 Four pages or more
262 100.0
Q3. Do you also provide regular comment, opinion, advice etc within your ad? 82 30.1 Yes, our pages cover a range of topics
130 47.8 No, we just tend to promote our instructions
60 22.1 Our pages are quite traditional but we’re open to change
272 100.0
Q4. Do you or any of your colleagues feature in your ad? 22 8.0 Yes – with name
21 7.7 Yes – with photo
63 23.0 Yes – with name and photo
168 61.3 seldom/never
274 100.0

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