Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Newspaper circulations continue decline

Interesting news reported this week by the Audit Breau of Circulations on the continued decline of newspaper circulations nationwide, with significant implications on how and where real estate agents focus their marketing dollars.

The spring report shows that paid circulations for daily newspapers fell in the six-month period ending in March 2006 by 2.5% - one of the industry's largest drops. The result was similar for the six-month period ending September 2005, when daily circulation dropped by 2.6% nationwide.

These drops, of course, come at the same time that Web traffic continues its steep increase, especially among home buyers and sellers. According to NAR, 79% of consumers now use the Internet to search for homes, up from 37% in 1999. The National Association of Realtors' latest Home Buyer & Seller survey indicates a widening gap between the growing number of people using the Internet for research (finding homes and agents) vs. using traditional marketing channels (including print publications and newspapers).

Smart real estate agents are building their business by marketing themselves and their listings where the consumers are, and the trends indicated above don't show any indication of reversing anytime soon.