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Online Marketing on the Rise, but Realtors Rely on Print to Point the Way

Press release from the issuing company

WebsiteBox survey respondents spend $500+ annually on post cards, signs and flyers that steer customers to websites

Toronto – In this era of online marketing, why are business cards, flyers, post cards and lawn signs still essential tools of real-estate sales efforts -- even though there isn’t overwhelming evidence for a return on investment (ROI)?

Print-marketing tools appear to produce fewer sales leads than online-marketing efforts, according to the results of a November 2014 WebsiteBox survey of 369 real estate professionals in the United States and Canada.

“But print marketing continues to be popular because agents intuit—correctly--that print drives local traffic to websites, and delivers sales leads to email inboxes,” said Peyman Aleagha, chief executive and founder of WebsiteBox, a provider of $99 do-it-all websites for real estate professionals.

It’s no surprise then, that 99 percent of survey respondents said they include website addresses in their print marketing.  And use of social media information – Facebook or Pinterest, for example – was reported by 54 percent of respondents.

While they continue to rely on print, respondents said that only 13 percent of their sales leads come from traditional print promotion vs. 21 percent of leads originating from online marketing.

This seeming contradiction may result from misunderstanding how print can work in concert with online marketing, according to Aleagha, and that less than half (42 percent) of respondents calculate the ROI for their print-marketing efforts.

On the other hand, it might not matter: The survey found that 60 percent of real estate sales leads come from good old-fashioned referrals.

DIY Design

A majority of respondents – 66 percent – said they designed their own print pieces using graphics software packages like Adobe Photoshop or web-based tools, like those from Vistaprint. The top self-designed items, according to the survey, are business cards, flyers, post cards, lawn signs and letterhead.

Despite saving on design costs, 60 percent of respondents reported that they typically spent more than $500 annually on print promotion. A sizable majority – 80 percent – said they felt they should be spending even more.

What would these respondents print if they had a bigger print-marketing budget? More postcards, naturally. And branded presentation folders. And items like promotional coffee mugs, key chains, and flash drives, they told WebsiteBox.

Free Advice, Low-Cost Tools

WebsiteBox’s free ebook, “Real Estate Print Marketing for the Digital Age,” has information for Realtors who want to integrate traditional marketing and advertising with digital promotion.

WebsiteBox customers can purchase an easy-to-use application, called WebsiteBox Prints App, for producing printed real-estate marketing materials. Automatically integrated with WebsiteBox websites, Prints App pulls information from listings to create vibrant business cards, newsletters, flyers, postcards, letterhead, and other materials. The $99 WebsiteBox Prints App can be found on the WebsiteBox website Apps & Extras page: http://www.websitebox.com/realtors/apps-extras.php.


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