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Like many of us in this business I have been awe struck by the rate of decline in almost everything related to the housing industry over the last three years; existing homes sold, new homes built and purchased, mortgages sold, real estate agent commissions and of course the one that most directly impacts me and my business, the significant drop in advertising and marketing spend.  If this is any consolation,  books will be written (some already have been) about this period in time and we’ll all be able to say we witnessed it first hand.

There are plenty of people better qualified than I to predict how the 2011 American housing market will play out, so I won’t try to second guess them. Their forecasts range from more of the same (4.8M to 5.0M existing homes sold) to slightly more aggressive numbers, closer to 5.5M existing homes sold. The consensus is the recovery in housing will be tepid in 2011.

But there is less consensus around real estate marketing media trends for 2011 and so I’d like to further that discussion with my own predictions for the Top 5 Media Trends we’ll see develop in the coming year.


1. Common sense will return to the media market. Top Agents and Brokers recognizing that real estate always has been and always will be a hyper-local business, will stop following the larger crowd and decide instead to find ways to stand out from the crowd in  their very specific, very local market.

2. Local housing guides, especially color catalogs integrated with an online offering.  like The Real Estate Book and its companion website http://www.realestatebook.com  and other well executed products, will regain favor due to their hyper local characteristics and their ability to attract buyers and influence  prospective sellers to list their home with a market leader.

3.  Internet marketing will change radically. The idea that simply posting listings on large national sites is innovative marketing and that “if we post they will come” will be replaced with a smarter approach, better leveraging the real power of the internet.  Large sites today like Realtor.com and other popular sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com get anywhere from 5 to 10 million unique users every month, which is amazing considering the lackluster pace of home sales this year, but lead generation from those users is low at between 1 and 2% of traffic. These sites can be a great research tool, but for whatever reason the medium just doesn’t engage people to take action, like send an email or make a phone call, to the same degree other mediums offer.

4.  Content marketing solutions, like http://www.brokersherpa.com  where Agents and Brokers are able to leverage their existing digital assets, like listing data mentioned above and  integrate it in a more meaningful way to intersect and engage with buyers and sellers as they are online searching in any of the major search engines or social media sites, will be a major trend for 2011.

5. Cost and return on investment will continue to be major drivers to media and marketing decisions as the housing market recovers, but at a slow pace in 2011. Commission dollars will still be tight and very precious. Every decision should have a measurable and productive outcome and top Agents and brokers will insist that the vendors they choose to work with can back up their claims with concrete results and reporting.

That’s my list for Top 5 MEDIA TRENDS for 2011. I”d love to hear your thoughts and invite you to  let me know if you agree and if not, how you might modify the list.


Happy New Year!

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  1. Hello Scott,

    I thought your article was very informative. Your coment about on line marketing is true. Brokers and agents sitting behind laptops all day think the net will bring business to them. I see it all day when visiting realtors.
    The realtors will tell you we are now on line and in all the media sites. Nice way of saying I am broke. I tell them that is great ,but one click you and you are history. The Real Estate Book is around allot longer. Your business is local why not advertise local.
    As far as the tepid market for 2/11 is concerned that it depends on what talking head you are listening to. No one really knows. All I know is you can’t fall off the floor.

    The Best Charles Curcio.

  2. Hi Scott,
    I agree on a few points. Especially that about real estate being hyper local. The average homeowner still moves withing 7-10 miles of their existing home. Our clients and homebuyers come from their local area, not the world wide web. A great research tool, but agents and listings get lost in the shuffle. It is important to gain extra impressions for both the agent and listings and the best way to do that is a local marketing strategy. Not just simply placing your listings on the same sites everyone else does.

  3. Hello Scott

    I couldn’t agree more. Simply ask yourself…how many people sit around the house or apartment thinking gee I wonder what kind of homes are for sale in my area today? The answer is few. I would agree that a qualified buyer who has already made a decision to purchase a home might be prone to look online. However, the internet does not attract the casul looker like a Homes magazine does. HOMES MAGAZINES do a great job of attracting attention and spurring potential buyers to move to the next level of seeking information.

    REALTORS tend to think the internet provides them with more response then print. Their reasoning is because they ask the potential buyer where thay saw the property and they often say “the internet”. Why? Because often times the HOMES magazine reader finds a home that interest them and they don’t want to be roped into working with a REALTOR, they simply want more information. So, they go online. When they finally contact the REALTOR they say “I found the information online”. They seldom say “well…I picked up a HOMES magazine and wanted more info but didn’t want to contact a REALTOR so I went online”.

    Don’t forget…it was the HOMES magazine that first drew the attention. One day REALTORS will wake up and understand that people still feel more comfortable with a printed magazine when it comes to trusting the content verses online information. The real winners will understand that It takes a blend of print plus the internet.

    Bias to print and a frustrated print peddler.

    F. D. Bradley

  4. Thanks, these are some good advices. I am not very internet savvy, but I’ll try to change that.

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