If you’ve read much of what I’ve written, it will come as no surprise that I see print advertising as being increasingly irrelevant in San Francisco real estate.
Our local real estate glossy is the “Real Estate Times: San Francisco” and when I started in the business (almost a decade ago, oh my!) the magazine had hundreds of pages. I’m not exaggerating for effect, you could count on an average copy of real estate times having at least 150 pages, and sometimes even more.
I picked up the October 27 – November 9 issue and was shocked to find that it has gotten even skinnier than when I last did a page count.
Since every page in the magazine is a paid advertisement (including the front and rear covers), I count every page in the magazine when arriving at a page count. The current issue, according to my count, is the most anorexic issue I’ve ever seen. It clocks in at a paltry 44 pages, which is down 12 pages from my last count in May of 2011.
This issue is also interesting because I counted just 13 pages that were paid for by individual agents for a specific listing (or listings), with the rest were advertising for a real estate brokerage office, new development, or mortgage brokerage. Offering to pay for a full-page, full-color glossy advertisement used to be a standard part of a San Francisco agent’s listing presentation. Given that the magazine is only getting 1/3 of its current business from individual agents, I think it is pretty safe to deduce that sellers no longer use printÂ advertising strategy as a primary consideration when hiring an agent to sell their San Francisco home.
How low will it go? How skinny does the Real Estate Times have to get before their publishers shift resources elsewhere? Will 2012 be the end of the Real Estate Times? Only time will tell, but the 2011 trend sure isn’t promising.