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Michael Marquette’s “View from the Bridge”: The Greatest Real Estate Rip-Off Of Them All!

by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

in Michael Marquette, News & Views, Real Estate Radar, Special Reports, View From The Bridge

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In tough times it’s only fair to expect that all types of families will make changes to their spending habits. The big change will always involve reducing the amount they waste on discretionary items like new clothes, new televisions, holidays, restaurants and nights out partying.

You even might be thinking twice as to where you shop and home brand or generic brand items might be looking much more attractive than the big name, highly marketed products. Discount vouchers for fuel, alcohol and cinema tickets are becoming more valuable than ever. Does any of this sound like you? If it does you are not alone and join hundreds of millions or even billions of others around the globe doing just the same.

The inconsistency with all of this is of course the real estate industry – the very industry I deal with every day of my life. Instead of understanding that people have less money to spend on marketing their properties and being more scientific in carefully placing advertising, real estate agents are still convincing people to place full and double page advertisements in all sorts of newspapers, costing the vendor thousands of dollars.

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Does this type of advertising actually guarantee the sale? No is the answer to the question. Will the agent or the newspaper refund the money if the home doesn’t sell? The answer is also no. So why are real estate agents clinging to this high spending nonsense (they call it a marketing strategy) in tough times, when funds are short and there is no guarantee of a sale?

The simple answer is the newspaper advertising promotes the agent and the agency, not the home which is the most important thing for the agent in making sure they get their next listing. As a young agent when internet marketing was only a small part of the marketing pie I was taught that newspaper advertising was essential in guaranteeing a sale and in those days past that was largely true.

The problem is – that was many years ago, the world has changed dramatically. When I became a real estate agent, Google was worth around $25 million which is staggering – they are now a corporate giant, permeating almost every part of our life. By the end of 2005 Google was worth more than $52 Billion and was one of the world’s largest media companies – the world had literally changed before our eyes.

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We now live in a sophisticated world – people have never ending access to information as it happens via internet and 24 hour media. If a person is searching for a home they use the internet and browse for hours, short listing the properties that are in the areas they like and in the price bracket they can afford. Most newspapers do not advertise property in price order or suburb order but you guessed it – agent order.

Why is this the case? Real estate agencies want all of their advertisements to be together in one part of each newspaper so that people think they are popular, eventually list their home with that agency and most importantly agree to advertise in the same newspapers in a never ending cycle of what can only be called fraud – more advertisements (at the vendor’s expense) and more listings for the agent.

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So how are homes sold? Without any shadow of a doubt the internet is now the foremost means of selling a home. The internet is where buyers are looking, despite geographical limitations which might mean they don’t even receive the newspaper you have paid thousands of dollars to have your home advertised in. It’s a grotesque waste of money, real estate agents know it and it’s the largest fraud being committed against real estate clients today – bigger than dummy bidding or under quoting.

My advice to anyone choosing an agent is to avoid those that advertise heavily in Newspapers, especially the franchised local agents. Choose an agent that isn’t in your Newspaper wasting countless thousands of dollars of your money and one that is capable of putting together a highly targeted, refined marketing strategy that has moved into the internet age.

If you require even more proof then look at EBay and the way it now dominates selling all sorts of products. Newspaper classifieds have become hard work since E Bay and other sites allow for such easy searching of products and services. In short don’t become another victim of the greatest real estate rip off of them all.

[podcast]http://marquetteturner.com/audio/090519_VFTB_Ripoff.mp3[/podcast]

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Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Darryl Baskin May 19, 2009 at 11:56 am

Good Job, Michael!

simonturner May 20, 2009 at 2:54 am

So true Michael – regardless of whether there's an economic downturn or not – the best marketing strategies are not simply achieved by spending the most amount of dollars.

Jeff May 21, 2009 at 9:56 am

Newspaper advertising is antiquated, but I agree, not to be avoided completely. There is still a small niche market out there that deserves a small % of the advertising budget. But that too will soon be history.

B September 7, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Interesting and very true in some aspects. However, there is evidence to prove that newspapers and property magazines are used as a browsing tool, which drives people to then look up the property online to obtain more pictures/vt etc. (esp. true for people moving to a new area – where they have not yet chosen an exact suburb or part of town to search on realestate.com.au for) I think this proves that the size of ads now plays a big role – no need for ridiculously expensive full page ads where smaller ones will certainly suffice.

simonturner September 7, 2009 at 10:49 pm

Thanks for your response. We actually did a little research investigation earlier based on where prospective purchasers came from to view a specific property. It turned out that to have advertised in “local” magazines/newspapers we would have had to feature the property in 17 different publications. Also, we asked each prospective purchaser if they knew the local newspaper – less than 10% did. Small ads in a State based publication – such as domain on Saturday which shows all the properties in suburb order is more useful rather than publications that show properties in agent order, which is surely of no use to someone who is unsure of the area.

Figures in the US and Australia suggest that almost 90% of buyers find their property online (and did not use a local publication). Given the ease of searching online (particularly using surrounding suburbs, price etc) this isn't that surprising.

Thanks again for your thoughts. It's awesome to get the perspective of others. All the best.

B September 8, 2009 at 5:34 am

Interesting and very true in some aspects. However, there is evidence to prove that newspapers and property magazines are used as a browsing tool, which drives people to then look up the property online to obtain more pictures/vt etc. (esp. true for people moving to a new area – where they have not yet chosen an exact suburb or part of town to search on realestate.com.au for) I think this proves that the size of ads now plays a big role – no need for ridiculously expensive full page ads where smaller ones will certainly suffice.

simonturner September 8, 2009 at 5:49 am

Thanks for your response. We actually did a little research investigation earlier based on where prospective purchasers came from to view a specific property. It turned out that to have advertised in “local” magazines/newspapers we would have had to feature the property in 17 different publications. Also, we asked each prospective purchaser if they knew the local newspaper – less than 10% did. Small ads in a State based publication – such as domain on Saturday which shows all the properties in suburb order is more useful rather than publications that show properties in agent order, which is surely of no use to someone who is unsure of the area.

Figures in the US and Australia suggest that almost 90% of buyers find their property online (and did not use a local publication). Given the ease of searching online (particularly using surrounding suburbs, price etc) this isn't that surprising.

Thanks again for your thoughts. It's awesome to get the perspective of others. All the best.

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