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Rawlings sharply critical of how agents use local press advertising

One of the industry’s leading trainers and consultants claims there is “a gaping hole” in the way agents use marketing content in their local newspaper ads.

Richard Rawlings’ survey of 376 agents sought to identify the usefulness of agents’ continued use of local property press advertising.

“I’m a great believer in the continued use of local newspaper advertising alongside other forms of marketing” says Rawlings.

“Pre-internet, newspaper advertising was primarily intended to attract buyers but it always seems to me that agents have not recognised the need to adapt their content in order to attract instructions, not buyers. The results of the survey certainly indicate that agents are massively failing to harness the opportunity to impress the very people they seek to attract – local homeowners” he insists.

Some 51 per cent of respondents say they regularly take out at least one page of advertising in their local newspaper - but only eight per cent say the main reason for doing so is to attract buyers, with 83 per cent suggesting the main purpose is to attract instructions or promote their brand.

“Yet 70 per cent of these agents simply continue promote their instructions through traditional property ads with no meaningful market comment, no relevant selling advice, no expert opinion. The red agent, the blue agent, the green agent….” says Rawlings.

He says that in today’s competitive agency landscape this is simply missing a trick.

“How can you expect to gain instructions if your advertising fails to convey your agency’s expertise, style and personality?” he asks.

“Today’s public, especially millennials, expect generosity at every level with no strings attached. It’s no longer about getting, it’s about attracting” he adds.

He was also critical of the fact that 61 per cent of the survey respondents’ ads did not make any mention of the people involved in the business – no name or photo.

“This is completely at odds with agency advertising in other countries and surely essential at a time when high street agencies need to ramp up their ‘people presence’ alongside their faceless online competitors” Rawlings believes.

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