The Executive Summary reporting the July Borrell "Update: Online Real Estate Advertising," says that the $11 billion spent on total real estate advertising has stagnated, growing less than four percent over the past four years, while the available advertising inventory, the number of existing homes for sale on the market, rose 41 percent in the last 12 months.
An overheated home-sales market has only recently begun to slow down, says the report, and the proliferation of "free" listings sites on the Internet portends a collapse in the $6 billion print classifieds business, especially with the vast majority of home seekers now using the Internet to find a home. As home sales slowed, the Internet became the most-used method of selling a home, beating out even the old-faithful yard sign.
The study concludes that this "tipping point" will help propel Internet real estate advertising to a $2 billion level this year and push it past $3 billion by 2010, surpassing newspapers in terms of advertising market share.
The summary says that despite the hype about agents and brokers already advertising on the Internet, there is huge room for growth. Sixty-one percent of agents do not advertise on the Internet. And 87 percent of agents are not buying keywords on Google or Yahoo. However, the real estate bonanza has brought an influx of new agents who seem hell-bent on using the Internet to reach new customers.
In the survey of 535 agents, 64 percent of the less tenured agents were likely to advertise online while only 36 percent of the agents selling homes for more than 10 years were likely to advertise online. The rest of the findings indicate that an Internet-marketing gap exists between newer and long-time agents. And, concludes the report, new sites like Trulia, edgeio, Oodle and CityCribs may wind up being the new disruptors to the "old" business models of paid online listings.
Real Estate Ad Spending, 2001-2010 ($ millions; projections in italics)
Sources: Dun & Bradstreet, Ad Audit Services, Borrell Associates Inc., 2006
Free summary and to purchase full report, please see Borrell Associates here.