After a bumper few years, the real estate market is beginning to slow. However, buyers are still there, with news media an effective way to reach them.
News media has the ability to reach 2 million prospective property buyers across print and online, with digital reaching 1.7 million. Both major property marketing sites, Domain and realestate.com.au, are owned by Australia’s two largest publishers.
Malcolm Gunning, president of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, said the slowdown had produced a more realistic market.
“There is a much more balanced and a bit more of an in-depth buyer. So, from the agent’s point of view, you are not going to have the punter walk in desperate to buy something because everyone else is. They want to be sold on why they should buy that property.”
Not only does news media reach buyers, but it also engages, with readers more likely to be looking to buy property. Research conducted by CoreLogic in 2015 shows that properties are likely to sell faster and achieve higher prices when printed newspapers are included in the advertising plan.
Mr Gunning says the combination of print and online news media can be powerful to convert sales.
“Papers, in my opinion, are a real channel to market.
“Consumers look at the property and then go immediately online, that’s where you need very good pictures and floorplans so when they come and view the property, they are a warm inquiry.”
News media allows users to do their own research and become informed before making a purchase. The combination of print and online property sites, Realestate.com.au – majority owned by News Corp Australia – and Domain – which retains Fairfax Media as its main shareholder – is a winning combination.
Mr Gunning mentioned News Corp’s prestige local titles The Wentworth Courier and The Manly Daily, as well as Fairfax’s Australian Financial Review as exceptional mastheads to connect with the correct, potential markets.
Readers on Australia’s east coast are most likely to be looking for property, with NSW readers more likely to intend to buy a property, followed by Victoria and Queensland.
News media readers intending to purchase property are 15 per cent more likely to be looking for an investment property compared to non-readers. This correlates with further research that shows the medium reaches 96 per cent of those earning more than $200,000.
Meanwhile, news media is nine per cent more likely to reach a reader looking for a home to live in than non-readers.
Hayden Groves, president of REIWA, the Western Australian branch of the Real Estate Institute, said that news media was effective in reaching wealthier readers.
“Some of the older, more conservative, higher-valued areas in our established capital cities will still rely on classified advertising in print as one of their marketing tools. This is because there is still a proportion of the demographic who will not rely purely on digital advertising to look for property,” he said.
These wealthier readers are also likely to already be involved in the property market, with 8 per cent of readers already owning an investment worth at least $1 million. Of these, news media readers are 41 per cent more likely to own investments worth more than $1 million.
The best place for real estate advertising to be seen in print is the real estate and the business and finance sections. This is especially evident in relation to those who are intending to buy a second home or holiday home, with both real estate sections and the business and finance sections, indexing at almost 30 per cent higher.
Among those looking for investment properties, digital media was the preferred medium, indexing 25 per cent higher.
Classifieds have long been a feature of both industries, and Mr Gunning says this will continue into the future.
“Media and real estate have always been interdependent of each other. There has always been a relationship,” he said.
“I am of the opinion that most real estate agents are very savvy marketing specialists. There has always been a strong relationship and there will always be a strong relationship while the media follows the trends of a consumer.”
Who is buying?
News media has the ability to reach a broad spectrum of potential buyers.
“If I was selling a property, I would want to ensure I have covered all bases, print media as well as online, just in case there are those people who aren’t actively looking,” Sydney inner-city real estate agent Michael Tringali, of McGrath Leichhardt, says.
“That could be the extra person at an auction who bumps the price right up. You run the risk of missing that one person when not having 100 per cent of the media available to you.”
A total of 15.8 per cent of 25 to 34 year-olds are looking to purchase a property, with news media reaching 90 per cent of them. This demographic skew also shows 5.7 per cent are intending to purchase an investment property.
News media reaches 15.8 per cent, or 531,000, of 25 to 34 year-olds looking to purchase a property. This demographic skew also shows 5.7 per cent are intending to purchase an investment property.
The younger group beats out those aged 35-35, with 13.9 per cent intending to buy property, and 5 per cent looking at investments.
Those with a personal income of $120,000 per annum or more are the most likely demographic to intend to purchase an investment property at 6.7 per cent. Holistically, 16 per cent of this group are intending to purchase property.
The group is followed by those with a household income of $80,000 per annum or more, with 14.9 per cent intending to purchase property. Those looking for an investment property comes in at 5.7 per cent.
Families with children aged 0-12 at home intending to buy a property sits at 13.9 per cent, likely upsizing to larger property. Only 4.6 per cent of this demographic are looking at investments, but remains a key demograph.
Mr Tringali believes that these buyers are the most engaged.
“I think people who are looking to move and to own are taking it very, very seriously and I find they have done a lot more research because they are researching the communities. So I see a lot of high-end engagement from people with children of school years.
“The investor is always looking at what the yield is and what the upside is for the property,” he said.