Real estate success in 5 steps

September 8, 2016

By Janet DeGeorge
Classified Executive Training

Step 1: Real Estate Website: check out

Why is this Step One? In today’s world, in order to sell more print real estate, you have to have a great real estate online product that is all local in nature.  Set up takes time, so get on it. The best and most economical product out there is Priced at $295 a month, less than $10 a day, this all turnkey product is beautiful and will be custom designed to match your real estate print product. Take a look at the examples on this page from the Moline (IL) Dispatch. The design synergy between print and online is just perfect. For more info. please e-mail It costs nothing to see the webinar!


Step 2: Redesign Your Print Product like a Magazine

Start with all module display ads that can be beautifully paginated. Do I prefer tab or broadsheet? I have to say broadsheet because the photos of the homes are all bigger, and that gets readers’ attention. A real estate section also has to have color display ads. Don’t sell color, include it in the package rate. Color ads attract more readers and more advertisers.

What do you call this product? We are looking for print and online synergy so your new product name should be your URL.

How does this work? Use either your newspaper name, such as or connect it to the name of your online URL.

My customer’s site in Jacksonville, NC, which will be going live soon, has a newspaper URL of, so its new real estate site will be Do not use slashes; this URL should be unique and easy to promote. For the Moline (IL) Dispatch, shown here, its website URL is, so its real estate URL is


Step 3: Promotion, the Realtor® Profile Process

We start all new real estate sections with a Realtor® Profit, not a home of the week. This new section is all about the Realtor® first, not the homes. That is how you get their attention again.

This is how the Realtor® Profile plan works. Choose a Realtor® who has been loyal to your newspaper. That individual gets a free half-page profile on the front page of your new section. The profile includes his or her glamour shot, photos of his or her family, and about five or six Q & A’s telling the readers why he or she loves what he or she does. Here is the trick—after choosing the first Realtor® you have to let it go. From that point on, the Realtor who has been picked chooses the next Realtor® to get a free half-page promo, and so on. The only rule is that he or she cannot choose another Realtor® from the same company. So if she or he is a Century 21 real estate agent, he or she cannot choose another Century 21 person. In this manner, every week, different real estate agents grace your page, many who have never advertised. Readers react, telling them, “Hey we saw your story in the newspaper.” And that Realtor® gets to thinking, “Maybe I need to advertise in that paper.”

Above all, your Realtors will check your product each week to see who was “chosen.” This space is not for sale; a Realtor® has to be nominated by a peer who already had a profile. You will be educating your readers about the Realtor® of your area and provide the agent a glimpse of what advertising in your paper is all about.

Now for the best part of this promotion. We top this all off with a gift for that Realtor® by having his or her profile placed on a beautiful plaque.  These are provided by the newspaper-friendly vendor, They cost $25, plus $4.95 for shipping. Your real estate rep presents the plaque to the Realtor® and if he or she is not an advertiser, he or she soon will be. See the sample attached. The goal, in 52 weeks, 52 Realtor® have their plaques promoting your real estate product up in their office. To learn more and set up easy ordering, just call at 804-767-2454, and ask Jill about the Realtor® gift plaque program. You will never regret making this phone call!


Step 4: CORE Market

 So many times, newspapers fail at real estate because they become obsessed about reaching out of their core market. Focusing on your core real estate market is best. What you need to know is the breakdown of the your current multiple listing services within just a 10-mile radius of your city. You can do this all on www. with its advanced search options. Find out how many homes are in each price range, how many just listed properties, how many just reduced. How many listings are for land for sale versus single-family homes? This info will tell you if you should have an “affordable” home page or a “luxury” home page, a page for just land or a page for just open homes. Don’t just rely on selling to the broker; create target pages with 15 to 18 blocks on a page, so that individual Realtors® can buy in.


Step 5: Get Involved

Are you an affiliate of your local Board of Realtor®? Do you attend their meetings? Do you volunteer for board activities? Do you offer to print items on their charity events and community interaction in your new real estate section? Do they trust you or do they think you just want their money?

Building a strong relationship with the board, starting with the board president, is part of this process. They need to be convinced that you are going to do all you can to help Realtors® get results, to provide leads and get their phones ringing. Newspapers don’t sell homes, websites don’t sell homes, real estate agents sell homes. You are a conduit to that effort. 

For more information, please drop me a line at my private e-mail address of or give me a call at 602-717-7473. © Janet DeGeorge 2016


Janet DeGeorge is a sales trainer and consultant specializing in newspaper classified advertising, redesign, rates, manager training and building revenue from new sources. You can learn more about her at or contact her at 602-717-7473 or her personal e-mail at


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