Realtors Saving Trees

NewspaperI usually enjoy picking up the local paper, The Capital, from the driveway and bringing it in to read while enjoying a fresh cup of coffee.  I especially like reading the Saturday Real Estate section since I'm in the industry.  While I don't advertise to any great extent in the paper I do like seeing what the competition is doing and saying about their listings.

Lately, I can't even finish my coffee by the time I'm done with the Real Estate section twice.  Even with the highest inventory in years the amount of ink devoted to Real Estate continues to decline dramatically.  Two or three turns of the page and I'm done.  I don't even think that this is a bad thing, just an observation in the local Annapolis MD real estate market.  Maybe it's just "green" real estate agents trying to do their best to save the planet...or maybe the transition to internet based advertising is almost complete.

Even the major brokers don't advertise as much in the newspaper as they used to.  Where I used to see two full page color ads I now see one.  Ads that used to run every week will skip a week or two each month.  

I would take no joy if the local paper went under.  There is a place for local newspapers in our lives.  Not everything makes it's way to the internet, nor should it.  Just like reading a book, there is something comforting about reading a newspaper and getting the ink smudges on your fingers.  

The paper is doing their best to survive.  Cutting editorials, eliminating the TV guide weekly section, and, just today an announcement that if you want to "enhance" an obituary, that can be done for a fee.  Frankly, I don't think they're going to make enough from that to compensate for the death of real estate advertising.

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 Richard Iarossi is a full time licensed REALTOR®, working in Crofton, MD. My coverage areas are: Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Howard, Calvert, Queen Anne, and Baltimore City and County. I specialize in residential real estate, working with both buyers and sellers. Use the registration free search on my website at If you’re not already working with a REALTOR®...I can help. Call me at 443-995-9595 (Cell) or 410-451-6255 (Office).

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Comment balloon 8 commentsRichard Iarossi • September 07 2008 04:59PM


Though I totally agree that the newspaper is not effective for real estate advertising, don't worry about not being green as the paper is derived from tree farms and not natural trees.

I think what we will see is the entire structure of newspaper advertising being restructured so that the newspaper will be for free.  That will be the only means of survival.  We are seeing testing attempts of this in Austin.   I then get a call asking about getting a subscription, and I ask why should I since I get the paper delivered a couple of times a month and for free on line.  There only comeback is that I can not get the coupons.........

Posted by TIM MONCRIEF, Over 2,000 homes sold….. (Tim Monciref) almost 11 years ago

Sorry to say Richard that most people do not read newspapers except online anymore. I don't pay to advertise in print anymore.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

It looks like newspapers are becoming at thing of the past...unless they make an electronic paper thin tablet that connects to a news paper Ethernet cord that automatically updates with today's information one day. 

That would be something....

Kind Regards,


Posted by Manolis "Manny" Sfinarolakis (Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago

Our newspaper in Orlando has gotten thinner and thinner for years.  The real estate section which used to be 20+ pages on a Sunday is now down to about 6 pages.  Pretty scary.  I know they have laid off a lot of people there.

Posted by Rob Arnold, Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F (Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

I have seen similar results in the local paper out here in Everett, WA.  I also don't advertise hardly ever in the newspaper, mostly because the return on the investment has been very low every time I have.  The costs that they charge also seem outrageous for this low return, so I pretty much avoid the paper altogether for real estate advertising.  That said, I also subscribe to this paper and am an avid reader myself, including the real estate section, it just hasn't paid off like one would hope it would.

Also, I do advertise in Homes and Land magazine, and I have seen in the last year, the book practically half the thickness that it was a year ago.  I think that the biggest story here, both with the paper, and other advertising in general, is that with the slower market that most of us are in, we are all having to get creative about where we spend our money.  Once the market picks up, I think you will see your paper back to normal.  I don't believe that being "green" plays too big a role in the decline.

Good post, take care

Posted by Scott Comey (RE/MAX Elite) almost 11 years ago

Sorry to say it will probably happen sometime but there are still people who will need the print because not everyone is so fortunate to have email or internet access.

Posted by PJ Belle, ABR, GRI, SFR (Long and Foster) almost 11 years ago

Unfortunately we haven't advertised in the newspaper for some time now.  Around here they really gouge Realtors for any and all ads, so it was inevitable that we'd pull out from them.

Posted by Jim & Maria Hart, Charleston, SC Real Estate (Brand Name Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

I use the newspaper to help get myself away from the computer. I spend entirely too much time here, so I look foward each day to holding a newspaper and reading, holding a book and reading, setting up the chess set and playing a game, watering the garden, going for a walk in the neighborhood, going swimming, sitting in the hot tub and just daydreaming, playing with Zoey. Wait! Maybe I don't spend entirely too much time here! Hmmmm.

Posted by Not a real person almost 11 years ago

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