As a real estate broker in St. Louis, I tend to pay attention to real estate advertising more than the general public.  After all, if I see something that someone else is doing and I know they are having success with it, I will put it in place at Deerwood Realty.  Marketing your services to the masses can be super expensive.  There are so many different products that have been designed to separate you from your wallet….. I mean help you find more transactions.  The saying is that “if you want to make money in real estate, sell to Realtors”.  I’ve found that to be very true.  Real estate agents are usually willing to try anything to sell a home or represent buyers.  I wanted to go over an ad I saw a while back that still sticks with me many years later.  It’s an example of the real estate ad that didn’t work.

Real Estate Ad

I was in my office one morning and for some reason we had a newspaper.  I was looking over the business section, and that’s where I saw it:  A huge, full page ad.  Apparently, a real estate agent in St. Louis had taken out an ad to announce that they were in fact a real estate agent.  I had a few thoughts on the ad when I saw it.

  1. Who is this real estate agent in St. Louis? I didn’t recognize the name.  Since there are about 8,000 real estate agents in St. Louis, that isn’t too much of a surprise.  However, I don’t recall having ever seen a full page ad in the newspaper by an agent.


  1. What is the agent production? Running full page ads in the newspaper isn’t something that is exactly cheap.  Years ago, brokerages would advertise their listings in the newspaper weekly as a way to show that they had listings and that you should use them for yours.  It was also designed as a perk for agents.  The brokerage would pay for the ad for listings in the office and you didn’t have to pay for it, but you got the exposure.  I looked up this real estate agent’s production, and there were 2 sales for the year.


  1. Why a newspaper? I can remember thinking this.  Why would an agent advertise in the newspaper like this?  Who is getting a physical newspaper anymore?  What was this agent trying to accomplish?  The answer is that she was trying to find home buyers and home sellers, but this didn’t seem to be the way to go about it.

Places for Real Estate Ads

The last time I checked, that real estate agent is no longer an active agent.  There are many reasons that agents don’t stay in real estate.  In this particular case, it’s very likely that the agent spent all their money on the real estate ad and didn’t have any more money to keep going.  This is one of the more common issues that affect new agents.  One thing that I would say is that if you have never seen someone advertise in a particular medium, there are really only two reasons why.  The first reason would be that no one had tried it before.  In this case, I’m positive that that another real estate agent had tried this at least once in the 100 year history of the newspaper.  The second reason would be that the method of real estate advertising didn’t work.  In this case, it didn’t work.

When you see any real estate commercial, you should question it.  Similarly, when you see a real estate advertisement in an odd place, you should question it.  If this real estate agent had a huge book of business, I would advertise in the newspaper as well.