Magazine article Editor & Publisher

A Matter of Relocation

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

A Matter of Relocation

Article excerpt

THE NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION of America's (NAA) Real Estate Standing Committee may have found a new niche for newspapers.

Real Find, a type of relocation "Package" designed to help readers relocating to an entirely new area, is slated to launch within the next two months.

Real Find will actually be made up of individual newspapers' classified sections (and whatever else they may want to include), and will be delivered to readers, at no cost, within a day. Readers will be able to find a toll-free number for Real Find within the classified sections of their newspapers. All they'll need to do is call the number and specify the market in which they're interested.

Every member of the NAA is encouraged to participate in Real Find. And because it's an NAA project, no member newspapers can be excluded.

C. Dean Welch, president of the NAA's Classified Federation and director of classified advertising at the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, explained that competitors have tried to expand their reach by offering publications to those relocating to another area.

And so in thinking about what our competition was doing and thinking about where we're migrating with the Internet and Web pages, it became a logical decision to move in that direction for newspapers as a whole.

"The truth of the matter is there's a lot of hype, a lot of talk, a lot of migration toward Internet. But the bottom line is only 15%, maybe 18%, now in the U.S., has access to the Internet. A lot more [than 18%] move," explained Welch.

Tony Marsella, vice president of real estate/classified, at the NAA admitted the concept to provide people with this kind of information is not new. Many competing magazines have toll-free numbers to call to receive real estate information, via mail, about specific markets.

"The problem with that is you only get that one magazine. And it generally contains advertising and real estate for sale only. And by getting it in the regular mail it can be two, to three, to four weeks before you get that product. By that time, you've already gotten yourself involved in other activities," Marsella said.

Marsella said that while the initial plan is to deliver a print package of information, down the road this same information may be delivered to consumers online.

"We're going to invite newspapers to advertise this on the Internet as well," Marsella said. "We're going to put it up on our (NAA) Web site. We're going to explain what it is. Whoever wants to be hyperlinked will be. We aren't delivering the product yet via the Internet, but we're going to work parallel to launching and we're going to try to develop a way [to deliver it] down the line."

Real Find is designed to improve on what competitors are doing by delivering the product free Welch said consumers will be charged only for additional information), overnight, and by delivering a package that not only includes the newspapers' listings of homes for sale, but maybe some other information from that community, explained Marsella.

The NAA is facilitating Real Find, along with Denver-based North American ClassiFacts. The target is the 27 most active in-bound, outbound markets in the country. Newspapers only need to ship their real estate information to the central clearinghouse in Denver.

Real Find will be funded by both local and national advertisers. The NAA is planning to set up a national sales team specifically for Real Find.

"We'll go after advertisers who are applicable to [Real Find], but who are not advertising in newspapers," said Welch. …

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