With the changes happening at the Dallas Morning News, will the new content still be built on the "Rock of Truth?"

Changes are happening at The Dallas Morning News

Despite this fact, Realtors spent $1.5 billion to market listings in print last year. I didn’t write this, but I sure have said it over and over and over again:

Agents and brokers keep using tired tactics that no longer produce results. Here’s a prime example: Despite the fact that only 1 percent of homebuyers found their home in print newspapers or traditional media, real estate agents spent $1.5 billion to market in newspapers last year.

Say you are buying a home, and you interview your real estate agent to ask what he or she is going to do to help market your home.

“I advertise it in the local newspaper and some magazines,” says Suzie Q. Agent.

Really? Does it work?

“Oh yes,” says Susie.

How do you know? Show me the numbers, baby, is what you need to say. Would you let your stockbroker choose a stock this way?

No way! You never really know who reads an ad. There is no way to share it, unless you clip it and snail mail it off to your grandmother. Agents tell me they mostly hear from friends who are NOT buying a house.

“Saw your ad, looks great.”

Isn’t that branding? And while I’m at it, does having your agent’s face on a billboard help sell homes?

So it comes with great sadness that I read how many fine, talented journalists are leaving the Dallas Morning News this fall because of the tremendous changes transforming the print industry to online: at least 40 of a total of 167 buyouts. Many of the journalists on this list will leave starting (shudder) Sept. 11:

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CultureMap will take over Hudson News kiosks in both Houston Airports. (Rendering: CultureMap/The Dallas Busines Journal)

CultureMap will take over Hudson News kiosks in both Houston Airports. (Rendering: CultureMap/The Dallas Business Journal)

It’s a stunning blow to print media, as the Dallas Business Journal has announced CultureMap’s takeover of Hudson News shops at both Bush Intercontinental and Houston Hobby airports.

CultureMap, a regional news brand founded in Houston, was recently purchased for $15 million by ViewMarket, a Dallas interactive media brand. The transaction has added a new wrinkle to the news and media landscape in both Dallas and Houston, so expect to see more video and visual. But this is, by far, the most interesting development.

As fewer and fewer people are reading magazines and newspapers while they travel, news stands have become almost obsolete. This takeover will transform these pop-up kiosks to concierge services, where hungry travelers can grab a bottle of Fiji and a snack and find out the best places to have dinner, the best sights to see, and what bands might be in town upon their arrival.

To me, I think it’s a brilliant idea, and a fantastic advertising opportunity for hotels and convention-related businesses, as well as for Realtors who serve the jet-set. Before, these businesses would have to buy pricey ads in city guides produced by newspapers and regional magazines. This offers convenience and cost effectiveness.

 

Zillow-logo

Candy already told you about this incredible, game-changing transaction. Of course, Zillow started out with a low-ball offer of $2 billion in stock, but the deal was sealed at $3.5 billion as Zillow acquired Trulia. This transaction will create a Goliath in a market where a new real estate internet start-up crops up seemingly every day.

Trulia shareholders will be getting compensated quite well, as each Trulia share will convert to .444 of a Zillow Class-A share, according to Business Insider. The acquisition will move Zillow head-and-shoulders above its next-closest competitor, Move Inc.’s Realtor.com. Just check out this chart from Inman News:

Zulia Chart Inman News

There are so many questions to answer! I wonder how the ongoing litigation involving Errol Samuelson’s defection from Realtor.com will affect the deal. And what about all of the duplication in talent? Both firms have excellent economists and analysts, so who will stay on? Will Trulia just become a Zillow brand? And what about mobile apps? Will Trulia be nixed? Or will they launch a new one that has access to all of that data?

One thing is for sure: All that data is going to change the way we do real estate. BubbleInfo.com’s Jim Klinge published a piece in BI about this very thing, and it will surely send shivers down the spine of any Realtor:

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Wow. In seven short years we have gone from 71% of buyers seeking properties on the web to a full 99%. The sharp agents now are also posting homes on Google, FaceBook, YouTube and Twitter. And internet advertising is a fraction of what it costs to advertise in magazines and newspapers. Plus it saves trees!