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Property Brochures – Are they still worth it?

A question we are sometimes asked, and indeed a question we sometimes ask ourselves, is whether in the digital age there is any longer a reason for printed property brochures?

Certainly, with most people using computers and more commonly nowadays, mobile devices like smart phones and tablets the trend does seem to be heading away from the printed word. In fact, the balance has even tipped away from desktop computers to mobile devices as the predominant means of surfing the internet with much smaller screens.

Indeed some viewers we have found (particularly First Time Buyers) prefer to take their own photos (and even sometimes video) of the properties they go to view and either politely decline the offer of a printed brochure or (again in some rare examples) have taken photos of the pages of the brochure.

So, why do we, as estate agents and solicitors in Edinburgh, still use the printed property brochure as a tool in marketing and selling properties? And are they worth it?

Property Brochures historically

A trip down Memory Lane for those estate agents like us, who have been selling property for more years than we care to remember…

Historically – and we do not have to go back too many years for that word still to have meaning – property brochures were a single page or double-sided page with a lot of text (usually very flowery in language) and one photo glued onto the front, typically a nice photo of the front of the property. No such thing as floor plans. No such thing as property videos.

Would-be buyers had limited means of finding out what properties in Leith and Edinburgh were for sale. Their means of finding out were via the property pages of The Scotsman on Thursdays and Sundays (hence those days are still the most common days for open viewings) and then trawling around the local estate agents (where they would pick up a copy of the printed property brochure) and simply going round the streets looking out for For Sale boards.

Then along came digital cameras and online publishing software. Three cheers! We could now have decent looking property brochures with as many pages as we wished. But then finally there came the advent of online property portals such as the ESPCZoopla etc, as well as solicitors and estate agents in Edinburgh also having their own websites capable of showing the properties they have to sale.  And then finally, finally, the smart phone and tablet started to replace the desktop and printer.

Historically the printed property brochure was the only tool available to the estate agent to support marketing and the only means for the buyer to have a permanent reminder of the property they have viewed. But, as we know, that was the past- even if only the relatively recent past. Technology has advanced so quickly over the past 10 years that, yes, it calls into question the need and usefulness of the printed property brochure.

But the printed word still survives in advertising and marketing

Go into John Lewis, go into any supermarket, go into M&S and they will still have their printed catalogues and brochures for you to pick up and take away. Think of any large price ticket item and you are likely to be handed a fabulous looking brochure to entice you to go away and think about it and then make the purchase. And you would be hard-pressed to find a larger large-price ticket item than a property.

So is there still a place for the property brochure? Yes!

Personally, I love those catalogues and brochures. And if those large companies think there is still a place for the printed word, then I would agree. At Cameron Stephen & Co. we take immense care and derive great satisfaction from preparing a well-designed and great quality property brochure for the properties we sell for our clients in Leith and Edinburgh. They are still a great way of show-casing a property and still a good memento for the buyer to take away with them.

Yes, their importance has diminished. They are no longer one of the main tools in marketing but still have an important enough role in the process to make them worthwhile. And as for the cost of the printed property brochures; we use a local printer and the cost is not as much as you might expect for such a good quality product. And a PDF version of the property brochure is always available on our website and the other property portals on which we advertise our properties for sale.

Be aware of agents that use the brochure to advertise themselves

But be aware, some estate agents use the property brochure (which you pay for) as a means of advertising themselves. There are even some estate agents that use the entire last page of the brochure as an advertisement for their company. Remember you will be paying for that. At Cameron Stephen & Co. you can be sure that we do not do that; our goal is to market your property for sale and sell it.

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