Brokers nowadays have a veritable smorgasbord of options when deciding how they want to market and advertise their listings. As if the professionally photo-shopped pictures, posted on countless websites, converted into virtual tours and then sent out over our Facebook feeds wasn’t enough, brokers still feel the need to kill a couple of trees in an effort to score the sale.
I’m of course talking about the good old fashioned paper flyer.
Here in sunny Seattle, the chances of paper flyers surviving even a week in the winter without being turned into a rainbow colored blob of ink by our consistent and beloved rain showers are slim at best. More often than not (and I am basing this on my own experience of having bought three properties) if these paper flyers do survive the rain, they end up in the recycling bin at best, or worse floating along in a gust of wind, or even worse floating in Lake Union as trash.
I believe the paper flyer is a dying relic from the past whose decline began when the internet was born. Gone are the days when buyers simply drive around their preferred neighborhood with eyes peeled searching for “For Sale” signs. In those days, a paper flyer was vital. These days, buyers can and do arm themselves with pictures and property details before they even get into their cars. It’s ridiculous that we as brokers still feel the need to waste paper and ink to give our potential buyers a physical copy of what they already have right on their smart phones.
Don’t get me wrong, my team and I here at Special Agents Realty are as guilty of this as anyone else. For example, we recently had a million dollar listing on Vashon Island. It takes at least two hours and a $20 ferry ride to get to the listing and back to our office here on Lake Union. Needless to say, the flyer box we left at the top of the driveway was jam packed with paper flyers. We weren’t going to risk having to go all the way out there just to replace some flyers. Once the property was sold, I made the trip back out to the island to retrieve our marketing signs and key box. Low and behold, the flyer box was still filled to the brim and the bottom edge of each flyer was moldy and crinkled – not to mention a spider the size of my thumb lovingly crawled out and onto my hand when I reached to take the flyer box off. He was big enough to scare off any potential buyers. Thank goodness not a single person had touched the flyers…spiders can be a real deal killer.
Whats more, paper flyers are expensive. A conservative estimate of the cost of each color paper flyer is 20 to 25 cents. If you’re loading a flyer box with 40 copies, that’s $8-$10/listing. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but over the course of the year that can add up. Not to mention the environmental implications. I like my evergreens, and if I can cut out this portion of waste in my business, I am going to do it.
For all you reading this that think you can’t possibly imagine having a listing not supported with paper flyers – I urge you to make the investment in a laminator (so you can laminate one paper flyer and attach it to your “For Sale” sign). If you don’t know what a QR Code is, I suggest you spend a few minutes reading the Wikipedia article below. I’ve also provided a link to the free QR Code Generator that we use in my office. Moving forward, I am going to make an effort to minimize my use of paper flyers. My wallet will thank me, Mother Earth will thank me and if you agree this I something worth doing, thank me by joining suit.