Well, it finally happened. The real estate section of the Sunday Seattle Times has disappeared. Good old Section D. Gone. Finite-o.
I, as many people, do enjoy opening up the Sunday newspaper, although I hear this is becoming a shrinking past time. I always flip through the main section, look at the business section and check out the real estate section, before heading to sports and comics.
This Sunday, there was no real estate section in the Sunday Seattle Times.
I flipped through the newspaper frantically looking for it. I found one real estate article tucked at the back of the business section talking about Mercer Island as the 21st most expensive city in the country.
I then went to the classifieds and found 5 classified ads for sale estate, sandwiched between "Pet City" and apartments for rent.
Everyone in the online real estate industry has been predicting the demise of the real estate section of the newspaper for years and years, but as we look through the market data, there are still billions of dollars spent in print advertising every year.
But perhaps the run for print advertising is near its end with the rise of Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.
Looking through the Seattle Times, there were still very high end ads in a color insert focused on luxury and home design.
Maybe this is the new normal. Real estate search is 100% online. High-end luxury homes, new construction, luxury condos, and other high-end niches continue to use print to reach a differentiated consumer base.
What do you think? Do the newspaper classifieds have a future?