When it comes to buying a home, Melissa John, executive broker with The Charlotte John Co., knows people like to have a copy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Sunday real estate section in their hands.
“The real estate section is one of the best places to let the public know about our houses for sale,” she said. “The real estate section is so consistent. People still go to the Sunday section to see which houses are open that day. When I hold open houses, I can’t tell you how many times the paper is in the car because they are trying to find such and such property.”
John said when the company advertises open houses, 90 percent of the time people arrive because they saw an ad in the paper.
“We actually do sell homes at open houses, and I would attribute that to running ads in the Democrat-Gazette,” she said.
With the company having offices in Little Rock and now Conway, John said, the paper’s powerful reach encompasses both areas, providing the opportunity to expand her message across central Arkansas.
“We believe the paper is one of the best resources used by home buyers,” she said.
Extending her marketing campaign to Arkansas Life and showcasing her message in the paper’s Third Thursday opportunity, John has pieced together a successful strategy.
“We like that Arkansas Life has a larger audience than other magazines,” she said. “It reaches Little Rock and Conway. We also get a lot of feedback from Third Thursday. When we run that, we get an amazing turnout.”
After advertising with the paper for more than 30 years, John has developed a personal relationship with her Arkansas Democrat-Gazette marketing staff. Working in a fluid industry where properties are suddenly no longer available and open houses pop up at the last minute, John appreciates the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s flexibility and quick turnaround.
“The paper has always been so accommodating,” she said. “Real estate is an evolving business. We start an ad on Tuesday and make a million changes Wednesday and Thursday. You never know when something sold or an open house has changed.”
In a fluctuating industry, John knows the changing market calls for continually “re-thinking” a marketing plan. But the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette remains her constant.
“The Democrat-Gazette is where we always choose not to make a change,” she said.