I read an ad in the latest SLO City News saying that their online real estate search page had “the county’s most complete online real estate listings”. They also say it’s “Fast, Fun, and Easy”.
I went to www.tolosapress.com to give it a try. It’s really a Trulia search. Trulia gets their listing information from whomever they can find to give them listings. To test out the claim that it had the most complete listings I entered in Pismo Beach homes above $1 Million. The Tolosa Press page came back with 16 homes found. I tried the same search on SloCountyHomes.com and it returned 32 homes.
I could have stopped there since they DON’T have the most complete online real estate listings as they claim (not even close) but I wanted to look further at their listing data. Of the 16 listings, 3 of them were no longer on the market. In addition, 2 of the listings had an old price (one is now $400,000 lower, the other is off by $200,000).
So, the SLO City News wins this week’s FALSE CLAIM award. I didn’t check out to see if their other publications, Coast News and Bay News, also had the same ad. The reality is that they offer an incomplete and inaccurate online real estate search.
I know that with most papers, the advertising and editorial groups are separate. I have no problems with the articles I’ve read in these papers and have even been quoted in a few. But it looks like their advertising department needs to not make claims if they aren’t true.