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Tribune Claims 78% Read Their Real Estate Sections

I admit I don’t look at the Tribune’s weekend real estate sections much anymore but decided to look at it this week. A major advertiser pulled out recently and was curious to see who was still hanging on.

0ne thing I noticed was that the Trib was advertising themselves more. There was a half page ad in both the Saturday and Sunday editions with the title “Who is reading the Tribune Real Estate sections?”. Under the title was a big photo of a Realtor showing that she was taking the issues on a visit to Long Beach. I thought that was pretty funny to think that the only people reading the sections were Realtors who spent to advertise in it. Then below the photo, this claim appeared… “78% of people in the market for real estate in the last 30 days looked in the Tribune, or both.

WHOA! That’s a pretty bold statement to make, IMO. I looked for any reference to the study which they got this claim from but there was none noted. I reread the claim and got hung up on the “looked in…” statement. Were they trying to use the ole newspaper trick of number of subscribers of the newspaper to make this claim rather than ones that actually read the real estate sections? But after reading the headline again which specifically said “Who is reading the real estate sections?”, they must be trying to claim specifics rather than some subscriber-generated or number of visitors to their website assumptions.

Maybe that their online site was bringing them in? I went to and found the real estate link. It took me to a real estate search form search. I entered in Pismo Beach as a test and it gave me small percentage of the listings that displayed when I tried the same search on I looked up listings the Tribune site displayed in the MLS and found FIVE of them were not on the market anymore. Some were off the market almost TWO weeks!

Sorry folks, I have a hard time believing that a high percentage of people looking for real estate will go on the Internet to search for real estate on a site that has a fraction of the available listings and isn’t even current!

So, I’m back scratching my head wondering where the 78% claim is coming from. I know that the California Association of Realtors recently released the 2008 Buyer’s survey which showed that 78% of Buyers used the Internet in their home search. Could this be the 78% claim the Tribune is using??? Hmmm….

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile