Big Changes in Real Estate Mean New Opportunities Ahead for Print Businesses

Attention Printing and Marketing Businesses – BREAKING NEWS! The National Association of Realtors (N.A.R.) has agreed to a groundbreaking settlement, potentially leading to a significant drop in home selling costs by eliminating the standard 6 percent sales commission and lower home prices. 

As a result of this settlement billions of dollars are expected to flow into the housing market as homeowners and prospective buyers take advantage of the potential benefits of reduced costs and increased competition. But first, they need to be aware of the opportunity, understand why it matters to them, and find a qualified realtor to help them with their sale and purchase.

Printing Businesses and Marketers Unite!

While this situation is related to the United States, paying attention to ‘business’ news where you live can be a timely new business strategy. Printers and marketers who look for ‘pain points’ or problems to solve can find viable leads by paying attention to shifts in the B2B and B2C business space. And more than likely the companies and brands involved will need fast, effective, and efficient help communicating with their customers.

When I saw this news about the NAR settlement, I gasped. My first thought was how this shift in the real estate market is great news for printing businesses and marketers to work together and create a proactive plan to help realtors educate homeowners and buyers and get their foot in the proverbial door of thousands of potential clients in their territories.

Speed to market is critical. The first outreach homeowners and potential buyers receive from realtors won’t be ignored. After that, it’s just another realtor sending a postcard about something they already know about, and getting their attention will have to be more offer-based than information/education-based.

If you are a marketer, you hopefully have trusted printing partners. If you are a printer, you have talented design and marketing customers. From either end, reach out to discuss partnering to create a comprehensive package for realtors to educate consumers and generate new business through new listings.

It Takes a Village

While marketers and printing businesses could individually take this information and try to land new business with realtors, working together can have many advantages and make replicating your offerings nearly impossible for your competitors. If realtors can get copywriting, design, printing, distribution, digital marketing, and data reporting through one vendor – they will!

Here are a few ideas to include in your menu of multichannel marketing packages for realtors:

Strategic Planning: Meetings with marketing agency, printer, and relevant partners to formulate a messaging strategy and how and where it will be shared.

Event in a Box: Everything a realtor would need to host an educational event at their business, at a home or small local venue, and a trade show.

Business Graphics: Windows, floors, vehicle wraps, signage. BIG, visible messaging.

Email Marketing: Current customers, past customers, prospects you know, prospects you find.

Direct Mail Marketing: Current customers, past customers, prospects you know, prospects you find. The ‘Every Door Direct Mail’ program from the United States Post Office is perfect for prospecting homeowners without having any data about them.

Social Media Marketing: Strategically target homeowners through location and demographics. Drive them to a site/landing page that explains why now is the best time to buy and sell a home.

Informational Guides: Quick, at-a-glance information outlining commission changes, new pricing guidelines, impact on home prices, and how to get an appraisal if you’re selling and access to the latest listing if you are buying. Printed in small batches so it can be updated as needed, accompanied by an e-book version available online by providing name and email.

Newsletters: Topical market information, testimonials from happy home buyers and sellers, exclusive listings, announcements of workshops and educational events, an “Ask a Realtor” section, and so on. These can be printed and mailed, emailed, or both.

Lead Nurturing/On-Going Communication: Through all channels, at a rate and frequency determined by realtors or recipients.

Getting Real with Local Realtors

Once you have printing and marketing partners in place and technology partners (digital marketing, data management) and printing partners to produce materials you don’t, you will need to secure realtors as customers.

The first step would be to educate yourself and your team quickly on how local realtors operate with each other within the same office, and with competitors. How do they divide up territories? How do they typically communicate with customers and prospects?  You want to avoid creating issues upfront by not understanding their process, what is appropriate to sell, and to whom.

Once you have that figured out, it’s time to sell your TEAM as the best capable of helping realtors in this critical communication moment.

Create a section on your website for realtors. Share blog posts written by you and your extended team and share relevant articles from trusted sources. Include testimonials from customers, realtor customers even better. This is where prospects learn they can trust you – you get it and you can help with all their education, communication, marketing, and sales needs.

Host a webinar for realtors. Invite a real estate expert to explain the current landscape and what home buyers and sellers need to know. Become a resource for current market information and topical shifts as they occur.

Host an event for realtors with a topical speaker. Give attendees a take-away bag of printed materials – all with QR codes so they can also be accessed online, that showcase all partners, the packages you offer to help relators educate, generate leads, and sell, and a small, personalized gift that a realtor would appreciate. (Ask some realtors and figure that out!)

Create a direct mail, email, and social media campaign. Target realtors with specific information on how you and your extended partners can help them educate, generate leads, and generate home sales.

Find out where the local realtors hang out online and offline. What local/regional/national groups do they belong to? Are there local events they attend? Get involved! Sponsor something! Get in their world, and get visible and memorable, quickly.

Home Sweet Home

The judge must formally accept the terms of this settlement before they are put into place before new commission parameters and listing requirements for realtors take effect. None of my research indicates it won’t happen, which means realtors have just received this news which broke on March 15th, they are probably in a semi-panic mode, and they will need help.

The Printers/Marketers who can get in the door, understand the necessity of educating the market, quickly help realtors start communicating, and have a multichannel plan for realtors to generate new leads and customers to offset commission losses will have a tremendous advantage in winning this business.

And this is just the first step. Once printing businesses are in the door and have proven you can educate the market and generate leads through your partnership, turn your focus to creating packages with your partners to help them sell homes to their new customers. 


ps… I found this video explaining the settlement. Without a doubt, realtors are scrambling. 


See Deborah’s featured post: 4 Ways to Share Printspiration and Print Love in February and All Year Long

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Deborah Corn is the Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse at Print Media Centr, a Print Buyerologist, international industry speaker and blogger, and the cultivator of Print Production Professionals, the #1 print group on LinkedIn. She provides printspiration and resources to print and marketing professionals through education, events, Podcasts From The Printerverse, ProjectPeacock.TV, and an array of community-lifting initiatives including Girls Who Print and International Print Day, 

Deborah also helps companies create more meaningful and profitable customer relationships by utilizing 25+ years of experience as an agency, brand, and corporate print buyer who has assessed, hired, and worked with hundreds of printers and service providers.

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