: views from the Hill

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Craig's List and the future of newspaper advertising

Randy Shaw at Beyond Chron ('The Voice of the Rest' - San Francisco's Alternative Online Daily) writes about Joe Cassidy, the developer of the Ironwork Lofts on Harrison Street, who spent $75 on Craig's List to advertise and sell all 28 units in his live-work loft development (for prices from $450K for a 700 sq ft studio to $700K for a 1500 sq ft 2BR) rather than run $10K worth of ads in the Chron.

After getting such great results for only $75, Cassidy calls the Chronicle ads a "waste of time and money. The whole country checks Craig's List so you're reaching a much larger audience than the Chronicle for a fraction of the cost."

The San Francisco Chronicle is heavily dependent on real estate ads, which is why it makes sure its editorials and endorsement follow the positions of the San Francisco Association of Realtors. But once word gets out about Cassidy's success through the Internet, expect other cost-conscious developers to follow suit.

Uh. Oh.

Actually, it's already happening. When we contracted with Saxe Real Estate to find us a tenant, vet the tenant, and lease out the condo in Pacific Heights, Thom O'Brien didn't run ads in the papers, he ran ads on Craig's List.

Hooray for Craig Newmark and his list(s).

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