Real Estate In-Depth to Enter New Era
A New Beginning: Real Estate In-Depth will go exclusively online in January, 2024, with an all-new website and new features.
As regular and longtime readers of this publication will attest, I rarely write opinion pieces because I believe my primary role in producing this newspaper each month and online is as an objective reporter. My opinion is not important, or in my view, warranted or wanted in most cases. Therefore, it has been rare indeed that over the past nearly 29 years as Editor of Westchester Realtor and Real Estate In-Depth (circa 1996) that I have penned a column to express my views on a particular subject.
However, if you would please indulge me, the future of Real Estate In-Depth is an issue that means the world to me and I would like to explain the reasons behind what will be a dramatic shift in how the newspaper will be delivered to HGAR members and newspaper subscribers in 2024.
Earlier this year I was asked to serve on HGAR’s Presidential Advisory Group (PAG) on Real Estate In-Depth, which was formed by HGAR President Tony D’Anzica to come up with recommendations to deal with the rising costs of printing and mailing the newspaper. I eventually advised the PAG that the newspaper be converted to online beginning in January 2024 and that HGAR no longer incur the significant graphic, printing and mailing costs associated with the print publication. After many months of due diligence, discussion and deliberation, the PAG agreed with this recommendation and the HGAR Board of Directors approved the PAG’s recommendation at its meeting on Sept. 20.
I can also honestly say that PAG members and the HGAR Board, while recognizing the long-standing value of the newspaper to its members and subscribers, followed their fiduciary responsibilities. In the end, despite my affinity for print, the PAG and the HGAR Board made the right decision.
A New Beginning
A recent survey of Real Estate In-Depth’s readership, conducted in conjunction with the PAG’s review of the newspaper, revealed that a majority of the readership prefers to receive their industry news via online sources rather than print. This has been a prevailing trend both locally and nationally that has led to the closure of many print publications and the downsizing of many others, particularly daily newspapers such as The Journal News and the Middletown Times Herald Record, both of which have devoted significant resources to their respective websites.
In recent years, and particularly since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, HGAR has significantly expanded its real estate and association news coverage. In addition to the monthly newspaper, HGAR also publishes a weekly online Real Estate In-Depth newsletter and the very popular Daily Update, which regularly scores an open rate in the 40% to more than 50% range.
Beginning in January, HGAR members and subscribers will continue to receive Real Estate In-Depth’s weekly online newsletter, as well as the Daily Update via e-mail. In addition, a monthly Real Estate In-Depth online newsletter will also be distributed by e-mail. News coverage and association communications will in fact be enhanced with daily stories published at a newly launched Realestateindepth.com website. The website will not only include coverage of the latest real estate industry news and HGAR association events and programs, but videos of national, regional and local leaders and industry executives to offer members key information and perspective to help them deal with the issues of the day. Other new communication and advertising products will also be available that will help Members and Affiliates reach more than 13,000 subscribers to help grow their businesses.
In closing, HGAR and its predecessor associations have published a monthly newspaper since 1926. I don’t think that the association leadership back nearly 100 years ago ever envisioned that it would be supplying its membership, which now totals more than 13,000, with breaking industry and association news on a scale the membership now enjoys.
While the print edition of the newspaper ends with the December 2023 edition, the Real Estate In-Depth of 2024 and beyond will continue to serve the readership, however, in a much more-timely and effective fashion at Realestateindepth.com.