TIMES have certainly changed with property marketing since Neil Bartlett, partner at John Lake estate agents in Torquay started as an agent 15 years ago.
He said: "In those days, buyers waited anxiously for the local property supplement to be published in the Herald Express on a Friday and then our telephones were red hot with viewers booking appointments or requesting brochures.
"My business partner, John, was laughing with a client recently when they found one of his old adverts when there were not even photographs, just lineage and abbreviated meanings to minimise cost...'Det 4 Bed Hse, gdn & Gge £49,950'.
"The internet has fast become the first port of call for buyers and email often favoured as the initial method of contact, however local press advertising remains as important to my firm today as ever, although like any business it has had to evolve to suite the customers' requirements.
"For John Lake, the Herald Express is a valuable branding tool to promote our services, style and portfolio.
"People love thumbing through the property guide, and not necessarily to buy or rent a new home, but to decide which agent they want to invite to value their home whether selling or letting.
"I often hear of readers not having any intentions on moving until they see 'that house they've always wanted' in the Herald Express, but would not be actively seeking to move and therefore not a frequent searcher on the national property portals."
He added: "Whether a client looks in the Herald Express for their next home or not, they quite rightly expect to see their agent having a strong presence and promoting their most expensive asset in the best possible light, both online and the local paper. Coverage is, of course, key for any sales dependent company.
"The Herald Express can also be a fantastic way for us to tell the local community of company achievements, events or associated charitable causes.
"Whenever John or I get our ugly mugs in the paper for something, it never ceases to amaze us just how many people see the editorial and comment, and whatever their views it proves the Herald Express still achieves a high readership level and in all age ranges.
"In our ever changing world, I am glad to see that our local paper remains at the heart of our local community and long may it last."