Real estate's influence on newspapers

Should you believe everything you read in the property section of your newspaper? CHOICE investigates.
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03.Perks of the trade

There are other perks to newspaper advertising if you’re a real estate agent. CHOICE has learnt that Melbourne’s The Age newspaper funds an annual overseas trip for agents who meet certain sales targets.

“We do run an incentive program, a part of which is an overseas trip, and we’ve been running it for a number of years,” confirms Tony Blamey , general manager for real estate at Fairfax.

“But that’s run by the commercial part of the organisation, not the editorial section… [Real estate agencies] opt in to the program and it’s based on a corporate advertising commitment. It’s an opportunity for networking and there’s a range of activities.”

But Mr Ryder says it’s nothing more than a freebie. “There are various kickbacks. The papers have for a long time paid bonuses to the agencies for their advertising, sometimes in the form of perks like overseas junkets. The irony is that the agents don’t spend their own money on the advertising, they spend vendors’ money. It’s a major rort that’s existed for a long time,” says Mr Ryder.

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