AOL, overseer of the network of neighborhood news blogs called Patch, has finally decided to shutter the remaining sites after closing over 300 of them earlier this year. They weren’t able to find enough local advertising to cover their costs in as many cities as they needed to in order to stay afloat. This could prove disappointing to many brokerages since individual Patch sites were not only a great place to advertise properties for sale but they also frequently covered real estate news as part of their editorial efforts. Also, they provided a daily source of what was happening at the most local level so agents could stay on top of what a neighborhood was going through—crucial for many interactions with potential and existing clients.
The news article announcing this includes a comment from AOL Chief Tim Armstrong suggesting the Patch sites could partner with other companies, but there is an underlying tone that suggests it isn’t likely. For many areas within the MRIS region the Patch sites are an active, and well-visited, collection of websites so this will certainly take a piece out of the real estate advertising space. Will the lack of Patch sites have an impact on how you approach marketing efforts for the coming year?