PORTLAND – The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram introduced a new real estate section format Monday night, with changes that newspaper executives say will help advertisers sell more real estate and pay more affordable rates.

The announcement, made during the Maine Bartenders Bash at the Portland Museum of Art, drew a large crowd of advertisers and guests.

The event, the kickoff to Maine Restaurant Week, was sponsored by the Press Herald, the Telegram and Pressherald. com, which are owned by MaineToday Media Inc.

Richard L. Connor, editor and publisher, welcomed the crowd. He said the newspaper is offering a new product at lower prices, and added, “How can you beat that?”

The changes to the real estate section will take effect March 21, said Michelle Lester, MaineToday Media’s vice president of marketing.

She said the goal is to make the newspapers the best resource for real estate advertising in Maine.

“It will give advertisers the opportunity to run larger, more colorful ads at a better price,” Lester said. “And for our readers, it will become their best resource for the real estate market.”

Among the changes, the Sunday real estate section will be converted to a more convenient tabloid — identical to the Friday real estate magazine. All display ads will include full color.

Community open house ads will be dramatically larger for the same price. And a new Web-based ad transmission system, called Revolution, will allow real estate advertisers to create and manage advertising content.

Several potential advertisers at the event reacted positively.

“The product looks good,” said Christopher Lynch, president of Legacy Properties/Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s much better organized, with larger photos. It’s also much easier to read and a better value.”

Jeff and Jane Flynn of Flynn and Co. Real Estate in South Portland already advertise in Friday’s real estate section. The Flynns said they like the planned changes, especially the color ads.

Tina Lucas and her husband, Dan, operate Lucas Real Estate in Portland.

“In a difficult market, this will help,” Tina Lucas said. “It’s another avenue to use. How can you say anything negative about it?”

 

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: dhoey@pressherald.com