Read Teresa's article yesterday.
Humm, what goes wrong with her?
She spent so much energy and money to work on real estate selling and almost got nothing in return. That fits into what I called "the least protected professional" in the world.
USA society is well managed; almost every acitivities involved a license, even a small job such as selling a used car needs a license in California issued by DMV. Sure, someone or something don't need a license. The most important public jobs like politicians including President has no specific license requirement. They don't even need a political training or test.
Nobody says all license are equal. A real estate license is not an Attorney license. Before getting paid, a real estate agent paid a lot in advance. After getting paid, a real estate agent has a lot of risk to lose a lot if someone doesn't like the result. Certainly, an agent is not an attorney who still gets very good handsome pay even he loses his client's case in court. An attorney has no liability when he pays no attention to ignore something to review a client's documents. But, for an agent, no way Jose!
Now, there is a bill waiting for politicians to pass which wants to charge sales tax on an agent's commission. Gee! I can't believe it. As I know, a sale tax is only applicable to tangible goods. Humm, very interesting! Since when a real estate commission is deemed to be "tangible" in the eye of politicians? I am wondering when we are going to pay sales tax on a barber's fee? For me, to wonder when an attorney's consulting due will be tangible to be taxed? Give me a break! No way, Jose, I am not so stupid. Don't you know I know who control the passage of a bill?
Well, back to the subject, we have a herd mentality to pursue a fancy internet commercial. A real estate agent is trying all the possible to outpace others. Everyone tries to get on board a new wagon, no matter it is working or not. Because life is too tough for them. They don't want to be left behind. They will take a slim hope by spending a lot of time, money and energy to try make it work.
Since 1991, I have surfed on internet. I really doubt its fancy ads function. I decided not to spent one cent for my real estate advertisement. I believe my old fashion: "real estate is a people business." On the net, it is very difficult to develop the sense of people relationship so that the effects would be very limited, if not failed as Teresa said.
I don't fall in love with internet real estate ads, particularly after I saw so many biggest websites do a lousy design to confuse outsiders such as HUD website that is almost a dumpster full of junks to waste our time(NOTE: please check out my article Do We Really Care? and see the enclosed weblink: http://ushud.com/dyn//i/clickandqualify/h/clickandqualify/FL/BREVARD+(CENTRAL)/search.html?&case=HH1***********C&on=CAPE+****************ND%00ROCKLEDGECOCOA, FL). Probably you will agree with me that "The bigger a website is, porbably the worse."
There are a lot of websites like a puzzle once you get inside. Two days ago, I tried to find a piece of property information listed under a nation-wide reputable brokerage. I spent about 2 hours in its corporate website. First, my password is not accepted. Then, it was rejected by keying in the password sent back to me. Well, they don't even have its office listing link on each of its independent franchise individual office. I had to use its nation-wide "search." Checked the agent's name, well, it said "NO SUCH an agent." Can't believe what I saw. But I have a strong personality, not so easy to give up. I tried to use just the first name "M," I got it now. Okay, I clicked on her own listings. Out of luck, there is no SUCH listing shown. So I gave my good agent friend at that brokerage an email. Now, I finally got the information/ answer by her connection.
As a buyer/ consumer, you will be better off to just make a phone call to a local real estate brokerage and let them busy working with a dumb computer (legally they get nothing). It won't cost you anything, not like a phone conversation with a lawyer. Why waste your time if you are not a seasoned investor knowing what you are looking for?
Did I use internet to broader the exposure of my properties? Yes, I did use all available free internet ads. Why I use them? Because they are free, no penny out of my pocket. Don't blame me for taking advantage to uploading my ads as I told everybody I am a cheap guy.
However, no matter what and where I sell, I have never had a property sale or trade from almost all the internet websites in the past 5 year (I have a lot of sale thru E-bay. I gave it up 10 years ago. So I don't think I have a problem with my marketing skill.), except just one producing a possible result for me.
Last month I came across a website "Kijiji." (NOTE: Be honest, it is not fit to what I am selling since it limits its program to be a local ads so that I have to spend time to re-type and re-load for each city I want) The newly used website really surprised me by sending me a serious buyer (sure, the website attracted at least 2 con-artists sending me emails too) a week ago and a binding contract of my trust deed note reached by emails yesterday (still waiting to close).
Talking about real property, I believe the old way works much better than those in cyberspace, unless someone like me can do purchases without a visit to the property. Recently, I sold my 2 houses in 5 months. How I sold them? Simple, thanks to my yard "FSBO" signs and my water company who allows me to post a sale sign at their entrance on a busy street (NOTE: it is illegal to post a sign on city sidewalk.)
Humm, nobody says life is fair. Nobody says everything works the same to everyone. Is the old fashion way still works better for you? You be the judge! Tell us your finding if you do periodically check your ads result.