The Midwest is coming up short again. Data just keeps showing that technology is more widely accepted on the west coast by agents than here in the Midwest. Users, however are demanding and searching online equally. There is a growing gap between non adapting agents and the 30 something average buyer. This will make younger, new agents tons of money.
Some clips of data from CAR below show the growth steady and strong in online marketing. Here in the Midwest, the average agent does not even check his/her email daily and is only now are getting past "beepers". What worked when the market was hot (put up a sign in the yard and a listing in the paper) will not work in a young buyers market. Buyers currently are searching online (close to 90% start the search online according to NAR) and 30% found the home they bought online in the last 6 months.
Getting average Midwest agents to think realistically (and not traditionally) is like pulling teeth. A common misconception is that Virtual Tours are for the elite. "Only high end homes should get this special treatment". Good thought - and if you look at the amount of income on a high end listing, this makes sense. However they are not the average seller / buyer currently. The most high tech online search community is the same as the average buyer currently. While your low end listing may not make you the same money, those younger first time buyers are searching online --- And this is where agents are not willing to spend the money for a VT.
That is just Crazy.
Agents have and will continue to lose business due to not accepting technology or making the transition to digital over print.
Highlights of C.A.R.’s “2006 Use of Technology Survey” include:
- 40 percent of REALTORS®’ business was generated from the Internet in 2006, compared with 19 percent in 2003.
- A digital camera was the most important technological purchase or upgrade considered by respondents this year.
- REALTORS® with high-speed Internet access increased to 95 percent in 2006 compared with 71 percent in 2003.
- Half (48 percent) of REALTORS® use their computer to conduct their real estate business at home.
- 47 percent of REALTORS® surveyed said e-mail was their primary means of communication, while 9 percent considered in-person contact as their primary means of communication with clients.
- Nine of 10 REALTORS® (87 percent) used the Internet for marketing or farming purposes.
- Although Internet marketing has grown, REALTORS® continued to spend more of their marketing budget on print advertising than on online advertising. Only 10 percent spent more of their marketing budget on online advertising than on print advertising.