The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released some interesting figures. The average age of today’s first time homebuyer is 30, whereas the average age of real estate agents is 56. This is a huge gap between the MTV Generation and baby-boomers. The younger generation grew up with home computers, video games and cell phones; its’ no wonder that they were quick to embrace new media sites such as GooglePlus, Twitter, FaceBook, digital tablets and smart phones. However it seems the older generation of realtors have been reluctant to take advantage of the new media –and this a disadvantage to their careers. It is said that 90% of all homebuyers research properties online before ever contacting a real estate agent! That means, before your phone rings buyers have already scoped out properties and have a keen sense of what they want. Do you have a real estate website? Do you have a FaceBook Profile? Do you update your Twitter? Do you use a smart phone? If you answered ‘No’ to any of these questions, then 90% of homebuyers doing their research did not find you online, they found your completion.
The best way for older agents to compete with younger agents is by bridging the age gap with technology. If you’re an older agent, do you remember 30 years ago when you bought your first VCR and your parents refused to learn how to use it? The running joke in the family was about grandma not knowing how to set the clock on the VCR. Ask yourself; is social media your VCR? Grandma had the ability to set that clock, but she chose not to, just as you have the ability to get online and get yourself out there! I’ve heard time and time again, “FaceBook is for kids” or “my generation isn’t into it” or “my website is fine the way it is” or “I don’t know how to blog”. To these statements I say the following… FaceBook (and other social networking outlets) are easy for an agent at any age to navigate, the more you use it the easier it becomes. Most websites need regular updating to keep the content fresh and to keep the search engine tags up to date. Last, writing a blog is as simple as the diary you use to keep beneath your mattress!
Although the online world may seem intimidating, things aren’t always as they seem. Composing a blog, navigating social media or changing over to a smart-phone are all a few of the easiest things you can do to take advantage of technology and make it work for you and your career.