Real estate marketing has gone through many changes over the years. A great real estate broker has to know which sources are best so that his limited resources are not wasted.
Today I will share with you a true success story on how the Tallahassee Real Estate Blog helped a Tallahassee homeowner sell their home in 30 days and buy a new one just north of Atlanta. The combination of internet marketing and active social networking resulted in a successful move that many others would envy.
But to know why the use of the internet is so important, you should consider our real estate marketing past.
The Yard Sign Lets Everybody A Home Is For Sale
Back in the “caveman” times, real estate marketing was very simple. A sign was placed in the yard, knowing that people interested in homes for sale in that neighborhood would call when they saw a home for sale.
Each broker had their own “book of business,” so buying a home required a lot of work on part of the homebuyer, as often they would have to consult with many real estate brokers. Imagine the difficulty for home buyers that were from out of town?
Newspaper Advertising Got The Word Out To Everybody In Town
As competition in the real estate industry increased, real estate brokers started to advertise in the newspaper to attract potential buyers who had not seen their sign. By “bringing the market” to everybody, a wise real estate marketer could capture business before the buyer prospects had a chance to call on a competitor’s sign.
Specialty Magazines Were The Predecessor To The Internet
A wave of new magazines appeared in the 1990s that specialized in featuring homes for sale. There was no content, just a lot of advertisements for homes on the market. Every decent sized city had at least one, if not three or four of these magazines, so real estate brokers felt compelled to advertise their properties in these magazines.
The cost to advertise in real estate magazines was very high, the return was not so good, and now real estate brokers had thinned their limited resources across so many marketing channels that results were falling.
Digital Marketing Has Changed Real Estate Marketing
Then along came digital marketing. In the mid to late 1990s, real estate companies and real estate agents began establishing web sites. Soon, other non-real estate companies joined the crowd. Now real estate companies could spread the word “worldwide” about their listed homes for sale.
At the beginning, real estate buyers were still looking to other sources to find information on homes for sale. Much like the yard sign, real estate web sites only contained the broker’s inventory, so buyers were not able to get the whole market in one sitting, much like they felt they could with a specialty magazine.
IDX and Real Estate Broker Reciprocity
The internet has now become the primary source of real estate listings for most market areas. Brokers developed a process to share listings with each other called IDX (Internet Data Exchange) which allows the information in the MLS to be shared by all REALTOR® members. This technology brings everything to the home buyer from just one location.
Recent surveys show that more than 86% of home buyers start their real estate search on the internet. To reach these potential buyers, real estate brokers have to move forward in their marketing education and leave many of the traditional sources behind. In fact, the ones that are relying on successful past techniques might soon find themselves out of business.
Social Networking Is A Key Aspect Of Internet Marketing
A facet of internet marketing is social networking. Rapidly growing throughout the world, what once was a local effort has now become a world wide opportunity to grow the network of people who affiliate with a real estate broker and his business.
Not only can properties be seen by consumers, but relationships can be forged across the internet through the use of social networking. In fact, we have a great success story that happened recently that is based upon a great social networking relationship.
Golden Eagle Home Sold In 30 Days
Recently, I received an email from somebody in my network. His name is Bob Southard and he is a REALTOR® in Powder Springs, Georgia. He told me he had somebody wanting to buy a home there but first needed to sell a home in Tallahassee. Ironically, they lived in my same neighborhood.
They chose to list their home with my office and worked with Menza Krause, a REALTOR® who sells a lot of homes in Golden Eagle Plantation, the neighborhood where the homeowners, myself, and Menza all live. Menza did an excellent job, we promoted the home with our internet marketing plan, and the home was sold in 30 days! Not too bad if you track the inventory available in Golden Eagle.
The happy home sellers were able to close on their new home in Georgia this week and were in their home prior to Christmas.
The Internet Is Critical In Marketing A Home
This is not an unusual story. We are seeing more and more “relationship” sales in our business, as networks cross boundaries of miles that are not constrained on the World Wide Web. More important than “any one site,” social networking creates the links that help us bring buyers to our Tallahassee homes.