I know that many Active Rain users have already posted variations of this subject, but due to the continued decrease in real estate market activity, I felt pressed to write this post as a warning to my friends & colleagues in the real estate industry.
As real estate professionals, we all know that in spite of what the media would have people believe, the job of a REALTOR® is not about pulling a few listings from the MLS, then driving around showing houses, then collecting a paycheck. We know that showing properties is a minuscule part of our jobs. (Buyers and sellers, read my post titled The Long and Winding Road to a Real Estate Closing.)
REALTORS® and real estate agents also know that the internet has become a valuable resource. (Buyers and Sellers, read The Code of Ethics, REALTORS® and plain old real estate agents if you don’t know the difference between REALTORS® and real estate agents/licensees) Successful agents don’t rely on old business models. Many of today’s successful REALTORS® and real estate agents have found it necessary to channel the majority of their advertising dollars and time into internet marketing for their listings. This does not, in any way mean that internet-only transactions will become the preferred method of buying and selling in the near future. Since real estate is such a unique industry, it doesn’t fit into the same mold as stock trading or product purchases. Real estate is both tangible and stationary. It‘s also about people’s homes. And when people are buying and selling homes, emotions are running high, making it hard for either side to be objective. When a transaction is emotionally charged on both ends, a knowledgeable intermediary with experience and people skills, makes everything go more smoothly, thus eliminating the likelihood that internet-only transactions will become the buying and selling preference any time soon.
That being said, here are some facts.
- Print advertising no longer produces the results it once did.
- Direct mailing doesn’t provide the necessary return on the investment.
- Even e-mail drip marketing has fallen by the wayside, since agents started bombarding customers and other agents with e-mail flyers. Most of those senders and/or flyers are now blocked by spam filters.
This brings me to web sites and blogging. I’ve already stated that many successful agents are using the internet to market their listings. While this is true, there are many more agents who have not yet faced the reality that they must increase their web presence more and more. And the companies who offer SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for a fee, on behalf of these agents, are usually not going to produce the desired results. They’re also going to be very costly.
This leaves those agents with very few choices. Either learn about SEO (I suggest you do it now, while the market is slow!) or hire a knowledgeable assistant. I don’t think you want me to tell you the last option. But then, it’s probably not necessary since at this point the decision may have already been made for you. If it hasn’t, then stop procrastinating and do what needs to be done... before it’s too late.
FYI- You can probably find all the SEO information you need, right here on Active Rain! You can also follow this link for more information on real estate and the internet. This includes info on Web 1.0 (old school internet marketing) Web 2.0 (present day internet strategies) and Web 2.x (future internet strategies).