REALTORS® and Internet Marketing

By
Real Estate Agent with Florida Property Experts

living room photo
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. Manycomputer keyboard and seo 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.

stair caseThis 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).

 

lisa hill realtor

Adams Cameron real estate brokers

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Rainmaker
1,516,262
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County
You are right, Lisa.  The print media and mail are not what they used to be. The internet and blogging are taking their place a bit. I still do them all plus open houses but I know where the internet falls in the pecking order!
Oct 21, 2007 12:59 PM #2
Rainer
104,204
Rosario Lewis
DDR Realty - Newburgh, NY
GRI, SRES - DDR Realty - Orange County, NY
Very well stated. We all need to change with the times or be left behind.
Oct 21, 2007 01:02 PM #3
Rainmaker
564,123
Eric Kodner
Madeline Island Realty - La Pointe, WI
CRS, Madeline Island Realty, LaPointe, WI 54850 -
Print marketing has been circling the drain for some time now.  Old habits die hard and print publications are still putting the hard sell on past advertisers.
Oct 21, 2007 01:04 PM #4
Rainmaker
1,766,241
John Novak
Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace - Las Vegas, NV
Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate
Well said about SEO - we either improve our knowledge of it, or we hire someone who already has it. Off to take a look at Web 2.x now to get a glimpse of the future!
Oct 21, 2007 01:15 PM #5
Rainer
21,775
Prudential Preferred Realty Butler PA
Prudential Preferred Realty - Butler, PA

I'm sorry.  I tried the link and it didn't work for me.  I love your post, though.

Posthmously rating it a 5!!

Oct 21, 2007 01:20 PM #6
Rainer
6,365
Benny McKee
Above The Rim, LLC - Dumfries, VA
My wife is an agent, and she primarily does internet advertising...that has gotten her the best return on her money
Oct 21, 2007 01:32 PM #7
Rainer
21,281
Gail Reeves Reid
Re/Max Realty Specialists - Mississauga, ON
Great post!!! Print marketing may still work in some areas though but internet marketing is the wave of the future.
Oct 21, 2007 01:48 PM #8
Rainmaker
337,464
Thesa Chambers
Fred Real Estate Group - Bend, OR
Principal Broker - Licensed in Oregon
Lisa - this is one of your best - nicely done
Oct 21, 2007 01:56 PM #9
Ambassador
1,090,772
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE
I agree that the internet and also blogging are making its way to our business module. The others have been a waste of money for me (even though I haven't spent a lot anyway) and I am working more on my internet presence. This was beautifully presented Lisa. Thanks.
Oct 21, 2007 03:55 PM #10
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Jayne- I fixed the link. Thanks for letting me know!
Oct 21, 2007 05:10 PM #11
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Missy, Gary, Rosario - Thanks. I think we have to find a way to get REALTORS(r) up to speed. It's a detriment to the entire industry when we're not all on the same page. And I just e-mailed a lot of my colleagues, right after I typed this post. I'm trying to help them get up to speed. But you can only lead a horse to water. You can't make it drink.
Oct 21, 2007 05:12 PM #12
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
John- The link wasn't working before but it's fixed now. Sorry!
Oct 21, 2007 05:13 PM #13
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Hayes & Gail- I'm finding print advertising to be worth less and less, for the return on the investment. Let's face it. We only do it to keep our sellers happy. And I think we're all reaching the limit on wasting money when nothing's selling.
Oct 21, 2007 05:15 PM #14
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate
Thesa & Sally- Thanks! Both of you ROCK!
Oct 21, 2007 05:15 PM #15
Rainer
165,557
Dan Forbes
Bradenton, FL

Thanks Lisa for the encouragement to become more internet savvy.  Good points. I now have several blogs and several web sites.  All of which positions me well in my market.

Thanks for reading and commenting on Goals Must be S-M-A-R-T, not DUMB

Oct 21, 2007 11:11 PM #16
Rainer
146,936
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY
Lisa - I am a home stager and I teach a continuing ed class for realtors on staging, but I can't help preaching about internet presence as well.  I think it is all part of marketing.  Staging is point of sales marketing, blogging, websites, photos and virtual tours are part of internet marketing.  It all has to work together. 
Oct 22, 2007 12:43 AM #17
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Dan- I have trouble maintaining several blogs and just end of cross-posting. But it has to be done.

Maureen- I agree. Everything has to work together. 

Oct 22, 2007 05:19 AM #18
Rainer
64,568
Josh and Jenn McKnight Team
Keller Williams Real Estate - Horsham, PA
Thanks for the info Lisa. I will look into SEO. Blogging is new to me and I have found it to be fun.
Oct 22, 2007 05:48 AM #19
Rainer
63,553
Greg Fox
Realty World Wichita - Wichita, KS
Techy Broker in Wichita Kansas

I like what you said.  A few comments.

Intelligent, focused, affordable SEO can be had from http://www.compassinternetsystems.com/index.html.  I followed their advice, but I did it all myself.  Almost got divorced for the time I spent.

According to NAR, last year's buyer/seller surveys say 80% of buyers used the internet in their search, 50% used the newspaper.  24% of buyers first found the home they purchased on the internet.  5% found the home they bought in the paper.  Pretty easy to see where advertising dollars should go.

Oct 22, 2007 11:26 AM #20
Rainmaker
595,381
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

Joshua- I think a lot of us consider it fun =)

Greg-  Those are pretty much the same numbers I've seen.

Oct 22, 2007 01:01 PM #21
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Rainmaker
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Lisa Hill

Daytona Beach Real Estate
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