THE "NETHERWORLD" OF THE INTERNET: Good, Bad, Indifferent...It's all there for your benefit, if you know how to make it work FOR you!
It is a very different world out there once an agent starts blogging about the real estate business; the actual results of which can be surprisingly rewarding. You find a whole new type of buyer; a buyer who has just begun to look and who may not have had the negative experiences that many have had by the time they get to us.
The Internet has created a buffer so to speak between the agent and the buyer with their desires and their needs. It is this very safe place that I am going to talk about here; most agents have no idea how important the internet is to this particular buyer.
Here is a person who may want information about an area before they look for houses there--they don't want to waste an agents time before they are ready or they simply don't want to make a mistake when they do buy a home.
The internet is a comfort zone where a buyer can relax and search at their leisure, taking the time to learn as much as they can before they commit to an agent--before they get "tied down" to a real search in a real market, in a specific location. Think of it as a "travel" guide for a buyer--much of the information searched for in real estate is to find out about an area. How do I know? Because that is what I have found in my blogging experiences--buyers "stumble" upon my blog posts all the time! They find me when they are doing the research needed to get ready to start looking in an area here.
The "good" that is done on the internet can be for charity, for relationship building, learning, business development and many benevolent purposes. it is real boon to the individual who seeks help, information or just plain practical addresses and phone numbers....or, maybe a house???
This same comfort zone is used by most "surfers" of the web...those surfers who have diverse reason to do a search and who in some cases, have taken it to another level--and have used it in nefarious ways for their financial benefit or criminal use.
I call this comfort zone the "Netherworld" of the internet because of the way the internet works:
- It is there yet you can't see it--
- It fills space and time yet it can never be scrutinized--anonymity is the big draw to many
- It holds promise to many and yet it can cause horrific consequences to others when miss-used.
The "bad" outweighs the "good" in my opinion simply because of the damage that can be rendered on an individual with very little effort on the part of a criminal who uses the internet to track people. As a hunter tracking his game, the internet abuser is in a field of his own and masters the way to gain access to more and more victims; all this while he/she enjoys the "comfort" of anonymity, just as the innocent internet user!
This brings me to my point of writing this article: So many agents and brokers are still unaware of the use of the internet for building and creating new businesses. Good, rich and accurate content is rare on a large real estate IDX, and even more rare on a corporate "Big Box" real estate site! What an opportunity for a company to make a "local" statement, and yet they are the worst at creating that long tail connection!
I prefer to use the internet to the benefit of my business; almost exclusively, my communication and my participation on the internet is for the business of real estate. Rarely do I participate on Twitter or Facebook. I find those sites to be frivolous and mundane, especially now since I have found my "sea" legs and know what is needed to get good results when someone does a search for real estate in my area!
Linked In, Google + and ActiveRain are my choice for spending valuable time on the internet. Local information is my goal; to be able to convey the special "personality" of each one of the Hamptons is my goal. I publish my local content on these site because that is where most people who search the internet go! I will tell you that from a value standpoint, there is no question that the internet has it all over other forms of advertising and marketing!...But you need to balance all of it and make sure you do enough of the right kind of internet engaging to get the job done!
Time is best spent blogging and getting the word out about your particular area...with your name and face established as the go-to-person for that location. Blogging is the best form of interaction on the internet--no matter what others say about Facebook and Twitter. A good, informative, colorful and interesting blog post is the way many buyers decide on an area they want to live in today.
---Why not make them want to connect with YOU?