THE "NETHERWORLD" OF THE INTERNET: Good, Bad, Indifferent...

By
Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate 30HA0800896

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!

THE GOOD...

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 CAN BE USED FOR GOOD OR BAD

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??? 

THE BAD....

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!

THE INDIFFERENT....

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?

 

 

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Rainmaker
791,065
Carol Zingone
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS
There are some agents who believe the internet is a "silver bullet" and they overlook the face to face communication piece...
Feb 06, 2013 11:35 PM #3
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Richie: Thank you! As usual, you point out the topics most relevant subject and bring it to everyone's attention in the most succinct way! I appreciate your input...

Malcom: I find the same sort here...they just don't get it and in fact resent it when someone has done well from internet marketing!

Feb 06, 2013 11:47 PM #4
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Carol: That is so true--the possibilities are endless when you begin to fully understand the internet and it's particular technology capabilities

Feb 06, 2013 11:52 PM #5
Rainer
324,487
Scott Larson
BHHS/Utah Properties - Park City, UT
Park City, Utah Real Estate News

Paula, I for one, always appreciate what you have to say and spend at least 2-3 hours a day on my internet business

Feb 08, 2013 09:54 PM #6
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Scott: You are so lucky that you get it where it concerns marketing--Many agents are still "thinking" about it and meanwhile the world is moving faster and faster in the area of marketing than any other segment of our business!

Feb 08, 2013 11:30 PM #7
Rainmaker
668,822
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

What I am finding lately is that buyers just want to have accurate information. The simpler the better. Blogs are great but they have to be brief or the buyer just moves on.

Mar 17, 2013 12:22 PM #8
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Bill: I am finding the same thing---there are so many places where you get tid bits about this area and most of that information is inaccurate. Brief and to the point is good but it needs to be the right information or the potential for a buyer/seller becomes very brief indeed! I am finding the length of the blog post is less important than the quality of the content.  If it is interesting and the perosn reading it finds it so, they care very little if it is long or short!

Mar 17, 2013 12:32 PM #9
Rainmaker
686,809
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Paula: I find that a lot of people go to my IDX page, but I don't hear from them which means, I presume, that they hare not that serious about buying yet.

Mar 17, 2013 01:02 PM #10
Ambassador
1,726,499
Richard Weisser
Richard Weisser Realty - Newnan, GA
Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional

Paula...

Very insightful analysis of what works for you.

Featured in the Group "Whacked!!!"

Mar 17, 2013 02:15 PM #11
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Hella: I find the same thing and that tells me that they do not want to take the next step quite yet---I don't really want to approach them too soon either so it really does make a difference if you can inform them at arms length and then when they are ready they will naturally be drawn to you because of your knowledge--if you have been blogging about the area they like, and they read your blog, there is an organic connection that you can't get any other way!

Richard: Thank you so much! I don't know if other agents give it that much thought but I have and because I love to blog, I like to find the best reasons and inform others of what I have found..I learned that you don't have to be a "writer" per se...you just need to have the interest, knowledge and the ability to communicate to get your point across and those are the key ingredients for a blogger!

Mar 18, 2013 01:51 AM #12
Rainer
27,170
Jackie Vaughan and Patrick Smith, Howard County,Maryland
The Jackie Vaughan Team - Columbia, MD
The Jackie Vaughan Team

I have new young buyers who don't even want to go look at homes with me.  They see them on the internet, look at the virtual tours, drive by the house and look at the neighborhood and want to write a contract and e-sign.  WOW!  How real estate has changed.

Mar 18, 2013 03:56 AM #13
Ambassador
2,750,314
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

"Rarely do I participate on Twitter or Facebook."

A voice in the wilderness.

I can't remember the last time.

Mar 18, 2013 03:58 AM #14
Rainmaker
486,641
Bruce Hicks
Best Homes Hawaii - Honolulu, HI
Your Lifetime Friend/Helper!

It seems that the internet has become entertainment, a major source of information, socializing, connnecting.  I just heard locally that a new LIBRARY was being built for 11 Million.  I thought, are libraries becoming OBSOLETE?

Mar 18, 2013 04:04 AM #15
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Jackie: Wow is right!!! That's why our photographs have to be such large files in order to please the eye of the buyer who will do just that!!! I swear.. I have had photographs done just now that appear so large on our web sight that it looks like you can move right in!

Lenn: See? That's how I feel! there is no rhyme or reason to ever go there for me! I would rather spend my time reading good solid information and data right here on AR than ever go over there to look for ego-blather!

Bruce: I think they are being used as "internet cafes" because to my knowledge, that is what people go there for in almost every case in todays world! We have a brand new library here in Southampton that is easily the size of a football stadium!....But 11mil  is a very expensive "cafe"

Mar 18, 2013 04:40 AM #16
Rainmaker
2,312,842
Joe Petrowsky
Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709 - Manchester, CT
Your Mortgage Consultant for Life

If you would have told me two years ago that I would be blogging, I would told you, that you are crazy. 100% of my practices comes from referral, but I now see that the internet is a referral partner.

Mar 18, 2013 09:41 AM #17
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Joe: You bet it is! That, by the way is a good way to look at it: The internet IS our partner whether it is for referral or a direct connection with a seller/ buyer. I too have to say that if someone told me that I would be doing this as a regular part of my business, a mighty big part of it, I would have told you that you are nuts!!! Actually, I have no problem with having a silent partner and I will make every effort to make it work!

Mar 18, 2013 10:46 AM #18
Rainmaker
1,304,554
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

Hi Paula and you are so right, while the internet is changing things more rapidly than ever we are having the time of our life with our niche.

Mar 18, 2013 02:15 PM #19
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Joe: That's a good thing! The internet is the key to local marketing---we hold the reins on the whole localism thing if we tell the publc what we know about our locale...it is magical that when you take the time to cponvey what you love so much about your environment you open yourself up tomore business--What a wonderful way to work!

Mar 19, 2013 06:25 AM #20
Rainer
405,683
Brad MacKenzie
Brad MacKenzie - Duxbury, MA
Turning Houses into Homes on the South Shore

Such good observations, and such great feedback! My two cents are that focusing on the positive and what works is essential to making your participation worthwhile and to avoiding the multiple distractions that assault us every hour.  Thanks!

Mar 20, 2013 12:27 AM #21
Rainmaker
500,719
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons

Brad: I just took your mention of "focus on the postive" and re-wrote this post in that vein! Perhaps the negative connotation of the bad and indifferent put people off! Many readers and views but not many clicks or comments so we will see if that new post gets it across! Thank you for the suggestion...

Mar 20, 2013 02:15 AM #22
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Rainmaker
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Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA

...A Local Expert in all The Hamptons
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