Real Estate and the technological world…

By
Home Stager with Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana

Real estate and the technological world are like peas and carrots, they just go together. We live in a world of MLS photos, virtual tours, Internet directories, press releases, and article submissions.  It's entirely feasible for a buyer to see every room of a home, in high quality vivid color, from the comfort of their own home, a coffee shop, an airport thousands of miles away or just about anywhere they can get an Internet connection.  I recently read that as high as 86% of home shoppers will view available homes as well as find their Realtor on the Internet.

mouse

As a result of this surge in Internet use, many new real estate professionals are relying on the technological highway to improve their services.  The successful sale of your listings will depend on how good you are at digitizing, synthesizing and electronically marketing yourself and your client's homes.  Curb appeal is no longer the view you get from your 1995 Chevy windows while driving down the street, instead it is the view you get of a home from digital photos shown on your computer screen.  Finding a Realtor or Home Stager is not a matter of checking with who your friends used in the past, it's a matter of who comes up first when the phrase "Real Estate Agent, Indianapolis" is typed into your favorite search engine.  And even when you come up high in the results of a search, Internet users have learned that they can quickly check the multitude of claims made by eager, computer savvy business men and women, marketing themselves and their businesses. 

As a buyer using today's technology, I can quickly set the price range I want to pay and the area I want to live in and in seconds view every home that meets my criteria.  From that starting point I can start comparing and eliminating with-in seconds.  A home looks to be priced too high compared to others in this same price range and many others look better, well, it will not make their must see list. If your home looks dark and dated and your photos are dark, blurred and just plain horrible looking well, again you're not even in the running.  No photos, well that's just not good at all.  In much less time than it would take to physically visit just one property, I can view every home meeting my criteria and choose the winners. The National Association of Realtors even claims that homes with more and better photos are viewed exponentially more than those with a few or no photos.  Also, it only makes sense that clients require the Realtors and Stagers that they work with are those that are technologically savvy.  I am hearing from many experienced Realtors that their business has and continues to diminish as time goes by.  These are agents that built their lively-hood on referrals.  First year, 10 clients.  Those 10 clients told 20 more and on and on.  So what happened to their ever-dependable pyramid math?  The Internet happened.  Once again, a client can find an agent on the Internet quicker than it takes to make a phone call to a friend for a referral.  The business diminished because the math just didn't add up any more. 

E-mail is also part of the changing technological landscape.  E-mail has now grown to the point of being the communication tool of choice.  We can instantly communicate with anyone, anywhere around the world.  We can send our clients quotes, contracts, updates, inspection reports, offers, counter offers and even closing statements.  And it can be done instantaneously and as sharp as the original. 

My how things have changed!  I struggled at age 38 to learn and become proficient at using a computer.  As time went by I also struggled at becoming proficient at using the Internet.  My son learned about computers at age 12 and easily moved into the whole Internet thing at about 18.  Today my 10-year-old granddaughter can do a search and locate every home for sale in my community.  My how things have changed indeed!

Moral of story; you have to diversify your services and your techniques in making a connection in today's real estate world.  You no longer can just write pretty words to describe a property you have to prove it in your photos.  Price, Condition and Presentation.  We can help you with those last two!

Linda & Gary Barnett

computers

Home Matters, llc is a professional home staging company serving all of the Indianapolis, Indiana Metropolitan area. Helping real estate professionals, home sellers, builders and investors with their home staging needs. For more information regarding our services, please contact us at 317-797-4885 or visit us on the web. http://www.homemattersllc.com/

 

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Home Matters is a home staging company that offers services for both occupied and vacant homes. We work with all budgets and have received Angie's list highest rating for the past three years. Visit Home Matters website for more information.

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Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Virginia;  You're absolutely right.  But even with technology, the bottom line is always use what works. 

Aug 05, 2008 10:38 AM #2
Rainmaker
133,462
Teresa Meyer
Cincinnati Home Stager - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati-OH.

Linda: Excellent post! I know I am constantly spending hours upon hours learning new things via internet.  I am fasinated by the ever changing web!

Great points in regards to the declining business of some of the agents.  I have one agent I work with (she's my best client) and she's been in the business for 30 yrs. She is one savvy lady...using a stager and professional photographer every time and her business is BOOMING!  She's smart enough not to rely on her referrals only.

Good seeing you in the rain Linda!!  I love reading your wisdom...just wish we were closer! :)

Aug 05, 2008 12:56 PM #3
Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Teresa;

Hey there!  Glad you commented.  Keeping up with the internet and all that it offers in potential educational and marketingopportunities is hard work indeed.  But I am very fasinated with the "what's next" approach to our business and how the internet plays a huge role in that.

By the way, Indianapolis is only a two hour drive away.  If you were any closer, you'd be my competitor.  Ha! Ha!

 

Aug 05, 2008 02:56 PM #4
Rainmaker
271,173
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Great post!  I am very technically challenged and I have a vision problem-so it is hard to keep up.  I feel like the internet is changing so quickly-like leap years at a time.  Thank goodness for good mentors and classes and great people on AR! 

Aug 05, 2008 03:37 PM #5
Rainer
17,576
Debbie Wheeler
Real Estate Staging/Rooms Rearranged, LLC - Chandler, AZ
Chandler, AZ Rooms Rearranged RESA, IRIS

Linda - You are so right.  My business partner is my sister - she is 66 years old but you would NEVER guess that - she is definitely a very young 66 year old and is in better shape than I.  BUT - she has nothing to do with the Internet or computers.  The marketing is up to me.  I struggle.... but everyday I learn something new and I get excited to learn more.  It's an uphill battle but I'm willing to try to take it on.  I'm 53 and it does not come easy.  But nothing that is worthwild usually is.  I love AR for sharing so much.  I know without a doubt that those who don't jump in with both feet will lose in the long run.

Aug 05, 2008 03:55 PM #6
Rainer
342,733
Anthea Click
Fresh Perspectives - www.InsideNashvilleHomes.com - Franklin, TN
Nashville Home Stager - Selling Nashville, TN homes quickly!

Linda,

Fantastic post! The X and Y generations are all using this technology and in order for us to communicate with them we must speak their language.

Aug 05, 2008 04:02 PM #7
Rainmaker
492,166
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Excellent post, Linda.  It's so important that we stay abreast of the technology and use it.  Just as they predicted, the internet is the super highway of technology and we need to ensure we're leveraging it.

Kathy

Aug 05, 2008 11:59 PM #8
Rainer
6,796
Holly Sirois
Sold on Staging - Atlanta, GA
Home Stager - Atlanta

Hi Linda- Such a good and timely post. I've designated August as my "Get Up to Speed on Internet Technology and Marketing" Month. Guess I won't be laying by the pool reading romance novels this summer!

Aug 06, 2008 04:53 AM #9
Ambassador
524,894
Cindy Marchant
Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 www.marchantteam.com - Carmel, IN
"Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate

Hi fellow Indy professional!  I still get quite a few referrals because I think the relationship still matters.  You are probably right that many people search the internet rather than ask someone though.  I am desparately trying to organically grow my placement on some of those search engines, but it is a slow process.  With AR and a blog of my own, it is actually fun (on most days) because of all you get to read and learn from other rainers.

Aug 06, 2008 01:03 PM #10
Rainmaker
290,629
Kathleen Lordbock
Keller Williams Realty Professionals - Baxter, MN
Keller Williams Realty Professionals

Those who do not keep up will be left behind - sad but true.

Times have changed and staging is the way to present your property to the world.

Great post Linda!

Aug 06, 2008 04:04 PM #11
Rainmaker
305,778
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

This is so true Linda and Real Estate Professionals really need to embrace this. 

I read one post by a Realtor  a while back who said something to the effect of "technology was losing him sales" because basically, what I took away was that buyers were seeing the properties online and wouldn't go to them if they didn't like what they saw - well, DUH! You can't just post lousy photos online and expect buyers to want to come visit. Or not post anything but the front of the house and expect buyers to come. They are being E-VITED to your property via the internet now...oh I see a blog coming on for me now ;-)

Thanks for posting this !

Aug 07, 2008 12:34 AM #12
Rainmaker
181,995
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

Hi Linda and Gary! It's all about the photo's -- the Internet has become the first impression -- the physical showing is now the second impression.

 

Aug 07, 2008 11:49 PM #13
Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Cathy;  Absolutely, AR and any other means to keep on learning is the way to go.  Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Debbie;  We all have to jump into the net sooner or later.  Thanks for your comments.

Anthea;  You are absolutely right.  I often feel I need a translator just to understand the internet lanuage. 

Aug 09, 2008 02:42 PM #14
Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Kathy; You're so right.  I wish there was an instruction manual for leveraging it.  Thanks for stopping by.

Holy;  Hey if you have a lap top, sit by the pool and still achieve your "get up to speed" marketing research.

Hey there Cindy in Indy;  Love that marketing line.  Personal referrals will always be mainstream but to keep up with the pace of marketing yourself, its another way to be seen.  Let's do coffee sometime.

Aug 09, 2008 02:51 PM #15
Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Kathleen;  More and more homes are being shown on line.  That's should be a sign that's where you'll find on top of it real estate professionals.

Karen:  There's no doubt in my mind that you will WRITE a great blog on this subject.  You're absolutely right ~ staging = great photos= more buyer interest= more showings= more offers= SOLD= HAPPY REALTORS AND HOME SELLERS....

Karen:  You sing a great song... All so true... If you show them what they want to buy in the photos, you just doubled your chances of them coming to visit. 

Aug 09, 2008 03:06 PM #16
Rainmaker
71,781
Gary Barnett
Home Matters - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis

Hey, you made Kimberly's week in review list.

Aug 11, 2008 02:31 AM #17
Rainmaker
143,647
Michelle Pimentel
Empire Home Staging Solutions - Upland, CA
ASP, IAHSP Empire Home Staging

Linda,

Great post!  Its amazing how fast everything has changed in the way we market our business today. The internet has truly brought this generation to new heights.  Thank goodness for our kids, they are so tech savvy! Whenever I get computer challenged, they are right there to teach me a new trick! :)

Aug 17, 2008 05:55 AM #18
Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Michelle;  If we can only keep up with the changes.  Thanks for stopping by and aren't we happy that those younger can show us a thing or two.  I need there assistance as much as I can get it too.

Aug 17, 2008 02:21 PM #19
Anonymous
Cheree Scott

Very nice articleand the concept is also good

Dec 25, 2012 03:24 PM #20
Rainmaker
779,015
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

Linda,

Great post from the past, according to NAR the figure is now at 90% who start their search online.

Dec 25, 2012 03:43 PM #21
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Linda Barnett

Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana
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