Heres a very informative post from my Twitter Buddy Clint at Real Estate Client Referrals, If you haven't checked out their services you should. They actually qualify the Leads before they send them to you.
The world needs another blog about how important it is for agents to build and maintain a positive social media presence like Eskimos need ice.
But, I'm a big fan of technology. I figure anything that is out there that can help me do my job better, more efficiently, and with less effort on my behalf has to be a good thing. Plus, I'm a numbers junkie. Numbers and statistics to me are undeniable proof that certain truths exist.
And, I guess I'm not the only one that feels that way.
The 2008 Use of Technology Survey tracks the current trends in technology. The survey is conducted in the 3rd quarter annually and is sponsored by the California Association of Realtors. For the purpose of the survey, agents are asked about everything from computers to phone and internet usage.
Some of the statistics that I read don't really surprise me. For example, according to the survey, 93% of Realtors use email, 90% use the internet to check online listings, 89% use the net to check the local MLS, 59% use it to access brokerage websites, and 55% of users access the WINForms electronic forms online. But, aside from those, here is a stack of statistics that I read that stood out....
- On average, 48% of a Realtor's business originated on the internet in 2008! That is up from 44% last year. This is expected to increase to as high as 60% in the next 3 years! (If you ever needed a reason to start working in social media and getting your name out there for clients to see...Here it is!)
- On average, 33% of agents use a laptop or tablet computer in the field. Again, that is up from 27% from last year further proving that agents are taking advantage of the technological advances to help in both presentations and closings. 70% of those that use a laptop in the field use it for listing presentations. That alone is up from 2007 by roughly 13%.
- As a sign of the struggling economic issues associated with housing currently, only 13% of agents bought a new computer in 2008. That is down from 20% the year before. (This does not surprise me in the least...everyone has had to cinch the belt down a bit...)
- 58% say that keeping up with emails is the greatest technological challenge. (I spend probably 3 hours of my day just responding to or generating emails. So, I would have to agree with this.)
- 11% say that they send their clients an electronic newsletter via email. (I'm surprised that this is as low as it is...maybe that is because I work for an internet company and literally everything we do is online. Maybe I'm desensitized...)
- 45% honestly believe that the technology that they use gives them a competitive advantage over other agents in the field. (That would explain increase in people using it. If you weren't using it before and were getting clobbered in the field, you would want to use it now. Makes perfect sense...)
- And, the kicker ---- ONLY 7% of agents that responded to the survey say that they participate in an online group/forum or post blogs!! (Are you kidding me?? I don't know why I'm surprised at this statistic...but only 7%?? That means I'm ahead of the curve by 93%!!)
Now, I don't know about you, but some of these statistics are just incredible to me.
But, even more incredible to me are the statistics that were quoted in the 2009 Social Media Marketing & PR Benchmark Guide published by the Marketing Sherpa. This marketing survey is taken annually to measure the power of social media with reference to companies big and small across the country and globally.
- 76% of the companies surveyed agree that social media is dramatically changing the way that companies communicate with potential and existing customers. (The practice of marketing and communicating with customers isn't dead...but, it is changing!)
- 48% of companies that were surveyed all plan on INCREASING budgets with regard to online marketing and social media.
- By the same token, the same businesses in this survey are all planning a decrease in spending in "traditional" forms of marketing
- 22% are decreasing spending on telemarketing
- 52% are decreasing on direct mailings
- 57% are decreasing on events such as trade shows
- 60% are spending less money on print media
- 83% are decreasing spending on radio or TV ads
And, the most impressive statistics of all...
- 94% of the companies agreed that social media can directly influence the reputation of a company's brand in the eyes of it's potential customers.
- 91% agreed that it is effective in ensuring brand awareness.
- 87% agreed that social media has improved their specific search engine rankings and can increase website traffic.
- When asked what factors were stopping companies from setting up a social media presence, 46% of the companies surveyed claim that there isn't enough knowledgeable staff in place to help support the effort. (Considering the massive number of consultants and "social media gurus" that are out there, I find this number to be a bit off...But, hey, what do I know?)
Now, having said all of that...I fully realize that writing a blog about how important social media is in this market is a lot like giving a firearms demonstration to the NRA...somewhat futile since 99% of the people that will see it believe in it already.
But, as far as I'm concerned, these statistics are convincing enough to make anyone with any form of connective brain tissue realize that having a social media presence isn't optional any longer. It's needed. Not only is it needed, it's mandatory if you plan on keeping up with those around you.
So, start blogging. Join social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, ActiveRain, and Twitter. Get your name and your face out there as much as humanly possible.
Times change; markets change. And, with those changes, adaptations must be made by those that intend to survive. In this internet-ruled world, social media is now king. You can either adapt to that change...or be overcome by those that do -- Your choice.