Online Real Estate Marketing Trends
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2013 is here and the real estate market is moving in a upward and positive direction throughout the country. This year we will see some of the most significant progress to date towards the real estate recovery in the overall market. If your not excited about the prospects and challenges for 2013 regardless of what market you’re practicing real estate in, then you need to give me a call ASAP so I can set you straight.
The real estate recovery is going to be long one (predicted at 2 to 3 years) and there are many external factors that even with a crystal ball no one can truly predict how this will all play out. We still have an economy which is virtually flat in terms of GDP and Growth, and there is plenty of uncertainty in the market with the gridlock in Washington DC over spending, taxes, and just about everything else. Despite all of this the housing market is moving forward and will be an important sector to health of the U.S. Economy in 2013.
This is all good news for Realtors, Buyers, and eventually sellers who are looking to regain value in their properties. As the market transitions in 2013, it’s also important to recognize the major changes taking place with how consumers obtain real estate information and how they are now using Realtors in the home buying/selling process. This is a trend we all know has been building up for the past several years as we’ve seen the rise of Zillow & Trulia and other companies like them essentially take the MLS and place it online. The Consumers, who are comprised of both buyers & sellers, of real estate information have spoken and they want access to real estate searches and data on their computers and mobile devices. They want to control when they access this data and they are performing quite a bit of it before they even contact a Real Estate Agent! Furthermore, buyers & sellers continue to collect real estate information online even while they are working with a Realtor.
Many agents working with a buyer right now can relate to this. How many times does a current buyer/client send you a listing they found on Trulia or Realtor.com with their iPad while they were watching American Idol and cooking dinner for their kids the night before? This is not just trend people, this is the way it’s going to be!
On January 7th, 2013, the National Association of Realtors, NAR, in conjunction with Google came out with a joint study on Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate titled, The Digital House Hunt. It’s a great piece of research and it gives real estate professionals some very credible insight into trends that will permanently change the relationship between Realtor and Client. It basically says that Realtor’s are screwed, Zillow is taking it all over, and it’s best you get out of the business now before it’s too late!
Haha, just kidding.
The report is about acknowledging that our clients, the buyers & sellers, want more information and are using it to become better informed. They like doing the homework of studying local markets and searching for properties on their own. Consumers are searching for more than just listings online, they are searching for community information, home buying/selling information, and they are searching for Real Estate Agents online and reading reviews. This presents challenges to an industry of professionals whom just several years ago controlled this data and were essentially the gatekeepers of it.
The internet has changed many industries, it’s changed how business is conducted. More significantly, it’s changed how information is transferred among buyers, sellers and the professionals in the middle. In the real estate market, we are seeing information being delivered directly to consumers and in many cases bypassing the Realtors. This doesn’t mean that Real Estate Agents are doomed, it’s quite the opposite. Even though a consumer can conduct quite a bit of research online for buying or selling a home, the process is still complex. Most buyers and sellers will require a Realtor to guide them through the process. What’s changing is how we will service our clients. Most important is our Value Proposition to them!
The role of a Realtor is evolving to become not just the gatekeeper of MLS Data or the person who puts the sign in the front yard, it’s also to become a valued partner and true consultant to buyers and sellers. Our new role is now focusing more on guiding our clients through process and to provide our full knowledge and experience so that the process goes well. We have to expect that an increasing amount of consumers will have already done a lot of the homework in terms of market availability and pricing. They will have some basic knowledge on the marketing of a property and sellers will want a Solid Marketing Plan from a Realtor. Sellers are going to want an agent to prove why they deserve 2.5% of the sale, and just having the ability to list the property on the MLS is not enough. Buyers, will know the listings and the prices and will expect your really searching for their dream property and not just sending out blindly pulled MLS searches. They are going to want more expertise from agents about community, the market, and the process.
There are probably more opportunities now than ever for Realtors who embrace these trends and adapt their process and marketing to it. Ultimately, this is the reason why it’s so important for Realtor’s to develop their marketing efforts online. Every agent should at least have a foundation for an online footprint.
This is where I come in. You need the training and this is what I supply. You need the updates for what is happening and trending with Online Real Estate Marketing and this is the place where you can get the information. Furthermore, look at the type of training and support your brokerage offers you. Are you getting the property amount of it? If not, why not? Have me come out to your office and train you and your team, prices are not as much as you would think and are truly an investment into your business.
Please let me know what you think of this article and leave a comment below.