We have seen a big shift in the way that small businesses and large multi-million dollar corporations are marketing their products. There has been a big move in where these companies allocate their budget for marketing and there is a definite reason as to why this is happening. The internet and social media are making a change in the way that we market products and services.
In the past, most Realtors would use print marketing as the way that they effectively communicated with their markets. The real estate agents would send their flyers to homes that they ‘farmed’ as well as placing ads in the local newspapers, magazines, and real estate relevant publications. Many Realtors still do this but the question is ‘does this form of marketing really work?’.
When we analyze the way that Realtors use print marketing we can see that most of it are in place to keep the sellers ‘happy’. This is a tool that real estate agents will use to justify the work that they are doing on their client’s behalf and being able to demonstrate the print ads and the direct marketing they are doing for them is one way of showing the added value to the process. So, in many respects, these adverts have dual purposes. Firstly the ads prove worth the clients and secondly they are there to sell the houses right? Well no actually, the advert’s second purpose is to publicize the Realtor.
Many real estate agents will use this form of advertising to show off what they are selling in the hope that they can attract other sellers of similar properties to list with them. This does not necessarily serve the client well but it is a form of marketing that Realtors use that may work for them. There is also a lot of egos involved in this form of marketing. Many real estate agents will want to ‘keep up with the Jones’ as their competition is placing ads and ‘so should I’, is the attitude.
NAR or the National Association of Realtors did some research in 2008 and their findings were that less than one percent of home buyers found their new home through a real estate magazine advert. The percentage increases somewhat when it comes to newspapers but this is still a very low figure. So, where are buyers finding out about properties if it is not from the newspaper adverts and the magazine ads?
Online the internet World Wide Web! It is proven that over 90 percent of real estate buyers start their searching process online on the internet. The anonymity of the process and the convenience of going online and window shopping for a new home whilst at home or at work is where all the action starts. Buyers can view multiple homes in a matter of minutes and can view up to 20 images per home.
This is far more advanced than print media and far less expensive for the agents to advertise. So for real estate agents who are reading this please make sure that your pictures are of great quality and demonstrate the property to the best. Bad pictures will put off most buyers. Let’s face it why would anyone want to view a property that looks awful in the pictures? The internet enables street views, walk scores, birds’ eye views and comments and suggestions on the properties. You can even get some directions on how to get to the property from where you are located.
So, if you hire an agent to work for you where you would like to see them advertise your property the most? Is it now competitive for agents to show the little boxy pictures of the client’s house being advertised in the local paper? Is it competitive to show how much junk mail you are sending around with the client’s home splashed all over it? No is the answer. I would suggest that agents now focus on what they are doing online to market their client’s homes.
It is now a primarily online business. If you as a real estate agent can’t get that bit right then you are devaluing the whole profession. It will not be long before people realize that they could market their own homes for sale on the internet way better than most real estate agents…at a fraction of the cost of paying out real estate fees. So come on Realtor’s time to show your value.