History & Evolution of Real Estate Marketing
Broker Centric: Â Until mid 80â€™s marketing real estate was considered â€œBroker Centricâ€. Â Â MLS was published in books, distributed weekly. Consumers found agents & real estate via open houses, newspaper ads, yard signs. Â It was advantageous for the consumer to partner up with the brokers who had access to the most listings!
Agent Centric: Â From the mid 80â€™s to the early 2000â€™s, brokerages evolved to giving their salespeople more freedom with individual advertising and real estate marketing became â€œagent centricâ€. Â Pictures began to appear on business cards, names appeared on yard signs and riders, postcards and agent centric neighborhood mailings became common. Â Agents even began to delve into the internet in the mid 90s as AOL dial up became popular. Â Consumers found their agents from their “neighborhood expert” mailings & word of mouth. Â It was all about hiring the “biggest, baddest and bestestestestest”.
Consumer Centric: Â From the early 2000â€™s the internet was all the rage. Real Estate blogging became popular and agents began to â€œhand out the goodiesâ€ instead of requiring registration for â€œseller reportsâ€. Â Consumers can find an abundance of home buyer & seller guides on the internet for free.
Consumers have been empowered with the rise of the internet and social media sites such as facebook. Â They no longer buy into the old sales trick of â€œhere are three houses that match your criteria pick one and letâ€™s write an offer.â€ Â They know there is more out there! Â They can see through the self-proclaimed “expert” phrases that agents have bestowed upon themselves.
They want more!
Why should a consumer use a real estate agent if they have all this information at their fingertips?
Also with all that information comes confusion and misinformation. Â Las Vegas real estate home buyers and sellers come to me â€œknowing it allâ€ because they read blogs and see listings on the internet. Â Unfortunately my objections arenâ€™t regular â€œmaybe I donâ€™t want to buy a house right now objectionâ€ but they are objections from misinformation found on the internet such as â€œI see lots of homes for $20,000!â€ Â Problem is that they “see” the homes listed for $20,000 but they don’t realize how many buyers are in that pool or that the home may have multiple offers with the prices driven up or that there are some serious structural issues to the home.
Recently I had one caller that said â€œI did all the work, my agent probably put only two hours into it!â€
Real estate escrows coupled with complicated transactions like short sales and REO (bank owned, foreclosure) take an abundance of time and expertise to complete. Â Setting up on an MLS search and showing homes is the easy part. Â Negotiating, managing a transaction, knowing what will fly and re-negotiating a transaction when lender required repairs or a low appraisal comes in is the difficult part and the behind the scenes that takes up a lot of hours.
In today’s world of internet confusion for the consumer – they need a real estate agent who has knowledge, experience & expertise to get the job done! Â It is no longer about who holds the most listings, who works for the largest brokerage, who is the “neighborhood expert”. Â IDX (or broker reciprocity) has neutralized the ground for ALL agents & brokers to work on an even playing field. Â For motivated buyers it should be about interviewing agents to find out who is the most capable of closing a transaction.
What about sellers? Â They can advertise the home on the internet and give it exposure and find contracts online. Â The problem is, are they allowing qualified buyers in or spending time with looky loos or allowing a burglar to case their home? Â I can’t speak for all Las Vegas real estate agents but I take the time to make sure my buyers are qualified because I don’t like my time wasted (as well as any seller whose home I may show.)
The next issue at hand for a FSBO seller is dealing with an escrow. Â Do you know about your due dilgence regarding disclosures mandated by law? We have a seller’s real property disclosure, energy consumption form, HOA resale information that needs to be ordered (and MORE!)
What do I do that keeps me ahead of the curve for home sellers in a consumer centric marketing atmosphere to give your home the highest amount of exposure?
â€¢ Targeted facebook ads
â€¢ Facebook business page
â€¢ Facebook personal page
â€¢ Blog advertising (personal, active rain, trulia, realtor.com, merchant circle + syndication to many many others)
â€¢ Vflyer (virtual flyer) and Point 2 Agent Syndication to all the biggies: Trulia, Zillow so on and so forth!
â€¢ IDX optimized MLS integration â€“ which has neutralized the small independent brokers and the large franchises
I also have an abundance of pricing experience – working BPOs for the banks since 2007. Â I hate the idea of sellers pricing it too high (holding costs can hurt) and pricing it too low (leaving money on the table.) Â Where is a FSBOÂ Las Vegas seller to find their pricing? Â They mostly find it at online estimators that pull their information from tax records. Â It doesn’t include human adjustments for discrepancies between the properties and MAY include trustee sales – aka “foreclosure auctions” – which are not traditional sales and can really screw up values in a neighborhood. Â In a Â nutshell I pride myself on pricing with the timeless cliche “to sell your home quickly for the most amount of money” – and I have the pricing experience to back it up!
Ultimate you – the consumer – is empowered with an abundance of information these days. Â You make the ultimate decision on whom you may hire and if you will hire someone.
Where is the future heading for real estate marketing in my profession?
I believe the internet will continue to evolve quicker than ever. Â I believe that consumers will become more empowered and spot & resist hard core sales tactics. Â I do believe my profession may become more consultation oriented and up front fees may be charged for services rather than the traditional commission based percentage models paid by the sellers.
Wherever we are going, I am having fun along the way & trying to stay on top of all the changes to better serve my clients 🙂
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