Marketing thoughts, in this fast disappearing "hybrid moment"....

By
Real Estate Broker Owner with Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)

Very interesting statistics coming in, now, re the impact of the internet on the real estate industry.

In one recent survey, done by the National Association of Realtors and Baylor University School of Business, in the U.S., it charted where buyers found the home they purchased:

* 34% from Real Estate Agent.

* 32% Internet.

* 15% yard signs.

* 7% Friend, relative or neighbour.

* Less than 1% from Home Books and Magazines.

In the same survey, when buyers and sellers were queried as to how they chose their Realtor, only 4% were chosen because of their company affiliation.

I find the above statistics to be very interesting, indeed, and to support what I first noted a good three years ago. Affiliation with a name brand franchise model no longer delivers on the referral option that was once an essential part of that "big box" name.

With the internet, the buyer doesn't pop by a franchise office in Toronto, say, and ask to be referred to a Salt Spring realtor. It's rare that this would happen, today, and yet 10 to 15 years ago that was a vital part of such a franchise option.

With the internet, the buyer is searching out areas / realtors/ inventory on Google or some other search engine, and they do this for a substantial time before deciding "where" to look more indepth, and "who" to call to do so. The contact comes directly from the internet, and the contact for this buyer might simply be the realtor who has the last listing that caught the buyer's eye. Company affiliation, then, has become unimportant. Even realtor "name" becomes less important. It's about the listing information that captured the attention. Brand loyalty, to either a company or a well-known realtor, is evaporating.

In a city environment, yard signs might play a role in being discovered. Not so useful in a secondary home/discretionary marketplace, though, unless the sign is "up" during the "season". July/August/September could be seen as Salt Spring & the Southern Gulf Islands "season", where signage might attract a potential buyer's interest, while they're "on Island". Otherwise, the sign sits for a lengthy time, and only the "locals" are driving by it.

With only 1% of buyers coming off Home Books and Magazines, where does that leave the Driftwood supplement, our main print publication? It might catch a few "looks" in the "season" -- someone popping off a boat, at the marina, and picking up the real estate supplement, or catching the ferry to a Gulf Island, and viewing property options en route, but in the "off season", no one would see this publication, except the "locals". It doesnt' "bring" a buyer, then, for most of the calendar year.

The car industry, the stock market side of investing, the book business...the internet changed all of these businesses, severely, at an earlier point in time. It's now the turn of the real estate industry.

Even the mls system is not as valid a medium of information as one would hope for. The data input sheet used for all areas are too uniform. If there's one thing the internet is teaching us all, it's the ability to be "niched". In one Board, recently, they stuck a private island listing in an area that was a good 3 hours away, geographically, just because they didn't want to create a "slot" for this one-off Island. Was that good service for a seller, a buyer, a listing agent, a buyer's agent? I don't think so! Surely, in today's digital world, it would only have been a couple of mouse clicks, to "get it right"????

So, if we're in the middle of a serious shift, in how real estate is "being done", for the benefit of the two parties to any transaction (that's the seller and the buyer), what is the way for a realtor to significantly "market" a property? And how can that be made to work for a secondary home/discretionary marketplace, where the buyer isn't "local"?

Big questions! Needing answers....

Your thoughts are always welcome!

liread33@gmail.com

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Topic:
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Rainer
31,865
Scott Benson
Geneva Real Estate and Finance

I think the internet will continue to drive traffic for our industry.  Referrals will always be important as well as social contacts that we leverage for business.

October 19, 2009 07:10 PM
Rainmaker
1,091,124
Li Read
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring)

Absolutely.   The ways of communicating with the consumer may shift/change, but the solid "good business practices"/knowledge always remain as a constant.   We are a service industry.

October 20, 2009 12:19 PM
Rainer
36,008
Joseph Welusz
QuoteMatcher.com

It is still important to place ads in mags.  People might not find the house they are looking for there but many find there realtor through other listings through the mags.

under 1% most likely doesn't look at the correlation between how a realtor is selected and the home they buy

October 23, 2009 12:37 PM
Rainmaker
530,138
Ginger Harper
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent!
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage

Thanks for such a great post.  As would be, other shared good ideas too.

Ginger

October 23, 2009 08:44 PM
Rainmaker
872,992
Adrian Willanger
Profit from my two decades of experience
206 909-7536 TheHomeFunnel.com

Li, I thought I would go back from 2012 and look how marketing has changed, thanks for postings this. You make some excellent relevant points. 

 

Best, Adrian

July 12, 2012 11:13 AM
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Rainmaker
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Li Read

Caring expertise...knowledge for you!
Call me for Salt Spring Island real estate!
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Additional Information

real estate, b.c. real estate, salt spring island real estate, Canadian real estate, luxury real estate, waterfront specialist, private islands specialist, estate style properties, secondary home marketplace, active rain, Li at Sea to Sky Premier Properties, Mayne Island, Galiano Island, Pender Islands, Saturna Island, Salt Spring Island, southern Vancouver Island.