The next generation and how they communicate.

By
Real Estate Agent with Realty Professionals, Inc.

I have been doing some research on technology and how to get your message out there.  One of the areas I was looking into was the high school to college age.  These are our future customers/clients and possibly competition in the business.  I have read in many resources that if you do not get into today's technology, you will be left behind and might as well close your doors.  I have heard and read that 85-87% of all people looking for houses start on the internet.  WOW!  that is alot.  The rest of the group probably already has an agent. 

I have seen more and more prospect contact me through e-mail and Yahoo IM that I have on the front page of my website.  As a matter of fact, I had three closings last year that I didn't meet the buyer until the day of closing.  All of our communication was completed through e-mail.  I utilize my desktop scanner that scans 15 pages per minute, full color, both sides, to scan all documents into a pdf file where it can be sent over e-mail and we can talk about it over the phone or by e-mail.  I have even created a webpage on one of the properties I was showing them with about 70 pictures so they could see what they were looking at.  I did a land transaction last year that I never meet the buyer or seller.  The buyer used a Trust Officer from his bank that came to the closing and I meet her but I was able to provide all documents and a clear detail about the property and it worked great.

The younger generation says they block pop-ups, using web browsers to block advertisements and don't watch tv and if they do watch a tv program, they tivo (or equivalent) it and skip the commercials when they do watch it.  OK, if this is true, how do we market to them? 

They love text messaging also.  I just received my cell bill and my son that is a Senior in college had 9,114, my daughter that is a Freshman in college had 14,785 text messages and my youngest daughter that is a Junior in high school had 3,969 text messages.  This is the way they like to communicate, even with mom and dad.  My wife had 911 texts and I had a whopping 410 text messages.  Look who is behind. 

I am on our technology committee for our Board of Realtors and we commented that we like text messages.  Sometimes we can't pick up the phone when it rings but we can send a text message.  It is great to communicate with other agents on follow ups, scheduling a showing etc...  You can quickly send a text "How was the showing" and they can quickly respond "It is one of their favorites" you don't have to say Hi!, hows the weather, the grandkids etc..  Texting allows you to get to the point and be done.  Don't be afraid of texting!  One BIG thing to keep in mind though, don't add emotion to the message.  It is easy to make something out of something that is not there.  ALSO, NEVER USE ALL CAPS IN TEXTING, IT IS EQUIVALENT TO YELLING.

Please give some of your ideas on how you are expanding your marketing to catch this younger generation.

My name is Larry DeGroat and I am a Realtor in Searcy, Arkansas and I sell new homes, existing homes, commercial property, farms and land as well as manage and own rental properties. If you are looking for real estate for an investment or a home, I will be glad to assist you! You can call my personal cell number at 501-278-7659 or e-mail me at Larry@Searcy4Sale.com. Visit my website at http://www.searcy4sale.com if you are looking for Searcy homes for sale or other areas.

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Rainmaking - Internet Marketing Strategies
Realtors®
Realtors for All Seasons
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Rainer
81,231
David Width Jr.
Coldwell Banker Red Top Realty

I think you are on the right track Larry. Being available at every turn is key in today's market, especially with the younger generation being the " I want it and I want it now " generstion. Things like the widgets text messaging that I have on my website and you have here are great tools.

February 24, 2009 11:20 AM
Rainmaker
713,144
Barbara S. Duncan
CRS, GRI, e-PRO, Searcy AR
RE/MAX Advantage

Hey, Larry, I'm gonna text you and tell you I liked this blog!!  It really is a good one with great information!  I'm gonna flag it for a feature.

February 24, 2009 01:24 PM
Rainmaker
67,094
Walter Grewe III
Realtor, SFR, A-REO, Roanoke Homes and Real Estate
Long and Foster Realtors

Larry,

Facebook is an awesome tool for networking and reaching the next generation of home buyers. My partner and I created a fan group for our team and we put all of our listings, virtual tours, etc. I even copy my blog posts to it.

TThose text message numbers, where they for a month?

February 24, 2009 08:06 PM
Rainer
5,126
Macy Harney
GRI, ABR
Loomis Real Estate

Even the younger kids are into texting.  My son is 11 and he does quite a bit of testing.  I can't wait to see the technology when he is of college age.  You definitely have to stay connected in this ever changing market.  Great post!

February 25, 2009 08:39 AM
Anonymous #5
Anonymous
Anonymous

Larry,

Great post and you are so good at technology!  I think you are right on the future of real estate.

February 25, 2009 08:51 AM
Rainmaker
107,847
Tinker Hulsey
Century 21 Wright-Pace Real Estate
Century 21 Wright-Pace Real Estate

Larry,

Great post!! You are right about the text, but I do feel our younger generation is missing out on alot of social people skills. There is just something to me to be able to hear a voice or see a smile...texting doesnt do that.

            Tinker

February 25, 2009 11:27 AM
Rainer
13,787
Hugo Torres
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

I applaud you for reaching back to such a younger demographic in order to forecast how our industry will need evolve in the years to come in order to service these tech savvier customers.

One of the challenges that I have for myself, is that I read and listen to Tech experts outside the Real Estate industry. The reason for that is that I like to keep abreast of what is to come and how I can start shifting towards that.

For example, I was amongst the first few to have MySpace pages geared towards technology.  Then, amongst our Tech sphere, we discussed Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and how they were quickly becoming more relevant to our industry.

So quickly, I began to focus my agent's attention to these sites.

Also, I have recently posted that blogs are becoming the standard mode of advertising for many Web 2.0 agents and are replacing clunky templated websites. Again, this came about from opinions from my fave Tech Guy Leo Laporte.

All in all, its a matter of getting out there and experimenting with the latest and greatest and being part of forums like this where you can share and gain insight.

Great post.

February 25, 2009 12:41 PM
Rainmaker
175,248
Rebecca Levinson, Real Estate Marketing and Online Advertising Consultant
Real Skillz-Clear Marketing for Your Real Estate Vision

Larry,

Consumers need to be reached on their convenience level and it has to be that we are careful not to leave part of a buying generation out because we are trying to cater to youth.  It is true they are generally more comfortable with technology, but it's important to face your market and listen to what they want also.  I use the most technology in my family and I am the oldest.  So the youngest in my family is 21.

February 26, 2009 01:16 PM
Anonymous
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Rainer
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Larry DeGroat

ABR, CRS, e-PRO, GRI in Searcy
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