It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Or Even Your Mother’s Real Estate Business Anymore.

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After being out of the Real Estate business for 30 years, I began to wonder if Real Estate Marketing Strategies Had Changed Dramatically..

Throughout the ages, Real Estate transactions have been taking place around the globe. How these transactions are brought to market has changed dramatically, especially over the last 5-8 years.

What I found out is that Real Estate Marketing Strategies had changed so much if that I was to attempt to be successful in today’s environment using the Post Sign and Print Ads approach, I would probably starve. Yes, I would starve. Let’s look at the strategies that work today, and see what I found out…

As quickly as the “Post Sign & Newspaper Ad” era moved on the “Digital” age began. I wouldn’t say that the put a post sing up, put in the Multiple Listing Service and wait for drive-by’s left us that quickly. However, it is officially over and a new Marketing strategy has moved into its place.

Digital is now king. Or should I say the internet., But it’s not all just “The Internet” it’s more the fact that the internet is the way we consume our information. Even real estate. In the ’80s when I was an agent personal computers and the delivery over what was once an extremely slow and really useless process was on the rise.

You would have a phone line much like your fax line that would connect you to what was the beginning stages of the modern-day internet. You could access very little information, and it took forever. It was a vision that one day we would conduct real estate right over this box. Many of my fellow agents would say that I was crazy. But I was in my very early 20’s and like many twenty-somethings, I had seen the future.

Times Did Change The Business

But were we ready? I’m really sure. I stepped out of the real estate business in the early ’90s and sought a career in financial services. The financial services were under the same pressures. Change how our business was conducted or die. The industry was slow to adapt, but we did. The real estate industry was no different.

So where are we today? In many respects, neither industry has changed as much as many. However, we had moved in a very positive direction. The one aspect of the business that has changed to the detriment of many industries is that the internet has depersonalized transactions. Those that have embraced technology as a tool and remained a consultant that still offers a “Personal Touch” are those that are the most successful.

So where are you? Have you embraced the digital age, or still thinking about it?

The National Association of Realtors reports the following: In 1981, 22 percent of home buyers read newspaper ads to find a home and eight percent used friends as an information source. In 2018, 44 percent looked for properties online first.

Also in 1981, the top way to find an agent was through friends, relatives or neighbors. In 2018, buyers worked with an agent 87 percent of the time to find their home, so trust in a REALTOR® is still king. While the initial process may start online, homebuyers turn to the advice from a trusted real estate agent. The difference is that home buyers are entering the process more educated about the market before they speak to a home seller or an agent.

The Life Cycle of a Real Estate Buyer

How do home buyers find there next home? The typical buyer used a mobile device to search for properties online. they looked at websites with photos, home listings, and information about the home buying process. They then contacted an agent and visited a median of 10 homes over 10 weeks again in 2018 before purchasing a home.

Based on the National Association of Realtors The typical home buyers was 46 years old, married without children living at home, and has a median income of $91,600. How do home buyers find there next home?

The first step that was taken was 44% of all homes were searched online in the median age group. For Millennial’s that number is 99%. Even the BOOMER generation used the internet 48% of the time when taking that initial step in the home buying process.

86% eventually did call a real estate agent while only 46% of shoppers used the old yard sign as a method of finding a new or first home. 76% of all buyers did however use a mobile device when looking for a home.

What’s the value of a website? INVALUABLE

87% Found photos very useful, 85% Found detailed information about properties 87% Found photos very useful, 52% Found floor plans very useful, 46% Found virtual tours very useful ,52% Found floor plans very useful , If you are not using all the digital tools available then you are losing out. Whether you are selling for sale by owner or a representing a client, Digital is King.

Finding the right property was ranked highest among all generations for the MOST DIFFICULT STEP in the home buying process. Interestingly enough the boomer generation found it a far less difficult process that the Millennials. I would say that this stat is merely a case of the older generation has gone through the real estate buying process previously.

The Use Of Tech by Real Estate Firms.

REALTORS® most often prefer to communicate with their clients through email, at 93 percent. As well, 92 percent prefer to communicate through text messaging, and 37 percent through instant messaging.  Over 90 percent of REALTORS® are also using e-mail, laptops/desktops computers, and smartphones daily.

While members are taking advantage of the technology that is available to them, one of the biggest challenges firms are facing in the next two years is keeping up with technology.

With nearly 96% of all REALTOR using email as the main method communication and almost as many using text it stands to reason that prospects are comfortable with these methods of communication. Nearly 94% of all Realtors have some type of property listing(s) on their sites. 53% have some type of calculators on their sites and only 52% have something on their sites that help the buyer through the buying process. Where the Real Estate agent is really lacking in the area of Blog(s). Only 11% of all real estate agents surveyed have a blog.

Social Media Stats.

When it comes to Social Media the numbers are about the same across the board. 70%-72% of all Real Estate Related professionals use some type of social media to promote their business. In 2018 ( When this survey was taken) I would have thought that the numbers would have been higher. Local social media presence should have a more dominant role in the overall strategy.

The Use of Drones in Your Business.

With all the hype about drone technology, it’s hard to say where this will go. However, here are the facts. Typically, REALTORS® do not use drones in their business or office, at 27%. But, 15 percent of REALTORS® plan to use drones in the future. 5 percent of REALTORS® personally use drones, while 23 percent hire a professional, and 17 percent said that someone in their office uses drones.

Virtual Staging and other tech tools.

What is Virtual Staging? Well, think about “Home Staging”, adding furniture and other items into a vacant home so that you can present the property in a way that is more welcoming. Staging also gives your prospective buyer a sense of how their furnishings will fit into space.

Homebuilders have done this for years. You turn the home into a space that can be visualized by home shoppers. In the Virtual Staging arena, you offer the same effect with Virtual furnishings. Here are some stats from the National Association of Realtors.

  • 43% of buyers’ agents cited that home staging had an effect on most buyers’ view of the home.
  • 83% percent of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home.
  • 28% percent of sellers’ agents said they staged all sellers’ homes prior to listing them for sale. Thirteen percent noted that they only staged homes that are difficult to sell.
  • The most common rooms that were staged included the living room (93 %), kitchen (84 %), master bedroom (78 %), and the dining room (72%).

The biggest drawback of Virtual Staging versus traditional staging is that when the buyer arrives to look at the property, the “Virtual Furnishings” will not be there.On the positive Virtual Staging is very affordable and can be done in less than 48 hours.

Let Not Forget about virtual tours.

  • 83% of all home buyers want some type of visuals
  • More than 50% of all home buyers have taken some type of virtual tour.
  • According to the National Association of Realtors properties with virtual tours get 87% more views.
  • virtual tours keep people looking 5 to 10 times longer.

These statistics make it easy to see just how big an impact virtual home tours can have on your business.

Online commerce is booming in all areas, including real estate. Homebuyers want to see virtual tours when looking for real estate properties online. That service will only serve to help you and them in the long run.

  • 83% of all home buyers want some type of visuals
  • More than 50% of all home buyers have taken some type of virtual tour.
  • According to the National Association of Realtors properties with virtual tours get 87% more views.
  • virtual tours keep people looking 5 to 10 times longer.

Most Valuable Technology Tools Used in Business

Most Valuable Technology Tools Used in Business excluding email and cell phone(s)

  • Local MLS website/ app, 64%
  • Lock Box Smart key 39%
  • Social Media Platform 28%
  • Document Creation software 19%
  • Document storage/ transaction management software, 18% Local
  • Camera or Imaging Equipment 16%
  • CRM 14%

Though all these are important, I hope to illustrate that the lower third of our list will quickly be ranked in importance as we move into 2019 and beyond.

In summary, you can see how technology is driving the Real Estate Industry. It starts with digital assets that can help you expand your business into the next decade. In the end, we must adapt to the change. However, the one constant is relationships. There’s no technology that can replace human interaction. The objective is to use the digital age to help bring that relationship to a place where we can maximize our time and grow our business. Paragraph

Continued Success!

Author: Imagestreetsphotos

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