Teach Me Something
There has been a lot of reference to how much can be learned if practitioners were to read industry blogs. However recently I’ve noticed that the RE.net has put more emphases on who’s blog is bigger…oops, I mean better. There is seemingly more in-fighting than valuable information in recent days. Therefore, I want to take a reprieve from that pattern.
As I’ve stated before, there are two books I think should be required reading for all practitioners. The first is the Swanepoel Report and the second is the NAR profile of Buyers and Sellers. I want to take a few points from those resources to get you thinking.
Why Such Concern?
Swanepoel’s Report said that “87% of Brokers (surveyed) feel that servicing smarter and more informed consumers are their largest concern.”
I have no idea why the industry fears such things. I don’t want information about the buying process, hidden from me as a consumer, why would we expect that the consumer wouldn’t want as much information as they could get? The consumer who has a good handle on the process, should be that much easier to work with. Having the knowledge doesn’t mean that they no longer have a need for an agent. To the contrary; the information is so overwhelming, they need to have someone to aggregate it for them. The fact that movie previews reveal the entire movie, doesn’t stop people from going to the theater to watch the entire movie.
Show Me The Numbers!
NAR’s 2007 report shows that when consumers (reported 87% use the internet in their search – I think that’s low) search the internet for real estate information, they found the following useful:
84% Photos (at least 6) – Yet the average number of listing photos are 2
82% Detailed Listing Information
60% Virtual Tours / Real Estate Shows / Videos
39% Maps of the area surrounding the property
37% Neighborhood Information
26% Agent Information
I think it’s easy to extract from this information exactly how an Agent should setup their webpages. I think it’s also easy to see why Blogs are such a powerful tool, currently. Most blogs that I visit have very basic information about the agent or author; they are generally full of real estate information. The blog writers talk about the area, how to search for homes, and why certain types of agency practices or benefits. Knowing what the consumer is looking for, should help decide what to write about.
What Is the Consumer Looking For?
Knowing what the consumer found useful is actually the second step, knowing what they started off looking for is also important.
95% were looking for Properties For Sale
21% were looking for Area Information
4% were looking for an agent
4% were looking for a particular Firm or Franchise
It’s interesting that almost all the static webpages I find, are page after page about the agent’s resume, yet only 4% of consumers are looking for such information. It’s an unfortunate truth that most consumes feel most agents are basically the same. We know that’s not true, but finding a clever way to correct that impression is a challenge for many.
Statistics are only a guideline. They aren’t always reality, but it’s the best indication of what consumers maybe thinking. Each agent should take this information and work it into their own plan. It’s important to do what works well for you. A lot of practitioners are successful with their blogs, because they have created them and maintain them in a unique manner. That’s what’s working today, tomorrow there will be some new technique that some visionaries will create and adapt.
Whereas it’s good to know information, such as who consumers find you, it’s more important to know where the source is for that information. I’ve provided this information from the NAR Profile of Buyer’s and Sellers 2007. There is a considerable more that could help your business by reading such resources.
While you’re trying to explain to your sellers why you put so much effort into internet marketing, and so little in print media; it’s good to have these exact numbers and resources. This can help save you time and money with informed consumers who will trust a report more than your word.