Someone sent me this article by Mike Parker this weekend and I had to read it a couple of times to make sure that what I was interpreting his message correctly, and this paragraph in particular keeps hitting that sensitive spot,
Well, as I have been telling you for three years now, that is hogwash. Social media is a sinkhole that absorbs time, effort and money that could better be spent on finding listings and selling houses. Social media is the new blogging. It too will peak, then decline with one very large exception: affinity group business communication.
Before I can even start commenting on this article I feel a need to define Social Media – isn’t it another “tool” in our marketing bag of tricks? Isn’t Social Media a marketing tactic like any other that should be used strategically with other marketing tools in order to obtain a balance that works for you as a real estate agent and becomes a good conductor between you as a professional and your audience? (the audience that ultimately buys and sells real estate from you).
I’ve learned a lot from my marketing genius friend Murray Izenwasser who I first heard speak in a local BarCamp and later at a Social Media Club meeting and his message was clear. Social Media is not just marketing but a marketing TACTIC – should be used intelligently according to your needs and should be understood for its power to reach an audience you may not have had the exposure to with customary and traditional marketing tools.
So if our industry is about relationships and social media has added a “social” aspect to internet marketing, doesn’t it seem like the perfect fit? I do agree with Mike that it can be a time suck if not used properly, but I don’t agree that you can separate blogging from social media, because blogging is part of it.
The section in his article called “Why social media won’t be a long-term selling tool for real estate” is one of the ones I find the most intriguing. I think most of you will agree that it is crucial for someone that will post an opinion on Social Media tactics to understand the dynamics, intricacies and social behaviors of the medium before they start coming up with conclusions. If you understand the basics of SM being about permission based marketing as opposed to interruption marketing then you would see that statement as absolutely ludicrous. In an age of an educated consumer with spam filters and TiVo – you need to know that posting your listings and ads all over the Internet will never work!
Just came back from NAR’s annual convention in San Diego where numerous real estate agents proved how they were using Social Media successfully – some of them utilizing their blog as their hub and the rest of the platforms as prospecting tools that lead potential clients to that hub which consequently has plenty of google juice and calls to action. Others using different platforms to add to their “bag of tricks”, others simply answering questions directly from the consumer in places like Trulia or Zillow.
I do agree with Mike in his statement about the success of an agent online being measured by the speed at which you answer inquiries – but that in itself is a demonstration that you cannot turn your back on Twitter, for example, where the conversation is happening real-time and you have the ability to answer and connect on the spot.
One thing we do need to understand is that there are different users of SM. I recently told you about my presentation to top producers in their late 60’s who don’t need to make any changes or even learn how to turn a computer on, but are still curious about SM. There’s also the successful agent who has ventured into SM to compliment their already effective marketing and who can stop their efforts at any point and still be successful. And there are the newer agents who have immersed themselves in the medium and are expanding their sphere of influence at a pace that traditional media would have never allowed.
Mike Parker advises thousands of agents and brokers on the subject of online marketing services for realtors
– I’m sure Mike is great at what he does, but I’m also convinced that he doesn’t quite get SM, maybe some of our readers can enlighten him.
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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