I am wondering if today, July 19, 2007 will be the day remembered as the day the real estate industry revolted against the local newspapers.
It seems the Bloomberg article yesterday started a firestorm of writing. Today Inman Blog, South Beach Condo Blog and the Real Estate Tomato all joined in the protest – and I am sure the ground swell is growing into what will be a full fledged revolt in no time at all.
I can certainly chime in here and give the spin on print advertising. We have all served the papers well with millions of dollars in advertising that has driven limited traffic and an even smaller number of sales. Only to be returned with a nice slap in the face with sensationalized reports of our over heated market rendering the pricey ads even more ineffective.
And yes, it’s frustrating, but are we really ready to let go of the security blanket of our marketing plan?
How many of our sellers still ask for those paper ads? Are our agents prepared to tell the sellers ” no” at the risk of losing the listing to someone who will gladly oblige them? We can quote the NAR stats about buyers beginning their search on the web, but do our sellers really understand that? Do our agents? How much traffic does your website really get? How many leads? What is the conversion ratio? What are you doing to maximize your SEO and google page ranking? If you can’t answer these questions, keep writing and paying for those ads- because you may be so over the newspaper, but you have no viable marketing alternative to offer.
It seems to me that we need to bring our collective industry tech IQ to slightly above room temperature and show the way. There will be no need for sweeping statements and revolts in the street – just a quiet swell of business practices to show that we do understand how to market real estate in today’s world.
What are you doing to build your real estate company’s tech IQ? Here’s a hint… how about a company blog? Not just some template web site kind of thing, but an army of agents building quality content on your website everyday.
If the local newspapers can host a listing search site enticing buyers to look for properties while reading content, why can’t we provide local content to buyers who are looking for properties? What would your local newspaper think if readers went to your real estate website to find out what’s going on in your area? Unlikely? Maybe so, we are about to find out.