Having been involved in Real Estate for 30 years and Real Estate Technology for 12 years affords me a bit of perspective.
The key thing I’m seeing is the influx of technologically advanced agents. More and more of the new agents and older agents that have received online training are beginning to dominate the online space. Gone are the days of Richard Uzelac as a Real Estate agent when one could get an MLS weekly updated book and search for new properties, expireds and other live listings. Now it is all instantaneous and comprehensive. Agents today have 100% of th online market on their iPads, updated daily or even hourly.
But with great access comes great competition. Just as in the 1980’s, only the hard working agents made the money, only hard working online agents today will bear significant fruit from the internet. While having a website and IDX is as essential as a cell phone for today’s agents, they are essential in a different way. A website/IDX combo have different levels of meaning and effectiveness today. Here are the levels available to todays agent:
Level 1: This is the entry level level for agents. This is the level for checking a box. An Agent doesn’t want to appear as an online illiterate to his prospects so he gets a website/idx, ads a nice photo of himself and off he goes to rarely visit the site again. For this agent (who tends to be connected and deals mostly with referrals built up over the years), this is fine. He will look connected and smart, even if he doesn’t use his site. The Website IDX Combo is doing it’s job.
Level 2: This agent is the same as above except he also markets his website/IDX combo online with Search Engine Optimization, Link Building, and Content creation. His goal is to get LEADS from his website, not just check the ‘I’m a connected online agent’ box. This agent competes online and can generate a few sales online to augment his face to face lead generation. Richard Uzelac, Real Estate Internet Marketing Guru says, “This is the best way to be. Level 2 affords agents additional income without excessive time spent on online marketing.
Level 3: This rare agent sees the online spectrum as his main source of business. This person will spend many thousands of dollars on online marketing and advertising, often over several website and online communities. Some to these agents employ buyers agents to handle Buyer’s leads and get a share in the Buyer’s Agent commission and they also list all the Sellers leads for their main business. This agent is one in 100 is not more. These agents know more about online marketing than most rank marketers.
It’s all about your choices, where you feel comfortable and what your needs are. Overall, these three above are going to have a very good 2014 in Real Estate!
Richard Uzelac, President, RealtyTech.com