Ever get the feeling that you website is being used for its rich information and then the buyer or seller contracts with the agent on the street?
Even though NAR research shows that 77 % of Americans used the Internet to search for homes in 2005. I wouldn't take that to mean that they bought because of their online use.The same survey also found that 8 out of 10 buyers who used the Internet to find a home, used an agent to help complete the transaction.
My question is how many of those 8 of 10 buyers bought from the agent or brokerage who provided the Internet data? My experience answers with as "not much" as you all would like. The reason is poor lead capture and follow up.
A September 2006 survey of consumers by Discover Small Business Watch found that traditional real estate agents did well with home buyers, and exceedingly well with home sellers.
I ask how can that be when we onliners are so sophisticated with our websites and technology?
Trust, Experience, and Referrals Matter Most
You are up against personal factors like trust, experience and a personal referral:
- 47 % said they would choose someone they “know and trust” over other qualities when they sell their homes.
- Experience Matters; A real estate agent’s sales record was the second-most influential factor with 16 %, while a referral was third with 11 %.
The survey shows that people selling their homes see much more value in having personal help when seeking buyers. 61 % of home sellers said they would prefer the services of an agent versus only 4 percent who said they would prefer an online service to help sell their homes.
From this I can only ask what is an online service defined as? Many traditional Realtors do have an online presence? The question is inferring a diferrence. Perhaps it is talking of the discounters like Zip, or classified ad type sites like forsalebyowner.com?
However, the survey does seem to make the suggestion that the faster you get to being human with a prospect, the faster you will create more sales. Maybe those old sales trainings that nothing happens until you are Belly to Belly have merit. Its also why I implore Realtors to use forced opt-in for their IDX VOW Real Estate sites.
This is why in my opinion a blog can help(or hurt) you. A blog can make it so your reader feels they know you and your business. It gives the reader the chance to warm up to your personality or lack thereof.
It gives the reader a chance to know how business minded you are. Or how ditzy you are. So be careful.
You might make your ole Econ Professor proud as you belt numbers and statistical analysis. All showing why the market is behaving this way or that.
But do your buyers want to buy from any of your Profs from College? Well maybe that one guy.
We all had that one Professor who seemed to break the rules of teaching. Yet, somehow we all remember his name and the way he made an important point.
Be that fun Teacher in your blog.
Otherwise, your buyer might imagine having to get into that boring Econ Teacher's car to show them property! And you are that boring teacher :-( Eee Gad!
And be careful of getting too fun. Pictures of your latest night out with the gals, or your ten cats might be a little too ditzy for most. Especially, if your clients are mostly men.
Other interesting facts:
- “People buying a home do more research online than people selling a home,” said Sastry Rachakonda, director, Discover Business Card.
- “People selling a home aren’t looking for information necessarily, they are looking for buyers, and getting them buyers is what they expect from real estate agents,” he concluded.
(This article was inspired from a piece at the Red Herring)