Selling real estate on-line only is a topic being discussed by many auctioneers and it seems the realtors are now discussing it at many of their events. Back in February, I attended a two day, snowy event in Atlanta, with about 150 other auctioneers on this same subject.
Going back, maybe four or five years ago, I can remember an auctioneer speaker talking about the future of on-line only auctions, not only for real estate but personal property too. He was very positive about the future of on-line only auctions.
Admittedly, I was one of the skeptics who said, “I don’t see this happening,” and yet it did or is happening. Just like the birth of computers, technology continues to change and the way we market real estate is changing. Therefore, we need to change by educating ourselves about all this new technology or get left behind, viz., lose business to our technological competitors.
Granted, I have never been a “techie” person. My teenage son has our HDTV connected to the DVD player, the old VCR, and the CD/Radio player, along with his Xbox. I can turn the TV on with one remote, but anything else take two remotes, thus I have to call him.
Several months ago, I read a story about a realtor driving a couple around looking at houses from a list that he had previously pulled from the MLS. They drove by one house not on his list, when the wife said, “Look at that one, I wonder how much they are asking?” The realtor responded, “When I get back to the office I will look it up for you,” when the husband responded, “No need, it is a 2,400 square foot home, 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, on a .33 acre lot and they are asking $275,000.”
The husband searched it on his smart cell phone in less than a minute. The realtor had an old dumb phone. How embarrassing can this get?
The point I am trying to make is that we just can’t continue to do things in marketing the same way we did a year ago. In some cases, six months ago. Do you still carry around your laptop to make presentations to your potential client or are you using an iPad or some other notebook/tablet? Are you “text” messaging your clients or are you emailing them? Are you using Docusign or some other form of electronic signature, for your out of state or unreachable clients?
Getting a listing agreement, sticking up a sign in the yard, listing the property on the MLS system, and maybe, just maybe, putting an ad in the local Land and Homes, is a very small part, if not a limited part, of the marketing effort. Think of the success Ebay has had with on-line marketing. Would you like to have some of that success? We have to be more sophisticated in today’s real estate market.