When I sold my first property nearly 10 years ago Facebook had only been around for a short period of time it was still competing with similar platforms such as Myspace and was certainly not something that mainstream businesses could see any value in. Google was still competing with Yahoo and other search engines and the phrase “Just Google it…” would be lost on most people.
Fast forward today and social media is everywhere and no longer the domain of nerds and under 25 year olds. So what does this mean to vendors and purchasers of realestate? As a realestate agent I have watched with intrigue the rise of digital & social media at the same time as the fall of main stream print media. Print media LOVES realestate agents unfortunately this love is not universal however in print we are still rather popular with those selling the space. Enough about print and realestate this article is not about that.
When I sit down in a potential vendors lounge the topic comes around to marketing. Some just want to know what will it cost me and will it do the job. Others like to go through the itemised marketing budget and discuss my recommendations. In the Inner West market of Sydney budgets generally range from $5,000 to $10,000 This is where it gets interesting the best agents will be able to articulate a campaign that will achieve the best result for the vendor so far as price and a timely sale. The other agent will unfortunately come up with a campaign based on what the vendor thinks he wants. Which may be cheap and depending on their demographics biased towards what their buying habits are.
Ok, so where does this fit in with social media? Well from a realestate point of view it is new technology and with any new stuff we tend to as a group resist it. Lets start from general terms as to where buyers of realestate have their eyes. Firstly the two major internet portals REA & Domain had just over 6000 views between them on a recent property I sold. Both of these ads the vendor paid a premium to ensure their ad was seen by more viewers than other ads. Here is where it gets interesting and we are seeing a major shift in how buyers are viewing property. The digital evolution started with buyers viewing properties on desktop computers via the portal website. In fact 10 years ago most of the web traffic was via the web site. According to Domain that number is now only 22% and has increased to 60% via smart phones and the rest via tablets and mobile sites.
The next part of the digital evolution has come via social media and with like a number of industries companies are looking at ways to engage buyers in such a way they will leave main stream media and move to a more interactive and engaging platforms where they can get the information they want straight to their smart phones or chosen device when and where they want it. This is not only impacting on traditional print media but it is also concerning companies that are investing a lot of money on static websites that don’t provide the same level of interaction or customisation requirements that modern buyers, vendors and agents want.
If I was looking to interview prospective agents today I would want to know what digital and social media strategy they had to capture buyers. The best agents in 2017 will be able to answer this question without complicating the process but by giving you assurance they understand the importance of the question and also have the strategy that will ensure your property is visible and accessible to buyers who may have different searching strategies to us.