For both homeowners and real estate agents, marketing to bring in buyers is very hard, very expensive and very time-consuming. Worse still? It usually has no return on investment.
The world has changed these days and with it so too has how people find things they need and want to buy.
Predominantly, most everyone now finds everything online via Google search, from social media and and mobile apps - increasingly, while they're on their phones.
Real estate is no exception.
In fact, research shows that over 80% of home buyers ultimately find their homes not from a yard sign or mailer or even from an agent, but via online sites and services. So, if you want to sell your home, you'd think it would be as easy as getting your home listed in a local MLS and getting it online.
But that's where it all goes wrong.
I Just Can't Find What I Want!!!
Today, most anything in the world can be had online. That's a good and a bad thing for buyers. The more availability, the more noise. Sometimes, it's kinda like trying to find a dress or shirt you want by calling random phone numbers and describing it to whoever answers and asking where you can buy it.
For people with products to offer to really be effective at all in reaching customers in our digital age takes increasingly more and more sophisticated technical and often invisible "behind the scenes" technology, engineering and data science.
Most Fortune 500 companies spend tens (even hundreds!) of millions of dollars each and each year on this kind of marketing to enable their sales forces. In fact, most eCommerce and consumer goods companies spend between 10% - 20% of their total revenue each year on marketing alone.
That's because you can no longer just put out a sign and expect customers to pass by and find you. Why you ask? Well, just look at these stats:
- There are over 7 billion people in the world and growing
- There are almost 4 billion Google searches per day/1.5 billion Google searches per year
- There are currently more than 1 billion websites on the internet
- In the U.S., there are about 100, 000 real estate brokerages (and even more web sites)
- Over 90% of homebuyers use the internet for home research
- Online home searches climbed 253% between 2009 and 2013 alone
- In the 50 states, there are over 1400 MLS listing services
- Per state, on average about 1 in every 300 people is a realtor
As you can imagine, this all means the internet is a noisy, noisy place. Having all the information in the world means, well, it actually gets harder and harder to find exactly what you want - and for businesses to find you.
Homeowners and Real Estate Agents Are Not Pro Marketers - Nor Should They Be
The real estate industry is the single largest sales force in the world. They focus on selling and on customer service. They are also extremely busy people.
Despite most every real estate agency having a web site or two, a mobile app and very well-used social media accounts, they are, well, just that: just web sites, apps and social media accounts.
It's called sales AND marketing for a reason.
Just putting up a website without being able to get viewers - and the right viewers at that - is kind of like trying to sell your car by going down the street corner and telling everyone you see that it's for sale.
Not very good odds. These days, it takes getting through to as many people you can who are most likely to be interested in what you're selling.
That means using advanced digital marketing techniques to know your customer's habits, their many likes and dislikes, where they find their news and information, their age groups, their income levels and a million more things about them in order to make sure your products and services get found by those people most interested or in need of them. That means, to market your home effectively, you either need a team of marketing professionals or to be a marketing director yourself.
It's simply unreasonable to think that most homeowners and busy real estate agents have the time, money, skill sets, education and experience to pull this off.
For agents and homeowners themselves, it's simply unreasonable too for them to think they'll be able to do it at all with any good return on what they invest to do it themselves.
It's even more unreasonable for them to keep spending money on it.
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