Have you noticed it? I have…people now days walk around or drive in their car staring at their phones! If you haven’t noticed this crazy phenomenon just look around you while you are driving, or at the mall, or pretty much anywhere else. People have their heads buried into their phones. Millions of people today own Smart-phones(I-Phones, Droids, Blackberry, etc.) By the end of 2012 over 50% of ALL Google searches will take place with a Smart-phone. What are these people looking at? EVERYTHING!! So ask yourself an important question: Are your Real Estate websites optimized for mobile devices?
In the last 60 days since moving to the Washington DC/Northern Virginia area I have met with over 50 Realtors and Lenders. Each person is in a different phase of their Real Estate career and have different levels of knowledge. Each Realtor and Lender also have different needs as it applies to their Real Estate marketing. Thus far I have seen Realtors and Lenders that have specific systems in place and others that are totally lost and need help. In the spirit of the London Olympics I think if would be good for you to look at your business model as it pertains to gaining new clients, staying in contact with past clients, and getting more eyeballs to your listings and website to ask yourself…if I was in the Olympics for Real Estate Marketing, would I make it up to the medal podium? Read below and ask yourself…am I doing these things? Do I need to make any changes to my Real Estate marketing? Would a I respond to my own marketing strategies?
There is one thing that Real Estate agents value above all others…TIME! Time is very valuable because as a busy Real Estate agent you are showing homes, going to inspections, dealing with appraisals, managing your leads and getting back to people, and closing your escrows on time at Stewart Title and Escrow in Fairfax, VA. With all of these things going on throughout your week where does the time come in to do your Real Estate marketing to past clients, your sphere, and most importantly…to new people who don’t know you or your value? You have to develop systems to Streamline your Real Estate Marketing. There are several ways in which you can do this…lets talk about them:
Having lived in Phoenix, AZ for 10.5yrs I witnessed the entire Real Estate cycle. I saw prices go from $140K on average then a 47% home value increase in a 12 month period…then a HUGE market crash in 2008 and home values fall all the way down to $112K on average. This left thousands upon thousands of homeowners underwater/negative equity where they either just let their home go to Foreclosure or they tried to successfully short sale their home. For those of you who don’t know what defines a short sale it is when a homeowners owes more on their home than what it is worth and tries to sell their home “Short” by asking the lending bank to accept less than what is owed on the property. There are many qualifications that banks look for before willing to accept a short sale but they are getting approved easier and easier in 2012 than they were in 2008 0r 2009. As of right now there are over 4000 distressed Northern Virginia homeowners that are in the needs of a Real Estate agent.
When I was a little kid my siblings and I used to play “Hide and Seek” all the time. Back in the early 80’s that was the kind of things we did for fun opposed to staring at TV screens playing video games. The object was to hide somewhere where we thought no one could find us and then have our siblings or friends try to find us. The funny thing about Hide and Seek was that we played to NOT be found but secretly it was always the highlight of the game when we were found. So how does this relate to your Real Estate Marketing Plan as it pertains to today?
There are so many people in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area that have their Real Estate license. These agents want the consumer that is looking to buy or sell a home to “pick them!” Remember in elementary school when you would play touch football or kickball and you wanted to not be the last one picked? You would stick out your hand to your friend who you already had an established relationship, jump up and down and make a crazy face that said “Pick Me!!” In essence Real Estate agents do this with their Real Estate Marketing. They send out direct mail, postcards, sports schedules, and other gimmicks to their sphere of influence or general farm area and say “Pick Me!” Pick me cause I’m a GRI, CRS, CDPE, ABS, or some other Realtor designation that the average consumer doesn’t know or doesn’t care about. My favorite is when the Realtor says they are a “Multi-Million Dollar Producer” which means they sold over a $1 Million in real estate (which could be only 1 or 2 homes) but the consumer thinks it means that the Realtor made over $1 Million dollars. So there are thousands of Realtors out there wanting to be picked by the consumer and there are thousands of consumers needing the services of a Real Estate agent. If you were in the market to buy or sell a home what should you look for when “picking” a good Northern Virginia Real Estate Agent? Here they are…
I was home over the weekend and I came across a TV marathon of a show that I truly loved…the old school “Twilight Zone.” I was watching several episodes in a row and I came to an episode that made me think about how it relates to the Real Estate community today and in the future. The name of the episode was “The Obsolete Man.” In the episode Burgess Merideth (Rocky Balboa’s trainer-Micky) lived in a Totalitarian State and was on trial in front of the high counsel for being “obsolete.” He had to answer to his charges and could be sentenced to death. Burgess said he was a Librarian and that he loved books. In this future existence there apparently was no need for books and therefore Librarians. He was sentenced to a death for no longer serving a purpose in society and being “obsolete.” Of course since it was the Twilight Zone there were some twists and ended very fittingly. So…how does this correlate with your Real Estate Marketing plan in 2012?