Negative Real Estate Consumer Report

I receive daily emails from ActiveRain, these cover all kinds of topics. Usually I don’t have a lot of time to read through them; so I skim over the newsletter titles and see if anything catches my eye. Well today one did: “Survey Says… REALTORS Suck”. Wow! I certainly clicked on that one.

The first thing that struck me was that this is a great example of an attention grabbing blog title. It will get your readers to click and read. It is controversial, and let’s face it, people love controversy. As a former real estate agent and the daughter and sibling of two REALTORS I couldn’t resist reading on.

I found the article interesting. I think it is a good reminder to ANY agent, new, old or otherwise, about what your consumer is looking for and what is important to them.  A professional in any field should always be keeping up on the needs of their clients.

Two of the most interesting points for me where:

1. That the most important thing to the consumer is lowest commission and knowledge is the least. My reaction to that was, “No wonder you think REALTORS suck.” In my experience the lower the commission, the less attention paid to the client.

Maybe that’s not true in all cases, but I have a feeling it doesn’t help! So how does the average REALTOR put this information to use? Should they all be slashing their commissions?  Well it turns out that 95% of consumers are still using Agents. Even though the consumer feels they can get just as much knowledge by doing their own legwork, they are still relaying on real estate professionals when all is said and done.

I don’t think this is a free pass and should be counted on, especially in this market. I think it’s important to be the best at what you do and the most knowledgeable about technology, your area, the state of the market, etc. Those are the agents that will get the business and keep it.

2. The example photos Jeff Corbett uses, got me giggling. He could not be more dead on with this point. If all you can fit in the bathroom shot is the toilet, leave it off the listing! Nobody needs to see the toilet. Okay, so the owner did a great job redoing the bathroom, but it is too small to photograph. How about taking close-up shots of some of the details? BUT, please spare us the toilet shot.

The other one that always gets me is the tiny bedroom, that just shows the bed or maybe a corner of the bed and a window. In those cases, how about a video of the property? We can help guide you through this process and you’ll be better off for it!

Just to hammer the point home, here are a few examples of photos you should skip!

Are they selling the bed or the house?

Is the bed for sale or the house?

Ahh the lovely toilet… So homey!

Overall its a great article so give it a read! “Survey Says… Realtors Suck!” By Jeff Corbett, Active Rain Staff Writer. You’ll probably find one or two take aways.


Real Estate Agents – Time to Refocus Your Ad Budget

If you’re a Realtor looking to justify the investment of time and money that you’ve made into your website and/or blog, this article from RISMedia about Yahoo!’s recent study of real estate consumers’ online behavior should give you some reassurance. It might have you considering shifting your budget even further towards support of your site and/or Pay-Per-Click campaigns.

In a recent study of 500 consumers, Yahoo! confirmed that people use the Web to ensure that the selected agent will best meet their specific needs.

Key findings include:

  • Home buyers and sellers consider approximately two agents on average before making a final decision
  • The Internet impacts consumer trust. Forty percent of respondents credited a site in increasing their trust in the agent
  • 74% of people who accessed an agent website got there with the help of a search engine
  • The online research process is quick and intense: consumers spent an average of 12 hours online researching agents and 75% selected an agent within one week of starting their search

Online resources provided introduction to new agents as well as promotional deals:

  • 45% of respondents used the Internet to learn about agents they didn’t know existed
  • 41% discovered special deals and promotions offered from an agent through the Internet

However, there is a disconnect between advertising dollars and consumer behavior. Based on Yahoo!’s study, 77% of respondents used an online source for information during their research process compared to 34% for print. But, according to a recent analysis by Borrell Associates, Realtor advertising dollars have yet to catch up to where home buyers are going – the Internet. While this year’s online media spend did in fact double from 2005, capturing 32% of the overall advertising spend, newspapers continue to get more share of dollars with 40%.

So, if you’ve been struggling with where to focus your advertising budget, these numbers should help resolve the debate. While print-advertising will always be demanded by your sellers, you’ll find your buyers via a well-optimized web site that is found easily on search engines. If you want some support, Union Street Media’s Internet Marketing Team is here to help. You can choose from a variety of services that suit your budget.