Online in 2009…

According to AC Nielsen, the world’s leading marketing information company, 78% of consumers in a recent global Internet Survey rate the most trustworthy form of advertising for consumers, ‘word of mouth’ (a recommendation from other consumers), as the #1 influencer of a purchase:

An ever-increasing array of social media advertising platforms and sources are redefining the conventional “word of mouth” channel in an expanded sphere. 

Personal networking has historically been the chief source of new business for Realtors. Today, online recommendations and referrals are emerging as a key source of new real estate business as real estate marketing converts to social media activities. 

Today’s Realtor will likely be seen as detached from the realities of their real estate market and technology without a strong Internet web presence. 

I’m not suggesting for one minute that being tech savvy means you’re a real estate expert.  Any Realtor can play the part of the Real Estate professional, but today’s Realtor must also demonstrate an Internet marketing dexterity. 

Before ever contacting a Realtor most consumers will have already researched them online beforehand.  Searching online for a service provider, any service, is the first place today’s consumer starts checking. Why? Because it’s easy to find local suppliers and do some preliminary pre-screening. 

Almost every jurisdiction from the local library to the government ministry, and every association, board, council, etc., in between, offers consumers online (sometimes hard copies, although less and less) free tips, downloads, newsletters, eBooks, etc., on the “how’s” of real estate. The perceived value of this material from a Realtor or Realtor website may not be enough any longer. 

Recent consumer surveys have revealed that value for money is now the most important factor in choosing services (and goods).  What is meaningful is effective services that save time and money, such as information and analysis that is specific to each consumer, and adds value by helping them with a more informed decision. 

I’ll still be relying on my unique experience, resources and services to effectively provide buyers and sellers with insights to avoid pitfalls, and advantages to leverage their decision making.  The business plan for 2009 also requires that I stay abreast of how consumers want to do business and step up my online capabilities and social media participation.


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