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Customers Don't Jump Out of Computers

July 04 2011

Technology has a place in the life of an agent. It supports the agent by providing access to research information, offers some marketing automation, and is a great communication vehicle. But technology does not sell real estate – agents do.

There is much ado about the role of technology in real estate. We live in a world full of technology and we are connected to it every day. It is a primary resource. You can even think of your car and your phone as technology. All of these things represent the toolset of the modern day REALTOR®.

I can guarantee you that customers will not jump out of your computer screen and buy a home. Social networking, online marketing, and lead generation engines serve you like advertising. They work just like the newspaper, the yard sign, and your mailers. They generate selling opportunities; they do not do the selling for you.

The MLS system does not sell real estate.

The MLS system is a library of property data. In the MLS, you play the role of a researcher and a publisher. It is the place you go to find information for your customers, and share information so that other agents may obtain it for their customers. If you think that you can simply put a house in the MLS and watch it sell, you are seriously mistaken. The MLS is merely a conduit for the information to be shared. Homes are sold through selling and marketing – open houses, direct mail, online marketing, advertising, staging, etc. Your goal is to reach 100% of the target audience of buyers for that home, and reach them a number of times.

Social networking does not sell real estate.

Social media is marketing and advertising. To make your marketing and advertising work, you need to work it. You need to roll up your sleeves and communicate with the people that you are engaged with. What are they looking for? If they are not in the buying or selling cycle, do not pummel them with marketing. Send direct messages to real prospects rather than blasting your friends with noise.

Listing syndication will not sell real estate.

Listing syndication is a prospecting and marketing tool. Unlike social networking, it is a target rich environment. Presumably the consumers on these sites are somewhere in the transaction process (early stage, middle, or late stage). Strangely, data shows that half of the consumers who inquire about property on these sites never get a response from the agent. That is hard to believe, but it is true.

Technology is a gift to real estate agents.

Technology supports them in magnificent ways, providing tools that make the process of real estate transactions smooth throughout the lifecycle of your customer relationships. There are literally dozens of tools that focus on every point of the lifecycle – new customer generation, customer incubation, buyer and seller management, transaction management, post sale customer retention.

Don't be fooled by technology.

Technology is just a series of tools. These are tools that you still need to pick up and put to work if you expect to sell real estate. The tools will not do the work for you.