Business marketing has been transformed by the internet. The real estate industry in many ways has been a trailblazer for what is now impacting our local small business community.
According to recent studies, over 91% of all home searches now begin on the internet. Property listings must to be online, and findable, when buyers are searching for information. Comprehensive online exposure including photos, videos, neighbourhood profiles and community links are critical to promoting home purchase decisions.
Buyers want to search on-line for a home, but as they do so, they often become overwhelmed by the proliferation of data. That’s where the real estate agent’s expertise and sales skills combine with their marketing saavy to help make the sale happen.
While having access to huge amounts of information is appealing to consumers, it can also be extremely confusing. In efforts to consider all the minutae of data and to wait just that little bit longer for the perfect home to come along, buyers often miss out on excellent opportunities.
Our job as Realtors is to remove the obstacles for buyers and package our listings as the most obvious choice. To do so we must be available at all times to guide our clients and increasingly often this means continual communication via online channels such as e-mail and social networks.
Yes, the vehicles for talking to customers are evolving but the language of personal selling remains the same. We create value by developing client relationships and providing solutions that match their needs.
The interactive nature of the social web provides a new environment to engage in conversations with our customers so they can get to know more about us before committing to a face to face meeting. As a marketing tool, it provides us with a profound means to share a more contextual experience of the “place” that will become their home.
All successful business owners know it is never just the product that consumers are buying.
Cathy Berkhout-Bosse, H.B.A. is a real estate broker and Community Manager of www.mypelham.com