The Chairman’s Report A Message from Lawrence F. Flick, IV, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Prudential Fox & Roach, REALTORS® and The Trident Group SPRING 2012 Real Estate in the Digital AgeTHE DAWN OF THE DIGITAL AGE internet about ten years ago for home searches, but the most recent online tools have revolutionized the wayFifty years ago, John Glenn launched into space and sellers reach out and connect to buyers.orbited the earth. Around the same time, an obscureidea known as the internet was conceived. Needless to MARKETING REAL ESTATE INsay, times have changed since then. Today’s Ford 150 THE DIGITAL AGEtruck has more technology than Glenn’s Friendship 7space capsule, and the internet is the infrastructure that There was a time when buyers relied on the local paperinforms and connects our lives. While the birth of the to find homes for sale. They waited all week to browseinternet wasn’t as dramatic as the launch that propelled the Sunday real estate section. But today, a propertyour country into the space age, it did create the description of 4 BR, 2 BA, EIK, FR w/FP underneath afoundation that would thrust us into the digital age. grainy black and white photo simply doesn’t cut it. Now home buyers expect instant results, attractive andA lot has happened in the past 50 years, but in just the robust content, convenience, simplicity, and real timelast couple of years, the accelerated pace of technology information. Sellers hoping to connect with today’shas been mind-blurring. This is especially true in buyers must market their properties not just in, butresidential real estate. Consumers began using the also for, this digital age. 1
WHERE THE BUYERS ARE Contemporary buyers also like each property to have its own website. They expect to key in a street address for an If you were looking for a new home, where would you instant in-depth look, without having to search around. start your search? The internet, of course! Almost 90% And while online, they’re only a few clicks away from of buyers do. Whether having morning coffee, sneaking setting up an appointment to physically tour their a peak on the office computer, or after the nightly news, potential purchase with a professional. they want instant access to property listings. Most buyers start on one of the national sites — Realtor.com, REAL ESTATE IN REAL TIME Trulia or Zillow — but then move to a familiar real estate company’s website to fine tune their search. Buyers don’t want to get excited about a property if it’s Buyers also check out Craig’s List, search on Google already been sold. By the same token, they don’t want to and find YouTube videos of homes for sale. miss finding out about a new listing. The internet allows real estate to be real time and allows buyers to ABUNDANCE OF INFORMATION make the best use of their time. The newspaper ads of yesterday have been replaced HOW SELLERS BENEFIT FROM today by the virtual equivalent of a full page color ad, REAL ESTATE IN THE DIGITAL AGE and in real estate, this translates into incredible exposure for Sellers also gain tremendous each property. Buyers expect benefits in this digital age. informative, attractive, robust There’s a flip side to buyers format that includes an array wanting fast facts from the of professional quality internet about properties for photographs plus a virtual tour. sale. When your home is Moreover, they are curious positioned properly in the about what’s going on beyond virtual world, then real world the property’s lot lines. They buyers will find you at the want to know about the speed of a keystroke. Marketing surrounding area’s amenities, in a digital age gives properties parks, and schools, as well as real estate trends in that maximum exposure and gives sellers access to high-tech community. They can explore all of this online. reporting capabilities. CONVENIENCE AND SIMPLICITY PRIORITY PLACEMENT – GET “ABOVE THE FOLD” Seeing a “For Sale” sign on a house may spark a buyer’s interest, but calling the phone number Advertisers in newspapers would pay a premium to displayed on that sign doesn’t even begin to satisfy their be prominently positioned “above the fold” for greater curiosity. They want to know all about the property visibility. The same concept applies in online marketing. right then and there. So, today’s buyer texts a number, Properties that appear first get the most exposure. If and voila! GPS gives them information about listings you’re a seller, it’s important that your listing gets closest to wherever they are at that moment. Also, priority placement. with the growing use of GPS enabled smartphones and apps, homes for sale are a single click away! …home buyers expect instant results, attractive and robust content, convenience, simplicity, and real time information.2
When your home is positioned properly in the virtual world, then real world buyers will find you at the speed of a keystroke.SOCIAL NETWORKS and for me, too! But no matter how much freedom cyberspace gives us, whether we are buying or selling aThe richness of digital marketing provides the house, we still need a trusted advisor alongside us onequivalent of a virtual color brochure. So why not our journey. Just like John Glenn relied on his crew toshow it off on Facebook and Twitter? Or email a link bring him back to earth safely, every buyer and sellerof your property’s website. It’s an easy and fun way to relies on a team of experts to get them home. To learngive your home additional exposure. more about real estate’s digital age and how it can workREPORTING CAPABILITIES for you, visit prufoxroach.com or contact your Prudential Fox & Roach sales associate and TridentOne of the best things about online marketing is the Mortgage consultant today!ability to see how many times your property is viewedand which sites are attracting the most views. Withthis enhanced reporting capability, you can easilymonitor the online marketing of your listing.YET SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGE Lawrence F. Flick, IVThe digital age has irrevocably changed residential real Chairman and Chief Executive Officerestate sales. It’s an exciting time for buyers and sellers, Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors® and The Trident Group 3
AN INDEPENDENT VIEW Chris Smith is the Chief In the past, being average online with your marketing Evangelist for Inman News. was okay. The mediocrity of real estate websites and He is the emcee of their blogs has been accepted because they were tools only nationwide agent focused for the “bleeding edge.” Now, social media— technology conference Agent Facebook, Twitter and YouTube—have been bolted Reboot. Chris also co-hosts onto an agent’s or brokerages’ “real business.” Real Estate Connect happening in New York City The companies and agents who will thrive will not and San Francisco. Inman look at the plethora of platforms and tools and ask News is where real estate and “How will this help me sell a home?” Those who will technology truly connect. gain market share will be storytellers who use the new online consumer hangouts as a way to humanize There are three statistics that I am fascinated with their brand and create empathy and feeling through when it comes to the internet and the home buying consumer experience. process. Now, 88% of the home buyers start on the web. The average cycle from web research beginning Owning a home will always be an emotional to closing on a home is eighteen months. In 2011, for experience. Telling that story on the web and in the the first time ever, 51% of homes purchased were mobile devices will be more important than simply brought to the Realtor by the consumer. having listing details and photos available. We are often an industry reluctant to change. So was Visit Chris online at Next.Inman.com or on Kodak. So was Blockbuster. So was Blackberry. Twitter @Chris_Smth An independently owned and operated broker member of BRER Affiliates Inc. Prudential, the Prudential logo and the Rock4 symbol are registered service marks of Prudential Financial, Inc. and its related entities, registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Used under license with no other affiliation of Prudential. Equal Housing Opportunity.