April 26, 2011

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Real Estate Marketing in 2011: Part Two

Yesterday, we spoke to John L. Heithaus, chief marketing officer for Metropolitan Regional Information Systems (MRIS), the largest multiple listing service in the US, about the role of social media in real estate marketing. Today, John talks to us about agents who aren’t yet using new online marketing tools, and his predictions for the future of real estate marketing.

What would you say to agents who are resistant to using online marketing tools such as social media and video to market their properties?

It depends on their business. In some of the really high-end luxury marketing, business is still done “the old fashioned way” - in person and on paper. But even that is changing. I was at Coldwell Banker in the 90′s as we built the first coldwellbanker.com website and it was really swimming upstream to get people to see that the world of marketing and sales was about to be turned upside down by the Internet. Looking at Coldwell Banker today, CEO Jim Gillespie’s approach is very modern and Internet-based. The CB YouTube channel, for instance, is incredible! They just launched an iPad real estate app that is an advertisement. Very cool! So, resist at your own expense - even 100-year-old brands are reinventing themselves to use online marketing tools and video.

MRIS recently surveyed our customers to find out where they get their news and, also, which social media tools are currently in use. The results are very interesting:

1) Facebook is among the top three online sites viewed by real estate professionals daily.
2) 40 percent of MRIS customers view Facebook as a key tool.
3) They use Facebook for networking and communicating with their customers – only two percent reported using it for SEO.
4) LinkedIn is seeing an increase in importance in real estate social media, as is mobile messaging with 34 percent using a Blackberry over other operating systems.

Where do you see real estate technology heading over the next couple of years? What should agents be doing now to ensure they can keep up with these changes?

Well, it’s way beyond time for a true transaction platform to enable a front-to-back system that saves time, money and lowers the inevitable stress that searching for, buying and closing real estate creates. I have read with great interest what Keller Williams has built (eEdge) powered by DotLoop and Market Leader – two organisations that really “get it” with regard to the future direction. They are working this effort to get brokers into the right technology frame of mind and setting the bar for us all to follow.

So in addition to social networking, agents need to leverage technology to win more business, make it more productive (i.e. get deals to close faster) and keep in much better touch with their customers (and prospects) in between deals.

Agents, in my view, should work more closely with their broker and MLS to develop the next generation business model for real estate. We’re all about building what we call “Gen M” - the next generation MLS - transitioning from being property-centric to being real estate business-centric to make sure our customers are the “smartest person in the room” when it comes to real estate and their customer’s needs.


Related posts:

  1. Real Estate Marketing in 2011: Part One
  2. Real Estate Marketing that Worked in 2010
  3. Real Estate Marketing on $0
  4. Real Estate Tech Roundup 21/4/2011
  5. How Facebook is Changing the Real Estate Industry
  6. Real Estate Tech Roundup 15/4/2011
  7. Real Estate Tech Roundup
  8. Move Inc. Makes Real Estate Marketing More Social
  9. Where Will You Market Your Business in 2011?
  10. Agent Strategies: A Real Estate Marketing Mix

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