Archive for June, 2011
So much has been talked about regarding social media and online presence lately. I had the pleasure of sitting thru several excellent speakers last week during the MLS Cloud event in Houston. Most of the speakers talked in depth about the internet experience, from nearly every position: The Realtor®, the homeowner, the prospective home buyer, the MLS user and several others.
One of the most interesting presentations came from Curt Beardsley, VP Business Development, Move Inc. Some of his information that I thought was provoking: The average first time home buyer today is 30 years old, and the average Realtor® is over 50 years old. In addition, when you really boil everything down, the average homebuyer is really ‘qualified’ to buy about 50 homes—once you take into account all of their wants and needs. That is, specific neighborhoods with specific schools, price, proximity to other amenities, parks, crime stats, etc. Further, they spend 12 weeks searching and kicking the tires, and generally see 12 homes. He said that 66% of the prospects drive by the home after viewing the property online.
This is the kind of information that should be very valuable to the average Realtor®, if they pay attention to all of the information available to them. One would think that they would begin to utilize their online presence in a more deliberate manner. I think the smart agents do. Another interesting fact: HAR.com CEO Bob Hale said that only 54% of his members actually had one side of a transaction last year. Hmmm…what are the rest of them doing?
On the last day of the conference, someone suggested that Facebook should allow for Single Sign On to the local MLS, and allow the users to leverage their contacts from Facebook. That is an excellent idea. In addition, it was suggested that consumers should be able to utilize Agent Ratings from the MLS system, allow agents to rate one another internally, have the ability to initiate live chat from the client portal, rate the listings that have been sent to them and provide the agent with valuable feedback while viewing the listings. These are easy to use and should be standard in most systems today.
In fact, Discover MLS has already integrated these exact features in our software! It was great to hear that these were highly desired features to an MLS system.
These are great times to be participating in the online experience. Take advantage of the tools available to you, and if they are not, then ask when they will be made available.