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2007-06-29 12:12:00

95% of REALTORS Are Leaving Big Money on the Table


EDITOR'S NOTE: This is Part 3 of a four-part series.
Part 1 :
"Passing Up Easy, Instant Traffic - How to Take Advantage of a Common Mistake"
Part 2: "Failure to Publish Content that Converts"

The value in working with a REALTOR® is in leveraging the power of organized real estate marketing.  It’s the power of having hundreds or thousands of local REALTORS® working together to promote, buy and sell homes.

As a home seller, the way to attract the highest price possible in the shortest period of time is to gain the widest and most targeted market exposure for the property. In the first part of this series we discussed how many REALTORS® are missing out on a lot of free traffic. Indeed, eyeballs have shifted to many different online sources. So, generating the maximum exposure definitely includes tapping multiple media outlets. But the most compelling story is the ability of a REALTOR® to take advantage of the traffic and client bases of other local real estate professionals through cooperative advertising and an offer of compensation.

This story is not clearly told and understood.  We see constant downward pressure on commissions, as well as public and private criticism of the MLS. There seems to be a sentiment we often hear that the MLS system protects high commission structures and is a vehicle that real estate professionals use to do as little work as possible while generating high incomes for themselves. Regardless of whether you feel this is a common or uncommon sentiment, it does resonate throughout the industry and consumer public.

Today’s consumer is more informed. The Internet has enabled access to massive amounts of information – and with that, increased expectations.

Consumers now want to conduct their own research. Many also believe that the process of buying and selling real estate is equally simple. Add that discount, flat fee and new innovative business models have created more discourse on the value that a REALTOR® brings to the table.

In the changing landscape of today’s real estate industry, one thing remains a constant. The value of organized real estate marketing.

What has changed however is the need to communicate this value more clearly and more convincingly to a new, savvier consumer who feels he or she knows best.

In a recent teleconference call with Point2 NLS members, Bernice Ross (a.k.a. the real estate coach) commented that “analytics are your best asset in a down market.”  The discussion revolved around communicating local trends to a seller, price levels, time on the market and adjusting asking prices.

I’ll add to this that no matter what market conditions you are in, analytics (i.e. reports) has become a critical support tool to help substantiate arguments and recommendations to clients. Long gone are the days where consumers put their blind trust in the real estate agent. The recent barrage of media stories that challenge commission structures and the value of agents in the real estate transaction have only exacerbated this challenge.

Critically, reports linked to the performance of your listings online must today be used to highlight the value of one of the most important aspects of organized real estate marketing - the exposure that cooperating real estate professionals bring to the process. Timely access to online traffic statistics and analysis, viewership, clicks and lead sources are all data points that not only help to showcase the effectiveness of well executed marketing plans, but also serve as powerful tools in new listing presentations or in negotiating and supporting key recommendations such as price reductions.

In part one of this series we discussed how to generate and track traffic on an array of online sources. Part two covered the best way to maximize inquiries and leads from this traffic, through the publication of better, more complete listings. In the next and final article, we will review some of the key lead conversion challenges facing real estate professionals today and how technology savvy agents are using simple, yet extremely effective  techniques to stay ahead.

(Jeff Tomlin is manager of channel relations at Point2 Technologies Inc. and a key member of the Point2 National Listing Service [Point2 NLS] strategic initiative team. You can post questions or comments for discussion with Jeff, or visit www.Point2NLS.com to learn more about listing syndication.)

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