Technology continues to change the face of real estate. From the cost of doing business, to the process of pursuing a lead, technology has an effect on every aspect of the industry, and the people involved in it. The National Association of REALTORS® Technology Survey Report for 2013-2014 breaks down the details, but we created an infographic to quickly point out what we found most interesting, along with a few observations to guide you through it.
The amount of agents that utilize social media and network engines has increased to 91% in 2013. Of those, 91% use it specifically for real estate purposes. The most popular is Facebook, with 77% of REALTORS using this network, and LinkedIn came in at a close second with 75%. These two networks have more than double the market share of any other social network for REALTORS®. Surprisingly, only 31% of REALTORS® surveyed used Twitter. This is one of the easiest social media networks to manage. 30% of real estate professionals cited “Don’t have time” as the primary reason they didn’t use social media. Twitter is perfect for busy people. Since posts are only 140 characters and there are so many management systems available to simplify and schedule your posts (we use Hootsuite, but Buffer is a great system also) there is really no reason to be missing out on this social network.
With so many social networks having abysmal numbers among agents, there has to be a reason so many pass over these opportunities to connect with new leads. The most common factor seems to be lack of training. Many real estate agents and brokers could benefit from social media training, as only 54% said they were really comfortable or extremely comfortable using it. 26% of REALTORS® also listed “Don’t know how to use it” as their primary reason for not using social media for business. Holding training courses and listening to webinars on marketing through social media networks would be a great investment for a brokerage. Inman has some great webinars on social media that agents and brokers can watch and discuss to learn new strategies. For the broker, getting the entire company on the same page with social media is a great brand builder that will get your name out to a wider audience if done smartly. Check out a brokerage that’s doing Twitter right for some inspiration on posts that will spark interest and conversation.
72% of REALTORS® have a real estate agent website. However, many agents are barely spending an hour a week on their websites. Over half of all REALTORS® spent 5 hours or less on their website each month. Only 28% of agents and 36% of brokers were satisfied with the amount of web leads they received from their website. These two factors could be directly related, as agents may be ranking low on search engines and not getting the leads they should be. With a more carefully crafted website and up-to-date content, the amount of ROI you’re getting on your web page could go up exponentially.
What is the best way to invest your time in your site? Of any online marketing tool, a personal blog is possibly the best resource for connecting with valuable leads. Only 15% of REALTORS® currently have a blog. That means 85% of them are missing the best opportunity to showcase their knowledge of real estate and the local community. From the best pizza places to the cost of living, if people are thinking about moving to your area, there’s a lot they’d like to know. Blogging can also have a big impact on how high you rank in search engines. Search engine bots value new content, and odds are if you fall into the “5 hours or less a month” group, your website probably hasn’t been updated recently. Fortunately, blogging is an easy way to add content to your site that will give you a big payoff for a small time investment.
Our Agent XSites websites are built with an automatic updater called GhostWriter that keeps your site content fresh and helps you spend less time on your site, while still getting the benefit of constant updates.
Cost of Technology
Agents, on average, spent $848 in 2013 on technology for their real estate business. Brokers spent a little more, at $1,410. Almost half (45%) of all Agents and Broker-Associates would like to see more technology provided by their brokers. The most requested technology was a good CRM database, better training and support, and more professional websites. These costs can add up quickly for a broker, we get it. However, the investment can pay off. Are you interested in learning about the technology that can simplify your company’s management? We offer a total solution that supplies brokers with stunning websites and helps them distribute and manage leads.
Technology doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and if you use it smartly it can find you quality leads and give you great ROI. Every city and brokerage is different, some may see better results from a heavy social media influence, and others may just need a better CRM to find and follow leads. Technology isn’t out to take over the real estate industry, it’s there to simplify it. Use it to your advantage!
As always if you have any questions or would like to discuss your real estate technology and marketing solutions, e-mail us or call us at 1-800-ALAMODE.