Written by | Rick Jarvis
Sometimes I am amazed by the level of change I have seen in my real estate lifetime.
The Old School
I remember the old school version of brokerage – metal desks, rotary phones, yellow pages, D & B lead cards, door knocking, cold calling, carbon paper, thermal fax paper, answering machines, combination lock boxes, and those pink ‘While You Were Out’ message slips on your desk when you got back from lunch.
The scary thing is it was not that long ago … but I digress.
In the good old days, when you got a new listing, you took pictures with some type of disposable camera and tried your best to create an acceptable fact sheet or brochure. Soon thereafter, you made copies (color copies if it was a really nice listing) and then set off with your stack of brochures to make the other brokerages aware of your listing.
The public, by and large had little way of knowing what was for sale other than signs on the property or what they saw advertised in the classifieds. Sometimes, the public would walk in and announce they wanted to buy (or sell) a property and needed someone to handle the sale for them. You just hoped you were there when they did.
Once again, these were good old days …
The Web and Online Behavior
But now, we now have this little invention called the internet and its impact has been either transformative or disruptive, depending on your point of view.
For real estate, the web has leveled the playing field. The large brokerages that once had the advantage of having more signs in yards, on buildings and in windows no longer reap the same benefit. The physical sign, while still important, is slowly losing ground to the digital one. The importance of this cannot be understated.
Increasing numbers of buyers and sellers are beginning their search online and expecting the free flow of information. Hoarding information as a strategy to create engagement, now creates the exact opposite result. Asking a person to register before demonstrating your value is a huge no-no in the online world and while many industries have embraced this change, real estate is somewhat slow to come around.
Embracing the Digital Sign
We learned quickly that for every physical sign we can put in the ground or on a building, we can create literally dozens, if not hundreds, of digital signs in the web. And we also quickly learned that the art of connecting with potential clients online differs vastly from how we connect in person. Knowing the difference is but one key to effective promotions in the new world of marketing.
So not only do we believe in growing our digital sign presence and expanding our syndication skills, but we also focus on the other forms of online engagement … content strategies, social strategies, response strategies … all to improve our interaction with the public. When we do it well, we win, as do our clients.
Anyone can go out and register for the latest online lead generation service or buy the latest app for your phone but without a greater understanding, it serves no real purpose. It is the correct application of technology that separates the nimble from the slow and the quick from the dead. At One South, we understand the web and leverage it to our client’s advantage each and every day.