The real estate industry has been in a constant state of reluctant change for over thirty years. In the 1970’s and 1980’s the brokers had all the power. Agents would be told how they would do their business and where to work and even who they could work with. And the public had to go to a broker to get any information and for help selling their homes or finding a home.
In the nineties the power shifted to the agents. Agents started to go from company to company and brokers were allowed to recruit agents so this created a sort of free agency market for Realtors. Brokers would try to woo the good agents to their company by offering incentives and more agent-friendly policies. The public still needed to contact an agent or a broker to get information, so the agents had the power.
Today the power has shifted to the client, where it belongs. Todays home buyer and seller are more knowledgeable and educated in the process than ever before. Some buyers and sellers are more educated than many Realtors because many Realtors simply have not learned their profession well. Many agents make as much money as they can by doing as little actual work as possible. And hopefully those agents will be removed from the marketplace.
The value of a good Realtor today is more facilitatory. They coordinate the home buying or selling process and give area knowledge and expertise to their clients while protecting them and their best interests. The client can get a lot of information, but there is a difference between information and knowledge. A good buyers agent can inform their client of which areas have a better commute time to downtown and which shopping centerhas the freshest produce or what the basic feel of a neighborhood is. They can organize the information and help their client make good decisions.
A good seller’s agent can help the seller know the market value of their home and what the highest possible sales price most likely is. They assist their clients with showcasing their home or “staging” it so it can sell for top dollar and they market the home to the broadest possible audience.
And a good agent in either agency relationship will help coordiante inspections, disclosures, appraisals, and all the details- all the way through the settlement and closing.
Blogging can play a unique role in the evolution (not revolution) of the real estate industry. Companies and agents who stay in touch with the public and keep the pulse of their market’s needs and wants will undoubtedly be the ones to succeed at the highest possible level.
Blogging is the ultimate form of word of mouth marketing.
Often a company (not only real estate companies) will think they know what their clients need or want but actually be completely wrong. Usually this is because they have not listened to their clients. Many compnies make a habit of telling their clients what they want and trying to position themselves as the expert in areas that do not matter to the client. By utilizing the realm of bolgging a company can discover what their clients actually do need, and more importantly, want. They can listen. They can peek into their clients conversations and have real dialogue with them, resulting in better communication.
Blogging is such a valuable tool for any industry, but especially for one that is client-centric, like real estate. One of the key roles blogging will play in this industry will be it’s ability to help weed-out those agents and companies that continue to think that the most important factor in the transaction is the agent. This will allow greater market share for those of us who believe the most important factor is the client.