Buyers are starting to make their way back into the real estate market. As they do, one thing that you can count on is that most of them will be using the internet to do their own research before they ever consider contacting a real estate agent. There is far more information to be found online than there was prior to the housing crisis, which is not always a good thing.
According to the National Association of Realtors, roughly 90% of buyers will research properties online, and many of them will find that the information they have armed themselves with is far from accurate. Most of the discrepancies lie in data entry errors or a lack of attention paid to updating the listings as new information was made available. These errors may seem simple, and they are easy enough to correct, but not keeping your online presence up to date could definitely be costing you business.
When I buyer goes online to find their dream home, most times they are looking for specifics important to them. The numbers of bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. are all things they are looking for when they begin their search. Things like garages and finished basements are also things that may attract a buyer to view a property. When they have found a home on MLS with a finished basement and garage, only to find the basement partially finished with a carport, buyers will grow leery of the agent with the inaccurate listing.
Finding a home they are interested in online usually leads to an online request for information. This request goes largely un-responded to in many cases. In a significant number of cases, the listings are completely out of date. Even if the initial information goes in seemingly correct, it is estimates that over 20% of listings posted to the MLS are not updated when more accurate information is found.
The use of the internet in real estate is relatively new, and the interest in it is growing at a pace much faster than the industry can keep up. One way to keep you business thriving above the rest is to embrace the internet as the amazing marketing tool that it is and treat it with as much care and expertise as you would any other marketing promotion. A successful real estate agent would never place inaccurate ads in a publication to generate business. If a property was sold, they would not actively market that property. Listing posted online should be treated with the same care.
A successful real estate career in the future will include a growing online presence. The best way to use this momentum to build your business is to take great care with your listings online. Keep the information on each listing that you post fresh and up to date. Maintain a constant monitoring of your online presence so you are not missing any potential customers requesting a showing that you do not know about.
In real estate it is all about service. It is as simple as that. If you do not provide proper service to your clients and potential customers, you will lose them. If you are not maintaining your online listings, you can be sure they are costing you business.
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About David Goldstein — David Goldstein is an Owner and Founding Partner of Express Schools, LLC. which operates online education providers Real Estate Express, Insurance License Express and License Tutor. Follow him on Twitter.