There are plenty of folks reading this in black and white news print who don’t use or enjoy computers. I’ve had a few phone calls (and letters) from folks who remind me that not everybody has access to the Internet.
As a consumer, you don’t have to be a technological genius to buy or sell real estate.
What’s most important is to be able to hire someone who will use technology as a tool for you. At this stage in the game, if the real estate agent you are currently using or are planning to use to sell your home can’t give you a technological edge, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. That agent is selling buggy whips in the day and age of electric cars.
Is this pick on real estate agent day? No. You can literally take any business built anywhere in the world and they should have evolved to be using the latest technology, so why shouldn’t your real estate agent? Those businesses and real estate agents who haven’t will eventually fade away no different than any other business that didn’t evolve.
I run with a nerdy tribe of folks; mortgage brokers, contractors, financial planners, restaurateurs, advertising/public relations agencies. What they all have in common is the ability to promote, find and convert business on the Internet as part of their marketing programs. There’s no reason why your real estate agent shouldn’t be held to the same standard even if you don’t “get the Internet.”
Most home sellers don’t understand how the Internet works with regard to real estate and what they should expect and demand of the real estate agent they choose to market their real estate. So, for the sake of those who read the paper-paper offline, here are a few things you should know and demand as a marketing service to sell your real estate.
These would be deal breakers if I was hiring a real estate agent or helping a family member hire an agent. At minimum an agent should have:
• Their own website, preferably a blog. Why? Because the Google search engine loves blogs … and most buyers are searching for your real estate online and you need your home to be found online. The geeks shall inherit the Earth. You heard it here, first.
• Memberships to property listing syndication services where your home will be posted on the important consumer search sites like Realbird, Trulia, Zillow and a couple dozen others that would exceed my word count.
• An iPad or a laptop computer with Internet access to actually show you these websites and their blog while they’re sitting at your kitchen table.
• A cell phone that does not flip closed. Perhaps some variation of a Droid or iPhone so they look way cool while they’re reading the email from buyers finding and asking questions about your home online.
If you’re a consumer and you’re not using computers and technology, you don’t even know what you don’t know. Those are just the basic four, deal breaker must-haves and yes, there are licensees running around out there fakin’ it until evolution catches up with them.
So, if you don’t have a family member advocate who can help you, go forth and hire the kid down the street with a laptop or an iPad to sit down with you for an hour to check out your agent and their listings online. You should also Google your street address or the address of a property your chosen real estate agent currently has listed.
If you can’t find your agent’s name or the street address of one of their listings cluttering up the first page of Google, it means you’re buying buggy whips instead of the modern real estate technology you deserve.
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Chris Griffith is a real estate agent at Downing-Frye Realty Inc. in Bonita Springs. If you have a question about local real estate or Bonita Springs, e-mail her at chris@LifeInBonitaSprings.com.