While nostalgia can leave us longing for a simpler time, when buyers and renters simply called our office phone number from a sign on the property or from a newspaper ad, it's clear that things have changed. I just finished talked to our PR person about updating our tweets and looking at the possibility of a company app. We debated this morning where we should be putting our marketing dollars now--should we spend all our money on line? On premium sites that buyers check for new listings? Is there still a place for postcards and mailings? Can we expect the office phone to ring when everyone gives out his or her cellphone number?
There are more basic questions contained within the dilemmas posed above. At heart, what we're trying to determine is what today's buyer or lessee wants from a real estate agent or company. After all, a lot of information is readily available on websites, and those are accessed 24/7 by busy people. How can we add value to a process that can be frustrating, confusing, and time-consuming? Although we clearly still have a role in the negotiation phase, where does our job start? How do we help people whittle down the choices?
As you can see, there are many more questions than answers in this blog post. (And notice that it's a big change just to be able to read our opinions and predictions in a blog). So, here's your chance to answer back: What do you think? We're listening.