Apr 092011

Back in the 1990’s Realtors were being told that they need to embrace the Internet if they were to be successful in the future. We were being told that the next crop of Realtors were likely going to come from the tech industry and they were already familiar with using the Internet. As well, all those still in schools and universities were equally as familiar. If we wanted to compete in the future we needed to embrace email and the Internet right away.

All of that turned out to be true of course. Along the way however, the Internet and how it was perceived changed in the eyes of Realtors. As I pointed out in my previous article on how to generate more leads from the Internet, the early adopters recognized the Internet as a communications medium and enjoyed great success with little competition. Information-providing websites and email were used to communicate with potential clients and personal responses from web queries allowed the building of relationships which ultimately led to converted leads.

Then came commercialization. Realtors began to think of the web as an advertising medium and a place for promotion and data mining – not for building relationships. Often costly technology and practices that did not necessarily enhance relationship building became the norm. Having IDX listings on a website today is considered a “must” but did you know that many early adopters of IDX actually found that their leads went down and not up with IDX? It was a barrier to relationship building as it had been done up until that point in time. Before IDX, people would more readily contact the Realtor for housing information.

Blogging has since come along and the act of blogging is a return to the practice of initiating a relationship by providing information that enhances your profile as a knowledgeable Realtor with clients’ interests at heart. Those that use their blog for more than blatant self promotion enjoy success generating new real estate business.

Just as back in the 1990’s Realtors were being advised to embrace the Internet, today you need to embrace Facebook because it is the ultimate relationship building opportunity. Just as back in the 1990’s the next crop or Realtors were already ardent users of the Internet, today’s next crop all already use Facebook and have 100’s of people who they connect with on a regular basis. In many cases, they have an ongoing relationship with everyone they ever went to school with and worked with. When they enter the business they will have hundreds of people who already know and trust them and who are likely to do business with them instead of with you.

If you haven’t already, it is time to stop thinking of the Internet as an advertising medium and get back to thinking of it as a relationship building opportunity.