Monday, 24 March 2008

Your customer has left the building

What an excellent post from 1000 watt. Nothing is more true of the new generation of house buyers and sellers. They are mobile!

One only has to sit on a commuter train/bus/airport to get a rough idea of how the masses are using mobile media. More and more people are watching video on the train through a handheld device. So why shouldn't this be a video of a house, with map links etc? No reason whatsoever. A user could look through 10 or so properties that he or she had downloaded at work (during the lunch hour of course!). By the time they arrived home, they would have refined their list and made efficient use of their time.

This has of course been written about before, but it puzzles me why all agents are not yet embracing these changes. Our sole agent product is designed very much with this in mind. Indeed, a single agent can take a video, upload it to numerous sources, send to a client, send to others and market that same property on a blog.

Sole agents appear more willing to embrace this technology. Indeed, I am still trying to persuade agencies to use better quality photographs and take as many as possible, i.e. three or four of each room, the loft, the cupboard under the stairs. People want to see these, but I still struggle to convince agents to use better quality photos let alone more of them. There remains an element of ‘not showing the customer’ the entire truth, which is of course a fundamentally flawed approach and one that will see the demise of any agent who adopts it. The next generation of punters demand much more and agents should be working on building the relationship and establishing what I will call the trust factor. An agent should be looking to help the buyer/seller not just be looking to buy/sell the property.

We adopt a similar sales approach with our agents, namely building a relationship, listening to what they need and then trying to help them with a product that fits their needs. This is the model that agents need to embrace if they are to prosper in the next 10 years.

But if I can’t persuade agents to use better quality photos how do I convince them to set up blogs, build and plan for mobile applications and embrace online marketing? Yes, a challenge and I see many agents stepping forward and wanting to go it alone and perhaps this is where the future lies. I see agents who recognise the need for change escaping restrictive practices and setting up on their own. Customers will be drawn to such agents and I see a real opportunity to create a reputable body of trusted real estate agents.

Not only has your customer left the building, but the agent may have also left the highstreet and changed the way he/she does business.

2 comments:

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Trade Doors said...

Hi

I am a regular visitor of your blog.

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thanks
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