There is a healthy ongoing discussion at JRA regarding portals. One of the issues raised during these discussions is that of agents measuring their online marketing.
This is a huge area and I have been banging this drum since this blog started. Perhaps at last the message is starting to filter through. The SPF blog posts about an estate agent who has just started to look at his Google Analytics. His experience is documented in the post, but it is plain that his introduction is the joyous beginning of his understanding as to what 'actually' goes on out there in the online space.
We need more education. I know we have an interest in JRA, but there are some good videos appearing about how to set about the early stages of dealing with the online space with advice and ongoing debate in these areas. We just need to steer more agents to this space (another challenge!!).
Agents still need to grasp the basic fundamentals of what happens to their properties when they leave the computer terminal. The agent in the SPF post clearly thought that Rightmove was the Internet and had no idea about leads, conversion and who actually looked at his properties. We say that the tools are there, but as this post proves agents are only just starting to look at google analytics. They need to be educated in the basics first.
Primelocation and FindaProperty have now launched a marketing analytical tool (Insight) for their customers and Mark Milner states "we are trying to put in the hands of estate agents the same media tools that we have, so they can measure their return on investment with our sites." I am not sure what education tools they are also offering, but without such basic advice these tools will go the same way as Rightmove's back end system; very good, but underused as not understood by agents.
After a year of moaning about this and a global recession I have an optimistic feeling that agents are finally waking up. Indeed, I am sure I speak for all commentators and the like when I say I can't begin to stress enough the importance of understanding online marketing and how this ought to be every agents number one priority.
The best advice I have read so far is 'hire an online marketing manager', courtesy of Zoomf.