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Smart real estate marketing strategies for 2005

Part 1: The power of the Web

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(This is Part 1 of a two-part series. See Part 2: Pay-per-click revolutionizes real estate biz.) How much money did you spend on marketing in 2004? If you are like most agents, the bulk of your marketing budget went to print advertising. To get the most bang for your buck in 2005, it's time to readjust your marketing strategies to fit today's consumer. I recently attended a conference where a speaker outlined some startling statistics. The data for 2004 shows that the real estate industry is still spending 96 percent of its marketing dollars on print advertising and only 4 percent on Web marketing. According to the NAR 2004 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 74 percent of all buyers used the Web in their home search, the same percentage of buyers who relied on yard signs. In contrast, only 53 percent used newspaper advertising and only 40 percent used a home book or magazine. What's even more surprising is how buyers ranked the usefulness of the information they found. Seventy-two per...