The following is a collection of reader comments found on Inman.com:
Walk Score represents ‘the tip of the iceberg’
Gas prices pique interest in Walk Score
"This is merely the tip of the iceberg of what is sure to come. Higher gas prices will force everyone to reexamine the residential and work choices they have made.
"Residential properties closer to public transportation and carpooling services will be in greater demand. ‘Bedroom communities’ will see the one-hour or two-hour commuters coming home only on weekends. Apartment-sharing and boarding near to the workplace will become more and more popular.
"How can you change the way you market properties to capitalize on these forecasts?"
–Robin Taylor Roth
One size never fits all
Social networking pays off
"Before you can present a consumer with information on every available listing in their price range they have to visualize themselves living in X, Y or Z community. There is no shortage of search engines for property information, but there is a huge shortage of the information people really want to know about prospective places to live. This is where agents need to focus their attention — becoming trusted sources of information with a name, a face, and demonstrable results for their clients. It’s about relationship-building right where consumers are — the Web.
"Social networking is just one small part of adapting to a new way of doing business. Ultimately, consumers will choose to work with agents who can adapt to their communication style, their requirements and their expectations. And one style does not fit all — it never has."
No silver bullets in real estate
Where’s the ‘wow’?
"In life, there are no silver bullets, unfortunately. In real estate, I believe sound business practices that utilize necessary technology (such as the Internet as a shopping ground for buyers) can increase an agent’s efficiency greatly. Simple is best and that’s why we manage our agents’ sites for them to produce their own leads, leaving the agents to sell the prospects. It’s also not a silver bullet, but it sure can help."
Proper marketing can cure consumer confusion
We are all the same … and that’s the problem
"I agree that it is going to get harder and harder to create a real point of difference. Agents worldwide are grabbing onto the smallest detail within their businesses and are passionately selling based on that alone.
"Things like (creating) the best brochures or longer or more frequent open homes, etc., aren’t going to be enough to grab someone’s attention.
"During the process the consumer is going to become even more confused by all of the different options available and when it all gets too hard for them they will look for other alternative ways to do business.
"At the end of the day the only real point of difference that you have is YOU. You have to market yourself in such a way that you can connect with people. You have to become a presenter and embrace the Web 2.0 strategies via video and podcasting because unfortunately, as an agent, people assume things about you without even meeting you. Video helps more people to get to know you."
Restore the glory to home ownership
Rediscovering the American dream
"Marcie is absolutely on target. There have been so many recent negative factors that undermine the benefits of home ownership in the minds of young people today. The rate of individual savings in the U.S. is at an all-time low, and historically the greatest form of saving for most American homeowners is through equity buildup in their homes. If we don’t restore the benefits of home ownership in public perception, many of those who forgo home ownership will find their retirement outlook bleak.
"We definitely need more consumer education. We also need new federal policies that will both create new incentives for home ownership and prevent the recurrence of the problems that discourage home ownership, such as the subprime meltdown and some of the initiatives that restrict consumers’ real estate service choices that have also been featured prominently in the media."
Daniel Rothamel, Inman News community manager, compiled the items in this report.
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