The way in which real estate agents market properties and themselves has changed drastically even in the past 10 years. With information being more readily shared and buyers becoming savvier in the marketplace, it will become increasingly important for agents to cut through the clutter to get their message across. The days of putting a sign in the yard and a piece of cinnamon in the oven during an open house are behind us.

I have been involved in real estate sales and marketing for more than 10 years, serving as the director of marketing for the past three years with one of the top firms in Boston — Charlesgate Realty. Staying ahead of the curve in technology and marketing advances has always helped the firm and its agents have a competitive edge in the market.

In addition to daily tasks, I spend a great deal of time researching trends in the marketplace and analyzing what top firms do from a marketing perspective in markets such as NYC, Los Angeles, Miami and even internationally. By looking at these trends, and the changing preferences of buyers, sellers and renters, I think you will see some significant changes coming in real estate marketing.

This is what I believe you will see in the next five years:

1. The use of 3-D technology will become commonplace.

Virtual tours will become “so 2005.” With more accessible pricing on 3-D technology, these walk-throughs will replace tours that don’t allow potential buyers to “see” into the home. Check out one we just did for a luxury Boston property at Charlesgate Realty.

2. More interactive office spaces will become the norm.

Those boring cubicles and fluorescent lights will (thankfully) give way to spaces where clients want to go and easily interact with a sales professional. Think “coffee” shops, where people can casually chat about one of the biggest purchases or sales of their lives.

3. Neighborhood-level knowledge will become increasingly important.

People don’t want just to know what a house is like to live in; they want to know about the area around it. It will become vital for agents to explain the entire lifestyle of a property — not just the features.

4. Print collateral will become passe.

The money spent by companies on professional printing of property brochures, postcards, etc., will be redirected to digital items that see a higher return on investment and are more easily modified. This reallocation also lets agents get information to a consumer the way they want to access it.

5. Native advertising will see an increased presence in marketing budgets.

If you are not on board with native advertising, you might be missing out on some great opportunities to get your content in front of consumers and drive traffic to your website.

6. Location-based services will play a bigger role in marketing.

With advances in technology that better utilize location on mobile devices, you will see an increase in the ways companies use this information.

7. Agents will see social marketing make a bigger impact.

You have seen the growth of agents utilizing Facebook and Twitter more effectively to market their listings and business, and this will continue to grow with changes in these platforms. Additionally, services such as Instagram and Pinterest will become more incorporated into an agent’s social marketing plan.

8. QR codes will stop trying to be a thing.

These never took off in a big way and are slowly fading away in the public’s eye. Within five years, this technology will have seen the end of its day.

9. Zillow and Trulia will not be the consumer’s first choice for listing information.

As consumers continue to desire more personal information about lifestyle, not just a home’s features, you will see a trend of their turning toward local companies where they can find listings as well as information on the marketplace and neighborhoods.

10. Marketing will still be the most important piece of your business.

How you present yourself to your clients is the first and last step to success in real estate. The mentality will hold true, “If you can’t market yourself well, how will you market my home effectively?”

Marketing has always been one of the most important aspects of a real estate company’s value to their clients. Arguably, it tends to be less than cutting edge for many firms who stick to traditional methods. As you see these 10 changes in the marketplace, I think you will see a higher level of distinction between firms that focus their efforts on these things and those that do not.

Gregory Kiep is the director of marketing at Charlesgate Realty. You can find out more about him at or follow him on Linkedin or Facebook.

Email Gregory Kiep.

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