Realtors Rely on Internet Presence to Push Sales
Real estate agents and brokers understand the importance of a web presence and communicating with their clients through several channels.
According to the National Association of Realtors, more than two-thirds have a personal web site — operational for a median of eight years — and 91 percent report their firm has an online presence. Sixty-one percent of the respondents use social or professional networking sites — an increase of 5 percent from 2012 — and 12 percent have a blog. Realtors use a variety of communications methods when interacting with current clients or customers, with 94 percent preferring e-mail, followed by telephone at 90 percent and text messaging at 80 percent.
Realtors continue to rely on repeat business and referrals. Repeat business accounted for a median 21 percent of activity in 2013 and is higher for those with more experience. For members in the business 16 years or more, repeat business was 42 percent of their activity. Referrals accounted for an additional 21 percent of all business.
However, several factors limit potential clients in completing transactions. Members said finding the right property was the biggest challenge (33 percent) followed by obtaining a mortgage (25 percent).
"The survey indicates that inventory shortages, overly restrictive mortgage lending standards and the rise in home prices and interest rates last year had an impact on Realtors' ability to help their client find the right property," said Lawrence Yun , NAR chief economist.
Similar to 2012, eight out of 10 NAR members focus on residential sales and 73 percent have secondary real estate real estate specialties. Of those members with secondary specialties, residential brokerage is the largest at 35 percent. Both residential property management and relocation were next at 17 percent, followed by commercial brokerage at 16 percent. Smaller percentages were also in counseling, land development, auctions and commercial appraisal.
Compensation structures for Realtors and firm affiliation remained mostly the same from 2012. Sixty-eight percent of respondents are compensated through a split commission arrangement, 17 percent receive all of the commission and another 4 percent receive a commission plus a share of profits; 11 percent received some other form of compensation. Eighty-two percent of members work as independent contractors for their firms. The vast majority of Realtorsreceive no fringe benefits, although 33 percent are covered by errors and omissions insurance. Only 5 percent receive health insurance through their firm.
NAR members are well-educated (50 percent hold a bachelor's degree or higher), own a home (86 percent), invest in at least one residential investment property (39 percent), and bring a wide range of expertise, skills and experience to the profession. Only 6 percent began their career in real estate, with the majority having previous full-time careers in management, business or financial (19 percent) or sales and retail (15 percent). Forty-one percent of those fluent in other languages speak Spanish and 96 percent are registered to vote.
Respondents worked for a firm typically with one office and had been with that firm for six years. Fifty-seven percent of members are affiliated with an independent firm, and 38 percent are with a franchised company; 5 percent are other. Nine percent of realtors report their firm was bought by or merged with another firm during the past two years, down for the second consecutive year and from 11 percent in the 2012 study.
With consumers becoming more net savvy and sophisticated these days, real estate agents and brokers should use available technologies to keep their Internet presence felt.
One of these technology provider is Realbiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ), the developer of proprietary video software that agents and their brokers can use to promote their listings online to potential buyers to meet the changing demands of real estate buyers and investors. The company empowers agents across America to have their own marketing tool, so they don’t have to buy leads from third-party websites.
The company touts its disruptive Virtual Tour program as a technology that’s going to make all the difference in property marketing. The program allows real estate sellers to create virtual tours and presentationsthat are optimized for mobile viewing and could be syndicated through social media for only $29.95 a month.
The program is also equipped with a video search engine optimization (VSEO) tool that automatically generate meta tags and descriptions for virtual tours and listings agents have uploaded to the platform so that they would be found easily by consumers online.
The program also has tools for creating QR codes, e-flyers, and seller reports as bonus features.
To learn more about Realbiz Media and its products, contact email@example.com call 1.888.REAL.BIZ (888.732.5249).
The 2014 National Association of Realtors Member Profile is based on a survey of 95,340 members, which generated 6,462 usable responses, representing an adjusted response rate of 6.8 percent. Survey responses were weighted to be representative of state-level NAR membership. Income and transaction data are for 2013, while other data represent member characteristics in early 2014.
The following article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.