Saturday, September 15, 2007

T is for Technology

Talk about a can of worms...

As an agent, there are so many types of technology, and so many options within those types that it can be overwhelming. Every day, I get dozens of emails offering me the exact new technology that is going to make buyers and sellers step all over each other to do business with me and nobody else. Some are quite intriguing, other... not so much. Whether it is broadcast html email, radio broadcasts, lights for my listing signs, listing sheets sent via text message to phones, listing enhancements for popular websites, or search engine optimization, I know that some company is going to send me the latest and greatest new solution... even if I don't know what the problem is yet.

For a buyer or a seller, the problem is similar, but luckily not as severe... especially for buyers.

Buyers are mainly bombarded by websites offering listings. Not only are there the heavyweights, like, or, but every agent and brokerage (ok, most agents and brokerages) also offer all of the listings from the local MLS. Of course, let's not forget that there are dozens of sites that list the homes that are not listed by real estate agents. Too bad all of the FSBO sites can't get their act together and put all of their listings in one place. Oh yeah, then there are the classified sites, like Craigslist or the local newspaper. There are specialty sites, ranging from Ebay to Hemmings Motor News to Autoweek. For sellers, there are huge questions about where to really look to find the best deals, or at least to find a great agent to work with.

Sellers have many of those same outlets staring at them. Of course, if they get an agent, then the agent is usually handling the advertising media. But, while selecting an agent, the agent's advertising starts to come into play. Not only does a seller need to have a clue about where the agent is advertising their listings, but also other technologies the agent might use. Among some of the technologies that a typical seller will run across are sign lights, postcards (just listed cards, or even mailers to apartments), talking house systems, individual web pages or sites, and text message flyers.

As an agent, I get to look into ALL of those sites, technologies and systems. Of course, it's my job. But, I also get to look into a bunch of different options for promoting myself. There are so many options it is dizzying. Some are time proven, and continue to perform. Others are promising insights into future technology. Some are interesting, but I would say "lack the dignity a professional should require. Some are just stupid.

In no particular order...

  • Blogging
  • Websites (and along with that, the myriad of providers, SEO, pay per click, domain strategies, etc.)
  • Podcasting
  • Listing lights for signs
  • Special riders
  • Telephone tracking through 800 numbers
  • Recorded info systems
  • Radio broadcast systems from the home
  • Different media advertising (newspaper, radio, TV, magazines, etc.)
  • Text flyers to phones
  • Listing site enhancements (like showcase listings or enhanced listings)
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Logos
  • Personal advertising campaigns
  • Broadcast email
  • Email property flyers to agents

OK, I'm getting tired, and I haven't even gone back and looked at old or discarded mails to see what I might have missed.

Here is something from the "hmm, I don't think so..." category. Link.

Stupid wheelsI'm a car guy, but I don't think I'm putting a set of those on my ride...

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