The 2013-14 REALTOR® Technology Survey Report was just released last week and it will give you important information about your customers. According to NAR the report “summarizes national findings collected in January 2014 among sales agents, associate brokers, brokers, broker-owners, and managers regarding REALTOR® practices… Respondents were asked to look back 12 months (into 2013) and tell us about their real estate business experiences with technology.” Think you can collect market intelligence from a report like this? If you said “Absolutely!” you would be 100% correct. The five things I learned about agents from the report:
1) Nearly 50% of the respondents want brokers to provide more technology. Every broker I speak with large and small tells me he/she is losing money in the company. Spend more money on technology? I don’t think so. Question: if the broker isn’t going to provide them with new technology, who will?
2) Among the new tech offerings they expect from their brokers: CRM (customer relationship management system). This makes sense because according to another NAR study, 61% of Realtors® never, rarely or (at most) a few times a year use a CRM system. Again, where does the money come from to pay for this?
3) Facebook and LinkedIn were the most popular social networks among Realtors with at least three-quarters of respondents participating in each. Only 20 percent cited a good return on investment!! Why do they continue to spend time (and money) on technology that doesn’t have a return? Perhaps it is because there are no good alternatives?
4) Respondents overwhelmingly cited referrals and repeat business as their most important sources of lead generation, followed distantly by community involvement and personal advertising. REALLY? According to another NAR survey 13% of all Realtors never get a repeat deal and 60% get next to none. The “most important” is their lowest yielding source! Read on…
5) When asked to pick the single best marketing software or website to generate new leads, 22 percent cited their company website, followed by their personal website (15 percent), “other” (14 percent), realtor.com (13 percent), Facebook (10 percent), Zillow (9 percent) and Trulia (6 percent). Respondents were least likely to cite CRMs as their best source of new leads.
How does a Realtor get repeat business? Word of mouth perhaps… and post-closing marketing (CRM systems). The “most important” source of business was the worst performing. The worst performing was a technology they wanted their brokers to provide but those brokers likely won’t spend the additional dollars to get it. According to a different NAR survey about 88% of homeowners would do business with their real estate agents again, but less than 10% can remember who they were. The sales and marketing opportunity and strategy is obvious.
He (or she) who gets there first wins.