Innovation in Real Estate
by Contributed - Story: 77504
Jul 6, 2012 / 5:00 am
Jul 6, 2012 / 5:00 am
Many years ago in the UK my father and I purchased one of the country's first ever fax machines for our printing company. It was about the size of a refrigerator, but it was new and nobody knew they were ever going to end up being so small or redundant for that matter, so we were very excited.
The machine was like a magician's contraption, nobody really knew how it worked. If it broke however, I could pull out one of the circuit boards and solder it myself. I remember hearing the phone line ring and all the guys in our factory would stop their work and come and look, as gradually, over the next fifteen minutes a page of text emerged! We had to read it quickly because if you left it on your desk it was like a letter from a spy, all of the words would disappear. It opened up untold numbers of doors for us to work for agencies in continental Europe and we were one of only a handful of printers who could send proofs over a telephone line to organizations like the United Nations. Innovation has always been a part of my life as I try and research how new and evolving technologies will play a role in the life of the consumer.
Real Estate innovation may seem a little like “postal service”, an oxymoron.
Real estate and innovation often don’t often go together in the same sentence unless the sentence is contained in a marketing document discussing the merits of an industry embracing innovation.
What we are talking about is really teaching an old dog new tricks and that can be challenging at the best of times.
In a recent survey, 70% of homeowners indicated that they would be more likely to list their home with a REALTOR® who featured the home in video. A quick scan of YouTube to look for Kelowna real estate videos” brings up a variety of video’s and also highlights how many REALTORS® don’t even use video as a tool for promotion.
Having recognised the value of video and internet presentation technology when I was working for a large development company in the 1990’s, what we attempted to do was to focus on a consumer centric marketing plan. Good REALTORS® I believe will base their plans around what their consumers require. They will be the successful REALTORS® in the industry. Conversely, many REALTORS® will implement programs that benefit themselves the most. This short term approach to business success is not sustainable as consumers quickly establish that their needs are not being met.
In looking online, it is very easy to find video’s that feature very poor quality video or even worse a compilation of very poor quality photographs put into a slide show. There are examples of videos that go on far too long. As a rule of thumb, five minutes is starting to get too long.
In general, poor imagery will be forgiven easier than poor sound and yet there are examples on Youtube of poor quality sound, no sound or music that drowns out any narration.
Video can be an amazing tool to assist consumers and I have certainly had success with distant buyers making some serious decisions before coming to view a property, even to the point of writing an offer to purchase without looking at the property.
As REALTORS® struggle to embrace the ever changing technology environment, the smart thing to do is learn from the consumer as to what tools they are finding useful. Clearly the advent of smartphones has changed the technology horizon and we all could do well to invest some time in analysing what you, the consumer, find useful. I would love to hear your thoughts.
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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.
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