What Realtors Can Learn From The Dot Com Survivors


THE LEADERS POST - Issue #60 - May 10, 2001

from Results-net.com
By: Doug Towes, Editor

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About the Leaders Post
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The Leaders Post is the newsletter for professionals committed
to Net Success - from Results-net.com, an online community of
professionals dedicated to providing excellent service to their
clients. If you prefer the online version, the current issue as
well as previous issues can be viewed by clicking
Internet Marketing Tips For Real Estate Agents

You may pass this newsletter on to others, as long as it is
sent in it's entirety.

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Contents
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- What Can REALTORS Learn From The Dot Com Survivors?
- Jean-Claude Shows How It Is Done
- Happenings
- Agents Sell Houses - Technology Doesn't
- Search Engine News
- Tip Of The Day

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Net Success
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What can REALTORS learn from the many dot com failures we read
about every week? More importantly, what can we learn from the
experiences of those that survive? This article may be one of
the most beneficial for your business that you have read in a
long time!

Many of the myths of the internet have been put to rest,
hopefully for good, by the recent dot com failures.

One of the first myths to go was "If you have a clever URL,
they will come." Originally quoted in the November 1999 issue of
this newsletter ( available online at
http://www.leaderspost.com/lp_28.html ) from an article by James
J. Cramer, co-founder of The Street.com ..."Wrong ! People will
only come if you interact with them successfully. Nobody surfs
the Web for URLs. If you want traffic, you have to buy traffic
thru internet advertising or search engine positioning and you
have to interact with that traffic one-on-one once it is in the
cyberdoor."

The above statement has two very important elements that
deserve closer scrutiny. In regards to the effectiveness of
internet advertising, that also has proven to be a myth with
many dot coms including NBCi.com citing as a reason for their
failure the fact that their advertisers were not getting
sufficient response to their ads and therefore had cut their
internet advertising budgets. Search engines however, still
remain the best method of attracting new and highly targeted
visitors to web sites.

The second element can not be stressed highly enough, so I am
going to capitalize it - "YOU HAVE TO INTERACT WITH THAT TRAFFIC
ONE-ON-ONE"!

Various versions of that statement are the one common thread in
the stories of internet survivors. Success is not dependent on
the technology used but rather on the quality of personal
contact. So why then are many REALTORS rushing to embrace just
the opposite in the form of autoresponders and automated follow
up systems? Many REALTORS mistakenly view the internet as a
place where the "numbers game" is played and hope to prosper by
setting up automated systems that do it all for them.

One group we can learn from are also agents - travel agents.
The demise of travel agents was widely predicted as the
technology the internet provides was to have made them
redundant. Why talk to a travel agent when you can do it
yourself faster and cheaper on the internet?

In fact, business is great for many travel agents! One reason
often cited is that the internet has made the average consumer
better educated about travel and allowed agents themselves to
aggregate the information customers are looking for and become
specialists in specific destinations. Another reason is that the
web has extended the market reach of even the smallest of
agencies.

Travel agents were among the earliest adopters of the
opportunities the internet provides. Travel agents on the web
have an attraction over self booking because they offer one stop
shopping and there is accountability - there is someone to call
when things go wrong.

But the biggest attraction is that with an agency CUSTOMERS
HAVE REAL PEOPLE ON THE END OF THE LINE TO LISTEN TO AND ANSWER
QUESTIONS AND TO MAKE SUGGESTIONS.

There it is again - people interacting with people not with
technology. Real estate is a business where a relationship must
be created and trust built before a transaction can be had. Use
of technology such as autoresponders and automated followup
systems are very impersonal and not at all what visitors to web
sites are looking for. TECHNOLOGY DOESN'T CREATE RELATIONSHIPS,
PEOPLE DO.

For travel agents, the internet has meant a drop in commissions
and service fees have successfully been introduced by many
agents to make up for this. Customers have accepted this and are
willing to pay the service fees because of the personalized
service they receive.

We can also learn from the experiences of the E-tail sector who
have found there is a huge number of e-customers who feel unease
when there is no physical contact with a salesperson. Many of
those that have survived have set up systems such a call centers
to allow e-customers to interact with salespeople and obtain
more information from real-live people about products that
interest them. Once again, the key element here that determines
success is the person-to-person contact and not person-to-
technology.

REALTORS can learn from all of this and benefit by personally
answering their email often and also by following up with each
lead personally - not using an automated follow up system.
Potential clients want to interact with you - not your computer.

Only after personally contacting a prospect and determining
that a prospect will not turn into a client any time soon should
an automated follow up system be employed. Regular email
newsletters work well as does sending personalized regular
market updates using a email merge program. Often such long term
prospects who are regularly followed up with will turn into
clients several months down the road.

How successful is personal interaction? Jean-Claude Rousseau of
Montreal sent me a note
a few weeks ago which says it all...

"1. On March 27 a prospective seller from Taipei, Taiwan filled
my home evaluation form for her condo in Montreal. On April 2
after a few emails and a real evaluation of the unit I took the
listing and put it on our MLS system. On April 12 we had an
accepted offer. Finally on April 18 we had a firm deal.

2. On April 9 a prospective seller from Ottawa filled my home
evaluation form for his condo in Montreal. On April 14 after 2
emails I met him and got the listing. On April 17 I show the
unit to a customer of mine. The same day got an offer, accepted
the same night.

3. On April 4, 2 ladies from Toronto filled my home search form
for a condo in Montreal. I showed the properties on April 7 and
21. An offer was taken on the 22, presented and accepted on the
23.

If some have doubts about the Results-net real estate system at
http://www.rncinternet.com/real_estate.html , well I don't!
If you check your e-mail a minimum of 2 to 3 times a day, and
respond fast, success will come.

Three sales inside a month what more do you want? ... Oh yes,
an other customer from North Bay, ON. a military prospect, has
filled a home search form, I met him a few days ago and we
should visit some properties in the week of May 13. "

Jean-Claude's story really emphasis the benefits of
responding quickly - yourself - having an autoresponder do it
for you is not a replacement. From there your success will be in
direct proportion to your skills at building a relationship with
the prospect. Jean-Claude obviously has the necessary skills!

Technology can be a wonderful tool if used to enhance personal
service and not to replace it. Take advantage of the experiences
of the dot coms that are surviving and offer your web site
visitors personalized service - and reap the benefits!

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RNC Internet Services has a proven record of producing
effective web sites that place well in the major search engines
and may be able to help you make the changes to your existing
site and improve it's search engine positioning.

***RNC Internet Services can only do your search positioning
for you as long as you are not in the same market area as a
current House and Home Real Estate Page member. Also in some
cases, because of the changes to your site that would be
required to improve your positioning, we can't help you if you
do not own the copyright to your site.

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Happenings At Results-net.com
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The Results-net site has had a
face lift and some new additions - check it out!

One useful change is that links to some of the most popular
articles on how to increase your real estate business using the
internet are now on the front page.

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You can promote yourself very well by participating in the
Agents Online Real Estate Discussion Forums,
which are visited by hundreds people who are each viewing
several messages a day now looking for real estate information,
agents, and property listings! Participating in the discussion
and sharing your insights is great FREE advertising!

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This and That
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Two of the internet's higher profile FSBO sites, Owners.com and
HomeBytes have closed their doors. This is another case where
the expectations were that technology made agents redundant.

As any REALTOR knows, this is not the case. Agents sell houses -
advertising doesn't! And all the technology in the world will
not change that fact.

The technology exists that can replace many of the functions
real estate agents have traditionally performed but using such
technology does not result in success because the public needs
the personal services agents provide.

Agents who use technology and the internet to enhance the
personal service they provide will prosper. Those who use
technology in place of the personal service the public wants and
needs will not.

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Search Engine News

With the demise of Go.com's search engine and the announced
closure of NBCi, the watch has been on to see which major search
engine would be the next to go.

The two most often mentioned by "pundits" are AltaVista and
Excite. AltaVista has plunged from being one of the most
important search engines to ninth or tenth place depending on
which rating service you believe. Excite has recently announced
massive layoffs and has introduced a pay-per-click component in
an effort to beef up revenues.

Excite has lost long time fans as a "search engine" because in
recent history it's index appears to have only updated once or
twice a year resulting in very stale search results. Web
searchers are finding better search results elsewhere and this
can only lead to a drop in traffic and revenues - and the death
spiral unless they get their act together. Apparently sending
out search engine spiders costs money - hence the lack of timely
updates.

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Tip Of The Day
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20. BEAUTY SECRETS-by Janet Reno
19. HOME BUILT AIRPLANES-by John Denver
18. HOW TO GET TO THE SUPER BOWL-by Dan Marino
17. THINGS I LOVE ABOUT BILL-by Hillary Clinton
16. WOMEN I HAVEN'T SEXUALLY HARASSED-by Bill Clinton
15. THINGS I CAN'T AFFORD-by Bill Gates
14. THINGS I WOULD NOT DO FOR MONEY-by Dennis Rodman
13. THE WILD YEARS-by Al Gore
12. AMELIA EARHART'S GUIDE TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN
11. AMERICA'S MOST POPULAR LAWYERS
10. DETROIT - A TRAVEL GUIDE
9. DR. KEVORKIAN'S COLLECTION OF MOTIVATIONAL SPEECHES
8. EVERYTHING MEN KNOW ABOUT WOMEN
7. EVERYTHING WOMEN KNOW ABOUT MEN
6. ALL THE MEN I'VE LOVED BEFORE-by Ellen DeGeneres
5. MIKE TYSON'S GUIDE TO DATING ETIQUETTE
4. SPOTTED OWL RECIPES-by the EPA
3. THE AMISH PHONE DIRECTORY
2. THE WORLD'S MOST TALENTED RAP MUSICIANS
1. MY PLAN TO FIND THE REAL KILLERS-by O. J. Simpson

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Results-net.com is an online community of professionals
dedicated to providing excellent service to their clients.

This newsletter is Copyright (c) RNC Internet Services,2001
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