More Silliness from Real Estate Connect

The Inman Real Estate Connect 2008 is a treasure trove of silly statements, as it pertains to real estate marketing. Here’s a short video entitled Marketing Advice for Realtors.

There’s actually some guy that says, “It’s about blogging, all about blogging.” One nice woman says the buzzwords like Web 2.0, participate in Zillow and Trulia, and all that jazz. One guy says, “it’s about video”.

The Real Estate industry has gone tech-crazy.

Here’s a wakeup call: all that technology does is make your existing processes more efficient. If what you do is crap, it makes crap more efficient. If what you do is valuable, then it makes that more efficient. Microsoft Word is an amazing piece of technology, but it can’t write the next Great American Novel for you. You have to actually write the damn thing yourself, and if you suck as a writer, then Word isn’t going to solve that problem for you.

The only rational thing said is from a Reno, NV agent who talks about blogging about the market, tracking the market, etc. and letting the consumers know what’s the going on in the real estate market in Reno. Why is that rational, while the rest of the video is mostly crap?

Because what that agent is doing is valuable in and of itself. She doesn’t have to blog it. She could just do an old-fashioned paper newsletter, and she’d have subscribers. She can hold lectures at the local YMCA and she’d get people coming to listen. The blog is just a more efficient way of providing expert information and guidance.

To do that, of course, you have to be an expert. Seriously, how many real estate agents have you met whom you would classify as a real expert? What the broker-owners and the technology providers and the national network say behind closed doors is that most agents are lazy, stupid, and basically worthless. They have to be. There are 1.3 million Realtors in America today. Is every single one of them a well-informed professional? Not a chance.

Here’s my Marketing Advice for Realtors:

Get professional, or get out.

Recognize that what you are marketing, what you are selling, is not a home, but your services. You’re no different from an attorney or a doctor. That means if your services suck, tecnology isn’t going to help you.

What do you expect from an attorney? Domain knowledge, expertise with process, and devoted client service, right? Well… get some domain knowledge, expertise with process, and really devote yourself to providing client service. Entering listings into the MLS, and driving people around houses is something anyone can do — or more to the point, it’s something that websites (like Trulia and Zillow) can do so much better than a person can.

The thing that those websites can’t do well is provide professional, knowledgeable, expert advice and counsel.

Question is, can you?


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Rob Hahn

Managing Partner of 7DS Associates, and the grand poobah of this here blog. Once called "a revolutionary in a really nice suit", people often wonder what I do for a living because I have the temerity to not talk about my clients and my work for clients. Suffice to say that I do strategy work for some of the largest organizations and companies in real estate, as well as some of the smallest startups and agent teams, but usually only on projects that interest me with big implications for reforming this wonderful, crazy, lovable yet frustrating real estate industry of ours.

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