Organization has never been my strong suit. In many ways, my life screams for an instant intervention from a time-management specialist. Everything gets done, that is for certain, but usually in a somewhat less than efficient manner.
Theoretically, the computer is supposed to make all of this much better. But it doesn’t. In fact, the Internet constantly adds to the work load rather than removing the burden. And I’m not exactly a technological troglodyte spooked by the crack of thunder or the flash of lightning. I’ve designed two websites and appear to have successfully relocated my old Phoenix Real Estate Blog onto my own server through WordPress.
No, the additional work is due to the evolving face of real estate. Or at least what many of us to perceive to be the new face of real estate. Real estate’s always been about location, location, location. In 2006, there was increased focus not just on building a web presence through your standard website but also a blog presence. And 2007 is shaping up as the year that real estate marketing on the web goes local.
For the general public this will be a boon as they’ll have Wiki-level information available to them on nearly any neighborhood or area they might be considering. Those providing the content will have an instantaneous expertise conferred upon them, an expertise which would be far harder to convey through other mediums.
Where there once were companies providing the opportunity to build an electronic farm through a specific web site, suddenly any real-estate agent with only the slightest amount of technical know-how and the driving desire to “own” a farm area can do so through the use of websites such as Localism and MyHouseKey.
Zillow also provided an opportunity to add Wiki-style information on any real-estate topic on its website. I wrote two articles, for Glendale and Peoria, but really haven’t done much with it since. Maybe I’ll return, or maybe the evolution already has left Zillow’s Wiki in its wake to some degree.
Returning to any one aspect, any one local website, has proven to be a challenge for even the most organized real estate agents because there ALWAYS seems to be another site launching with a local focus. And can a technology-driven agent really afford to pick and choose between this site or that site? Probably not. When the public finds a site with the information they want they likely will remain there. If you’re not there, you’re not there.
The constant race from local site to local site, added to the work involved with maintaining three websites, traditional prospecting and the actual duties of real estate – selling listings and helping buyers find their new homes – can lead one to feel stretched a bit thin, as Bilbo Baggins might say.
Will technology make buying and selling real estate an easier experience for the consumer? Absolutely. But in many ways it’s like sausage – the end results are fine, but for those in the back room actually making it, it’s an entirely different experience.