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Monday, July 23, 2012

Online sales increase, but how about for real estate?

Jeff hadn’t noticed the house for sale before. But then again, he hadn’t necessarily been looking.

That had changed last week, when he and wife Patty decided it was time to find something different.

They began their search as many do—by taking the long way home from normal activities. Instead of the expressway, they went back roads. Instead of the main path, they detoured through neighborhoods.

It wasn’t that they hadn’t been on this road before, it’s just that they hadn’t paid much attention because they hadn’t previously been on the market.

The third house to the left caught their eye, and they agreed it was worth some additional research. In fact, it was the first house they spotted that they felt was worth a closer look.

Jeff was driving; Patty hopped on her cell phone.

“How do you spell the street again?” she asked, and proceeded to type it into Google.

The couple had already forgotten who the agent was and what company she was with. But they knew they could find the listing on any local real estate website.

Patty found listings on the street and, soon, the house of her interest online.

And it wasn’t through your website.

Has it set in yet that consumes are shopping—and buying—online?

Online purchases jumped to over $44 billion in the first quarter of 2012, up from $38 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Online sales have nearly reached pre-recession levels. And while no one will—or can—fully buy a house online, guess where they’re turning to do their homework.

Jeff and Patty wanted to work with a good real estate agent. They wanted to know they’d be in good hands, that they wouldn’t be misled, and that they’d be taken care of each step of the way. They wanted to feel confident that the person they bought through knew the market and could advise them on their decision.

But before Jeff and Patty could learn that their eventual real estate agent could help them, they needed to find him or her.

There were plenty of good real estate agents out there. Of this, they were certain. But only a few were visible when they began doing their homework. Those that weren’t had little chance of earning Jeff and Patty’s business.

Upon finding the listing online, Patty clicked on the website. It was a mobile real estate website, so Patty could more easily use it from her smartphone. She saw a button on the page and clicked it to request a showing. By the time Jeff pulled into their driveway Patty had received an email.

She confirmed a date to go through the house, and told Jeff to put it in his calendar.

The agent’s website did the same for her when Patty confirmed the showing.

A few minutes and a short drive home, and Jeff and Patty had already taken the first big steps toward making an offer on a place that might become their next home. If it weren’t to be true, they would receive emails from the agent showing other homes in the neighborhood and surrounding areas that might interest them.

Jeff and Patty would eventually find the right house—whether it be the first one they went through or another the agent found for them, and they would move forward toward moving into their next home.

The agent would sit down with them, they’d do paperwork, and there would be a few phone calls along the way. But the real estate website, mobile capabilities, efficient lead management system that would facilitate the initial showing request and all future requests, and successful search engine optimization sold Jeff and Patty their next home.

Contact Delta Media Group for more information on how to start making sales through your real estate website.
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