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The Future of Real Estate Marketing Online

Estate Agency has been referred to as a “walled garden“, in other words an industry that is criticized as being based on asynchronous information between the agent and the buyers/sellers. Making money by getting in the way.

Many major online entities, such as Craigslist and EBay, thrive based on tearing down those walls – putting buyers in direct contact with sellers with full information. Property, however, is the biggest purchase most people will make, so most people would actually prefer to have a reputable, knowledgeable and experienced professional guide them through the process.

Property search sites like Ex-tate will clean up some market inefficiencies, but won’t replace the professional, human service and advice that a good broker offers. The brokers that do well, then, will be the ones who will combine the ability to filter and sort masses of information online and combine that with superb customer-service.

Michael Shvo, New York’s top estate agent, would agree: “Your average apartment buyer today isn’t in their sixties, they’re in their thirties.” Developers, he says, “want somebody who understands technology, not somebody who is just trying to understand how their e-mail works.” Shvo is reknowned for his obsessive dedication to supreme customer service – a good word in at the best schools for their kids, the best seats in the house to see the Knicks at Maddison Square, or flying cross-country for a face-to-face deal signing. may be able to present a scientific price valuation on a property based on fantastic calculations, but it may not capture the subtle details which can affect the value of a property such as the comparable state of the fittings, a special fireplace or a fresh coat of paint.

The individual and their personality, character and reputation are significant in Nomadic Marketing. We can find very particular information about people online. IncredibleAgents is a site which seeks to identify the best agents in America. Then people seeking to buy a house can go directly to the agent, irrespective of the agency. Hence organisations, particularly those with a prominent sales force, have the opportunity to create a remarkable marketing advantage based virtually on the quality of their people alone.

Whereas the internet initially threatened to depersonalise Real Estate Marketing, Web2.0 is providing the platform for more personal expression, and it is proving to enhance the human aspects of the trade. Speedy access to accurate information is becoming a hygeine factor, property brokers need to partner with technologies that can simplify this aspect of the business for them so that they can focus on what they’re good at – relationships.


  • Dave Duarte is an entrepreneur, educator and professional speaker specialising in digital media and marketing. He is based in South Africa, but regularly teaches internationally.

One Comment

  1. Sandy Shadwell Sandy Shadwell 23 September 2007

    Well researched article. With the prospect of the level of service experienced by buyers/sellers being spread through the ‘net’, good agents can expect more referals. What I really look forward to is when agents & agencies use new technology & desist from advertising themselves & their services through “drops” which create more waste & high aggravation.

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