It seems that any substantive discussion these days about real estate is focused on one subject: Marketing.
How does one get attention and the right kind? Well, you can blog, Twitter, Facebook, join social networks, use LinkedIn, buy leads, post your listings everywhere, participate in Trulia Voices, optimize your blog or web site for SEO, buy EZ ads on Zillow, subscribe to HomeGain’s AgentEvaluator, Buyerlink or AgentView, engage in pay per click on Google or Yahoo, use lead “capture” or not etc. The marketing debate rages on the blogs and on the panels at the major conferences.
While marketing is important, it seems to have reached the point of an obsession with a diminishing return.
I hear very little from Realtors (at least those blogging and twittering – and those are from whom we hear the most!) about the craft of being a Realtor. I hear little about how to best demonstrate value to Realtors’ customers or how to serve them. The advice and discussion and the tricks of the trade seem to be predominately about marketing.
This is especially troubling as a new generation of Realtors is coming of age and rather than being introduced to the substance of being a Realtor like learning the nuts and bolts of a real estate transaction, they are being offered endless advice on how to “write for google” “be transparent” or exhorted to “join the conversation”.
None of these things will do a Realtor any good if he/she doesn’t know the basics of selling real estate.
A new Realtor who learns how to get their blog on the front page of Google or navigates well through Twitter may reach a good number of potential customers, but just because one knows how to Twitter or score high on Google doesn’t mean that person knows the first thing about real estate.
My preference would be to see continued discussion on marketing but with some additional emphasis on the art of being a Realtor and how to work with customers.