“Wikinomics” of Real Estate

Posted by: Wayne Long on June 9th, 2008

I am reading a book “Wikinomics” and have been thinking about how it relates to our industry and the way we may sell homes in the future. The premise of the book is that the economy has changed and is changing rapidly because of the web.

Duh! Everyone knows this but many of us have not put together the fact that the web has changed the way we work together. Mass and worldwide collaboration is becoming increasingly important.

Through forums, wikis, blogs, and other forms of interactive collaboration the web has gone from static information to dynamic information.

Additionally, the web has created an environment where we can collectively solve problems with the brain power and creativity that would not have been possible in the past. Rather than horde information—we are sharing information—and through that sharing we realize many times that we have similar problems and can work interactively to solve those problems.

Many times we utilize the social networks we have created to get answers! So … social networks are not only social but are also tremendous resources for business.

OK, so how does this affect my Real Estate business?

  1. The most obvious is that I blog and thru those blogs clients find me, become comfortable with me, and ultimately do business with me.
  2. Our business can also be found on various social networks from Facebook to LinkedIn -– so customers find us that way as well.
  3. More to the point of the book – when I have a problem to solve or a business decision to make -– I increasingly turn to my social network for solutions. I may post to one of the forums I frequent and listen to the collective wisdom. Or, I could contact someone who has blazed a trail before me to gain wisdom on what to do next. I have recently sought advise on expanding our real estate team from a couple of people I met on the web and because I am not a direct competitor with them they are willing to share their knowledge with me – knowing that I will be there to help them with something in the future. In the end we all make more money as we collaborate and learn together.
  4. I have worked on several projects and ultimately made some excellent friends on the web as we collaborated together and freely exchanged ideas. These projects have been profitable, fun, and energizing. The way work should be! This has really increased my openness to freely exchange ideas, information, and help in other areas of my life.
  5. This brings me to the digital generation coming along who have been brought up in the world where they exchange music, games, and information freely. This group is going to certainly be a different group to market homes to. To earn their trust you will be expected to freely give.

In this new age if you horde you lose. To freely give will be the way to success.

I think it may have been all along but with the “dynamic” information age – we will see a magnification of this fact.

What are your thoughts??

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Comments

11 Comments on ““Wikinomics” of Real Estate”

Eric Blackwell

Awesome point IMO, Wayne. You are one of those people that proves that point to me everyday. When we (note the plural there) won the GREAITW SEO contest as a team…it was because of the collaboration of a group. The concept of pay it forward and work together is alive and well…

Eric Bramlett, Austin Realtor

I like it. Information can’t be hoarded, and the board needs to understand that.

Ken in Chicago

I think there have been many changes in the way business is done in real estate, but many more are on their way. Agents not willing to adapt will find it much harder to earn a living in this business.

The ability to talk to other professionals across the country or world about problems, ideas, and business decisions is probably the most overlooked value that has been provided to real estate agents due to the digital world. Over time it allows those of us that are willing to learn the ability to gain knowledge at a much faster rate. In the past we had no choice except to learn via the school of hard knocks. New agents willing to invest some time reading can avoid so many of the mistakes that many of us had no choice but to make.

Ryan Ward

I agree Wayne. In the past year and a half I have made more strategic allies and learned more about real estate in the online world than anything prior. There are plenty of buyers to go around. We don’t need to hoard what we know.

The amount of times I have sought out my social network to help me with something is well beyond numbers that I can count anymore and it’s reciprocal. I have been there to help others as well.

Mike Chapman

You have very succinctly nailed it. Creating communities of customers, fellow real estate professionals, and other networks is key. I’m glad I found your blog. I’m going to pass it friends in the industry.

Louis Cammarosano

Wayne
Thanks for this. I would add that social networks are valuable for business if they are used correctly. If the stated purpose is collaboration to solve business problems, then using social media is perhaps one of the best tools as we can know gather thoughts, share documents and collect information.

Many people “get on” social media and waste a lot of time. This is no different to people who join offline rotary clubs and attend endless meetings with no real gain other than socializing.

A shared productive experience is invaluable.

Hanging out, however, on as many forums as you can sign up for is no less a waste of time because it can be characterized as social media.

Eric Blackwell

@Louis– I agree TOTALLY with that. There is a need to monitor your social media time spend in the same careful and meticulous manner that you monitor any form of marketing. As you say, somehow people get “on” social media and seem to lose track of the reason that they are there in the first place.

Wayne Long

@Louis and Eric – Good point. It is important to manage your online time and create quality relationships vs. just hanging out.

Jayson

Nice post – it’s amazing how much easier the web has made problem solving. Nearly every problem has a solution a few keystrokes away.

The internet has changed the way we do everything, and as you mentioned, the way homes are sold is changing along with everything else.

Wayne Long

@Jayson and Mike – Glad to meet you guys. You both have outstanding sites. Please visit and give your input often. :)

Mike Farmer

Dang, I just sent in my contribution and it’s much like this — but not too much.

Very good.

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