Real Estate Agents Increase Website Usage
Real estate agents increased their website usage according to the National Association of Realtors 2009 Technology Report. In fact the Internet had moved into the third most important position for generating leads after referrals and repeat business.
The top four uses are to post listings, communicate with clients, provide maps to properties and generate sales leads. 58% of agents update their personal websites, with 25% using their real estate blogs to increase business. Podcasts and YouTube videos are not as highly used, partly due to the technical learning curve needed to create the audio and video files. The technology barrier does not stop 36% of the Realtors and brokers polled from downloading and listening to podcasts for business purposes.
With real estate websites able to send emails automatically alerting agents that a lead has been submitted on the website, it is no wonder that the top mobile device agents use are Blackberries (32%), Palm Treos (14%) and iPhones (10%). These smartphones have keyboards and wireless Internet capacity that allows for reading and sending emails as well as the much used functions of phoning and texting. 42% of the real estate agents were planning on buying or replacing their smartphones in 2010 (compared to 9% who were planning on obtaining or replacing a basic cell phone with no texting or Internet capacity).
Overall, real estate agents are going more portable with digital cameras, smartphones and laptops far and away the most popular hardware agents are looking to purchase or upgrade. Over 50% of Realtors and brokers use a web-based email service like Yahoo or Google, allowing them great latitude in where they can check their email – at the office, at home or at an Internet cafe.
Brokers and Realtors both are increasingly using their brokerage and personal real estate websites to post listings. From 2007 to 2008 brokers increased usage from 72% to 83% and Realtors increased using their personal agent websites for listings from 53% in 2007 to 59% in 2008. Overall, 81% of the survey respondents have listing search capabilities on their real estate websites
When it comes to custom websites versus template real estate websites, over 50% of the brokers and a third of the agents invest in more customized websites with increased branding, personalized content and added options like article managers, integrated blogs and list managers. If you are looking to increase your real estate website’s return on investment, contact IMCD to see how quickly we can improve your online lead generation!
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