Room for Improvement

by Tony on September 20, 2006

At Homethinking, there are two ways in which we try to rank Realtors: based on what they have done (through objectively monitoring real estate data) and secondly, what customers have said about the job they did. So what do home owners say about their Realtors? We decided to take a look based on the few thousand reviews consumers have filled out on Homethinking so far this year. In our reviews there are six categories where a Realtor can get up to a 5 star rating, and on average, the Realtors have done very well:

No. # Question Text Score
Question 1 Neighborhood Knowledge 4.500
Question 2 Understanding of Property Strengths and Weaknesses 4.450
Question 3 Effectiveness of Realtor Web-Site 4.046
Question 4 Ability to Answer Questions from Prospective Buyers 4.414
Question 5 Expectation Setting 4.375
Question 6 Ability to answer questions and address concerns of home seller 4.499

One thing that you might have notice however, is that as a group, they lag slightly behind in one aspect of their business: their web sites.

We’ve found that people rank the effectiveness of the Realtor’s web site consistently lower than the other categories. Despite the fact that real estate advertising is moving rapidly from print space to online, many Realtors still seem to struggle with how to make an effective website (or don’t have a site at all!).

An effective website is not a question of cost. Web hosting has fallen to less than a monthly coffee allowance and free software like those that blogs run on can offer a surprisingly robust way to manage a web sites content. A great example is Derek Rey of San Francisco, who uses blog software as a great compliment to his web site. The cause is more likely the complexity of setup and the daunting nature of the task for those who have not grown up with technology.

So where to go? One great resource for technology suggestions is The Future of Real Estate Marketing and Inman News, who cover the real estate technology space very well.

One thing is for sure though, as the effectiveness of a web site becomes an increasingly important part of the Homeowner’s decision, those without an effective online presence will be left aside for one who does.

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