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I certainly understand realty associations wanting to keep both the membership and consumers informed of upcoming news and trends.
However, I have a hard time with the so-called "news" story put out by the Florida Association of Realtors.
The story is about how driverless cars are "coming", which is quite possible. This story even acknowledges that this will be in the "next 10 to 20 years".
It's enough of a stretch that this "news" is even a part of the real estate feed at this moment in time. In today's "overnight delivery is too long" society, it's not as though a large percentage of readers will stop and take heed over what could be the case in 10 years. (Unless it is financial news which could impact long term, retirement, etc.)
Instead, the angle of this "news" story is really that this change could have a significant impact on commuting, suggesting that drivers could instead concentrate on their work or a form of relaxation.
While there is a point to be made in that regard, it's hardly a game changer for real estate. If the purpose of this "news" story is to combat that, it does a poor job of it.
There is actually a quote from an expert real estate consultant about how "two and three car garages are a thing of the past". The quote does not say "could be a thing of the past".
What does this have to with real estate marketing?
Both real estate professionals and the public need to be updated about real estate news and trends, especially those which can help them make decisions.
Here is a realty association wasting time on this story, when there is so much other valuable information it should be putting out.
Now we have an expert consultant saying that large garages "are a thing of the past". How much confidence does a current home owner with a two car garage have about possibly selling when they see this "expert" quote?
This does not even factor in the number of commuters who already take the train, bus, or ride share and ALREADY do not drive while traveling these long distances. It's a number which is in the millions.
Funny, but the last time I checked, many of these millions of people who already do not drive a long way to work remain a multiple vehicle household.
How about quotes from experts about what can be done to sell the thousands of properties currently on the market?
Some real estate agents don't like it when I point these things out publicly, and I understand that. Some home owners appreciate it when we point out that agents need to monitor ALL of the advertising, marketing, and publicity they put out when representing a property.
Let's take this bungalow for sale in Salt Lake City:
As you can see when you look at the first link (from Realtor.com), this is a more than 100 year old bungalow with two bedrooms and one bath, including a photo spread.
The description copy, frankly, could make this property seem a lot more desirable, even though it is written more for other real estate professionals than for potential buyers. (Note the "Easy to show" at the end of the description.)
Starting a description sentence with "Garage can be used for car and storage" is a head scratcher. Show me a garage that can't! Then, it tells us that this home is "minutes from the Columbus Library".
How do those facts make this home unique?
There are a few more facts about the home, however non-distinct it appears, along with several photos which do make the property look better.
Although not exactly a standout ad in terms of appealing to potential buyers, it is far from a disaster.
However, this is what appears to someone searching by way of Realtor.com. Another national web site, Homes.com, also features this same property.
That's where the importance shows. The listing agent clearly, after 37 days listed (as of this writing) failed to monitor its appearance on Homes.com.
The Homes.com version, even on the area search page, shows "Photo Not Available" in every one of the 12 available photo slots for this property. Although the description copy is the same, lifted from the one on Realtor.com, being told that "Garage can be used for car and storage" and "minutes from the library" within further edited copy make the Homes.com ad a total head scratcher.
Anyone searching this area and price from anywhere in the country on Homes.com probably won't even click on this ad, since it shows "Photo not available" on the search page. If someone does click on it, thinking maybe it's a brand new listing, the primary description says little about the interior or any specific selling benefits.
Yet, the Homes.com page also says this listing has been on the page for 37 days (as of this writing), even though this very ad was "Most recently changed on 10/31/17".
Thus, if that change date is accurate, it means that the listing agent or someone authorized "changed" this listing ad more than a month later. Yet, there is still NO photo available??
Makes me wonder if the listing agent is too busy complaining about the lack of inventory being a reason for homes not selling.
This is why agents (and sellers!) should monitor ALL marketing and advertising - for every property!
Whatever happened to a simple "Coming Soon"?
I can understand that a listing agent wants to get a property up online for the public to see as soon as possible, but experience should teach that you need to be careful doing so.
On Nov. 4th, I found this listing in Bloomington IN online for the public to see:
As of press time, the entire 19 photo spread consisted of "Facsimile" photos. Every one of them. There is no property description at all.
And this is still up there in DAY 4 on this site.
It would be one thing if this temporary page was visible for an hour or two in order to establish the presence on the internet, for the world to be able to see.
This property is listed at $459,900. Yet, four days later there is no information and not even a real photo. Even the "virtual tour" is taken from these Facsimile photo.
If properly advertising and promoting a new listing isn't important, what is?
Even with advertising, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Why would anyone possibly check back to see about this property?