We all know that Facebook and Google are becoming the biggest things on the internet. They attract a worldwide audience of millions every hour. They control the online advertising market. But I think it’s time we admit that they pose a threat to the major real estate portals in this country.
I have no doubt that both Facebook and Google will continue to expand their advertising offering to businesses. Consumers’ habits are linked to searching for things on Google and scrolling through Facebook. Voice searches are on the rise, which is just another step in how people are getting to information quicker.
Through Facebook, the real estate industry can target an active audience and also be confident that the passive audience is being exposed. Google has an enormous ability to impact a business because it’s all about getting to the customer first. If you look at the lead-generation operations here in Australia, they are using Google very heavily in an attempt to reach consumers first.
When you look at the daily traffic they attract, Facebook and Google advertising does have the ability to reach a broader spread of people than any other online marketing medium.
At Inman, we heard that Facebook will be the next place people buy property. We can’t discount this as a very real possibility, particularly when you look at the increased time and money that agents are spending on social media marketing.
But — and this is a big but — anybody who is successful in this space must still remember that real estate is a people business, and I think we need to look closely at whether investing more in enhancing our digital presence is impacting our human touch points and how we physically interact with our clients and communities.
The agents of tomorrow will learn to connect their physical and digital worlds to create a better experience for their customers.