“Today’s consumers are better informed, connected and tech-savvy. And they expect the same from their realtors.”

“When Ashley Smith, a 27-year-old realtor in Vancouver, gets a new listing she tweets out the details to her followers and posts the property’s profile on her Facebook page.
And shortly, once her new website is up and running, Smith, who previously worked in the Langley/Surrey property market, will also run a blog to promote her listings and broadcast her thoughts on trends and housing opportunities in the Greater Vancouver area.
A few years ago, a For Sale sign on the property and some New Listing flyers dropped on the doorways of neighbours might have sufficed. But today’s consumers are better informed, connected and tech-savvy. And they expect the same from their realtors.”
– from ‘B.C. Realtors increasingly embracing social media and the web to stay ahead of the pack’, Cassidy Oliver, The Province, 15 Jun 2012 [hat-tip paul S]

It is natural that realtors should be using social media to promote business.
In fact, it would be welcome for BC realtors to use technology to inform consumers even more, in particular, to share data that they have on the market, such as the sales history of each specific property, a la Zillow in the US.
This article is also a reminder that young people continue to be attracted to realty as a career; this is understandable given the strength of the market over the last decade, but it is also an example of the misallocation of resources caused by the speculative mania in housing. There are more than 11,000 realtors in the Greater Vancouver area, up from 6,500 in 2002, and the highest number on record.
– vreaa

A chart from 2010. Membership is now >11,000 [as per REBGV]:

13 responses to ““Today’s consumers are better informed, connected and tech-savvy. And they expect the same from their realtors.”

  1. Realtors will have to evolve. Those elusive first time buyers will be gone altogether soon enough. They are overwhelmingly a young population though and much more inclined to use technology as their first source of information. So getting to them means tweets and facebook and Linkin. This is so unlike their parents experience where news was gathered slowly through classified listings, word of mouth, signs in neigborhood windows or a stroll in the yellow pages for access to the world.

    • “Realtors will have to evolve.” – Farmer

      • Brilliant, Nem. Loved the video. I have to get to the Galapagos one day. Funny you put that up. I am a long time Darwin fan, three copies of Origin of the Species in the library….good for a review every year. But the video is much better….especially tuned in to Ziggy Stardust. .

  2. Shocked at the 100%+ swings in realtor numbers over just a handful of years. Same city, twice the realtors. Can’t think of many other professions with this sort of volatility. Goes to show how perverse a market this is. Lots of fly-by-nighters will have to go back to serving / tending bar.

  3. Ah social marketing. Maybe it’s actually not the W2.0, it’s the old stodgy negotiation in good faith, working off referrals, and managing expectations. Perish the thought.

  4. Screw the marketing we want information !

    • Realtors fear that if you had the information, they would be less necessary.

      • I doubt the “good” ones are too worried — they actually offer a professional-like service for a complicated purchase that most families won’t do more than a handful of times in a lifetime.

      • Yes, good realtors will always have business, in up and down markets, and they do perform an important service in helping people navigate the purchase. They likely wouldn’t mind the public having more information, as they are going to be helping them with resultant sales regardless.

        As a group, however, realtors feel the pain of a down market with dropping dollar-sales volumes (already happening), and will naturally do everything they can to maintain business (including holding data private).

      • Ouch. That got right to the heart of the issue.

  5. Carioca Canuck

    Technology did wonders for travel agents………..

    I cannot remember the last time I spoke to one, as they’ve been, for the most part, pretty much extinct for some time………even that stand alone stalwart of the regional strip mall, Flight Centre, is falling on hard times, and they are the proverbial last man standing in that moribund industry.

    Realtors will be no different in due course as they serve no useful function, and that is what technology does best, it renders expensive and useless occupations extinct by putting them in their rightful place in the history books.

    • I always liked most travel agents. Realtors though…they are turds.

    • I used a travel agent for arranging a complicated leg hop for a European trip once. Would have cost me 3-4 hours at least arranging everything. With them it was a 20 minute conversation. There’s still value there, for the ones that don’t screw up, but they’re the ones who are probably moving into real estate. 😉

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