The new generation buyer and seller

Gone are the days when agents used just boards, newspapers and flyers to promote and sell property.  Today property websites as well as social media websites play a pivotal role in the marketing strategy used by real estate professionals to market their property listings. Goslett says that consumer behaviour has changed considerably, and now nine out of ten property buyers first search the internet before using any other form of media due to the fact that the information is instantaneous and only a click of a button away.

The introduction of social online platforms has changed the old paradigm of publishers and editors being the only gatekeepers of the media world. Now, they hold only a part of the media networks, while social hubs continue to grow and influence consumers in the real estate industry as well as other markets. In other words, consumers themselves have the power to impact the market and the opinions of other consumers.

Goslett says that buyers, sellers and professionals working within the real estate industry now have the opportunity to share information or wisdom and speak their mind regarding the housing market or conditions that surround it. “As a result of the shift in media influence, estate agents will have the opportunity to market property in a different way but will also have to change their approach when dealing with today’s buyers and sellers. The new generation consumer has information readily available at all times, so the relationship is no longer based on a trusted adviser capacity but rather as trusted resource.  Buyers and sellers require the facts, figures, graphics and comparative market analysis from an agent that they can’t get from other resources,” says Goslett.

Once the estate agent has become a conduit of information to the buyer and seller, their role would then be to guide them through the details of the transaction and to provide the best information possible so that the parties involved can make the best possible decision. As a resource, the estate agent will be able to provide access to the information and knowledge needed to conclude the transaction, however, it the seller that will determine how that information is used. According to Goslett, today’s buyers and sellers want to be a part of the process, whether it be the price the property is marketed at or the way in which it is marketed.

While older generation buyers and sellers may appreciate the fact that an agent has done the research and compiled the data that they require, today’s buyers and sellers want to be directed to where they can access the information themselves. The buyers and sellers that undertake to do their own research will normally consult with the resources they have on social online networks before they make a final decision.

“As social media websites grow, their influence on the market will grow and the face of the real estate industry will change and will have to adapt to accommodate this. These networks have become an enormous phenomenon and a brilliant marketing tool. Statistics show that in countries such as the US, social networking takes up 22% of all time spent online. Twitter averages 40 million tweets per day and 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook each day. There are currently approximately 500 million users on Facebook with over 50% being within the home buying age bracket. That is a massive pool of potential buyers and sellers that can impact the market and the way in which their peers view property investment,” Goslett concludes.

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