So we aren’t as popular as Stefan Swanepoel and his Trends Report, which we love by the way, but we figured we would still give you our 10 predictions for where Social Media is headed in regards to the Real Estate Industry for the year 2010.
In no particular order here they are…
1. Realtors will figure out that NO ONE except other Realtors and MAYBE past clients will really want to be a “Fan” of theirs on Facebook. Friends maybe, but not a Fan. In fact 77% of all Fan pages have less than 1,000 Fans and those that do are typically an established large company or a celebrity. Fan pages that are information focused, think “Local Market Real Estate Trends”, and aren’t attached to the name of a salesperson(were talking about you BTW) will be the ones that will grow, bear the best ROI and thus will be worth your valuable time maintaining.
2. Realtors who are looking to “figure out” Twitter will learn that tweeting “we service the blah blah blah area, call us today if you are looking to buy or sell” will lead to exactly ZERO paychecks in 2010 and beyond. Even if you did it all day everyday, it isn’t going to work with today’s Tech Savvy consumers. In our experience most Twitter users are above the curve on tech savviness and will not respond to these pleas for business.
3. Twitter will begin to transform into a way to aggregate information quickly and learn from others using clients like TweetDeck. Lists, columns and trends will continue to grow in popularity as tools that help to facilitate and organize the massive stream of information available. Realtors will “Tweet” less and learn more by doing so.
4. LinkedIn will become more popular with agents as their format is looking more like Facebook everyday. Trouble is, most Realtors will sign up, log in once, fill out their profile and then wonder a few months later why they “didn’t get anything out of it”. Great tool for generating business from the millions of Doctor’s, Lawyers and fellow business owners on the site, but not if you aren’t engaging regularly, self promoting when you do and never offering anything of value. Anyone have a Doctor or Dentist friend whose status updates include the root canal or surgery they just performed? Probably not(thanks Nathan Bangs)!
5. Direct mail and offline marketing such as business cards will start to mention that there is a page for their community on Facebook. This approach will actually work compared to the God awful typical response agents get through the mail. You are not asking them to become a Fan of yours, just a Fan of their community or neighborhood. You know they are on Facebook, so create a Fan page for your farming areas and link up with them that way!
6. MySpace will go bankrupt and Facebook will be flooded with teenagers and musicians all looking to be famous and none of whom are looking for a Realtor. If we see customizable skins and mp3’s that play while you look at someones profile we know that the end is near!
7. Share buttons and sharing content via Facebook, Twitter, etc will continue to grow in popularity. It will be the main resource for getting news headlines, local stories, referral business, movie reviews, etc…by the majority of consumers. It will also be a way for agents to gain more business and keep their name top of mind, as long as they aren’t just sharing Real Estate related content(be a real person once in a while). By our estimate only about 50% of Realtors are currently comfortable/know how to share content and the training wheels will come off in 2010!
8. More Realtors than ever will learn the value of back linking their blog posts through sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc…Syndication of content, inbound as well as outbound links and search engine optimization will be better understood by an industry that is typically a bit behind the curve when it comes to tech(just being honest).
9. Every agent will finally have a blog and WordPress will overtake ActiveRain as the platform of choice! Problem is, less than 10% of Realtors will use it properly, tie it together with their social networking sites using badges or ever generate a single lead from it. Those who run the blogosphere will generate all of the buyer and seller leads from the web and will push out the non tech savvy agents who are already wondering if they should have renewed their license this year.
10. YouTubeand HD multimedia will be the primary focus for Tech Savvy Agents who figured out the previous 9 in 2009(congrats all 3-5% of you)! The majority of blog entries, status updates and agent websites will involve video and YouTube will be the em bedder of choice.
So there’s our list and we would love to know what your thoughts are. Did we miss anything? Please feel free to comment below and here’s to a great and productive year!