Home buying: Can the Internet Make You an Expert?
February 10, 2016 | Richard Sites
Is there anyone who would argue that we are in a period of information overload? The clearest example of that is the look of today’s websites. There is a staggering amount of content on today’s sites.
Even the most conservative ones, like wall street investment houses, have the important features buried under an avalanche of choices. Other less conservative sites have flashing pictures or something shocking, either a picture or a headline to grab your attention.
I’ve written many times that your Internet search should be spent looking for the right agent, not for the right home. If you do a search for a keyword like “Admirals Cove homes for sale” you will first find the companies with the biggest budgets for PPC.
This will be followed by the companies with the biggest SEO budgets, usually the same ones found in the PPC ads.
And of course, all the aggregation sites like Realtor.com and Zillow are found on the first page since they get millions of page views each month. The problem with these sites is they all have the same information. Note everyone says something to the effect of “Search all homes…”.
You don’t need information, you need knowledge, expertise and advice. This is why the agent is more important than more data.
Here’s another thing to consider. Logging onto countless websites will guarantee one thing: you will get plenty of calls from agents. Probably more than you want.
So how about logging onto just one of the major sites? Well, on the right side of your search results you will see featured, local agents. These agents are paying to be placed there. Just this morning I got an email from one company offering me all the hot leads from zip code 33478 for just $349 per month.
Do you consider yourself a hot lead?
Some other sites write blog posts or have hot links to things like the weather, airline on-time rates or the water temperature. Of all these things, I think blog posts will give you the best insight into your choice of an agent. If the blog posts are not about real estate, I think I would move on.
It’s pretty easy to set up a Google alert for any word you want and write a piece on that subject but real estate information is what you are looking for. Or maybe a personal video would help.
I would watch any personal videos and see what you think of the agent. Then pick up the phone and call. Nothing beats the old-fashion, one on one conversation. In fact, rather than search the millions of pages available on the web, I would highly recommend calling. Or maybe checking them out on social media venues.
See what topics they are posting on, what pictures they upload and other relevant facts. Highly stylized graphics or memes are not what I am talking about since these are produced by a graphics department and often use commercial, stock photos. You are looking for the real deal.
So to summarize, spend you time looking for the right agent since the Internet will not make you an expert.
If you think it might make sense to have a no obligation call about your real estate needs, you can reach me using the form below or call me direct at 561-762-4073.