The economic climate of our country (and the world) has changed dramatically in the last several months.
These major economic events have had a massive impact on not just the real estate market, but also the entire real estate industry. Huge real estate companies with antiquated business models are suffering unprecedented losses, and are scrambling to figure out how to adjust. Major print publications like the Los Angeles Times have completely cancelled their real estate sections.
Here in Hawaii, the same is happening. A lot of real estate companies are closing offices, and some have gone out of business and/or bankrupt. Real estate magazines are only a few pages thick as Realtors and developers cut their marketing budgets. Major developers have run the gamut from â€˜delayingâ€™ to â€˜indefinitely suspendingâ€™ construction projectsâ€¦ the Marriot, Ritz-Carlton, and Kukuiâ€™ula just to name a few on Kauai.
But not all of these changes to the real estate industry were created by the economic crises. The industry was changing far before 2008, and a lot of people (especially inside the industry itself) didnâ€™t take much notice. Of course, when the market was picking up speed in the late 90â€™s, and then boomed through early 2006â€¦ paying attention to paradigm shifts in real estate marketing wasnâ€™t necessarily a prerequisite for success. Until nowâ€¦
The reality is that real estate industry has been moving quickly towards the internet for the past decade. Every year, the internet accounts for a significantly larger portion of the money spent on real estate marketing. Real estate advertising on the internet is expected to grow to a $2 billion category this year, and to $3 billion by 2010, which will account for approximately 30% of all real estate ad spending in the U.S. (Dun & Bradstreet, Ad Audit Services, Borrell Associates Inc., 2006).
And, just like everything it touches, the internet is leveling the playing field in the real estate industry. Buyers can now gather incredible amounts of market information online, and theyâ€™ve come to expect transparency and easy access to information.
In the â€˜old daysâ€™ (even as early as a few years ago in some markets), Realtors were the gatekeepers to information. All of the listings were listed in the â€˜MLS Bookâ€™ which only Realtors had access to. Buyers almost HAD to work with a Realtor BEFORE they could learn whatâ€™s on the market. Today, our roles have shifted dramaticallyâ€¦ now weâ€™re responsible for not only delivering ALL of the relevant information about the market, but also explaining it, and helping our prospects and clients understand it all (far before they even consider a purchase).
As listing agents, hired to sell our clientsâ€™ property, we absolutely must recognize that power and influence that the internet has in real estate marketing. The failure to do so is almost a conflict of our ethical obligations to our clients. The internet is a marketerâ€™s dream. The power to track results and custom tailor marketing campaigns for specific prospects is far more effective than the traditional marketing efforts of print, direct mail, etc.
So, weâ€™re embracing these changes at Hawaii Life Real Estate Services, LLC. We act on our commitment to provide our clients and prospects with as much information as possible, for free. Thatâ€™s why we aggregate the data from the Multiple Listing Services on all four major Hawaiian Islands (we serve Lanai and Molokai, too). And, thatâ€™s why weâ€™ve developed our marketing systems the way we have, to make sure that our clients get the absolute best of what the internet, and the industry, has to offer.