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Would you create a digital startup in the real estate sector? What would stop you? Too tough?

I've noticed some in the real estate market are pessimistic about succeeding in real estate and hence they don't spend on marketing or digital innovations. Old school all the way. Is it because they don't understand modern marketing and who can help them, or is digital marketing failing? I want to know how you feel.

27 Replies

Vadim Axelrod
3
0
Vadim Axelrod Advisor
Entrepreneur, Usability, Security, Healthcare, Network Management
When we started Rentals.com in the late '90s, the ideas (property tracking / marketing automation / tenant portals / rent pay by cc / etc.) made sense from all angles other than momentum. Momentum is HUGE in real estate. It's a relationship business.

So tools to augment it have been a success. Replacing the current system has been very slow.

RedFin and Zillow have revolutionized the way we look for properties, but by far most transactions are still agent driven.
Gord Collins
0
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Gord Collins Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Specialist/Strategist Toronto SEO Social Media Content Marketing
Vadim, thanks for that. Not sure of the full meaning of "momentum." Are you saying that if you did go into it, that you'd make sure you'd be sure to move faster than competitors in market presence and digital technology innovation?
Scott Sosso
0
0
Scott Sosso Entrepreneur
Director of Business Development
Gord,

I am well versed in real estate space and working on a real estate startup... Are you trying to provide digital marketing tools to agents and brokers or are you trying to change the way people buy real estate?
Gord Collins
0
0
Gord Collins Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Specialist/Strategist Toronto SEO Social Media Content Marketing
Scott,

Neither actually. I'm planning on doing all the digital marketing work for realtors. And I'd like to know more what people like yourself and investors feel about realtors.
David Austin
2
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David Austin Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
It's an old school thing, if you ask me. I stopped listing my house with an agent (was listed for a year), listed it myself FSBO and did serious digital marketing for it and had it sold within weeks.

You might have more success working directly with the owners instead of the agents. Ideally you'd get the agents on board, but if you could at least prove the value of what you do, maybe by working directly with owners, then they'd get on board.
Kristin Boekhoff
1
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Kristin Boekhoff Entrepreneur
Real Estate Investment Advisor and Developer
Gord,
I have been working in the commercial real estate field for over 12 years. As others have pointed out, there has been a lot of innovation in the residential real estate space (RedFin, Zillow, Trulia, Auction.com, etc.) There are some new players in the commercial real estate space as well (like Loopnet); and there is obviously the relatively recent innovation of crowdfunding for real estate, but I think that many companies are still doing it the "old school" way because many of our clients are older and are not as well versed in modern technology. (I have several clients that don't even have computers or email! We do everything by phone!) This will obviously change over time...

Also, for most companies, the old school way still works, so there is not as much of an impetus for digital innovation. I am currently working in commercial brokerage (though have spent many years on both the investor and developer side of the business); I see several agent teams starting to create websites and get more involved with digital marketing (Constant Contact, VerticalResponse, etc.), but most of our marketing and prospecting is still done by phone because it is much more effective than emails, online ads, LinkedIn, etc.


David Austin
1
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David Austin Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur
>The old school way still works
The old school does not work as well as it used to and even less so as R.E. competitors leverage new tools while home buyers come to depend on them.
Gord Collins
0
0
Gord Collins Entrepreneur
Digital Marketing Specialist/Strategist Toronto SEO Social Media Content Marketing
Kristin, thanks for your response. Very interesting and I am aware of the old school phone callers and I'm trying to help them leverage digital to make such conversations and personal networking more effective. I'm not focusing on commercial business, more the residential side. The big web portals aren't part of this personalized service sphere.
Scott Sosso
1
0
Scott Sosso Entrepreneur
Director of Business Development
Gord,

I would tell that you that while a large majority of them are resistant to technology, the ones that do embrace it can make big strides in gaining market share. The challenge that you will find with agents is that they are asked to b an expert in 4,5,or even 6 different areas when like most people in the world we are really good at 1 or 2. So when it comes to these "digital marketing and automation solutions" you are going to have to automated much of it and measure it. Outside of that they will not utilize it. Oh I forgot to tell you a large majority of them have limited capital, so be careful with the costs and your own bottom line b/c you will spin your wheels. It is not an 80/20 rule it is more a 90/10 or even 95/5 rule....Good luck
Darrel Raynor
1
2
Darrel Raynor Advisor
Project & Ops Turnarounds, Interim CIO/COO, improve performance of dept or teams. Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, Staffing
Uber my friend. Uber the RE business and Godspeed!
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