World’s Largest Real Estate Agency Ditches TV for Online!

Century 21’s CEO, Tom Kunz, announced in an online video interview (Watch the Video – link below) that in 2009 they have decided to pull their advertising budget from TV to focus more on Online marketing.

As Tom Kunz explains they have found that their Return on Investment was much better from their Online endeavours rather than TV or any other traditional media.

In 2008, Century 21 spent only 10% of their massive advertising budget online. However, recent research and testing has shown that their online expenditure was far more productive and efficient than the TV advertising.

We have seen quite a few Independent Agents embracing the internet very actively, however, this is probably the first time that a major Agency has taken any serious steps in this direction, publicly.

With Millions of Dollars being re-routed from the traditional advertising media to Online – it will be interesting times ahead.

What are your Online Strategies and how do you intend to implement them?

Online Real Estate Searches on the rise!

 

Based on a research we did on Google (see image below) the online activity by prospective buyers and sellers during the Christmas – New Year period went up – significantly.

 

 

 web_search_reagents2

 

Whilst most agents were busy with their time away with friends, family and loved ones, the prospective client (buyer / seller) was busy doing their own research on what properties to buy (and from whom) or which agent to use to list their properties with, etc..

 

The scary thing is – majority of these decisions were just being made from your websites and not from talking with you or looking at the fancy brochures or actual shop fronts.

 

Those Agents who have an online shop front that is professional, provides valuable information, easy search functionality, etc (see some great examples of professional websites) would have had a significant upper hand as compared to those who have less than acceptable websites.

 

With around 87% of Australian home buyers/sellers now using the Internet as part of their research process (Nielsen Australian Property Report 2008), isn’t it time that you invested a little more energy into your online marketing machine?

 

Shift in focus from transcation sales to outbound sales

It is tough out their!

With the state of the real estate markets around the world, I don’t think there is any single marketplace that is not experiencing reduced enquiry rates and as a consequence, sales rates. Which ever way we look at it, this is effecting property businesses underlying profitability.

I was recently discussing this with one of our clients, and put forward a suggestion that I want to share with you today. That suggestion is to change the culture of your organisation from sales transacting to outbound sales.

So what does this mean?

Sales transacting is is culture of effectively waiting for the prospect to make the purchase. Your sales team is entirely reactive. They wait for a prospect to enquire, and often wait for them to purchase, and then effectively take on a role of facilitating the transaction. This sales transacting role can also be described as  ‘order taking’. This culture is really born out of bull markets. When times are good, and a new prospect is around every corner, your sales team really only needs to focus on sales transacting to make target, and a very acceptable living.  However this is a very poor sales culture, if we can call it sales at all. At best it can be described as a sales administration role, at worst simply an administration role full stop.

So what is an outbound sales culture? That is where your sales people are proactively chasing prospects. They are hunting for business, rather than order processing.

It goes without saying that is a slowing (slow!) market, you need your sales people busy. They need to be proactive and to be chasing every opportunity and can not be waiting for the next purchaser to walk in.

How do you create this type of culture?

Here are just a few ideas:

– break the mold. You really need to confront your sales team and get them to understand that things are different. The market has moved, and they need to move with it or they will be pushed out of the property industry. You need to make clear to them that the ‘new’ corporate culture of your organisation is about ‘outbound sales orientation’.

– give them the tools.

– systemise, systemise and systemise. When your business is effectively processing deals, you don’t tend to need to many systems. You can afford to operate inefficiently simply because they are good times and plenty of profit to go round. However in tougher times you need your business running like a well drilled team and it is systems that will achieve this. If you don’t have paper based systems – put them in. Better still though get effective software to manage, control and report on the key aspects of your business so you are operating as efficiently as possible.

There is never a better time to drive real change in your business then when times are tough. Everyone, from your board through to your sales people are all concerned about revenue and profitability, so now is the perfect time to effect that change in your business.

Oryx Real Estate Website wins CNBC award for best real estate website!

We are proud to announce that Oryx Corporation have won the prestigious CNBC Award for Best Real Estate Website for the Middle East. The Oryx Corporation website (www.oryxrealestate.com) incorporates many of the latest Web 2.0 features such as Podcasts, Blogs, RSS, as well as some fantastic improvements on the traditional property website features. For example, their preferred projects section is really quite extraordinary. The effort taken to present these select projects is 2nd to none – particularly for an estate agency.

In addition the Dubai Life magazine is also a very interesting attempt to take a quite quality glossy magazine online. Incorporating editorial and listing, it is a unique experience and one that I think has the potential to extend even further how the interent is used by real estate agents around the world.

Congradulations to our team of designers and developers. This is a fantastic example of the high quality work both Brightfox and our network of Certified Partners do, and it is great to see the client winning awards for our work.