November 2010 | Gulf Islands Real Estate Market Analysis
Interesting times we live in!
Wasn’t that the Chinese Curse?
I think, though, that change offers opportunity…
Check out my radio show podcast (www.liread.com/radio.htm) and listen to my interview with “Carolina George.”
George, originally from Ontario, now lives in North Carolina, and is a major player in the digital post-internet world we now all inhabit.
As a hybrid being, with a foot in the 20th Century and another in the beginnings of the “real” 21st Century, I feel like my role might be as an interpreter between two beings: BG (Before Google) and AG (After Google).
A divide that is so profound that there is really no true meeting ground.
The historian Barbara Tuchman wrote a book, in the 1970s, bringing to life the world of the 14th Century. It might be prudent to revisit her book. Messages from the 14th to the 21st Century? Perhaps….
After all, Gutenberg‘s discovery at that time, and subsequent implementation of the printing press, erased centuries of agrarian top down culture and gave birth to the ascendance of “the common man” and the creation of that middle class power base that resulted in the Industrial Revolution.
Now, the Internet Revolution has created the consumer power base…suddenly there is no “expert” voice. We are all experts, and all experience is valued the same.
And what does this have to do with real estate, you say? Well, it has everything to do with marketing, and that is how sellers and buyers “connect”.
Specialty print media, with a targeted clientele, a specific end user for what is being presented, may still be incidentally important in delivering that connection between a seller and a buyer. Remember, however, print media only captures 1 percent of consumer attention.
NAR (National Association of Realtors) in the U.S. notes that 90 plus percent of real estate searches begin on the internet and start a good 14 months before “action”.
In the beginning, the activity is passive and internet search driven. Mere weeks before a decision to act, a potential buyer may contact a realtor about a specific listing, one that has caught the buyer’s eye. That is the beginning of the directed and specific search, the narrowing from the broad field of all listings to those that critically interest.
So, 7 percent of sales come off real estate signage on a lawn, seen by “drivebys” and neighbours, according to NAR. 1 percent comes from print media. The rest comes off the internet.
And yet, locally, the bulk of a realtor’s print presence is still being used as their entire marketing effort.
Locally, year after year, our weekly newspaper puts out a monthly real estate supplement… page after page of endless sameness, and most realtors would agree that the cost of same is not offset by delivered business.
Sellers, however, feel that their property “has to” be in this former method of marketing, even though this venue no longer “delivers” buyers.
The downmarket real estate cycle of the past two, if not three, years has allowed a perceptive realtor the opportunity to be creative in the seeking of buyers, in this post-internet and global world we now all inhabit. Exploration of other marketing venues is necessary, today. What used to work no longer does!
This next monthly real estate supplement will see me with just one page, not an endless listing of inventory, going on for four pages minimum, per realty company, in tiny format.
Instead, my one page will be an invitation to explore my website world. Along with the mls exposure, and company website exposure, I offer several key and individual website connections. I also present banner ads on the local weekly newspaper’s news and entertainment webpages, so my full listing information will still appear, “locally”, but just in a different format — and one that “works”.
Yes, I am exploring social media marketing opportunities, for business. It appears that inquiries are now equally weighted between conventional email and Facebook. Interesting, and of course reflects a demographic….
So many venues, now, and all essential, including that social media marketing explosion now well underway.
Call me to find out about my widespread marketing impact…all of my eggs are not in one basket.
In change, lies opportunity….
Last Fall, I projected that it would take until this Fall for our secondary home / discretionary marketplace to show “uptick” in action.
It is now underway, although the activity remains in the residential segment.
In 2009, the majority of residential sales were under 500,000. This year, all price points are seeing action, and buyers are having to come closer to sellers expectations, to achieve a “buy”.
It will be a strong indicator of better days when undeveloped land sales begin to occur. Perhaps we will see that by March, 2011?
Wish I could find where I put my crystal ball!
Meantime…late Fall market is underway, yes, in residential primarily, but it has turned active since early September, and viewings are still occurring/appointments being made right through November….
Markets have a wave action. Up, down, up, down…it’s not a static thing. We may now be slowly recovering…baby steps, though!
More information about the current market on Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands? Call me!
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