Real Estate Industry Predictions for 2012

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  1. Great article Todd. I am extremely interested in how the great data debate proceeds. I applaud Edina Realty for pioneering the “revolt” against turning over our listing data to third parties, including, only to have it sold back to us at exorbitant costs. it is time to draw a line in the sand as to who owns this listing information. It is not NAR’s or any MLS’s. I work hard for my listings and it is not right that I am not somehow compensated for the use of my intellectual property when an third party is generating billions of dollars as a result of the use of this property.

  2. I agree that mobile real estate searches are going to be a huge player in 2012. As an agent, I am always using apps to get additional information in a pinch. Many of my clients are using them as well. It’s exciting to see how much easier it is to get information on properties.

  3. lisa

    Im beginning to see how blogging is getting big attention so I really would like to take my real estate advertising firm to new levels by educating myself regarding social media / blogging

  4. Great article Todd. I am looking forward to see how mobile will benefit those with the best organic search results. As mobile search grows, there will be less screen spaces for PPC campaigns. I’m also interested to see what can be done with Android and Apple apps in 2012. Here’s to a great New Year for all of us!

  5. Listing Syndication

    I have approximately 80 listings at the moment all being syndicated to third party sites. It is a little frustrating that on sites like I have to pay them if I want my logo on my own listings. NAR should have established a policy that would force non-licensed, third party publishing companies to display our logos, company names and contact information in a way that makes it clear who owns the listing information and photos on a property.

    Smart Phones

    In 2012 and beyond, smart phone apps that display properties for sale in close proximity to the phone will be used a lot. I’m deploying an app to all my websites now and hope to have them all operational by the 2nd week of January, 2012.

  6. As it’s been said over and over again, it’s not how many people you know but how well you know them. It’s about relationships.

  7. 2012 is going to be the year of the more stream-lined short sale as servicers are slowly(very slowly) getting it together. The many agents that in the past were reluctant to come anywhere near short sales are now realizing it is a sizeable chunk of the transactions taking place and are finally educating themselves and gearing up to take them on. If you master the shortsale, you master your business in 2012.

  8. There is no doubt that if you are a Realtor and are not incorporating social media and other tech into your business you will go by the way of the dinosaur!

  9. Todd,
    Great article.
    Real estate companies struggle with social media.
    Agents struggle with social media.
    Real estate companies do not really provide their agents with tools to help them succeed.

  10. Great article! I too am interested in seeing where the data syndication conversation heads. I’m also curious how “mobile” we’ll become this year- with the introduction of google wallet and the rumored apple version later this year I think what we consider mobile will change drastically in the next few years.

  11. Todd,

    Would we be able to republish your article on 2012 Predictions in our monthly magazine, the Orange County REALTOR®? We think it’s a great piece and that our members would really enjoy it. Please advise.

    Kevin Holland
    Director, Publications and Marketing
    Orange County Association of REALTORS®
    (949) 268-0423

  12. The market data for the city of Chicago in the 01/2011 – 01/2012 time period. 21% of the listings sold, and 79% of the listings expired. Simple math for every 100 listing there were 21 sales and 79 expired listing.
    No matter what tools and and trends are use to focus on the client if the listing RE agent fails to price the listing with a supported value number there will be no traffic to view the listing, therfore no sale.
    Please Review the article “Price is Right- Loss Dollars” on Jack Schlenk’s Blog.

  13. Kelley Skar

    Some great points Todd. I think the consumer is(has) not looking for the number 1 Realtor anymore. More and more they are doing their homework before they pick up the phone or send that email or opt in online, not by asking friends and family,alone, but by looking at the Agents digital footprint. They want us to humanize our online marketing and businesses so they have a good understanding of who we are before they pick up the phone. Content is great, but context is greater.

    As for mobile, I agree it should and likely will be playing a large part in our business in 2012, however the idea of the mobile real estate website when taking all that I said above into consideration, may not be all what the consumer is looking for. The whole idea of QR codes IMO is ridiculous…I feel like we need to make it easier for the consumer to reach out to us, so sites like Yobongo in 2012 could make a big impact on our industry with respect to direct marketing and giving the consumer direct access to the information. My two cents.

  14. Our broker is doing a good job of working with us to incorporate social media into our marketing. I have a ways to go, but agree if you don’t, you will be lost in the shuffle. It will be interesting to see how Edina Realty comes out of it’s experiment. Good luck!

  15. At some point in the not-to-distant future, someone will step up to the plate to provide a seamless nation-wide MLS/listing aggregation site. Mobile technologies will continue to make our processes easier and faster. And look for more advancements in visual tech tools to enhance listing photo galleries/virtual tours….

  16. I have been talking to agents about allowing the syndication for the last year. I agree to withholding leads from Zillow , Tulia and all others. These companies are only costing us more money. We have to pay to get leads from our own listings. Let’s get smart and cut them off!

  17. Carol Lynn


    I would like to hear some tips on streamlining blogging and multi-media posting. If we did these separately every day, posting to all the various multi-media sites, it would require a huge time investment. I am currently doing this but I have to believe there is a way to stream line the time invested on these tasks.

  18. I agree with everyone here that this is a great article, thanks for sharing…the internet and mobile technology as it applies to our industry is of great concern to all of us.

  19. It makes sense to start dropping the “Social” tag to our on-line activities. It is still one world-wide-web, and those of us with any presence on it are trying to thoughtfully leave sticky bits of useful information in relevant “places” on the larger web (websites, blogs, videos, …) that will lead consumers to us and our smaller web.

  20. Olivia

    With the evolution of all of these platforms, wondering what the best source (resource), training for realtors might be. I am in need of some good information/guidance to make this work for me. Currently floundering in social media and not figuring out its best use. Any suggestions?

  21. I still don’t think mobile will overtake the web this year. Once everyone has a tablet, perhaps. But we’re years away from that.

  22. Social media can be a great tool but it is a bit hard to tame as it can turn off a whole section of your friends and non-re-business relationships when you keep pitching your business via FB. Most agents will get much more out of their efforts like focusing on photography and getting more listings.

    Those two things are the core of real estate marketing and facilitating transactions, you can waste SO much time on FB that doesn’t lead to anything concrete. Many agents don’t even return phone calls or emails (if that part of the business is broken) there is no fix…

  23. Social interaction both online and in person are wonderful ways for real estate agents to connect with their clients and potential clients. While the social interaction is helpful and agents can learn a lot more about properties and communities, they still need to utilize voice mail and have “in person” talks with their clients. I also agree with Bryan, just above.

  24. Gone are the days when old-time real estate professionals could dismiss the “upstarts” who utilized technology. Today, having a web presence is a MUST if you want long-term success in our industry.

  25. I agree with the people that believe that FB is not a place to advertise. When people are on Facebook they are trying to get away from their normal life and see what’s happening around the town and with their friends. Most of the time I don’t even like to see other ads about real estate myself. This is why I have two FB pages. One for the business and one for the Personal and Family life, I do think it’s ok to friend your clients on FB as long as it for your business. Because you get to post positive things about their home and for sure post a picture of them either in front of their home or at the closing table where they are not taking pictures. This is a way to Put your name out there is a way of just saying Congratulation to the happy family that now has a NEW HOME.

  26. Great article Todd. Looking back on 2010-2011, I think there is lots of examples of agents going ‘all in’ on social media, and downright abandoning their traditional lead generation concepts like face to face interactions with prospects. That’s fine if your targets are totally geared to SM, but I think the big winners in 2012 will be those that use the mix that works best with their demographic targets. In the apst, whenever a new idea comes along, there is a ramping up to get onbaord and be comforable with it. With SM, it’s an explosion and overload for many, so those that get a command of it and develop a thought out strategy versus trying everything without a plan, will win big in 2012.

    Can’t wait for your next article!

  27. Some very good discussion on this on the NAR Linkedin page with Deric Rangell, Rob Harnish on his R.O.B. blog, and just last week on the FSB blog site.

    To me, the conversation is just re-visiting the “we want to control our data” debate that is a long lost battle for Realtors and brokers. A steady theme in all Todd points out is that the direction is being driven by consumers, and the tools are all about making it easier for consumers to get data faster, in more places and with greater ease.
    If we are smart, we will start looking at more strategic action instead of knee jerk reaction in creating policy.
    I am continually annoyed by the citing of Edina Realty as an example of a large broker turning away from syndication to 3rd party sites like Zillow and Trulia. The first press release was soon followed by acknowledgement that the majority of their individual brokers had insisted on having the choice be theirs, and the vast majority of their inventory is still being syndicated, hardly a real line in the sand being drawn.
    As it has been pointed out by others, a better example is Shorewest in Wisconsin, a major player who has made this company policy. Whether it is the beginning of a a trend of an anomaly is yet to be seen.