Why are most real estate agents so bad at selling online

By · December 8, 2008 · 0 comments

I have often read or heard that the Internet is now the most successful method of advertising for real estate agents.

So why is it that so many real estate agents fail to appreciate some basic fundamentals about advertising online.

Having been looking for a house for the last few months I have encountered three main issues that irritate me when it comes to real estate agents.

1. Poor listings

Now I admit that I don’t know how websites like realestate.com.au or domain.com.au charge agents but my guess is that there is probably no difference in cost between 1 photo and 5 or 10 photos, and there is probably a very generous limit on the amount of text they can enter for the property description.

So I don’t understand why so many agents have one photo and/or a very brief description of the property, often omitting information that might be important to potential buyers.

Agents should understand that certain information will affect whether their listing will appear when certain search criteria is selected. For example, I want to search for a house with a double garage but so many agents leave the carspaces that I can’t depend on this feature.

And why do so many use bad quality photos?

2. Response to enquiries

In this day and age it is not unreasonable to expect a reply to an email enquiry within several hours. At worst you would expect a business to check and respond to emails at least once a day.

But a large percentage of agents in my experience either do not respond to emails at all or take several days.

And when I ask a question I expect an answer in reply. So to the agent who replied to my request for the property’s address some two weeks later with, “Please telephone our office to speak to one of our sales consultants,” I say much too little, much too late.

3. Failure to update listings

Too many times I have enquired about properties only to find out that they have been long sold or are under contract.

I know the popular websites have the facility for agents to indicate that a property is sold or under offer or contract. I wish more agents would use them.

And it is good to see agents listing open for inspection times online (and I wish more would) but there should be no excuse for not removing these when the open house is cancelled.

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About me
John Avis ...mostly about web development and programming, with a little bit of anything else related to the Internet, computers and technology.

profile for John at Stack Overflow, Q&A for professional and enthusiast programmers

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