Currently 139,000+ US Real Estate people have joined “ActiveRain” with the intention of assisting members of the public to better understand the real estate process by web-blogging. Activerain is one of the USA’s largest independent (non-franchise affiliated that is) network of Real Estate blogs provided to industry staff to assist other brokers and the public at large.
Recent updates to the NZ Real Estate Blog scene total less than 50 updated blogs over the last month or so at Voices, the main publicly accessible, non-franchised, independent spokes piece available for local Real Estate personnel in NZ, (population approx. 4,306,000 people.)
Based on a US population of 306m that means the 139,000+ registered US Realtors represent 0.046% of the US population.
To place that into a New Zealand perspective, to be equivalent we would need to have 1957 registered Real Estate specific bloggers.
Or to reverse it, and place it in a US perspective, instead of over 139,000 “voices” they presently have, if the US had such a similar percentage of their Realtors engaging & informing the public on Real Estate matters, they would only need 2561 “voices”, not the 139,000 they actually do have.
As a more specific example, let’s look at South Carolina, population of 4,479,800, similar in size to NZ. This state has 2840 Realtors registered on ActiveRain. Our approx. 40 in NZ, lets be generous and say less than 50, kind of pales in comparison doesn’t it?
Or Oregon with a population of 3,790,060, they happen to have 2179 Realtors registered on ActiveRain. Again, it would appear here in NZ we just don’t get it, do we?
The only people who know the true number are the administrators of “Voices”, but I am pretty sure it is not that high. And if the number of blog articles being posted to the Voices platform is anything to go by, then absolutely no where near the mark.
And there-in lies the rub!
Everyday, Newspapers are full of advertisements from Real Estate Agents stating things like;
Your helpful agent
Your one stop shop
Come to me first for market info
And as if that’s not enough, lets see what the media serves up to aid in a buyers or sellers decision…
Warning issued over February house price rise- Herald
Caution still rules in property – Business Day
NZ housing demand remains weak: analysts – Business Day
No real pick up in housing demand – Newstalk ZB
Housing sector still weak – stuff.co.nz
House buying surges – Marlborough Express
Glimmer of hope for housing – Business Day
House party back on – for lucky few – NZ Herald
Housing values continue their steady decline – NZ Herald
NZ Feb Home Sales Bounce Back – Wall St Journal
Do I rightly perceive here the possibility for confusion, or indecision?
Is it just me, or does it make good sense for there to be a widely available and accessible platform (in other words “non drill-downable”) to provide buyers / sellers, and generally interested persons a forum for them to read, decipher, comment and get feedback on local & NZ Real Estate matters?
The point being that I believe many agents in NZ are trying to convey in their individual copy with-in their personal advertising is this, they are trying to convey “talk to me, I am, amongst many other things, helpful and here to provide you, the buyer or seller with information, info that will assist you to make an educated and correct decision.”
Today, courtesy of the internet any buyer or seller can conduct 90% of the relevant research, at least perception wise, online. So that helpful part now comes down to the not so obvious things. And by helpful that does not include telling the good folk of NZ about your listings, they can access that on the sidebar of your blog anyway. I would suggest 99% of the buyers out there know how to search for a property for sale in NZ, so by using a blog to tell them about your listings, basically you’re spamming them.
Kiwis always pride themselves on the “No. 8 wire” syndrome, and their initiative in researching the buying and selling of property in NZ is probably looked at no differently. With that in mind I believe many Kiwis believe they research, in their own minds, 98% of the information / data / stats that they judge necessary to arrive at an informed, researched and educated decision. This is not always the right way to go, and I for one don’t believe they can conduct 98% of the stuff “they really need to know” to enable a “best possible outcome.” So what can they do, well ask questions on a forum like Voices is a good start?
Anyway….I’ve strayed off subject again…..lets get back to the point of this post.
What is the secret?
Why don’t more Kiwi agents be as accessible, responsive and show their acknowledged local or wider expertise, or authority in a subject in such a transparent way as US Realtors, by using a vehicle like a blog, such as VOICES?
March 17 2009 08:33 pm | Nelson