If you’ve been around this planet long enough you’ve most certainly heard the saying, “Everything that is old becomes new again”. The theory of old becoming new is played out in almost every aspect of our lives. From the song that was a hit twenty years ago being re-recorded to the TV sitcom being re-introduced with new actors, even clothing that goes out of style becomes in fashion over time.
In the business world and most certainly in the real estate industry there are trends that were once considered leading edge but are now considered outdated. The open air shopping plaza gave way to the enclosed mall, which gave way to the power centers and in turn gave way to the town center. Recently, the real estate trade journals have been touting the return of the open air shopping plaza. On a recent visit to the west coast I saw several examples of the new open air shopping plaza concept. Everything that is old becomes new again.
The real estate industry has always been leading edge. In fact, to be competitive in the real estate market a real estate professional must openly embraced new technology. Initially there were MLS books that contained all the properties for sale within a particular market and brokers reached out to property owners with mass mailings or even canvassed neighborhoods going door to door. The postage meter and bulk mailing made the process easy and cost effective. The introduction of the computer and publishing software help professionals create higher quality marketing pieces, further reduces the cost of these mass mailings.
As computer technology advanced, real estate professionals found new ways to reach their customer. Real estate professionals pushed to be the first to have a web site on the Internet and contact management software made it even easier to stay connected with customers. The MLS book was replaced by Internet databases and mass mailing gave way to email broadcasts. E-brochures replaced printed marketing pieces and became commonplace.
The emergence of social media has been no different as real estate professionals have flocked to such social web sites as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn, and have blogged and tweeted in excess. With each new introduction in technology the communication with prospective customers and customers has become less personal and as a result real estate professionals are seeing a decline in marketing results.
Recently a new concept is appearing in the Real estate community … networking groups are forming, phone calls are being made, face-to-face meetings are being scheduled and held. Everything that is old becomes new again.