Real estate broker marketing is a cut-throat, competitive business.

Old, outdated tools aren’t going to make your real estate broker marketing efforts shine – not at all.  There’s too much tech and too many tech companies looking to take your lunch money every day.

The latest threat to traditional real estate models comes in two forms – one from other companies, the other from the courts.

#1 – New tech models to worry about.

Let’s look at the other companies first – obviously there’s the elephant in every room – Zillow.  There’s not much to say about it that hasn’t already been said, so we’ll just move on to another company that’s got a different model and recently received $210 Million more dollars to enable them to take money out of your pockets – Opendoor.

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If you haven’t heard of Opendoor yet, you will.  They’re using Phoenix AZ (our home court) as a test bed, and they’ll buy almost any home.  They aren’t those guys with the “we buy ugly houses” signs on every corner, they have a much more sophisticated model that offers homeowners the option to sell their house at a supposed fair market value and to close in practically no time flat.

Homeowners are charged against the sale price for repairs and other items needed to make the property marketable, and many claim that the Opendoor net price to sellers is less than they would get on the open market.  But for sellers looking to make a quick sale, this is certainly an alternative.

New home builders such as Lennar are marketing Opendoor in their model homes, as a way to entice new home buyers into contracts with contingency clauses that make that down payment on a new build a lot more attractive.

#2 – Court rulings to scare listing brokers silly.

In November, the California Supreme Court ruled on a case regarding dual brokerages – brokers representing buyers and sellers on the same transaction.

In this case, the plaintiff Hiroshi Horiike contended that since the brokerage, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company, owed him a fiduciary duty due to his relationship with his buyer’s agent licensed with that brokerage, the seller’s agent also owed him the same duties. At issue was a discrepancy of the square footage of the home purchased. While the court agreed that consumers lose undivided loyalty by requiring that different agents both owe a fiduciary duty to both parties, the Court stated, “These are significant concerns, but they are also concerns inherent in dual agency, whether at the salesperson or the broker level.” While at present this will only affect real estate in California, this case could set a legal precedent in other states who have similar laws regarding dual agency.

If you’re not a broker in California, you might think this won’t apply to you – but the precedent is here, and the specifics are somewhat murky still, even in California.

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The big deal here is that the two brokerages were DIFFERENT FRANCHISES of the same national brand – Coldwell Banker.  One was in Malibu and one was in Beverly Hills.

The MLS printout of the property had a miscalculated square foot area and also a disclaimer that the property footage was not guaranteed by the agent.  The buyer sued the sellers agent and brokerage, but not his own agent or brokerage.  Originally the court sided with the sellers agent, but the higher court overturned the ruling and found for the plaintiff.

California law already requires listing agents to disclose all material facts that affect the value or desirability of a property to all prospective buyers, no matter who represents them. This includes facts such as a murder that occurred on the property or overly hostile neighbors. Listing agents also must do a visual inspection of the property and disclose any defects found to to all buyers.

What does this have to do with mobile advertising and real estate broker marketing?

Real estate broker marketing depends on being able to reach out to prospects with new information, provide helpful auxiliary services such as mortgage underwriters, title companies, and so on.

It’s a fairly simple and straightforward process with mobile wallet ads for properties – when something about the property changes, a single update to the back of the ad offers all potential buyers and their agents the opportunity to view the changes and to act accordingly.

While this addresses the issue of unintentional misrepresentations – it’s much harder to ‘unprint’ a flyer than it is to make a change to a website or MLS listing that’s relying on mobile wallet ads to help market it, the Opendoor situation is a bit less clear.

As a broker, you should be in control of all the information about properties listed by your agency.

There is no faster way to update all the parties than to use mobile to make the updates.  Mobile also carries the ability to swap out properties that are no longer in inventory – and to use lock screen notifications to broadcast new listings in place of the old ones; that’s something you can’t do with a web page, a flyer, etc.

You can update MLS, social media, etc but you’re not effectively reaching everyone who showed an interest in the property since you can’t be sure they’ll all check your Facebook page or read your Twitter feed, or even open the email with the MLS updates on it.

The Bottom Line.

You can be sure they’ll see the lock screen notification on their mobile phone – after all, we only tend to look at our lock screens about 150 times each day.  😉