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Friday, April 27, 2007

But Is the Message Worth the Money?

by Tanta on 4/27/2007 06:58:00 AM

As a boomer, I am always interested in an historical view of things, even if it grates on the nerves. Since the phrase "the medium is the message" marked a profound shift in the understanding of culture for, um, us boomers old enough to remember Marshall McLuhan, I present the following advice to real estate brokers without further snark. "Are You Really Reaching Consumers?":

RISMEDIA, April 4, 2007-Do you speak boomer? If that's your only generational language, you are in big trouble. Gen X and Gen Y consumers don't speak your language, and, 120 million strong, they now constitute the largest demographic in the real estate market.

Simply put: As consumers become increasingly computer savvy, brokers are finding they are no longer in charge. Those brokers who don't keep up are in danger of becoming, well, endangered. But it's not just a matter of disseminating information; the medium is the message. . . .

"They are techno-literate and techno-fused," says Dallas-based consultant John Ansbach. "Gen X grew up as computers grew up. Gen Y is techno-fused. They don't know how to do anything without computers. The latch-key effect for both is a profound sense of: I can do it on my own, given the right tools. Gen X and Y-ers believe in their heart of hearts if they had enough coffee and access to the Internet, they could learn to fly the space shuttle."

Of course, Anspach maintains, this is "not reality. A real estate transaction is a complicated financial process that does require significant expertise. Consumers don't get this message, and certainly not from the media that has further told these consumers Realtors are anti-competitive and greedy and, by the way, you may not even need them."

These forces have combined "to create a perfect storm for brokers. You can fight it, or you can change, adapt and be successful with the right strategies," says Ansbach.