If you lose something that you never knew existed in the first place, what have you lost? And how will you ever know that you lost it?
If a potential client or buyer doesnâ€™t connect with you because they donâ€™t know youâ€™re there, what have you and they lost?
These situations illustrate Opportunity Costs – measured by the lost revenue and profit resulting from inaction. We incur those costs by NOT seizing on a situation, an event, an opportunity.
I call it the cost of What If?
What if I had doneâ€¦? Would it have led me to seize an opportunity that I didnâ€™t know about, or knew about but ignored? How would that have changed my results? Would my income have increased? Would my reputation be stronger, my referral network larger? Would I have made new friends?
Opportunity cost is rarely tracked or recorded, by companies or by individuals. Itâ€™s difficult to measure the result of a non-event.
So why try? Because awareness of opportunity costs often reveal great potential gains by implementing changes that can achieve dramatic improvements in our incomes and in the quality of our lives.
Most of us stay busy in the comfort of what weâ€™ve always done. We fill our available time with the same things. We never step back and ask, â€œWait â€“ letâ€™s look at what Iâ€™m not doing, that I could be doing to improve my results.â€ And, â€œWhat am I currently doing that I should stop doing because my results suck?â€
Here, near and dear to my heart (otherwise known as bias), is a case in point â€“ Internet marketing.
Hereâ€™s where, ostensibly, the dots donâ€™t connect:
- More than 80% of buyers begin their home searches on the Internet.
- But only 20% to 25% of the homes shown on the Internet (depending on your information source) use home tours and/or multiple photos.
- This disparity indicates an unfathomable gap between market behavior and Realtor behavior. It suggests that Realtors are not listening to the market. It indicates apathy, arrogance, negligence and many other bad words.
- But the homes all sell anyway.
How can this be?
Why arenâ€™t buyers refusing to buy homes and sellers refusing to list their homes unless and until Realtors provide professional, engaging, attractive Internet presentations? Why do they continue to work with Realtors who seem to blatantly refuse to give buyers and sellers what they need?
Because sellers must sell their homes and buyers must find a place to live. And buyers will endure all the crap, indifference and shoddiness they have to in order to find their castles of choice. And sellers believe that eventually, they will find a buyer.
So is the message, â€œForget the Internet; it doesnâ€™t matter what you do, the house will eventually sell anyway?â€
No, no, no. For in this sea of seeming consumer indifference lurks Opportunity Cost. And for those who act, thereâ€™s money to be made and reputations to be enhanced.
The Opportunity Cost is your lost commissions and profits that will result if you do nothing beyond the minimum (an MLS posting and one photo of the home) with your Internet marketing presentations and presence.
But if all homes eventually sell, how can doing the minimum result in lost commissions?
The answer is also the opportunity. Itâ€™s this: Even though all homes sell, the best presented ones sell first. And the Realtors who represent them will earn more money.
Buyers who use the Internet first want to visit the homes whose presentations capture their emotions and give them sufficient, but not too much, information. Only after they rule out those homes do they go on to the next wave and the next. With a 10-month inventory of unsold homes on the market, there is a huge advantage in being seen first. To state the obvious, being seen first also means you get to meet many of these potential buyers before they have chosen their Realtor. Opportunity.
I know that much of this sounds pedantic. I apologize for that. But what drives me nuts about all of this basic as breathing stuff is: Why are so few Realtors doing it? Can someone please explain that to me?
The bottom line is this. There is a significant opportunity to earn more and grow your business by having a strong Internet marketing program. If you donâ€™t do it you are incurring an Opportunity Cost. While itâ€™s true that buyers will go through pain to find their home, they will gravitate to presentations that capture their emotions first.
When you plan your Internet presentation, mentally and emotionally become the buyer. Ask yourself what a buyer wants to see and to feel? Create presentations that deliver that.
Success will not come every time, but over time.
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