The fact is, if you are a real estate agent and you are not connected to the Internet, then you don't have much of a chance to survive, at least in my opinion. In contrast, if you are thinking about increasing your knowledge of the Internet and the great services it can bring to your business, if you don't enter now, then you could be left behind.
Take blogging for instance. Many of the best real estate bloggers have been doing it for at least two years and they are seen as some of the best. If you get into it now, you will have to come up with a concept that catches peoples attention and sets you a part from all the other bloggers out there. If you don't, then you will be lost out in the blog-o-sphere and it will become increasingly more difficult for people to find you. Take Active Rain, for instance. It boasts 64,000 members, but only 1%, if even that much, contribute to the social network. The rest have tried jumping on the bandwagon, only to find that blogging takes work, and then fall off, happy to leave it behind. They just don't get it.
The Internet is the new face of real estate, and each year it grows in importance. It has taken me a good year to get my web presence to a point that it is starting to pay off. Buyers and sellers both are contacting me through various keyword searches. Google is my best friend, one I can gladly call my BFF (best friends forever).
But the Internet is also the life line of listings. Sellers need to understand that one of the most important questions they need to ask an agent is if they have a web presence. Try typing in the agent's name and see how many times they come up on the search. (Note: there might be other people out there with the same name, so make sure you find the correct person). Chances are, the agent might pop up once, and for a website that is mediocre at best.
Buyers already turn to agents for help that they find on the Internet because they see them as knowledgeable and credible. Sellers need to start doing the same. The days of hiring an agent that is a friend of the family, or worse, a family member, are coming to a close. Competition is just to fierce for the part-time agent.