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The Ice Age of Real Estate: How Social Media Influences Change in the Marketplace

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By Barry Hurd

RISMEDIA, August 27, 2007-There are things in life that are solid and stable, while there are also things that are constantly moving and liquid. One could consider many local real estate markets to be in a proverbial ice age. 

In the real world, the liquid state of a market only exists in a few industries; ones where massive amounts of inventory are dumped onto the market and stable conditions such as pricing and customer services erratically react. In markets with large inventories, these potentially liquid environments can masquerade as being entirely stable when trends peak or have lulls. These peaks and lulls can last months or years.

In the world of online marketing and search engines, many “cold” markets are quickly “heating up” and transforming extremely solid rankings into drowning memories.

Historically this scenario happened based upon the number of new documents the search engines need to sort through. Some industries such as automotive, recruiting, and real estate have so much new data every day that they are in destabilized or liquid conditions already.

As social media has become more prolific and accepted, the amount of data created on a daily basis has created evolutionary market scenarios. Old and very stable markets are quickly succumbing to thousands and sometimes millions of individuals creating tremendous amounts of new data.

Blogging and online communities are ideal examples of social media that have enabled the general audience to destabilize an online market. For every new article submitted on a blog or community forum, a half dozen or more comments are added to it, and when properly syndicated, all of that content is sorted and indexed by multiple search engines.

This massive influx of new data means that top results on competitive terms that have been established for years are now being destabilized. Fifty thousand documents are quickly grown into 500,000 documents…and the top 10 results in the search engines are subjected to hundreds of new competitive pieces of data each day.

On a local community or a professional niche level, smaller defined segments of larger industries have had search terms protected by being limited to low amounts of new daily data. Yet when a social media site focused on a neighborhood appears or when a community of professionals begins to converse on industry topics, the amount of new data on that market niche causes the online conditions to shift from solid to liquid.

There are several reasons I use the solid to liquid comparison rather than saying stable vs. unstable. As a professional learns to swim in this environment, staying on top of the results is not about resting and thinking they are safe and protected. These are turbulent waters, requiring constant and consistent effort to keep from drowning.

The most effective way to have consistent effort keep you on top of the water online is to adopt strategies and tactics that create new data on a frequent basis. This may be monthly, weekly, or daily. It may come from sharing neighborhood news or sharing professional insight. It may come from your thoughts directly, the conversation of your peers and employees, or it may come by leveraging the thoughts of your clients.

It is all about fresh new data. It is about being different. It is about properly sharing it.

The results of such actions are simple. Last week I wrote an article about “Conquesting” as an online marketing tactic. Within a day the effect of a community site (RISmedia.com) pushed the article to page one, line one results on Google for the keyword “Conquesting”. Properly syndicated within a community, the article forced the monolithic entity Wikipedia into line two results.

In a day, a week, perhaps a month, or even a year… there will be new data on that term challenging the document’s ranking. In the meantime- thousands of readers will view that article and be exposed to my idea, my viewpoint, and my brand.

The question you need to ask: What thoughts and new sources of data do you have, and more importantly what keywords will convert those ideas into profitable business?

About the author:
Barry Hurd is President of Social Media Systems, an online marketing and advertising consultant group working with search engine marketing and leveraging social media communities. He has over 15 years of entrepreneurial Internet and online marketing experience. As an author and prolific blogger, he has reached online audiences around the world. Since the mid nineties, Barry has been involved in numerous efforts to bring forth technical innovation through online business models. Past projects have included NIKE, REI, TMP Worldwide, Monster.com, Verizon Superpages, Intuit, and RIS Media.

For more information, visit www.socialmediasystems.com.

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